The Art of the Sentence, the Art of the Paragraph (All Levels - Weeklong PM) - Priscilla Long
First-rate writers use all the sentence forms, and they use particular forms not at random but to carry particular meanings or emotions. This hands-on course in developing virtuoso skills in sentencing and paragraphing is designed for writers of all levels—from beginner to advanced— interested in revising across several short works or across a book-in-progress. During our week together, we'll scrutinize brilliant sentences and paragraphs and we'll deepen our craft skill by writing or revising our own, using identical structures and analogous moves. Always working on our own material (this is not a return to the Third Grade!), we'll shape our sentences to intensify their content, perhaps using a shattered sentence (a fragment) to hold a shattering experience, and a slow, lazy, flowing sentence to hold a slow, lazy, flowing experience. Our new paragraphs will include leaps, turns, flourishes, and, always, transitions. Diction (word choice) is part of it: We'll explore techniques for gathering language that is more original, more true to our own vision, and more sonorous.
Priscilla Long - photo credit Tony Ober
Priscilla Long grew up on a dairy farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her new science column, Science Frictions, appears each Wednesday on The American Scholar website. Her most recent book is The Writer's Portable Mentor: A Guide to Art, Craft, and the Writing Life. Her poems, stories, and creative nonfictions appear widely in journals such as The American Scholar, The Southern Review, Raven Chronicles, Web Conjunctions, The Alaska Quarterly, Fourth Genre,, Tampa Review, and Passages North. She has received a National Magazine Award, and has been nominated for the Pushcart several times. Her essays have been listed under "The 100 best…" in Best American Essays for the past five years. Other awards include The Journal’s Creative Nonfiction Prize, the Richard Hugo House Founder’s Award (a teaching award), and awards from the Seattle and Los Angeles arts commissions. She teaches writing and is author of Where the Sun Never Shines: A History of America's Bloody Coal Industry. She serves as Senior Editor for www.historylink.org, the online encyclopedia of Washington state history. For more information please visit www.PriscillaLong.com.