Teaching Dreams


For years, I’ve harbored this dream of teaching writing. As a kid, I wanted to take creative writing classes, but the few available and accessible to me treated scifi/fantasy as a strange and alien creature. It was outside the instructor’s comfort zone, so my only feedback came in line edits and maybe a few vague generalizations.

I wanted more than that. And that started me thinking – dreaming – about teaching my own creative writing class some day.

Of course, I figured I wouldn’t be able to do that sort of thing until I became a “legitimate” writer, whatever that means. It used to mean publishing something. Now that I’ve done that, I don’t know what it means. I just know that I’m not.

Except I’ve just volunteered to teach a scriptwriting workshop for a bunch of teenagers.

I don’t consider myself a “legitimate” writer yet. I certainly don’t consider myself a playwright (that terrible sixth grade King Arthur spinoff and the rare odds and ends since don’t quite count). Also keep in mind that just this past year, I made my first foray back into the world of theater after a decade away from it. And I’m doing this, anyway.

So this is terrifying. Exciting, but terrifying.

The workshop is a single 45 minute session. That’s not enough time to delve into story structure or the minutiae of plot and character arcs.

Keep it simple: that’s the plan. Make explanations short and sweet. Have two or three short exercises that build on each other. Breathe.

I can do this.

But first I’m going to call myself a dozen kinds of idiot and go panic in the corner.


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  1. Slightly unrelated: Did you ever get a chance to take a writing course with Andrea Hairston at Smith? She had a writing for theater class that I took with her my first year. It was supposed to be a script writing class for both TV/movie and stage media, but we ended up focusing on stage. It was amazing. I think I still have my script from my final project somewhere….
    But anyway….
    You’ll be amazing. I have no doubts. 🙂

    1. Thank you!

      No, I never took a class with her, and that one sounds amazing! Any chance you still have the syllabus? I’d be really curious to see it.

      1. Sorry, I’m pretty sure that I got rid of my syllabus for that class after I graduated (if we even had one. I’m not sure we did).

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