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Andrew Holyfield

Hi everyone! My name is Andrew. I graduated Summa Cum Laude at UC Riverside in 2016, with a B.A. in Creative Writing. While there, I completed the Honors Program, published a thesis, was an editor for both the campus Research Journal and Honors Program literary journal, joined the Writing Program as a Teaching Assistant, and completed three MFA courses, all with a 4.0 GPA.

Tutoring started for me in the campus Writing Program, in which I tutored eighteen students per week. Around that same time, my younger brother, diagnosed with Aspergers,  started college. I tutored him during his four-year journey to receive his Paraprofessional Certificate.

Nerdy as it sounds, I love Grammar and read often (in-between Netflix binges). Until my time at UC Riverside, I abhorred reading and preferred the trusty summaries from Spark Notes. I know English and writing can be both challenging and boring, but perhaps all a struggling student needs a little help and positive reinforcement. If that sounds like you or your kid, I'd love to help.

I’m a published songwriter with 20+ years experience in the music industry.

Creative Writing WORKSHOP

Creative Writing Workshop 1:  Ages 9-12

Creative Writing Workshop 2:  Ages 13+

Homework:  Yes!   Writers need to write to become better writers!

Requirements:  Students must be willing to participate in both collaborative work and in sharing their own creative writing.   This class requires discussion, oral repetition/dictation, & collaboration. While most students come out of their shells after the initial weeks, it is important that each writer brings a level of commitment to this course. 

 

The creative writing workshops are an intensive look into the craft. They focus on analysis, learning to give/receive constructive feedback, the revision process, & beginning to implement skillful craftsmanship of published authors. 

Unlike the creative writing series, this workshop is more rigorous. Participation is expected, as is comprehension of elements of craft. While taking the other creative writing is not a prerequisite for this workshop, discussion of said craft elements will not be the focus, so much as comprehension & implementation. 

 

On the first week, a submission schedule will be given. From that point, each writer is responsible for submitting a story to the workshop on the respective deadline. They must print enough hard copies for each student to take home a physical copy of the story. There is no length requirement for story submissions; however, submissions should be treated seriously & respectfully. They should be free of common errors & thoughtfully crafted. 

 

Students will take home the copies & review them. Students will write thoughtful notes on how to improve the piece on the manuscript. The following week, class will take place as a silent-author workshop—this means the class discusses the story, it’s strengths & weaknesses, any areas of confusion, suggested areas of revision etc. The author takes down notes from his/her peers workshop comments, with the intention of possibly implementing these suggestions/critiques in a revised second draft. After the workshop, all copies are passed back to the respective author to have, review, & consider in the revision process. 

 

The second draft (the revision) will be turned in on the final class as a final project. While the author may choose to ignore suggestions from the workshop comments, improvements should be made & progress noticeable. The idea is to build upon strengths, develop weaker areas, & understand how to give & receive feedback. 

 

Additional readings may be given to the workshop to analyze particular areas of craft. This gives points of comparison, to see how a successful writer handles an area of craft with grace or skill. while this isn’t a major component of the workshop, it is a part of it. 

 

All workshop feedback from reviewers must be thorough, respectful, & given with respect to each story’s intention. 

 

Examples of comments are as follows:

 

incorrect: 

This story stinks. It’s not even scary. 

 

correct:

This story seems like it’s intended to be horror or scary. A scene where I felt the most suspense was the hallway, when the protagonist’s candle blows out. Perhaps the author could slow down other scenes to give the same effect? 

 

incorrect:

I have an idea for the ending that would make it way cooler. It needs aliens & explosions. This story is so boring!

 

correct:

The story’s ending didn’t feel complete to me. The protagonist spends the whole story looking for hidden treasure, and he doesn’t even find the chest before his ship sinks. What if the pirate captain did find a chest? It could even end before he has a chance to use his hook to unlock it. That could make the ending feel more complete. A cliffhanger could also work!

 

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