Classes and Critiques

I highly recommend Elizabeth’s class. Her critiques are as thorough as they are encouraging, and will leave you with a renewed energy.–Victoria G.


If you’re a writer dreaming of publication, and you’re also a parent, I have good news! There’s a huge market for creative nonfiction dealing with parenthood–from magazines to anthologies to blogs.

Join me in April for a four-week workshop where you’ll craft essays, learn how to study markets and write cover letters, and polish your work for submission.


START DATE: April 1, 2016

LENGTH: Four weeks

OVERVIEW: In this class we’ll work on crafting short essays relating to motherhood (or fatherhood). You’ll complete three essays and, in the final week, choose one to rework for possible publication. You’ll also learn how to study markets and write a cover letter. Through one-on-one critiques I’ll help you discover your strengths as a writer, and we’ll look at common weaknesses that keep writers from publication.

Along the way we’ll read some fantastic essays that explore the funny, heartbreaking, and endearing world of parenthood, and we’ll strive to capture your own moments and turn them into publishable stories.


Week One: Are you ready? Writing about family can come at an emotional price. We’ll talk about the need for distance when writing about painful subjects, avoiding sentimentality, and when to worry about your family’s reactions to your work.

Week Two: Is my story worth anything? Often the advice is given that personal writing must pass the “So what?” test to be publishable. We’ll consider this argument and other pieces of well-meaning advice that can backfire and keep writers from writing.

Week Three: Keeping it real: Fiction in truth: how much is too much? When does it matter? We’ll look at issues like manufacturing dialogue and tweaking timelines for the sake of the story.

Week Four: Revision, researching markets, and writing cover letters: We’ll learn to use a revision checklist to perfect our final drafts. We’ll also learn how to study potential markets, follow submission guidelines, and write a cover letter.

*Lessons are emailed every Friday starting Friday, April 1. In each lesson there will be a prompt (the prompt is meant to inspire those who need it—it is optional). Essays are due the following Friday and critiques are returned on Mondays. For example, your first essay will be assigned Friday, April 1; it is due Friday, April 8, and I will return it to you Monday, April 11, with suggestions for revision. Your final assignment will be returned Monday, May 2.

Materials needed: All you need is an email address and Internet connection. I will provide the lessons, handouts, and links to online essays.

About the instructor: Elizabeth’s essays on motherhood have appeared in Brain, Child, Phoenix New Times, Literary Mama and Elizabeth is also an award-winning fiction writer; her short stories have been published in YARNThe Portland Review, Hospital Drive, SLAB Literary Magazine, and Bartleby Snopes, and her debut novel, The Fourth Wall, was released in June 2014 through WiDo Publishing. Links to Elizabeth’s essays and stories can be found here.

Cost: $89.95, which includes four weekly lessons and four one-on-one critiques with supportive and positive feedback.



Click on one of the buttons below for an in-depth critique of either your fiction or creative nonfiction (up to 800 words).