As a published author, a seasoned editor and experienced creative writing teacher, Mina offers a myriad of teaching possibilities for children (eight years and older), teens and adults alike, varying from two-hour workshops and daylong intensives to eight to ten session courses.
School visits, birthday parties and other special occassions, hands-on workshops and intensives at conferences and retreats on location in the US and in the Netherlands, webinars, everything is possible.
All workshops and courses are available in English and Dutch.
A SELECTION OF WORKSHOPS:
- Fictionalize Your Memories – a three-hour workshop. Letting readers experience your story as if they are walking in the shoes of the protagonist is one of the writer’s most challenging tasks. It requires you to pen the protagonist’s emotions down believable, heartfelt and true. An excellent way to accomplish such evocative writing is by bringing your own memories to a story. But when you do that, often the urge to stay close to the truth gets in the way. This workshop explores ways to create a healthy distance between the writer and her/his memories and how to use your own experiences and memories without getting caught in the ‘that’s not how it happened’ snare.
“I was amazed by the results of Mina’s teaching and method! In the first exercise I felt that I wrote from my head, struggling to visualize the scene and activate the senses. By the second exercise, I had entered a flow that poured out of me from a place of full-body connection and multi-layered emotion and nuance. Mina is a master of creative alchemy!” – Ann Caviness
- Aristotle’s Cat – a three-hour workshop. You have been working on your project for months, years even. Your characters shine and sparkle. Your voice is strong. Your writing is tweaked and polished to a brilliance. Yet, when you read through your project, you feel something’s amiss. And then fear creeps up your spine when you realize what’s wrong: you lost your plot!
From the gentlest picture book to edgiest young adult novel, every story needs a plot. A strong plot is the foundation of your story and, like a building without a sturdy base, your story will rattle and shake at the first wind that blows through if it’s not solid. In this hands-on workshop, we will explore plot through two different plot structure theories. Reading and writing exercises will guide us in our endeavors to find out what plot is all about.
“Mina Witteman’s plot workshop was outstanding and so many writers will benefit from it.” – Zainab Kahn
- Aristotle’s Cat – Going Deep – a daylong intensive for writers who have a full draft of their MG or YA ready. In this daylong intensive we will tackle your plot. Together we’ll try to identify important plot points and beats in your story, and, hopefully, uncover those dreaded plot holes. We’ll discuss questions and possible answers that may strengthen your story into the captivating read that will delight your readers.
“Thank you again for the fantastic plotting workshop you led for SCBWI … Using the methods you shared, I’m finding new connections in my current manuscript.” – Colleen Riordan
- IllustWriter – a three-hour workshop for illustrators (and writers who would like to hone their picture book writing craft). You are a fine artist, and your illustrations are just what children and publishers like, but building those into a picture book – that’s a different story. And still, deep down, you’d love to do a book all by yourself. This three-hour workshop explores the different age groups, characters, tension, worldview and, of course, storyline, story structure and plot.
- The Hero’s Journey – a two-hour workshop (or longer) for middle graders and teenagers. Guided by twelve of the main steps in The Hero’s Journey, attendees will explore the structure of stories. After a fun and enlightening expedition past these steps, attendees will embark on their own journey and, spurred on by writing exercises, they will write their own story.
A SELECTION OF COURSES:
- Weaving Stories Along the Silk Route – an eight-session (3 hours each) introduction course in creative writing. Themed around the Silk Route, attendees get a taste of what creative writing entails. Through writing poems, columns, blog posts, travel stories and short stories, we touch upon story structures, creating characters, building up tension, but also on rewriting and revising your stories.
- Writing Young Adults Novels – an eight-session (3 hours each) advanced writers’ course. Identifying conflict and inciting incidents, plotting and structure the YA novel, establishing memorable YA characters, narrative voice, and tension are only a few of the topics that will be tackled in this course for advanced writers. With lots of writing exercises.
- IllustWriter – an eight-session (3 hours each) course on writing picture books. This full course is geared towards illustrators, but also towards writers who would like to hone their picture book writing skills. With co-teacher Sieneke de Rooij.
Dutch schools, international schools based in the Netherlands, libraries, and companies can contact me through De Schrijverscentrale. Other interested parties like Dutch and international schools abroad, as well as writers looking for a mentor, may contact me through the contact form below.