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for information e-mail: rbentley@valinet.com

Also contact me for coaching help in memoir, poetry, fiction or any other writing project you may be working on.


Descriptions from Dick Bentley's Courses taught at the University of Massachusetts
WRI 69 - Method Writing: Fiction
We are all writers. Since childhood, we've used language as an art form, and each of us can move a close friend to laughter or to deep emotion by our story telling. This workshop will experiment with techniques used to train actors in order to free the writing voice within us and give it encouragement, confidence, and skill. We'll hold a few "fieldwork" class sessions in such places as a seedy bar, a bowling alley or a religious sanctuary to test our powers of observation and emotional recall. The goal is a publishable short story from each participant.
WRI 69B - Method Writing by Mail
If you are unable to attend regular classes on campus, or wish to work at your own pace with the close personal attention of a writing coach, the popular Method Writing: Fiction is available through the mail. After an initial meeting with the instructor to explore the kind of writing program that's best for you, you'll be a class of one, and you'll move through written exercises and assignments working toward developing your own voice in a finished and marketable piece of writing.
Schedule to be arranged with the instructor on an individual basis. For details, call (413) 256-0240.
WRI 53B - Family History and Memoir by Mail
If you are unable to attend regular classes on campus, or wish to work at your own pace with the close personal attention of a writing coach, the popular Family History and Memoir is available through the mail. After an initial meeting with the instructor to explore the kind of writing program that's best for you, you'll be a class of one, and you'll move through written exercises and assignments working toward developing your own voice in a finished and marketable piece of writing.
For details, call the instructor at (413) 256-0240. Schedule to be arranged with the instructor on an individual basis.
WRI 53 - Family History and Memoir
Do you have family stories you want to preserve for your children and grandchildren? Stories you would like to see in print? What form should you choose? Personal narrative can range from the documentary and journalistic to the more imaginative or literary, including poetry. This workshop will explore the story potential in our own lives. Bring personal or family journals, photos, letters, and memorabilia to the first class. Text: Carolyn Anthony, ed. Family Portraits: Remembrances by Twenty Distinguished Writers.
Poetry Workshop
A workshop on writing poetry for beginners and experienced writers alike. Emphasis will be on sharing, critiquing, the revision process, and developing editing skills. Writing exercises will stimulate the imagination and memory.



Descriptions from Dick Bentley's Courses taught at Holyoke Community College
CSS 311 - Travel Writing
Jet to Paris, spend the night at the Hotel George V, and tomorrow you're off on a high speed train to Geneva. It costs you nothing. Why? Buying a full-page ad to promote a vacation spot costs much more than buying a travel writer (such as yourself) a ticket to go there and write about it. It's the oldest marketing ploy of the world's airlines, hotels, and tourist bureaus, and most newspapers and magazines are happy to play along. Writing about travel can be as exciting as the trip itself. This workshop helps you explore ways to sharpen your eyes and transform your travel experiences into ideas to sell as a freelance writer. We discuss and write leads, query letters that grab an editor's attention, article proposals, and how to target specific markets. We examine the role of background research and look at a variety of published articles that illustrate the range of possibilities in travel writing.
CSS 313 - Writing for Children
Writing for Children presents special opportunities and challenges. Authors of children's literature must please editors, teachers, librarians, and parents who select what children read, as well as the children themselves! Patronizing young people by resenting them with lifelessly didactic or "politically correct" material is always a pitfall. In this workshop, we share some of the best of what is currently available to children. Explore the differences and similarities between adult, young adult and children's literature. We concentrate on writing stories in an effort to rekindle our childlike spirits. While most class time is spent critiquing our manuscripts, we also explore the marketing tactics, the query and cover letter, the whole submission process, and what editors love.


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