Weekly Zoom Workshops:
Feedback Partners, Chapbook Retreats
Manuscript Consultation: Book Doctor
PROPEL YOUR EXPERTISE
As I write I create myself again and again.
Is this Process Right For Me?
If you yearn for your language to be pithy & dynamic, to have panache, join us. I employ poetry as a tool to upgrade your communication skills. We offer both pragmatic & aesthetic gratification, using models, easy to follow rubrics, editing partners & weekly workshop feedback. If you are looking for expertise, support, structure, clarity, community & kind but candid feedback, as well as innovative models & prompts, this class is right for you. Whether your goal is speech writing, film, poetry, fiction, a business book, memoir or copyrighting this is your mecca. One of my students remarked last week “I never could have imagined how much I would love this process and its results.”
Best results ensue when you devote ten months to this process & emerge with a chapbook. At that point you will be ready to function independently and go on to write that memoir, apply to competitive writing conferences and/or MFA programs, if that appeals. As Mary Oliver states, you too have come into the world to do this , to go easy, to be filled with light and to shine.
When You Complete Writer’s Catapult You Will Have:
- Competence, Confidence & Community
- 40 edited poems, 3 on line readings, a workshop & an editing partner
- A chapbook manuscript (a pamphlet-sized, 18-30 page book)
- Portfolio to submit to journals, conferences & MFA programs
A “can do” attitude. Not for wimps, Writer’s Catapult requires a considerable work ethic. You will revise one old piece as well as produce & read a new rough draft each week.
Scholarships are awarded on occasion. The fee should not be a barrier to entry.
The Initial Launch: Our Weekly Zoom Workshop
provides the awareness, direction & support required to move quickly through the final revision process & your apprenticeship.
Readings and the publication of a culminating chapbook complete the process. If you yearn for creative gratification this class is a kind of sunrise; its models become both field guide & compass and enable you to emerge with experience in reading your own work as well as a published chapbook.
Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.
A Jump Start for Long & Short Term Goals
This is a ten month, fast-track, process.
It provides online readings every three months and culminates in the publication of your own 18-30 page chapbook.
You will receive
- Guidance, protocols & practice in the art of delivering effective public readings.
- Weekly editing of your assignment
- Revision recipes & processes: supervised, real-time practice, both extensive & intensive.
- Submission for publication: hows, whens & wheres.
- Build your own book advice
- Logistics: help with titles, divisions, order & theme(s)
- The ability to write a competent sentence in English.
- A work ethic, your feisty attitude & can-do mind set.
- Time: 7 hours weekly (5 hours solo writing & revising + 2 peer editing & workshop hours)
The Chapbook Manuscript Program=10 months, $1000 OR The Jumpstart=8 weeks, $200
We Encourage Beginners In All Genres.
Communication is the name of the game. As the author of speeches, advertising copy, curriculum, three books of poetry, a chapbook, a satirical memoir, a writer’s text & a self-help book in progress, I’ve enjoyed the flexibility of switching gears. I see myself as a three-legged stool: Writer, Teacher & Therapist.
At Writer’s Catapult we work small in order to focus first on skill building & often compose in poetic lines because those who consistently write compelling poetry can write virtually anything.
If you are ready to stop reinforcing inevitable initial bad habits experienced by writers untutored in poetic technique, my pragmatic models & checklists enable you to easily
- Find your voice: expand skills, range & confidence as you sing your own quirky song.
- Gain insight through spontaneous free writes as well as models, rubrics & checklists.
- Integrate all phases of the creative process, combining practical & aesthetic:
- Dispel “art as suffering” myth. Know what’s therapy, cathartic journaling & what’s art.
- Enjoy benefits of community in both our workshop & with an editing partner.
- Create a safe place for practice & play.
Skills Are Transferable & not Genre-Specific
Anthony Hecht says, Poetry is full of secrets and hidden formulae, like a witch’s brew.
My own favorite definition of poetry defines poetry as the art of saying in words what is impossible to say in words. This is a high bar. All effective writing should aspire to attain that impetus –the fuse, the force, the velocity to achieve the impossible.
I think you’ll agree that good writing is good writing whether it’s labeled an essay, an ode, flash fiction, blog post, poem, elegy or satire.
Genre satisfies the mind’s need to categorize & put complicated ideas into their “proper” boxes. Many assignments will be realized as poetry because it provides the opportunity to learn in a small & efficient space.
Here we view genre as essentially a formatting issue.
Many of my students are prose writers who have gotten lost in an avalanche of words & images. They simply needed to chunk down: to start over & work small.
The Naylor Method: An Overview
- Combines an initial reading of a well-crafted poem, which will
- Provide the catalyst for a spontaneous free write.
- Consider next the model provided, a list of step by step instructions: a sort of recipe
- Incorporate 60- 70% of the suggestions.
- Return to your free write, highlight the gems, then
- Weave promising phrases, images or insights culled from the free write into your draft.
- After this initial rough draft, evaluate it with a rubric. Revise again.
