Programs

Creating an Image System That Works for Your Verse Novel Online Course March 2021

March 3 - 31, 2021

Online Course Info:

What is an image system?
An image system is a series of images (can be a symbol or a metaphor or a simile) strung together in a narrative that, as they build, reveal character change and development. Image systems can help develop a stronger voice for your main character, use a poetic convention to its full story potential and increase the emotional impact of your story.

In this 5-week online workshop, you will build your own image system through weekly Wednesday LIVE Zoom lectures, discussions, writing exercises, and roundtable sessions.

Online Workshop Participant Cap:

16 students.

What You’ll Learn & Experience:

This course will help you build your own image system that consistently brings out the core idea of your novel in verse. You will:

  • Learn key considerations in image system development, including balancing story with poetry.
  • Consider story components: setting & time period, main character’s developmental stage of life, passion/hobby/viewpoint.
  • Explore questions to consider when writing a verse novel.
  • Consider which poetic and story conventions to employ.
  • Work with figurative language, beyond the metaphor & simile.
  • Study verse novel tips from the poet’s toolbox.
  • Attend LIVE Zoom sessions weekly (Wednesdays, 1:30 pm Eastern, weeks 1 – 4; 7:30pm, week 5).
  • Watch videos, explore resources and complete structured assignments.
  • Review sample image systems and design one to use in your novel in verse.

The course is divided into 5 sessions:
March 3, 1:30 pm Eastern
Session 1: Course Overview, Introductions and What is an Image System?
Writing exercise and reading assignments.

March 10, 1:30 pm Eastern
Session 2: Image Systems in Verse Novels: An Analysis with Mentor Text.
Writing exercise and reading assignments.

March 17, 1:30 pm Eastern
Session 3: What Makes for a Strong Image? Part 1: Story/character components of image construction, and incorporating these into your own image system.
Writing exercise and a discussion question to consider.

March 24, 1:30 pm Eastern
Session 4: What Makes for a Strong Image? Part 2: Poetic components of image construction, and incorporating these into your own image system.

March 31, 7:30 pm Eastern
Session 5: Workshop your image system with the class.

Please note:
If you’re unable for any reason to attend a session, you’ll have access to the recordings of each through April 30, 2021.

Required reading:
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai and Audacity by Melanie Crowder

Suggested Reading:
Skyscraping by Cordelia Jensen
The Way the Light Bends by Cordelia Jensen
Every Shiny Thing by Cordelia Jensen

Assignments:
Each week of the course you will have a detailed assignment from Cordelia.

Assignments can be posted in the virtual classroom. If you do not wish to have peer or faculty feedback on your assignment(s), you do not need to post in the forum. In addition, the final week includes feedback on 8-10 poems from your work-in-progress.

Join Us If:

  • You have an in-progress or completed draft of a middle grade or young adult novel in verse. In this course, you’ll create an image system that supports the core idea of your novel in verse. An image system is something to try when you are either first starting a verse novel or revising one that isn’t quite working.
  • You need a workshop that fits into your schedule. This is an online course and you are free to work at your own pace.

Resources:

Auditioning Poetry Devices for Your Verse Novel’s Voice, by Cordelia Jensen
The Verse Novel: If I Can Do It, So Can You, by Kathryn Erskine
YA Wednesday: Better and Verse, by Padma Venkatraman
Read a verse novel a day for National Poetry Month
Best 9 Tips On Plotting a Novel in Verse from the Fiction Notes blog.
Cordelia was a sensitive and smart reader of our work in progress, linking it effectively to the material under study. The class offered an interesting, intelligent and indirect way to think about my novel draft. For me it unlocked the work and allowed me to find the momentum and energy I was seeking.

Testimonials:

“Cordelia was a sensitive and smart reader of our work in progress, linking it effectively to the material under study. The class offered an interesting, intelligent and indirect way to think about my novel draft. For me it unlocked the work and allowed me to find the momentum and energy I was seeking.”

“Cordelia was an excellent teacher and shared above and beyond and made the whole class experience worthwhile and informative.”

“Cordelia shared an amazing amount of information. There is so little available on Free Verse and I was thrilled to be part of this class.”

“I came into the course with very little knowledge about actually writing a verse novel and employing an image system. I left with a world of information.”

Faculty & Special Guests

Cordelia Jensen

Cordelia Jensen graduated with a MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts in…
Learn more

$399.00