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"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 Prof Goldthwaite! I'm so glad I joined your class. Those techniques for helping us to flesh out a character the readercan believe work really, really well. Can't wait for Thursday!

-- Rajal from SMU class.


NEW! SHORT STORY WRITING, at SMU, Wed., Sept. 3, 6:30 – 9 pm. Often writers jump start publishing careers with short stories. It’s a given that if you can write a short, taut story that doesn’t waddle in the middle, then your skill at shaping a long work, a novel, is greatly enhanced. We’ll address, of course, character, plot, dialogue, style and tips on publishing. You’ll learn how to focus a story, controlling the theme, cast and plot, to deliver a strong beginning, middle and end--in short form! CONTACT: smu.edu/creativewriting

Narrative NonFiction: the Proposal
also kicks off 6:30 – 9 pm on Thursdays at SMU, Sept. 4 – Nov. 20. In this 12-week program you’ll take your true story idea, learn to shape it into “story” form with fictional techniques, and finish with a proposal to submit to editors and agents. This SMU course tracks nonfiction publishing practices. That means writers prepare a proposal, not a completed manuscript. The proposal is 3 parts…so, too, the class structure:

CONTACT: smu.edu/creativewriting

5th Year Anniversary! `WRITING CIRCLES,’ in Fort Worth start…
Sept. 2, 7-10 pm & Sept 10, 1:30-4:30 pm.

“To everyone who has a story rattling around their brain…five years ago…with Carmen…and other writers offering suggestions and ideas on each chapter, my novel, Amour et Vengeance, took shape. It only took two years to get a printed version. Carmen’s focus is on …today’s world of a first time novelist or non-published writer.”
--Jim Beckman of Fort Worth, now completing his second novel and shaping it for publication.

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


Carmen Goldthwaite at the Fort Worth Public Library instructional series on writing… “Finding Your Story,” and “the personal story or memoir,” Fridays in August.

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.