Laura Pritchett

Teaching and Workshops

Laura Pritchett has taught at various writing programs and conferences, including Pacific University's low residency program, Whidbey Island Writers, MSU's Taos Writing Conference, the University of Northern Colorado, Colorado State University, Purdue University, Fishtrap, and various conferences around the country. Please contact her for availability. Some of her most popular workshops are:

The Art of Place: Where Interior and Exterior Landscapes Merge (for advanced writers)

The exterior landscape can influence and illuminate the internal landscape of characters. This class will explore the relationship between the two: How can the natural world illustrate our characters? How can our characters help us experience nature in new ways?

The play between the internal and external can be a powerful tool in creating characters and rendering their experience, as well as incorporating the natural world into our work.

Using examples and ideas set forth by writers such as Barry Lopez, Eudora Welty, and Rick Bass, this class will explore how (and to what effect) the internal and external landscapes unite. Through a series of creative and generative class activities, participants will explore how to bring the internal and external together in stories/essays. Discussions are pertinent to both creative nonfiction and fiction.

Out of the bedroom, onto the page! Writing sex scenes

Sex is not always good, but it's always revealing! Whether it's fantastic, boring, strange, or predictable, sex is one of the most powerful unions and sensations we experience, and it shouldn't be skipped or avoided in writing. On the other hand, a sex scene shouldn't be included unless it serves a purpose, which is to illustrate the characters and the larger themes of the work. This workshop will introduce and explore some ideas about writing sex well how to direct an honest gaze at this most fascinating activity.

With a Nod to the Greats

In a discussion focused on practical advice for writers, this class will focus on one well-known poem, one story, and one essay; and each example of "great writing" will include a corresponding craft-focused writing activity. Students will leave with a collection of writing activities designed to assist their own creative explorations of form and technique, and will gain practical tips for stealing (well, borrowing) ideas and inspiration from great works in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction.

Environmental Writing: Changing the World

Nature/environmental writing is a growing trend in publishing today . . . . and no wonder. We are at the cusp of great changes in America as we work towards sustainable living and honoring our natural resources. Feeling deeply connected to issues/places demands expression; many nature-lovers seek a way to communicate their ideas/bonds/hopes to a larger audience.

This class will look at what contemporary nature writers are doing, how they're doing it, and to what effect. It will be an intense, in-depth look at successful writing (the best way to learn). It will also focus on the application of two of the most important features of nature writing: 1) understanding how to communicate with "universality" --- as in, how to make others care about what you care about; and 2) to relay information in an engaging manner, specifically through the use of story.

Using Place for Character Development

"Our place is part of what we are," writes Gary Snyder. "Yet even a place has a kind of fluidity: it passes through space and time. A place will have been grasslands, then conifers, then beech and elm." This course will explore what place is, the basic elements of setting and how they are effectively achieved, and how various authors have used place and to what effect. It will then explore how to use place as a way of illustrating your character's needs/wants/desires.

Other popular workshops:

  • Introduction to Writing and Publishing
  • How a Book Becomes a Book
  • Journey of a Writer
  • Voice and Characterization
  • Writing the Short Story
  • Your NoveL: Getting Started
  • Your Novel: Working through the middle
  • Your Novel: Wrapping it up

Available for schools, conferences, writing programs, and groups.

Fees

Fees are $1000 (plus travel) for one day (eg, a workshop and a reading, two workshops, two readings, etc)--an adjusted fee will be considered for nonprofits. Please contact L_Pritchett@msn.com for more info.

Testimonials from Laura's workshops and classes

From participants at Fishtrap Enterprise, Oregon workshop:

"Bring her back! A fresh, new voice. I enjoyed everything she had to say."

"Terrific! Great! Human, warm, excellent choice. Laura was exceptional, I loved it."

"Excellent, worth the whole weekend. Laura was outstanding, a natural speaker. Great writer, teacher. Poised, authentic, gifted with important things to say, and finely honed maturity as a storyteller and writer. Good writing, humble, honest, clarifying."

"She was wonderful! Very inspiring. Polished and authentic. Marvelous. Evening reading sparkled. Excellent and funny."

"Dear Laura: The passages you chose to read, your answers to questions, and the impromptu workshop foisted on you were outstanding. The examples and small writing project worked really well especially when you used your short story to tie the lesson together. Thanks again for your very professional work."