Workshops – Current Classes

2017 Public Sessions – Advanced registration required

Narrative with a Cause: Stories as Persuasive Art
Beginner & Intermediate – Get tips on the most persuasive literary form that humans have used effectively for millennia: personal narrative.  Learn about commonly used persuasive techniques that often backfire and why.  Then dive into the bridge-building power of story and the qualities of truly strong narrative–from opening hooks, to captivating dialogue, to effective build.  We’ll look at how “I feel” statements can be woven into narrative in a way that honors your reader, as well as misusage that can come across as accusatory.  Groups will be lightly curated to create a safe space for lively, but respectful dialogue.

TIME & LOCATION: Sundays; March 19 & 26, April 2; 1:00-3:30 p.m.  Hanisch’s writer’s studio in Belgrade, MT.  Map provided on registration.

COST & REGISTRATION:  $36.00.  Advanced registration required; Download Registration Form.   Please call 406.581.9405 to reserve your spot BEFORE mailing registration.

Accessibility & Allergy NOTE: These sessions take place in a private residence.  Meeting areas is up a flight of stairs.  A dog and two birds live in this home.  Please let us know of any special accommodations you require; we’re happy to convert your workshop registration to private off-site coaching in a more accessible space if needed.


Private Home-Based Workshops:

“Stories Worth Telling Writing Workshops” are provided regularly during autumn and spring in Bozeman, Big Sky, and Livingston, Montana.  At this time, Anika Hanisch offers the following workshops through private home-based groups. Please contact her if you are interested in attending or hosting a session. Hosts attend for free when there are at least 5 participants.

Workshops by Category:
Creative Process  I  Writing Basics  I  Narrative Craft  I  Memoir Writing

Creative Process

“Creativity & Courage: The Magic and Toil of Book-Writing” 
Book-writing begins with a creative spark. Then it demands sheer determination and learned skills. Learn 5 myths about book-writing that threaten project momentum and can cause long bouts of writer’s block. We’ll address challenges with organization and creativity; keys to a successful critique and revision process; and lifestyle choices that make it possible to complete a years-long project. Appropriate for writers who are at the beginning stages of writing a book or anyone who has hit a mid-project slump.


Writing Basics

Nuts and Bolts of Book Craft
From “idea overwhelm” to writing individual scenes, from organizational tools to motivational strategies, and from final revision to publishing–spend three hours learning how to complete your book in manageable steps and stages.  Great for beginner writers or experienced writers who are blocking on a certain aspect of their book project.

It Takes a Team to Write a Book
It’s your book, but on the path to publishing, many others will be involved in helping you hone the content.  If you choose to partner with a professional writer, should it be a ghostwriter or a coauthor?  If you write the whole book yourself, what level of editing will you need?  And what’s the difference between an editor and a book coach?  We’ll learn about working with editors, writing partners, coaches, and coauthors to create your book from scratch or hone a final draft.  Learn how you can prepare yourself and your material to work and negotiate with each of these book-writing team members.


Narrative Craft

Basic Elements of Story-Craft
Explore and demystify 9 literary techniques that published authors use to create page-turning stories, including: principles of story structure, pacing, effective dialogue, and appropriate use of sensory detail.  Learn how to take fragmented first draft material and weave it into a flowing, well-structured story.  Students will have the opportunity to submit a draft excerpt in advance to receive personalized instruction during the workshop.  Ideal for beginner to intermediate memoir and fiction writers.

Fiction Techniques for Non-Fiction Writers
Techniques borrowed from fiction craft can help non-fiction work come alive–while remaining loyal to the truth.  Discover the techniques through a mix of teaching and hands-on writing exercises.  Whether you’re writing literary memoir or crafting narrative stories to illustrate instructional writing, you’ll learn how to captivate your reader.  Best for beginner to intermediate non-fiction writers, as well as beginning fiction writers.


Memoir Writing 

Intro to Memoir Session 1: Defining Memoir
We’ll start by reviewing the difference between memoir and autobiography and how that affects our projects. Hands-on instruction and exercises will include: Using story “snippets” and project maps; starting your book idea and growing your seed memories into complete essays; and writing from photos and artifacts. Beginner Friendly!  

Intro to Memoir Session 2: Unique Challenges of Memoir Craft
Telling the truth in writing can be liberating–and really harrowing too! We’ll take a candid look at the pros and cons of self-censorship and learn how to fill in narrative gaps through interviewing and fact-checking. In-class exercises will make the interviewing process less intimidating and also show you how to use interview techniques to break writer’s block.  

Truth vs. Fiction – Which is it?
Today’s readers expect that memoir will read as well as a novel.  So most memoir writers use fiction-craft techniques to pace and structure their stories.  How do you do that while staying truthful?  On the flip-side, what are the ethical ramifications when you write a true story, but call it fiction?  When should you tag your story as “based-on-true”?  We’ll wrestle with all those issues.  Both fiction and creative non-fiction writers welcome.


Student & Client Feedback

“I learned how to begin and how to proceed—now the fun really begins!”
– K. Jensen; Bozeman, MT

“Anika delivers constructive criticism that is packed with knowledge yet devoid of the discomfort that can sometimes come from having your work reviewed. This gentle approach to revision really helped me to open up and create a valuable working relationship with her over the years. Working with her has been a huge boost to my creativity!”
– N. Cohn; Seattle, WA

“As a first-time writing workshop attendee, this was very helpful and inspiring.   I liked having writing examples to look at, as well as discussing editing examples in my own work—very helpful.”
– Workshop Participant; Bozeman, MT

“I came here not totally committed (to writing a memoir). You stirred my pot, got me thinking, re-inspired me!”
– Workshop Participant; Bozeman, MT

“Discussing writing processes, how to get started and flesh out ideas and themes—all helpful to get started writing again. It was great to be around other writers, sharing ideas, different voices, and approaches to writing.”
– CC, Workshop Participant; Greater Gallatin Valley, MT

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