Are you between the ages of 9 and 109? Do you love writing as much as breathing? I guide aspiring authors to develop strong literacy while learning to craft character, make setting a powerful component of story, and tell an authentically amazing story, one week at a time!!
I’m an award-winning author, longtime English teacher, and freelance editor. I will not only present engaging, fun, fast-paced lessons (read: not lecturing), but I will also do a deep dive into your writing submissions and provide one-on-one coaching to help you, an aspiring author, to tell the story that is dying to break out of your mind and flow beautifully onto the page.
There is a separate class for adults (18 & up); teens (13-17); and tweens (9-12), offered through a variety of venues (links below).
Regardless of the site you choose to take the class, each 18 week session is offered 3 times, beginning January 2021! Sessions are available for teens on Outschool on Tuesdays and Saturdays; tweens on Outschool on Saturdays; for teens, tweens, and adults on AG Tutorials on Saturdays; and for adults on Your Teachable Moment on Sunday!
Teens: Ages 13-17
Sites the class is available:
OutSchool ($10/week; $180 for the 18-week course).
AG Tutoring ($10/week; 180 for the 18-week course.)
Tweens: Ages 9-12
Sites the class is available:
OutSchool ($10/week; $180 for the 18-week course).
AG Tutoring ($10/week; $180 for the 18-week course).
Adults: Ages 18 & up.
Sites the class is available:
AG Tutoring ($15/week; $270 for the 18-week course).
Your Teachable Moment ($15/week; $270 for the 18-week course).
Class consists of a few minutes of introduction that encompasses a review of where we’ve been, overview of where we’re going, and two Quick Writes per lesson that allow application of the skill being introduced and/or reinforced. Students will learn to craft realistic characters, discover the motive behind the characters’ “I want(s),” and develop a plot fueled by delicious conflict! I will clearly explain the weekly writing assignment and how to know if it’s going well.
Whether you are a “good” English student or not, if you have the desire to write a story that’s dying to be told, I can guide you to see it to fruition. I utilize my expertise as well as respected resources, meaningful video clips, and an overflowing mental “toolbox” that’s stocked by over two decades of teaching.
Details: Weekly Class Length, Materials, and Feedback
This is a 60-minute weekly class that runs for 18 weeks. It includes a digital interactive notebook provided to each participant that is added to by me week-by-week, and students are able to do their “Quick Writes” in during class. In essence, this digital interactive notebook serves as a guidebook/textbook. You will also be provided a weekly writing assignment via a Google Doc, and this serves to build your novel. These items are accessible through the Google Classroom that you will be able to join after enrolling. You will submit your completed assignment no later than the following Tuesday by 11:59 PM, and I will assess it and give you meaningful individual feedback via editing/revising “suggestions” and comments prior to our next Saturday class. I promise that my feedback will be empathetic, compassionate and helpful. I’m effusive with what’s working and quite specific as to how you can improve to not only write your story, but also grow skills that’ll help you in English classes!
Please note: A gmail account is needed to access Google Classroom.
During weeks 16-17, I will share my experience of guiding my former face-to-face students through the process of using an online book publishing service that is specifically for students. The publishing service cost varies, but in the recent past, the cost of a book was between $12.00-$24.00, depending on page count, utilization of color, etc.
Please note: I am not responsible in any way for the service that you ultimately choose to publish your book, should you choose to do so, nor am I affiliated in any way with any online book-publishing service. I make no money off your book. I can only share my experience in the realm of helping students turn an idea into a book that can be held in one’s hand. The service I’ve used in the past maintains an online “bookstore” where additional copies of individual books are available to be purchased for a long time afterward.
If you do not choose to publish your book, there is no other cost or supplies needed than those stated above. All you really need to succeed is your imagination, a quiet work area, and some time to write your assignment (grow your book) each week!
Overview of the Class*
Week 1: Welcome! Let’s talk about your protagonist.
Week 2: Building the setting, and why it’s important.
Week 3: Conflict: why “I want” is the seed of your story, and why you need a major and a minor “want.”
Week 4: World-building: your protagonist’s and antagonist’s foils.
Week 5: The inciting incident: ladies and gentlemen, you cannot look away!
Week 6: Where are you going?
Week 7: Complications: throw what ya got at your hero.
Week 8: Speaking of heroism…what’s the problem with being brave?
Week 9: The undercurrent of your story: the tension is building!
Week 10: Do you feel it? Magnetic forces are pulling your protagonist toward the showdown . . .
Week 11: The antagonist’s motive and what he/she has to lose.
Week 12: Confronting the conflict: will your story’s climax burst like fireworks, splatter like paint, or sputter like a car out of gas?
Week 13: Consequences of bravery: there can’t be smiles without some tears.
Week 14: Wrap up your sub-plot! Do you know where it is?
Week 15: The role of setting in the denouement (falling action): is this where your protagonist wants to be?
