The Joy of Writing

Vicky Lettmann

Monday, 9:30 am – 11:30 am

1/22/2018- 2/26/2018

6 weeks: $110 members/$138 non-members

This class is for anyone who wants to nourish, develop, and/or re-kindle creative writing skills and habits, as well as for those who want to begin or continue a writing project.

During class we will look at published examples of effective, engaging writing and then plunge into our own writing using exercises, prompts, and various jumpstarts.

Each class will focus on a craft topic as we hone and polish our writing skills.

This is not a critique group; however, we will discuss ways of improving and revising our writing with the goal of sending it out into the world. Reading and sharing your work in class is always optional.

“The Joy of Writing” is an on-going workshop with new topics and readings each session. If you have taken Vicky’s classes in the past, you will always find new material to challenge and engage you during the workshop.

Open to all levels—beginners to advanced writers.

Supplies: Bring a notebook and a good pen.

Course Plan:

Note: The topics included below are examples of the kinds of craft issues we will focus on.

These will change with each class depending on the readings and the class interests.

Class One (January 22): Introduction.

Topics: Getting started. Free Writing. Making lists. Goals. Genres.  The Writer’s Notebook. Writing Envelopes.

At home: Begin your writer’s notebook. Use suggested writing assignments from class and handouts.  (I

Class Two (January 29)

Topics:  Triggering memory. Censoring the censor. Two basic writing skills:  description and narration. Multiple ways of seeing. Opening up the imagination.

At home: Continue your daily writing in your writer’s notebook.  This can be anything you want to write about. Lists. Observations. Reflections. Random ideas.

Or use writing assignments from class and handouts.

Class Three (February 5)

Topics: Transformation. Finding the thread.  (See Leaving a Trace: On Keeping a Journal by Alexandra Johnson.)  What is the “creative” part?

At home: Work on class assignments from hand-outs. More writing in your notebook and/or begin to develop one piece that really interests you.

Class Four (February 12)

Topics:  Shaping. Forms.  Who is the reader you are writing for?  What will that reader learn? (See Lee Gutkind’s The Art of Creative Nonfiction.) Tentative topic:  Toni Morrison (Repetition and redundancy).

At home:  Develop and polish one of your writings. Continue with class assignments and suggestions.

Class Five (February 19)

Topics: Polishing. Editing. Revision.

In-class: Work on specific problems or issues around the shaping of your final piece or the draft for your final piece.

At home to prepare for final class: Finish up one or two of the pieces you’ve worked on over the past five weeks. Bring copies for each of us to Class Six.

Class Six (February 26): Conclusion

In our final class, we will share our polished writings with each other.

Reading and sharing your work in class is always optional. If you want feedback on your completed story or essay, please provide a stamped, addressed envelope.

Bio, Website, and Contact Information

Vicky Lettmann:

Joy of Writing Website and Blog:

“I have always found joy in teaching and writing. It is my hope that I can share some of that joy with participants in my writing workshops here on Sanibel,” says Vicky.

Vicky Lettmann grew up in North Carolina, but spent most of her adult years in Minnesota where she and her husband, John, raised their family.

Her college teaching career began at Slippery Rock State University in Pennsylvania and continued at North Hennepin Community College in Minneapolis where she taught writing and literature for over thirty years to people of all ages. She has also taught workshops at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.

Her writing has appeared in several anthologies including Twenty-six Minnesota Writers; Beloved on the Earth: 150 Poems of Grief and Gratitude; and From Glory to Glory: An Anthology by Poetry in the Cathedral; and most recently in Forge magazine. She co-edited When Last on the Mountain: The View from Writers over 50.  She also published The Beach, a collection of poems with art by her mother. Her chapbook of poems, What Can Be Saved, is her most recent publication (Red Bird Chapbooks 2015).

Her website and blog, “The Joy of Writing,” can be found at