Liz Prato

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UPCOMING CLASSES!

READING LIKE A WRITER:

Sonny’s Blues and Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

What makes a great story work? Sure, we may intellectually understand the elements of fiction (plot, character, setting, leit/motif, POV, etc.), but when a master of the form blends them seamlessly, they’re harder to identify. And, in turn, harder to understand how we can employ them to deepen and add texture to our own writing. 

In this seminar, we’ll give close readings to the modern classic stories “Sonny’s Blues,” by James Baldwin, and “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates. We’ll read the stories in advance of our meeting, so our time together can focus on discussing the masterful construction and craft elements of these stories. 

Open to all readers & writers!

NOTE: This class will be re-scheduled for after the holidays.


(copies of the stories will be provided)

 

PAST WORKSHOPS

WRITING OUTSIDE THE BOX
Creativity Reins Free at the Beach

All stories and essays are different, so it stands to reason they don’t all require the same structure. Maybe your story is best told through a document (like a birth certificate, or autopsy report), or a PowerPoint presentation, or another work of art, or an owner’s manual, or a series of recipes. In this class, we’ll break out of the standard box and have fun exploring the forms available for telling your best story. The essence of being an artist is exploring not just content, but also form, and this class helps you expand your imaginative boundaries.

Date: Saturday, August 12, 2017
Where: Hoffman Center for the Arts

 

SUBMITTING TO LIT JOURNALS
LIKE A PRO

Whether you’re just thinking about sending your writing to literary journals, or you’ve already received a handful of responses, you'll learn the ins and out of how will the sometimes confusing submission process really works. We'll cover researching and targeting markets, formatting work, how to interact with editors, whether to enter contests, decoding vague rejections, and what happens when you get accepted. After this lively 2-hour class, you’ll be ready to charge the world of publishing. (Note: Not for book-length publishing)
 
Date: Saturday, September 9, 2017
 

“I attended Liz Prato’s mini-workshop on publishing, and it was great. I walked away  with reassuring statistics on how many rejections to expect as opposed to  acceptances, models for cover letters, an online source for literary journals,  & lots of good, practical advice.” ~ Cindy Stewart-Rinier

 

SELECT WORKSHOPS

Liz teaches at literary centers and festivals across the country. She has taught and presented at The Attic Institute (Portland), The Muse and the Marketplace (Boston), AWP, Lighthouse Writers (Denver), NonfictiNOW, Write on the Sound (Washington), South Coast Writers Conference (Gold Beach), Willamette Writers (Portland) and Wordstock (Portland).

Some of her most popular workshops include:

 

PERFECT YOUR FIRST TWO  PAGES  
How to Keep Your Reader Reading

The first two pages of your story or essay determine whether an agent or editor keeps reading, or sends a rejection. Two pages – that’s all you have to grab their interest! But what makes an editor stop, or keep going? Liz Prato will read the first two pages of your work in class and evaluate what works, and what doesn’t. The good news is, you won’t be left hanging. You’ll learn practical tools for sharpening the critical beginning of your piece, using published examples and classroom discussion. This fun and information-packed class is a rare opportunity to get an intimate look at what makes a piece stand out in the submission pile. (Short stories and essays preferred.)

 

MASTER POINT OF VIEW
You, Me, and Everyone We Know

Writers often put more thought into the title of their story than choosing their point of view. But POV controls the intimacy, breadth and depth of your story. In this in-depth presentation, we’ll examine modern examples of how POV works in fiction & nonfiction, from the modern classics of Harper Lee, and Alice Walker to contemporary works from Junot Diaz, Jo Ann Beard and Nick Hornby. This talk will open up new worlds that will transform your writing and revising process.

 

WHEN SMALL PRESSES TAKE YOU BIG PLACES

It’s easy to believe that being published by one of the big New York houses is the only path to success. But this path isn’t the right—or only—path for many authors. Small presses can,  and want to, take bigger risks, challenging readers with unexpected stories. They often value originality and relationships over marketability and platform. Liz’s first book was published by a small press, and she is Editor at large at another. She shares how chose her presses, and helps you decide if a small press is your path to literary success.

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DEVELOPMENTAL EDITING for YOUR STORIES & ESSAYS

 

Liz provides sharp developmental editing to help bring your short stories and creative nonfiction to fruition.  She gives your piece several in-depth reads and offers constructive feedback on the macro level (structure, plot, characters, etc.) and the micro level (sentences, language). She includes both a written summary and numerous helpful comments on the page, and is happy to answer follow-up questions and continue the conversation about your work. One-on-one editing is an efficient and intimate approach to helping you achieve your writing goals.

 

RATES*

Up to 5,000 words:   $125

Up to 6,500 words:    $150

More than that:        Let’s talk.

* short stories and essays only, no book-length
   projects.

 

Testimonials

"I'm impressed with Liz’s passion and knowledge of the craft of writing, and her ability to give feedback that is specific, objective, and yet encouraging. She has helped me with short stories as well as longer pieces. She respects a writer's individuality and can help take you to another level of writing." -Valerie Wagner

"It sometimes happens that when you spend a long time in a story, things become muddy in the writing. Liz Prato saw what my story was becoming, asked questions whose answers had been left off the page, and others I hadn't thought to ask. Her feedback provided a focus the story so badly wanted. Liz reads with her whole heart and a remarkable knowledge of craft. I am forever grateful to have had my work in front of her." ---Matthew Robinson, author of "The Horse Latitudes"

"Liz’s feedback was invaluable, especially her observations about the structure of my story. With her help, I was able to start the story more quickly and pare the themes down to the essential. At first, I was hesitant about investing the money in a consultation, but in the end, I was glad I did. You get such specific feedback that it's a very efficient way to improve your piece." -Betsy Porter

 

Contact Liz

for more information

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artwork by Clare Carpenter

 

copyright 2014 Liz Prato