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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.

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“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.


May 2-4, I’ll address a couple of topics at the Dallas Fort Worth Writers’ Conference dfwcon.org. The 7th year this conference has grown, bringing in solid agents, teachers and well known writers to inspire, entertain and inform (and occasionally sign with an agent) the gathered writers, beginning and well-experienced.
My topics are:

For more on the conference click on this line to go to DFWcon.org.

LATE MAY another round of Writing Circles will start up. These run for six weeks and usually continue. Email me:carmengoldthwaite@sbcglobal.net if you’d like the “start” times for the next one.

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.


In June, my SMU Classes start up:
June 2, Mondays, 6 pm – 9 pm—Creative Writing Fundamentals, what someone starting out needs to know about writing to publish in today’s highly competitive market.
June 5, Thursdays, 6 – 9—“Write Now!,” which combines fiction, article and essay writing techniques with realistic strategies to publish.

For more information, go to smu.edu/creativewriting

Two new classes will start in July:


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.