Creative Sparks

Monday evenings, 6 pm to 7 pm Pacific, Jan 8 - March 11

This event has passed.

Do you want to maximize the creative possibilities of winter? What every writer needs — what any creative person needs — is a deadline. A deadline and, ideally, an assignment, or a prompt, or a keyword, or a theme. This innovative, multi-disciplinary series provides both. 10 weeks in a row. 10 deadlines. 10 themes.

A generative writing class led by the poet and novelist April Bernard, it is designed to get you firing on new projects, whether you're a poet or a fiction writer or a nonfiction writer — or a collage-artist, illustrator, photographer, screenwriter, songwriter, crafter, comedian, or cartoonist. Anyone who wants to light up creative sparks in the dark weeks of winter is encouraged to join us. Even if you don't end up making anything.

In addition to our weekly themes, each week April will offer a close reading of an important poem that fits the theme, from poets old and new — John Keats, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Bishop, T.S. Eliot, Jericho Brown, Thomas Wyatt….

Themes like these:

  • Desire
  • Heartbreak
  • Childhood
  • Getting Older
  • Walking
  • Sparring
  • Ghosts

April will co-lead this club with FrizzLit's founder, the nonfiction writer Christopher Frizzelle. Both of them will share their own new writing on our theme in each week, and then they want to hear yours. Or see or hear whatever you've made. Each person will have a 2-minute limit, so if you're writing stories, you will only be able to read the opening sentences to us. But openings are very important. Which we'll talk about.

The purpose of this club is to generate new work. And to have an ongoing conversation about writing and creativity. There will be no critiques. Encouragement, inspiration, generating new ideas, and the creative spark — that's what this club is about.

We are expecting writers, but we're open to anything. You make memes? You do interpretative dance? You yodel? Great. We want to hear your yodeling. 

And hey, if no one creates anything in a given week? No problem. We'll still have an inspiring hour of conversation about the creative spark, and we'll all leave with an out-of-this-world poetry lesson on a poem everyone should know.

Who is leading this club?

April Bernard is a poet, novelist, and essayist who teaches widely at the graduate level. Her most recent book of poems is The World Behind the World, just published by W.W. Norton. She led the FrizzLit club on Shakespeare's sonnets in August of 2023. 

Christopher Frizzelle was the editor-in-chief of The Stranger from 2007 to 2016, and he started the Silent Reading Party in 2009. His writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Interview, and elsewhere.

Are meetings recorded?

Yes. All meetings are recorded and emailed out automatically to everyone in the group. If anyone prefers not to have the Zoom recording going while sharing their work, we will honor that request.

What materials do I need? What should I bring?

None. Your brain. 

Is financial assistance available?

Yes. If you would like to join this class but price is a barrier, sponsorship funds are available to help make it possible. Please apply here.

Donations encouraged

If you choose to pay more, you are automatically making a donation to the financial assistance fund. Thank you for making this class accessible to people who would not be able to afford this kind of creative support otherwise.


Spendidly illustrated by Kathryn Rathke