Course Catalog

Diving In: First Pages

All Levels | Ann Patchett describes turning a brilliant idea into written words as akin to plucking a gossamer butterfly from the air and pinning it gruesomely to the page. Her point? Early drafts rarely gleam like the idea that first sparked the writer’s imagination. Nevertheless, for a writer’s vision to progress through draft form and eventually meet an audience, it must pass through a painfully awkward getting-started stage. Most writers, including beginners, intuit this unpleasant fact and resist putting down the first words or pages of a new project. In this class, using specific strategies, exercises, and examples, we will explore, practice, and learn to appreciate the uneasy but necessary beginnings of creating new work.

Beginning Fall 2021, we will be adding select in-person classes back to our course catalog. The majority of our classes will still be offered via Zoom.

If a class says IN-PERSON in its title, it will take place in person at our permanent home in Seattle.

If a class says ASYNCHRONOUS in its title, it will take place on Wet Ink, our asynchronous learning platform.

If a class does not have a marker after its title, it will take place via Zoom.

Instructor: Bonnie J. Rough

Class Type: 4 Sessions

, , , , ,

Start Date: 03/01/2021

End Date: 03/22/2021

Days of the Week: Monday

Time: 1:10 pm – 3:10 pm PST

Minimum Class Size: 5

Maximum Class Size: 20

$216.00 Member Price:
Become a member >

$240.00 General Price:

Class has begun, registration is closed.

Bonnie J. Rough

Bonnie J. Rough is an award-wining author, essayist, and journalist who loves the writing classroom, whether as student, mentor, or both at once. Her latest book is Beyond Birds and Bees: Bringing Home a New Message to Our Kids about Sex, Love, and Equality (Seal Press 2018). She has written recently for the New York Times, The Atlantic, The Cut, Washington Post, Slate, and many other outlets. Her previous two books, Carrier: Untangling the Danger in My DNA (winner of a Minnesota Book Award) and The Girls, Alone: Six Days in Estonia (named one of Amazon's Best Kindle Singles), are literary memoirs. Rough earned her MFA from the University of Iowa in 2005. She has taught in various writing programs including the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis and as faculty for the Ashland University low-residency MFA program. She has been the recipient of numerous grants, fellowships, and awards, with her creative work appearing in anthologies and publications including the Best American series, Modern Love, The Sun magazine, Brain, Child, the Seattle Review of Books, and dozens of other literary journals and magazines.

See current classes >