ONLINE CLASS: Writing-Craft Skills and Techniques for all genres

DATES: 09/11/2023 - 10/30/2023
LOCATION: Online Class
PRICE: $240.00

Sheila Bender is the founder of Writing It Real, an online community and resource center for those who write from personal experience. Her most recent books are the poetry collection, Since Then: Poems and Short Prose (nominated for the Washington State Book award), Behind Us The Way Grows Wider: Collected Poems 1980 – 2013, the prose memoir, A New Theology Turning to Poetry in a Time of Grief, and Writing Personal Essays: Shaping and Sharing Your Personal Experience among others.

Sheila received a Master’s in Creative Writing from the University of Washington and since then has committed much of her career to facilitating others in writing to the essence in many genres including flash fiction/nonfiction, poetry, memoir, and personal essay.

She is a past Distinguished Guest Lecturer at Seattle University and for five+ years hosted the radio program “In Conversation: Discussions on Writing and the Writing Life.” You can listen to the programs as podcasts archived on – <>.

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Currently, Sheila is a regular instructor for The Writer’s Workshoppe in Port Townsend, WA and continues to teach online for Il Chiostro, Women on Writing and the International Association for Journal Writing as well as through her website

Here are 2 recent interviews from her radio program “In Conversation: Discussions on Writing and the Writing Life”:

Honing craft skills is essential in every form of writing from fiction to memoir to poetry.

This will be a continuation of Sheila’s ongoing writing program, but it is not necessary to have participated previously to get the full benefits of this new series.

Whether you are new to creative writing or an experienced writer, the lessons and practice of using craft skills help enormously. In our hurry to finish writing something, we can forget to employ the craft skills available to us as writers. And if we are new writers or writers beginning new work, we may feel at a loss about how to start and shape our writing, how to use specifics and not bore the reader, how to use reflection in good balance with the offering of experience.

Leaning on craft skills like building scenesmaking smooth transitions in time and space, and using images to evoke experience rather than telling about it seem always to need sharpening. We will practice those skills as well as self-editing for compression in prose and poetry, and learn about a variety of structures to adopt or adapt, as we workshop participant drafts from lessons (that include models from published writing) provided each week.

Sheila’s writing class in Italy

In our four weeks (every other Monday) Zooming together, we will:

  • Study models from short published work by contemporary poets and writers
  • Then we’ll practice using the skills we’ve seen demonstrated in their writing
  • And we will “workshop” the writing you do in class and between sessions using a gentle, empowering three-step response method that leaves the writer eager to carry on with revision.
  • For those interested in publishing, there will be time and information on this aspect of the writing life, too.

Port Townend, Washington based poet, memoirist, instructional book writer and writing teacher, Sheila Bender, will offer exercises, close listening, and developmental editing based on where your writing is taking you.  She has guided 100s of new and experienced writers in manifesting the work they have dreamed of being able to share and publish.

Click here to see Sheila’s Youtube video introducing this workshop

The class includes a half-hour private consult about your work by Zoom as well as a library of articles and videos Sheila has made about the writing craft. Learn more about her and what her students say about her teaching at

I simply want to thank you so much! This workshop was so worth the time!! You are amazing and brilliant and encouraging! – Susan P., participant from November session

Class Date: 4 weeks:  Monday, September 11, 25 and October 16, 30, 2023

Time:  2 pm Eastern Time (That is 1pm Central time, 12 noon Mountain time and 11am Pacific time)

Class Length:  2  1/2 hours per session

The group will be limited to a maximum of 6 participants.

Price:  $240 for all 4 sessions, including the private 1-on-1 with Sheila.

This class is online.  You can enjoy it from your own home using your laptop, iPad or smartphone.

Once you register, we’ll send you a Zoom link to join the class on the specific day, at the appointed hour.

You don’t need a Zoom account.  Just click the link and you will be admitted.

We will send you the zoom invitation once you register for the class.

Please log in a few minutes early to greet the others and to get situated.