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Teaching Emerging Writers

Sometimes, I get a bit of fan mail or a letter that makes my whole week, that makes me glow inside — and not from radioactivity. These moments matter to me especially because I suffer from periodic bouts of depression, a dark sense of futility that rides me piggyback for a while. It’s hard to shake off, and I usually find ways to boulder forward at full run until it slips and falls off by itself; it’s a heavy beast and has a hard time balancing on my back for long when I’m at full gallop. Last week, the beast was whispering the #2 hit on its chart: that nothing I put on paper matters to anyone, that I am merely adding clutter to an already cluttered literary landscape, that my stories are mere waste, that I am mere waste, and on and on. It is a vapid lie (as top hits sometimes are), but a hard one to shake, nonetheless. (If you’ve read What Our Eyes Have Witnessed, you have encountered the beast in those pages, as it stalks down the alleys of Rome after Father Polycarp.)

At these times, I turn to kind words from my readers; those words become my armor, proof that my work has an impact. Most of my readers know me, I think, as super-high-energy-creative-guy and don’t see me carrying the beast on my shoulders. One has to be super-high-energy-creative to fight the beast and win. And I always play to win.

WriteToday, I received the kindest letter from the woman who runs Castle Rock Writers, a local writers’ convention. It was unexpected, and in it she shared with me a huge list of excited, happy feedback from writers who attended my class “Write Characters Your Readers Won’t Forget” (here is the book version of the class). The letter dealt the beast quite a blow; I am thrilled to learn that the class helped so many writers.

I certainly invite you to take the class if you are in Colorado and have the chance to; I’ll be teaching it as a one-hour crash course at Writers on the Rock in February and in three one-hour chapters at AnomalyCon in March. Future dates to be announced later.

Stant Litore teaching at Castle Rock Writers 2015

Here is a bit from the letter I received today:

Hi Stant,
    Your workshop was a big hit. Here are the comments from the evals… One eval had a very lengthy commentary so copied it and will put it in the mail….

  1. Fantastic examples, utterly brilliant, amazing.
  2. Well done and enjoyable.
  3. The best.
  4. Great workshop, but definitely could use more time. Lots of great material.
  5. Excellent! Want him back!
  6. Wonderful examples, excellent organization of topics, super helpful.
  7. He had my attention immediately. Very well spoken, awesome presentation. Whole class very attentive.
  8. Good explanations. Great examples. Fun storyteller. Answered questions well.
  9. Great information. Interesting speaker. Thank you.
  10. Lots of knowledge and practical advice-thanks!
  11. Great talk. Thanks. Already bought your book today
  12. Excellent all around presentation!
  13. Great examples and outline to work with.
  14. Great information, well-paced, succinctly presented-Thanks!
  15. Would like a longer session with Stant.
  16. Really great.
  17. Terrific.
  18. Good 5 points of reference.
  19. (a very long one so not all is here). I LOVE the examples, C.S. Lewis, David and Goliath, Odyssey. You weave details succinctly and compellingly. DETAILS ROCK!

Stant 1
Stant Litore teaching at Castle Rock Writers 2015

Wow: a whole list of reactions and thank you’s from other writers who appreciated the class. I did not ask for them; I think Castle Rock Writers collects evaluations after each of its sessions. I didn’t know they would be shared with me (that doesn’t usually happen in a convention format); I am delighted. I suppose I will keep teaching this class.

I hope you are all enjoying the novels, and if you are curious about future runs of my course “Write Characters Your Readers Won’t Forget,” keep an eye on my blog here or write to me at Or, of course, get the book.


Stant Litore

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