Week 16: Happy ending or hopeful ending? The big finish.
Week 17: How to publish your book: options for being able to hold a hard copy in your hand.
Week 18: Celebrating “The End” and sharing your favorite scene(s)!
I want all students to be able to write what they want, but we must respect others’ boundaries. For that reason, if a student writes a story that contains graphic elements or profanity, I will work with the student in a way that does not subject others to content that they may find controversial. Should a student desire to share their stories with their peers during sharing time, they will be reminded that not everyone is okay with graphic elements or profanity, and to refrain from sharing those sections on our public space. It’s okay to share with me in my capacity as advisor, but not necessarily with everyone. All should note: violent story lines that are graphic for no other reason than shock value, as well as racist, bigoted, and homophobic themes, are not something I’m willing to be a part of developing in any circumstance.
A variety of reference books will be utilized to plan lessons and deepen the students’ understanding of writer’s craft. These may include:
Writing the Breakout Novel, by Donald Maas
Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook, by Donald Maas
First You Write a Sentence, by Joe Moran
Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder
Stephen King on Writing, by Stephen King
Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott
The Emotional Craft of Fiction, by Donald Maas
What If?- Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers, by Anne Bernays and Pamela Painter
Getting Your Book Published (for Dummies), by Sarah Parsons Zackheim, with Adrian Zackheim
DIY MFA, b Gabriela Periera
Spilling Ink, by Anne Mazer and Helen Potter
Dare to Write- Creative Writing Prompts, by Kristen Fogle
No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty
Putting Your Passion into Print, by Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry
Great Advice on Writing, by William Safire and Leonard Safire
The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition, by The University of Chicago Press
…and mentor young adult texts relevant to demonstrating the goal of writing a book, such as brief excerpts from my own books, or pages from classical literature. It is possible–but not guaranteed- that I will invite an author friend or two to guest and share their experience of the writing process.
In addition, I may embed and/or refer you to links of 3-5 minute YouTube videos where appropriate in order to demonstrate a concept; for example, for conflict, I may use a Bounty paper towel commercial, a scene from “It’s a Wonderful Life,” or “My Shot” from the Alexander Hamilton musical. At no time will I use videos that are not provided to the public or that contain objectionable language or content.
I have a B.A. in English, minor Secondary Education, M.Ed. in Reading, and over 22 years of experience teaching writing to middle-and high schoolers. I recognize the essential truth of any classroom: all students must feel comfortable and safe being themselves in order to learn. I am committed to preserving an accepting classroom environment that includes guiding students through writing exercises that are constructive and safe.
I am a professional educator, certified in the state of Texas in these areas:
Secondary English Language Arts (6-12)
Secondary English (6-12)
Secondary Reading (6-12)
Elementary Self-Contained (1-8)
English as a Second Language (1-12)
Social Studies (4-8; 8-12)
I am also a traditionally published novelist for teens, and the co-author of a book for trauma survivors: Author Websites: http://www.bethfehlbaumbooks.info;
PUBLISHED SELF-HELP BOOK:
Jaremko, Matt. E., and Beth Fehlbaum. Trauma Recovery: Sessions with Dr. Matt. Narratives of Hope and Resilience for Victims with PTSD, Ayni Books, ISBN # 978-1785358883, December, 2018.
Fehlbaum, Beth, Big Fat Disaster, Simon & Schuster, ISBN # 978-1440570483, April, 2014.
Named to The Spirit of Texas Reading List-High School, 2015-201
Starred Kirkus Review
Fehlbaum, Beth, Truth in Patience, Steady On Books, ISBN # 978- 1729165300 , March 2016
Fehlbaum, Beth, Hope in Patience, WestSide Books, Everbind, Inc., ISBN # 978-1934813416, October, 2010; then released through Steady On Books, ISBN # 978-172916554, March 2016
Second book in The Patience Trilogy
2011 YALSA (Young Adult Library Association) Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers
Fehlbaum, Beth, Courage in Patience, Kunati, Inc., ISBN # 978-1601641564, September, 2008; then released through Steady On Books, ISBN # 978-1729165485, March 2016
First book in The Patience Trilogy
Fehlbaum, Beth, Find the Moon. My agent has this book on submission to several publishing houses as of this writing.
FREELANCE EDITING COURSES COMPLETED THROUGH EDITORIAL FREELANCERS ASSOCIATION
- Building a Client Base to Weather Any Storm
- Freelancing 101
- Book Mapping for Developmental Editors
- Introduction to Children’s Literature
- Developmental Editing of Fiction: Intermediate
- Developmental Editing of Fiction: Beginning
- Copyediting Fiction
- Copyediting: Beginning
- Copyediting: Intermediate
The Author’s Guild
Texas Federation of Teachers
SCBWI (Society of Book Writers & Illustrators)
Editorial Freelancers Association