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Exploring Story in a Month with James Van Pelt

September 6 @ 6:00 pm - September 27 @ 6:00 pm

There are no spots left for this workshop series.

We’ve started a waiting list. Please email us directly if you want to be added to it.


Special Program for Fiction Writers

Exploring Story in a Month

Join long-time teacher and writer James Van Pelt in a four-session workshop focusing on the key elements of crafting a story. Sessions will be workshop oriented, so be prepared for a lot of exercises and writing. Class meets every Wednesday evening in September 2023 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

September 6
Session one: Starting with Your Ending in Mind (or not). We’ll look at a story’s structure as a way to discover what happens next and to lead to a satisfying conclusion.

September 13
Session two: Putting Flesh on the Bones. Session two will explore creating characters your readers care about whether they are heroes, villains, or supporting cast.

September 20
Session three: Setting the Stage. The world is a stage, so Shakespeare said, and so is a story. In this session, we’ll look at ways to make the world of your fiction real to the reader and to pull them into your tale.

September 27
Session four:
Polishing Words and Making them Matter. The difference between a beginner’s story and a professional’s happens at the sentence and paragraph level. When your first draft is done, what you need to do next will be our subject.

James Van Pelt, has been selling short fiction to many of the major venues since 1989. Recently he retired from teaching high school English after thirty-seven years in the classroom. He was a finalist for the Nebula, the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, Locus Awards, and Analog and Asimov’s reader’s choice awards. Years and years ago he was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He still feels “new.” Fairwood Press recently released a huge, limited-edition, signed and numbered collection of his work, THE BEST OF JAMES VAN PELT. He can be found online at https://www.jamesvanpelt.com or on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/james.vanpelt.14


Details and Registration

  • A $10 materials fee is due to the instructor at the first session on September 6th. Cash or check only.
  • Capped at 15 participants. Once capacity is reached, we’ll start a waiting list.
  • Sessions run from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. every Wednesday evening in September 2023. Bring writing materials and, if you would like, a WIP (not required).
  • Location: Center for Independence, 740 Gunnison Ave in Grand Junction; upstairs conference room. *Note: the doors now remain locked at this facility. Meet at the west front door and someone will let you in.
  • Register below this post.


September 6 @ 6:00 pm
September 27 @ 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Western Colorado Writers’ Forum
View Organizer Website


Center For Independence
740 Gunnison Ave
Grand Junction, CO 81501 United States
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