The Winter 2014 Storycraft Online Seminar Series

Welcome to the Winter 2014 Storycraft Online Seminar Series!

Here’s how it works:

Daniel Jose Older Writing Workshop Storycraft
photo by Gail Werner

Individual seminars: You can sign up to be a non-active participant to as many or as few of the four seminars as you wish (but not the workshop). Non-active participants can see and hear everything the teacher and active participants do but they won’t be on camera. They will be able to send written comments via Google Hangout. Each seminar costs $15 for non-active participants. There are twenty-five non-active slots available in each seminar. To take part in the workshop, where we do a full critique of each participant’s work, you have to select the package deal option.
Package Deal: You become an active (meaning on camera) participant in all four seminars plus the final workshop, where we collectively critique a ten-page piece from each member of the group. There are nine of these available. The package deal is $100.
The Package Deals are sold out.

These seminars focus on fiction writing, but non-fiction, poetry and script writers are welcome to attend and bring their insight into the process. All seminars run an hour and a half except the final workshop, which will go longer. All payments must be made through Paypal. All times are in EST.

1. Storycraft Overview: Beginnings, Middles, Endings

Sunday, December 7 5pm

What makes a great story great? Why do we read some books in a single night and put other ones down ten pages in? This interactive seminar explores both basic and advanced elements of narrative structure. We’ll discuss strategic approaches to analyzing and enhancing macrotensions within a story and how to craft a plot that keeps readers turning pages right up to the delicious/heartbreaking/breathtaking finale. Register HERE.


2. Context: Power, Politics and Worldbuilding

Sunday, December 14 5pm

Place matters. How do we create meaningful worlds around the action of our stories? This interactive seminar uses the social justice organizing concept of institutional power mapping to conceptualize nuanced literary landscapes. We will explore different kinds of power and how they can play out in a narrative structure. Finally, we’ll talk about the use of context in storytelling with a social justice focus. Register HERE.


3. Conflict, Character, Crisis, Desire

Sunday, December 28 5pm

Robert McKee wrote that conflict is the music of story. Characters we care about and the things they want are the driving force behind that music. This interactive seminar looks at both conflict and character as integral elements in narrative. Now that we’ve created complex worlds, how do we make characters that matter and deploy them into meaningful conflicts? Register HERE.


4.Craft and beyond…

Sunday, January 4 5pm

What makes prose stand up off the page? How do words come to life? In this seminar we’ll get into the nuts and bolts of the writing craft, from words to sentences to paragraphs to scenes. We’ll discuss some of the often repeated, unofficial ‘rules’ of good writing and break down which ones to bother with and which to ignore. You’ll come away with a strong understanding of not just what works but why it works. In the “and beyond…” portion, we’ll spend some time discussing real world writing questions, including business strategies, redefining success, and understanding the market. Register HERE.


5. Workshop

Sunday, January 11 4pm

In this workshop we’ll use what we learned to critique a ten-page piece of writing from each workshop attendant. The workshop is only open to those that have been active participants in the previous four seminars.

Who Am I?

Daniel José Older is the author of Half-Resurrection Blues (book one of the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series from Penguin’s Roc Books) and the upcoming Young Adult novel Shadowshaper (Scholastic’s Arthur A. Levine Books, 2015). Publishers Weekly hailed him as a “rising star of the genre” after the publication of his debut ghost noir collection, Salsa Nocturna. He co-edited the anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History and guest edited the music issue of Crossed Genres. His short stories and essays have appeared in, Salon, BuzzFeed, the New Haven Review, PANK, Apex and Strange Horizons and the anthologies Subversion and Mothership: Tales Of Afrofuturism And Beyond. Daniel’s band Ghost Star gigs regularly around New York and he facilitates workshops on storytelling from an anti-oppressive power analysis. He completed his MFA in Creative Writing at Antioch University, Los Angeles. You can find his thoughts on writing, read dispatches from his decade-long career as an NYC paramedic and hear his music at, on youtube and @djolder on twitter.


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