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Richard Peabody Offers a Novel Workshops Beginning in March

Richard Peabody, local writer and editor of Gargoyle Magazine, recently sent this notice about his upcoming novel workshop. If you live in the Arlington/DC/Maryland area, go for it. See details below as Peabody wrote himself:

Peabody’s Novel Workshop: Critique Your Complete Just a Couple of Chapters. It\’s time for another round. Please pass the word to the usual suspects. Limited to 5 students.

We meet every two weeks on Wednesday day nights 7:30 until 10 pm at my house in Arlington, Virginia. Four to five blocks from Virginia Square Metro station. 1. March 14 2. March 28 3. April 11 4. April 25 5. May 9 6. May 24 [Thursday] 7. May 30

Cost is $500 to be paid before the first night. Due to people dropping the class at the last minute and forcing me to cancel the entire session I now require that $125 of this fee be non-refundable and paid before the class begins.

Every participant turns in their complete novel and synopsis the first night along with 5 copies for everybody else and me. That way you get handwritten notes on everything from everybody. And you should feel free to recommend cuts, improvements, make suggestions, mark the manuscripts up at will. That\’s what this class is all about. By meeting every two weeks each participant should have plenty of time to complete their critiques.

If you can\’t attend every meeting (which I demand save for unforeseeable illness or death in the family as it\’s a question of fairness and honor) please don\’t bother signing up.

Why do I teach this class? Because you can go to your favorite bookshop and lift any number of contemporary novels off the shelf and read a few chapters only to discover that they fall apart at chapter four. Why? I’ve found that most MFA programs only critique the first three chapters of your manuscript. Plus, I’ve learned from the hands-on experience of teaching this course that a complete reading and critique is absolutely the best way (dare I say only way) to go. What’s the advantage of a small class like this one? There’s nothing quite like having five people discuss your characters as though they were living people for 2 ½ hours. What sorts of novels are eligible? Generally I handle serious literary fiction (both realism and experimental works), but the class has included YA, Sci-Fi, Mystery, Horror, Thriller, and Romance novels.

If you are interested do please email me a chapter and a synopsis. I\’m only considering completed novels in the 250-350 dbl. spaced page range. (That’s one-sided, double spaced, 12pt. in Courier font.) Anything longer than that is pretty much wishful thinking right now due to grim market economics and politics. Most first novels are 300 dbl. spaced pages which equals 200pp. in book form. Simply a fact of the biz. Second novels are frequently a different story.

Katharine Davis (from the fall 2003 class) recently sold her novel to St. Martin’s Press. Alumni from Peabody’s 22 years of university, Writer’s Center, and private classes with filmed screenplays, books in print (or forthcoming) include: Mark Baechtel, Doreen Baingana, Toby Barlow, Maggie Bartley, Jodi Bloom, Sean Brijbasi, Peter Brown, Robert Cullen, Priscilla Cummings, Lucinda Ebersole, Cara Haycak, Dave Housley, Catherine Kimrey, Adam Kulakow, Nathan Leslie, Redge Mahaffey, Charlotte Manning, Meena Nayak, Matthew Olshan, William Orem, Mary Overton, Carolyn Parkhurst, Sally Pfoutz, Nani Power, Lisa Schamess, Brenda Seabrooke, Julia Slavin, and Yolanda Young.

My address is 3819 North 13th Street, Arlington, VA 22201. My house is 2 blocks from Quincy Park and the Central Library on Quincy Street. We are 3 doors from Washington-Lee High School where Quincy crosses 13th Street.

My phone number is (703) 525-9296. My cell is (703) 380-.

If that’s not your cup of tea, I will also be teaching another round of “Experimental Writing” at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD. Their site and info are at The Writer\’s Center. My class runs for eight weeks on Thursday nights beginning March 8th. 7:30-10 pm.

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