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Readers love the stories of

"I enjoy your column in the Wise County Messenger. It's always fun to read about something, or someone that has been so important to our state's history."
— Janet Wilson
Paradise, Tx

Did you know...

She went “over the road” bringing entertainment, Texas’ first woman circus owner and operator.  But that came after she used her acting and entertaining talents as a spy for the Confederate forces. When her circus hit town, bankrolled out of her purse, veterans (of both armies) got in free.

   Click here for the answers

“Thanks so much for your wonderful insight.
I truly enjoyed every class.
I hate to think of me even trying to write an Autobiography,
without the pointing you provided.

-- W. T. of Dallas, regarding the new memoir, essay, personal narrative class I taught at SMU this spring.


That word defines “story,” and that “story” is taking place with my SMU schedule. Instead of teaching “Short Story” and “Publishing” the last half of summer, as previously announced, I’ll be teaching an old favorite: “Foundations of Creative Writing” on Mondays, starting July 7, 6 pm. PLUS a new favorite from the spring, “Memoir, Personal Narrative & Essay.”

“Memoir, Personal Narrative & Essay”
starts Wed., July 9, 6:30-9:30 pm, and runs through July 30. If you have a personal story that’s just dying to get out…one of those that won’t let you alone, this class is for you. We’ll sort through the techniques of writing and memory to help you determine which form of the personal story is best for you and for your story, and then to stream the words on paper so others may enjoy your passion.
JOIN US. Click here: smu.edu/creativewriting.

Many good stories start, take the reader on an adventure and then return, almost to the starting place, almost a “circle.” So, in my West Fort Worth home a small group gathers Tuesday evenings from 7-10 and Wednesday afternoons from 2-5. I’ll teach a little about one or more “element” of story writing and style. Writers will read their works and we’ll discuss, question and make suggestions, providing more teaching opportunities. Cost is $90 for a six week session. Contact me: carmengoldthwaite@sbcglobal.net


Two intrepid souls claimed front row chairs at a rather large gathering of writers at DFW Writers Conference in May. I got to conduct one workshop on “So…You Want to Write” aimed more at beginners and then a class for intermediates, “Show…with Movement.” Fun to teach when folks want to learn and participants in both of these really did.

Friday, July 11, 1-3 pm at Fort Worth’s Central Public Library, downtown, “Finding Your Story,” is a basic class to introduce the notions of writing and publishing in today’s marketplace. We’ll cover basics of fiction and nonfiction as well as creative or narrative nonfiction, nailing down the concepts of story, or organizing for nonfiction, and a writing style that’s smooth to the eye and the ear of readers.

Friday, August 1, 1-3 pm
we’ll take our places at Fort Worth’s Central Public Library, downtown, to talk about the personal story,, whether it’s an individual’s story, a family story—the stories that make for strong memoirs, whether for publication or to hand along to family members. Whether you need information to gather for your stories or on how to write them out for a reader’s interest, this class will help you get there. Join us.

Tuesday, August 26, noon,
I’ll talk to IABC’s Fort Worth chapter about “Making Your Writing Sing.” We write for the ear as much for the eye, and I’ll be going over techniques that add to the rhythm—the music of words—the mood and the pictures we often want to convey a reader. It should be fun exploring writing techniques with other professional writers.


Workshops, Seminars & Breakout Session Suggested Topics

either a long presentation with details, a short summary of the whole, or a more detailed discussion of any subtopic.

1. PLOTTING & SUBPLOTS—for fiction or narrative nonfiction writers. The journey(s)—internal & external--includes the basics of story writing.
SUBTOPICS: Beginning, Middle, End; Openings; Traditional plot vs. Open-ended plot. Then varying methods of developing your plot: Crucible, Scene/Sequel or Action/Reaction; Tension threads; Pace; Resolution, not to mention content tools such as: Research, Transitions, Narrative Summary—up close or distant, and Theme.

2. CHARACTERS & POV—for fiction or creative nonfiction writers: Determining who is your point of view character and how many:
SUBTOPICS: Creating a character “bible”; Which Characters get into your story; Roles of characters, i.e., their job; Transitions and scene breaks; MAIN, SECONDARY & MINOR characters; Character change; Research; Narrative Summary—up close or distant, and Theme.

3. SHOW—WITH MOVEMENT—DON’T TELL—for fiction or narrative nonfiction writers: SUBTOPICS: Setting; Description; Character action(s)/movement; Mood and tone; Action(s); Research & Transitions.

4. LET YOUR WRITING SING…Seduce The Reader With Your Narrative (Author) Voice—for fiction and nonfiction writer with…
SUBTOPICS: Tools Of The Creative Writer (Fact Or Fiction); Style; Literary Techniques; Syntax & Sentences; Word Choices—Connotation & Denotation, and of course, Transitions.

5. WRITING/PUBLISHING FOR THE SHORT MARKET—for writers of fiction and nonfiction —Blogs, Features, Columns, Short Stories, Essays. In this we explore: SUBTOPICS: Short story writing vs. novel/novella length; theme; Writing forms—literary or commercial fiction; traditional or creative nonfiction, and Strategies to identify and market short works.

6. SO…YOU WANT TO WRITE? WHERE TO BEGIN? LET’S GET STARTED—Fiction & Nonfiction/Long & short works—
SUBTOPICS: Idea development, Overview of story elements—plot, character, setting, writing style; Differences between literary and commercial fiction; Differences between traditional nonfiction and creative or narrative nonfiction; Introduction of essay writing; Overview of nonfiction writing forms/techniques; Topic & Theme; Transitions; Tools of the Creative Writer—fiction/nonfiction, and Research for every story--fact or fiction.

7. WRITING THE PERSONAL ESSAY and/or MEMOIR—nonfiction-- SUBTOPICS: What’s the “truth”? How do I find it? The writer interviewing the writer; Essay forms, Organization, and Nonfiction techniques of structure and style.

8. WRITING STORIES of FACT WITH DRAMATIC TECHNIQUES — Narrative/Creative Nonfiction either with or without the marketing segment of Nonfiction Proposal Writing. This would include:
SUBTOPICS: Story Structure; Basic tenets of truth telling; Style, including literary techniques; Titles; Marketing—for long & short market.
A. Proposal writing for long nonfiction-- Audience Identification; Platform Development; Outline; Competition, i.e., what’s out there already; Author Bio; Promotion/Adv/PR, and of course, the Query or Cover letter.
B. Strategies for short nonfiction—electronic & Print: Identifying “best bet” among publications (matching writers’ interests to magazine readers’ interests) & the all important Query or Cover letter.