Monday, January 4, 2016

Workshop Profile: Mythology for Writers (Online, January 6-February 17, 2016)



Symbols, characters, and stories from mythology permeate our lives. Whether it comes in the form of a favorite TV show (Battlestar Galatcia, Xena: Warrior Princess, Heroes), a lesson from our parents (don’t fly too close to the sun or you’ll get burned), or a symbol from daily life (the sports apparel company Nike, Inc. is named after the Greek goddess of victory), certain myths certainly stick with us beyond high school English class.



Myths can also be a great jumping off point for a short story, poem, or novel and have inspired artists and writers for centuries. So, consider using aspects from mythology in your manuscript-in-progress. Workshop leader Carolyn Clark, Ph.D. writes about a deity based on Artemis, and today’s films and fantasy fiction abound in images of this huntress myth (Katniss from the Hunger Games, for example). You as a reader and writer will identify uses for myth as a springboard for your imagination. Selected readings, a few required, many recommended, enables a customized workshop experience.

Online courses are convenient for the busy writer or if you just can’t stand the commute. But you’ll still gain a sense of camaraderie from your fellow participants by sharing ideas via Moodle chats, playing games, and delving into glossaries that help solidify your knowledge. Dr. Clark offers individual attention as your personal reader-editor. She will help you identify the bones of your story, flesh things out and hack away the thorny bits that hold you back from your goal: the hero(ine)’s quest.

The workshop is structured for reasonable time commitments, but the goal is for each participant to develop a writing product (with identifiable myths) and a winning, publishable style.

Week One:  Introductions and sending in writing samples (an ongoing process of workshop leader-centric one-on-one editing throughout the seven weeks)
Week Two:  Myths of Origin, Death and Regeneration
Week Three:  The Hero(ine) Pattern: Adolescent or Midlife Crises
Week Four:  The Ages of Man – Comparative Myths to Live By
Weeks Five through Seven:  Purpose-driven Tales from Norse, Welsh and Greek Traditions


Carolyn Clark, Ph.D., is a devoted teacher and a personal trainer. Indebted to teachers at Cornell University, Brown University, and The Johns Hopkins University for degrees in classics-related fields, she enjoys riding, writing woodlands lyric poetry, and finding mythology everywhere. Her publications include Mnemosyne:  The Long Traverse (2013), Amish Mimesis (2015), Lake Como Anthology (2016), and several individual poems and scholarly articles.

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