Courses in Creativity and Writing

In-person and online courses on creativity, sexuality, writing, and more!

Morgan teaches online courses on creativity and sexuality, along with writing classes at Lighthouse Writers Workshop nonprofit literary center and also leads classes with the homeless population in Denver and with school-aged kids. She taught undergraduate fiction workshops for 5+ years at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she received an MFA in Creative Writing. 

 
 

Upcoming Courses

dmitry-bayer-420970-unsplash.jpg

Spark—An Empowerment course on creativity, sexuality + pleasure

Want greater creative inspiration and output, better sex and intimacy (and orgasms), and more capacity for joy and pleasure? (Um… yes? please.)

This may sound like a lot for one course to promise, but… here it is. Spark is a 12-week guided course and community, offering lessons, exercises, practices, and support to tap the vast stores of creative energy + power contained in our sexual and pleasure-seeking drives.

A major aspect of the course is working with the shame + fears commonly stored and storied in our beliefs and feelings about our sexuality (thanks, heteropatriarchy), which not only restrict our experience of intimacy and pleasure, but also drain our creative insight and capability.

As we begin to heal and clear blocks (through approval and integration—not more shame and self-blame), and approve of our embodied sexual and creative selves more, we gain access to huge amounts of creative potential—which we’ll then learn to channel into specific creative containers—projects, practices…and yes, pleasure.

The course runs on the premise that creativity is a sexual process. We’ll do a deep dive into this in the sessions, of course, but essentially it means that creativity—the act of creation, whether it be writing, dancing, art-making, business-making, culture-making, baby-making—is the fertilization of material: receptacle, container, seed, egg, with the spark of idea: vision, will, action. We’ll use this concept to better understand, enhance, and deepen our creative drives and processes.

 
 

world-building + character development in speculative fiction one-day at lighthouse north

February 23, 2018 Lighthouse North (Louisville)

Join us for a seminar exploring the realms of the irreal—fantasy, sci-fi, magical realism, surrealism, fable, fairytale—anything that departs from our stranglehold on a “true” reality.  We’ll look at the ways that the “imaginary” can perhaps get closer to an emotional or ideological truth—and we’ll play at wading deeper into the waves of the imagination. This class will particularly focus on two of the most important, and most difficult, craft elements of speculative fiction—building a world and peopling it with rich characters (whether they’re actually people, or aliens, or talking balloons).  World building is a tricky art, especially when you’re crafting one from scratch. How do you get in the important details without miring the narrative (or your reader) in the minutia? And in the face of fascinating fantastical worlds, how do you create vital characters who matter, both to the reader and within the context of their world? We’ll explore this and more in this one-day foray into the speculative sphere.

 

speculative fiction workshop:lighthouse writers

Mondays Jan 7 - Feb 25, 4-6 pm

In this workshop, we’ll explore the realms of the irreal—finding the narrative possibilities that open up when we let go of our stranglehold on “objective reality.” We’ll look at examples of speculative fiction and discuss differences between sci-fi, fantasy, fabulism, surrealism and magical realism, and in dissecting them come to understand both why and how they do what they do. Finally, we’ll all try our hands at our own forays out of realism (or do deeper explorations, if you’re already familiar with the territory of the irreal). 

 

intro fiction + memoir Workshop: lighthouse writers

Mondays Jan 7 - Feb 25, 10 am-12 pm

In addition to lots of alone time, writers need a supportive, interactive group to learn a bit more about the crafting of books and to test run those pages tapped out under the midnight moon. This class for beginning fiction and memoir writers will be a combination of group discussion, lecture, and workshop. All participants will have the opportunity to share chapters for constructive critique and feedback. Discussions and lectures will be tailored to meet the needs of the group but will likely include effective character development, establishing and maintaining tension, character and plot arc, how to hook a reader into the story, and how to make scenes work together. 

 

Past Courses

Form beyond freytag—experimenting with narrative structure: lighthouse writers

Many writers and critics have noted the way that our standard form of storytelling, Freytag’s pyramid—rising action, climax, falling action—is closely linked to patriarchal forms of narrative and power. While there is nothing particularly wrong with this structure, it isextremely limiting to remain confined to a single form—especially when large swaths of the population experience narrative in a vast variety of different ways! In this generative workshop, we’ll move beyond Freytag to explore other models and modes of storytelling. We’ll look at writers experimenting with form, try out some of their techniques, and play with inventing a few of our own!

 

Writing sex—crafting the erotic encounter: Lighthouse writers

Like action and dialogue, writing sex scenes can be extremely intimidating. And rightly so—it’s tricky to do and especially to do well. Add to the intricacies of craft, all of our cultural taboos, repressions and baggage around sexuality and sex, and many authors take the easy road and avoid the subject altogether. In this workshop we’ll focus on the craft of erotic encounters. We will look at examples of sex writing in fiction and nonfiction and we’ll practice the mechanics and techniques of including sexual and intimate scenes (explicit or not) in our narratives, determining who, when, how, and how much. Just as in life, sex in literature is always more than just sex. We’ll deconstruct how sex scenes can enhance our understanding of characters and the power dynamics between them, and look at ways to deepen character development through exploring their sexuality. We’ll also spend some time considering our roles and responsibilities as culture-creators and how we want to handle our portrayals of sex and sexualities.

 

Advanced short story workshop: lighthouse writers

A weekly workshop for advanced writers of short stories. Writers of longer works are welcome, but the focus is on self-contained chapters and stories. The sessions concentrate on critique of member submissions and include writing exercises and discussion of published works as models of craft.

Prerequisite: One intermediate or advanced class or permission from the instructor.

 

draft a chapter in 4 weeks: lighthouse writers

This four-week writing intensive course will focus on the most important elements of writing a chapter of your novel while keeping you on deadline. We’ll start at the beginning (how to open a chapter), then discuss narrative arc, your story's characters, and how to this chapter ties into your novel as a whole. We'll cover outlines and think about how everything fits together. Whether you're on your first chapter or final! 

 

intermediate short story workshop: lighthouse writers

Building on the foundations of Intro to Writing the Short Story, this class will consist primarily of workshopping short story drafts.  In addition, we’ll use writing exercises and published short stories as launching points for generating new material and discussing aspects of the short story craft, such as narrative scope, narrator reliability, structure, building tension, and developing plot. 

 

reading as a writer—octavia butler’s lilith’s brood: lighthouse writers

Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author Octavia Butler (also the first sci-fi writer to win the MacArthur "Genius" Grant), masterfully utilized speculative fiction to explore issues of race, gender, “otherness,” and hierarchy—she used the fantastic to reveal the deepest truths of our humanity. Through reading her work, we'll discover how we can use the irreal in our own ways to expose whatever truths drive us.