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The Center for Literature and Theater at MDC Announces 2012 Spring Creative Writing Courses

WritersInstitute-with Dorothy Allison

Workshop participants learn the art of storytelling with writing instructor Dorothy Allison during the 2010 Writer's Institute sponsored by The Center for Literature and Theater at MDC.

Miami, January 24, 2012 - The Center for Literature and Theater at Miami Dade College (MDC), formerly known as the Florida Center for the Literary Arts, has announced its new and exciting Spring Creative Writing Courses. Featuring a roster of talented authors as instructors, the courses run from Feb. 13 through April 5. 

To learn more, check the list of courses below:   

Writing for Tweens and Teens: A Workshop for Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction with Marjetta Geerling
Mondays, Feb. 13 – April 2 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Registration $170 

Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction is a vibrant and ever-expanding area of literature. According to an August 2011 New York Times article, juvenile fiction has grown 6.6% in the past three years, a good sign of the genre’s health given our current economy. Writing for tweens and teens is both rewarding and challenging because while closely related to adult fiction in structure, juvenile fiction comes with its own set of norms and considerations. The Writing for Tweens and Teens workshop will explore the genre conventions with the specific goal of helping each writer tailor their characters, setting, and plot to the juvenile market. The class will be a mixture of lectures and discussions on writing craft and marketplace and will also include critique of on-going work. 

Marjetta Geerling is the author of Fancy White Trash (Viking Children's Books, 2008), which was selected as an American Library Association's 2009 Best Books for Young Adults and for the 2009 Rainbow List. Her second novel is scheduled for release in early 2013. Marjetta holds an M.F.A. in Writing from Spalding University. She lives in Miami Beach, FL. 

Autobiographies: Start Writing What You Know with Ana Vidal
Tuesdays, Feb.14–April 10 (No class on March 13) | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | $170 

This class is being offered in Spanish only. For more information, visit

Stories that Sing: Creative Nonfiction (Advanced) with Lydia Martin
Tuesdays, Feb 14-April 3 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | $170

In this course for advanced students, Martin will explore aspects of creative nonfiction and the use of literary and narrative techniques in factual storytelling. Truth indeed can be stranger, and more compelling, than fiction. But whether writing an essay, a memoir, or newspaper and magazine stories, there can be more to telling it than telling it right. Discussion topics include rhythm, texture, color and developing one’s own style.

Lydia Martin is a longtime Miami Herald columnist with 25 years of experience as a news and features writer. Her work has appeared in books such as Presenting Celia Cruz (Clarkson Potter) and in magazines such as Esquire, Oprah, People, Marie Claire, Out and Latina.

The Next Level:  Revision Strategies for the Creative Writer with Nick Garnett
Wednesdays, Feb 15-April 4 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | $170

In this course, participants will sharpen their writing skills as they work towards refining and polishing their project. They will review the basics: characterization, plot, setting, pacing, dialogue, point-of-view, theme, and voice.  They will then apply these elements to their own work and get valuable feedback from the instructor and the rest of the class. Students come away from this course with the tools to make their prose more professional and more publishable.

Nicholas Garnett received his MFA in Creative Writing from Florida International University (FIU), where he was granted a teaching fellowship, served as the nonfiction editor of the University's literary journal, and twice won the University's literary award in nonfiction. He is an adjunct professor of creative writing at FIU, a frequent instructor for the Center for Literature and Theatre at Miami Dade College, and the recipient of writing residencies from the Vermont Studio Center and the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild.  His writings have appeared in Sliver of Stone, The Sun-Sentinel, R-KV-RY Quarterly, and The Florida Book Review. His short story, "All That Glitters," was selected to appear in the annual "Best of the Net" Anthology. 

Creative Writing Workshop: The Art of Playwriting with Carmen Duarte
Wednesdays, Feb 15-April 4 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | $170 

This class is being offered in Spanish only. For more information, visit 

On the Basis of Character:  A Fiction Workshop in Character Creation with David Beaty
Thursdays, Feb 16-April 5 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | $170 

We read stories and novels to enter into the characters' lives and by doing so better understand and enrich our own lives. The creation of dynamic and believable characters is crucial to the success of any work of fiction. In the first part of this workshop, participants will read and discuss character creation in stories by the great writers (Hemingway, Babel, Chekhov, Trevor), and by contemporary masters. There will be short writing exercises in class. In the second part, students will bring in their own work to be read and discussed by the class from the point of view of structure and character creation.  

David Beaty has lived and worked in Greece, England, and Brazil. A graduate of Columbia College, he earned an MFA in creative writing from Florida International University, where he was the recipient of the Josephine Friedman Award For Fiction. His short stories have appeared in Miami Noir, Unbound Press, Having A Wonderful Time, and other anthologies and literary journals. His short story, "Ghosts," was chosen for The Best American Mystery Stories 2000, and his story "The Last of Lord Jitters," received honorable mention in The Best American Mystery Stories 2007, edited by Carl Hiaasen. 

Telling True Stories: Making Other People’s Voices (or Your Own) Be Heard (Beginners) with Lily Prellezo
Thursdays, Feb 16-April 5 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | $170 

Geared towards the beginning writer, this workshop concentrates on telling true stories, of either the author's own life or someone else's. Writers will decipher the genres of nonfiction: memoir, biography, narrative nonfiction, creative nonfiction, journalism, personal essay, and most importantly, what constitutes a true story. Tools on how to interview, which research delivers the best results, and how to write a query letter and a book proposal address the nuts and bolts of getting published. 

Lily Prellezo's first nonfiction book, Seagull One: The Amazing True Story of Brothers to the Rescue, was published by the University Press of Florida in September 2010 and was selected as part of the Miami Book Fair International 2010. In it, the author interviewed over 100 people to tell the true story of the humanitarian organization that saved over 4,000 people. Prellezo is a freelance writer and sought-after editor for Miami business executives. She contributed to The Catholic Voice from 1987-1997, and is part of the speakers bureau for the Archdiocese of Miami. She has fifteen years public speaking experience and is fluent in English and Spanish. 

*Creative Writing Courses Refunds Policy

For courses that meet more than three times, full refunds will be given to participants who notify the Florida Center for the Literary Arts by e-mail or fax at least THREE BUSINESS DAYS before the first day of class that they wish to cancel. No refunds will be given once class begins. Allow at least two weeks for refunds to be processed. If a course must be canceled for any reason, you will receive a complete refund. (The Writers Institute has its own refund policy. Please refer to that Web page/brochure for more information).

All Spring 2012 Creative Writing Courses will be held at MDC’s Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. Second Ave. Discounted rates are available for MDC staff, as well as students currently enrolled in credit courses.

To register, or to obtain more information, please call the Center’s main line, 305-237-3940, or Nicole Swift at 305-237-3023,, or visit The Center at MDC website at

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
ethnicity, pregnancy, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, or genetic information.
Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.