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 grew up on a dairy farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She is a Seattle-based author and teacher of writing. Her work includes science (her column Science Frictions appeared for 90 weeks on the website of The American Scholar), poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. Her most recent book is The Writer's Portable Mentor: A Guide to Art, Craft, and the Writing Life. Her work appears widely in journals such as Post Road, Cincinnati Review, The American Scholar, The Southern Review, Web Conjunctions, The Alaska Quarterly, Fourth Genre, Tampa Review, and Passages North. Her awards include a National Magazine Award , a Richard Hugo House Founder’s Award, and Seattle and Los Angeles arts commission awards. She has been a fellow at Hedgebrook, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and at Jack Straw Productions. Her MFA is from the University of Washington. She is author of a scholarly history book, Where the Sun Never Shines: A History of America's Bloody Coal Industry. She serves as Founding and Consulting Editor for www.historylink.org, the online encyclopedia of Washington state history. For more information please visit www.PriscillaLong.com and www.PriscillaLong.org.