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

DATES: 11/02/2020 - 11/23/2020
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, Behind Us The Way Grows Wider, the prose memoir, A New Theology Turning to Poetry in a Time of Grief, and two writing exercise books, Sorrow’s Words: Writing Exercises to Heal Grief and Writing in a Convertible With the Top Down.

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.

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In addition to teaching for The Writer’s Workshoppe in Port Townsend, WA and The Learning Curve in Tucson, AZ, she teaches at writers’ conferences and has most recently been on the faculties of the Mendocino Writer’s Conference and Centrum’s summer Port Townsend Writers’ Workshop. She is a past Distinguished Guest Lecturer at Seattle University.

She also hosts the radio program “In Conversation: Discussions on Writing and the Writing Life.” You can listen to the programs as podcasts archived on – <>.

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

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 scenes, making smooth transitions in time and space, and using images to evoke experience rather than telling about it seem always to need sharpening.

Sheila’s writing class in Italy

In our four weeks Zooming together, we will:

  • Study models from short published work by Lorrie Moore, Margaret Atwood, Eudora Welty and David Shuman, among other 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.
  • And of course, the flavor of Italy introduced by Michael and Linda to inspire us

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

Class Date: Mondays, November 2, 9, 16 and 23

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

Class Length:  2 hours per session

The group will be limited to a maximum of 8 participants.

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

P.S. The class will meet virtually via Zoom.  If you’re not experienced with Zoom, no worries. It is easy to use. You will be sent a link prior to the classes and then just click the link to enter. A representative from Il Chiostro will be moderating the group call and will be there for help if you need it.


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.