- Employ the revision recipe. Read it aloud.
- Set up a critique session with your editing partner
- Attend our weekly Zoom workshop.
- Polish & tweak your final (or almost final) draft.
Additionally, feedback from kind & candid peers whose minds are also engaged in the process of taking names & kicking literary butt is vital. It is also energizing.
Support yourself. Support them. Know that we all write a lot of junk. The issue is to get some clarity & then to revise & revise. Join our Facebook group if that suits you.
Read, free write, follow the model, incorporate the free write into a draft, use the rubric, revision recipe, an editing partner & finally, get it work-shopped. Revise again. Fini.
There is no inherent contradiction, between creativity & the use of pragmatic blueprints models or recipes. But rather, merging the highest aspirations of the imaginative spirit with a practical methodology is mandatory, if you wish to save time & excel at any onerous task.
My drive to demystify this process fueled this site; it’s the guide that my own younger self lacked.
Do your art & then forget labels or judgement. If you desire real clarity, don’t take yourself too seriously.
That is our paradox, as Vonnegut said, When I write I feel like an arm-less leg-less man with a crayon in his mouth.
Have some fun with that crayon. Then crank it out.
Leap and the net will appear.
Our adventure is about courage, the courage to make art, it’s about resilience, flexibility & risk-taking; it’s about clarity – how to inspire yourself & others — how to follow your own muse as you learn to analyze, then adapt & reconfigure the strategies of master poets & authors. It considers the big picture, yet it also works small. It is a place of community.
As a poet-therapist, I won’t insult you with a curriculum for dummies or idiots, this method is for the clever, the adept, & for those ambitious enough to aspire to live in print. If you are frustrated or feel stuck because your growth is slow, opt for this method & these models.
The Best Prose
Whether you are now working with a beginner’s mind or suspect you might need a catalyst, a cheer leader or a wake-up call, this class will revitalize your work & attitude. We will explore the prose poem, flash fiction & the micro-memoir, so prose writers — consider joining us to hone your skills.
One of the more ironic blessings of my own life was what I learned during months of cancer treatment eight years ago – that facing challenge or death can wake us up & help us see with new eyes. Crisis is a great clarifier. It provided the catalyst for my first published book: Firebird. As Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us, No mud. No Lotus.
Many of my students have discovered that poetry may be the best prose. I advised them to reformat recently rejected poetry as prose & then resubmit it to flash fiction contests. They experienced an astonishing growth in publication rate.
Whatever your long-term writing goals, whether you aim to write dynamic memoir, fiction or poetry this is the place to start. We will work small, revise, polish & integrate your best first attempts. Weekly assignments with models, critique & partners are provided. We host an online reading every three months & you will publish a culminating chapbook in month nine
$100 a month, 4 weekly meetings 423-280-1629 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Chapbook Manuscript Program=10 months, $1000 OR The Jumpstart=8 weeks, $200
Why Not Frolic?
If you want your writing to delight & startle, then you require only a work ethic & this method. No need to go it alone. Sign up. Shazam! Join us for the fun.
We provide detailed models or recipes as well as common sense rubrics & checklists which will guide you to a respectable rough draft with the assist of a mentor, workshop & an editing partner.
As a novice you deserve many, many efficient, challenging, lively, playful & focused, skill-building opportunities.
You also deserve candor — you deserve so much more than the tepid praise often offered by well-intentioned, but primarily social, writing organizations.
We specialize in helping you launch either a new career, a pastime or the capacity to nurture any latent artistic obsessions.
This site grew out of my desire to help beginners — whatever their genre — simplify the challenges & amplify the joy. I share here the resources I lacked as a neophyte.
Contact me for a free consult and a pass for two Zoom workshop sessions.
Catapult! Lets get started.
Improve your productivity, skills, delight & joy in writing.
Poet & Writer
Presents Writer’s Catapult Zoom Workshops
For Poets, Writers & Any Ambitious, Scribbling Neophyte
Launching this fall (6 member class limit)
Enter or exit at any time
Your Mentoring & Community-Building Jump-Start
Book Doctor RX: assessments of manuscripts
Private Coaching: Contact me for details or referral to an editor.
Text/Workbook: Level I Workshop
First Light for Emerging Poets
Rogue Nirvana: Beyond Woo-Woo, Create the Life You Love
Heresies & Sweet Basil
Synapse Flies Into Startle: The Orgasm Book
Launched March 15, 2021
Launching June, 2022
Sally’s Book Reviews Reprinted on Blog:
The Impossible by Deborah DeNicola, Packingtown Press, 2021
Love Letter to Who Owns the Heavens by Cory Van Landingham, Compulsive Reader, 2021
Walking the Labyrinth by Pamela Wax, Litpub, 2022
2 a.m. with Keats by Eileen Cleary
Something Hopeful Rises
Schlepp Factor Triptych:
Mood-Shifting Quick-Fixes, Poetry Anthology & Writing Exercises
Poetry: Books In Progress