Instructor: Teresa Cutler-Broyles
Maximum Enrollment: 8
Class Term: 01/20/2021 - 02/29/2020
SCN Member: $160.00
Class synopsisWe surround ourselves with things that matter for reasons as varied as connection to family or past loves, to travels past or future, to memories of joy, or loss, or something in between. Ultimately the origins of these objects matters less than how we feel about them. Exploring these connections through writing allows you to delve deep into the meaning they hold in your world, and open up the wonder they offer.
For this five-week class students will choose an object a week and tell its story through their own choice of format - poetry, prose, or essay - as they explore its connection to their past or future, to hopes and dreams and loss, to people or places, to memory.
Every week I will send out a message on Sunday evening with a prompt for the week's writing. Each prompt will be different but will follow a similar format.
Understand the relationship between ourselves and our memories, hopes and dreams, and how all of those things can often be condensed into solid objects we can touch and see that resonate with us for the rest of our lives.
Class communication methodWe will communicate via email. I will send a prompt on Sunday night for the week, and you will have until Friday to absorb it and to write. I will read it and make notes - to whatever level you are comfortable. Generally, I will note beautiful passages, and where it might be made stronger. I am also happy to provide more technical critiques if you desire. And then I'll send it back by Sunday before we start the next week. If you are comfortable sharing your work, we will share a common email list and your work will go to the group. If you're not comfortable, that is absolutely okay and I will be the only one who sees your writing.
Unit 1: Walk into a room of your home and close your eyes for a moment. When you open your eyes, try to see the room as someone might who has never been there. What do you see? What catches your attention? What object stands out? Is it a piece of artwork? A tiny horse or dog figurine? A handmade pillow? A blanket tossed on the back of a couch? A plastic statue of Mickey Mouse from Disneyland, an expensive mask from a trip to Bali, a postcard from a friend? Choose the object that resonates with you.
Pick it up and remember where it came from. What are the emotions related to that person or place? What is the object’s story?
Write that story in a form of your choice, up to 750 words, and send to me (or to the group if you prefer).
Unit 2: Follow a slightly different prompt involving a different room, and a new way of thinking about not only the things in your space, but symbolism, your interactions with things in general, and more.
Unit 3: Follow slightly different prompt.
Unit 4: Follow slightly different prompt.
Unit 5: This prompt will be similar, but the result will be to write either a combined story or poem using all the things chosen for the class, or one final object you’d like to write about.
Class time commitmentThis will vary but will likely be between 2-4 hours per week.
Teresa Cutler-Broyles has a Master’s Degree in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature and a Certificate in Historic Preservation. She has been writing professionally since 1992. Her credits include fiction, non-fiction, travel essays, book reviews, and more. Her books are available on Amazon. They include:
Travel essays collection – A Dream That Keeps Returning,
YA novel – One Eyed Jack;
Historical fiction – Dante’s Garden set in 1570 Italy;
Nonfiction chapters in books about dance, Star Trek, monsters, vampires in detective television series, and Afghan children in film;
An edited volume about circuses in film.
Teresa divides her time between Italy and Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is a visiting professor of creative nonfiction at the Umbra Institute in Perugia, Italy, teaches film and culture classes at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is an instructor for a number of online universities.
She runs writing and adventure tours in Italy, and as Programme Director for Progressive Connexions, she co-develops Interdisciplinary Conferences around the world. Her classes for Story Circle run the gamut from travel essays to hero’s journey to The Love of Everyday Things.