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1902 building drawing

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TEACHERS: If your interested in teaching at OCAF, please use the link provided below to submit your class proposal.











Classes with Poet & Essayist

Dana Wildsmith:





Testing the Waters: 1st Time Fiction Writing 

August 2017 Class Now Open for Registration 

Dates: August 12, 19 & 26, 2017

Day / Times: Saturdays, 9:30am to 12:00noon

Length of Class: 3 Sessions / 2.5 Hours each Session

Class Fee: OCAF Members - $130.00
Non-members - $140.00

Student Skill Level: Beginner to Advanced 

Location: 1902 OCAF Center, Conference Room

You’ve started telling your story, but now you’re lost in the murky woods of plot and character? This class will help demystify plot strategies, character development, creating scenes and descriptive writing through discussion of participants’ work, examples from established authors and some in-class writing activities

In addition, Dana will be doing a Café Au Libris event at the Athens Library on Wednesday, August 9 at 7 p.m. During the event she will present a power point and talk about the process of researching the material that went into her novel. This is a great opportunity to gain additional knowledge for writing your own story!



Register for Here Testing the Waters




Previous Classes with Dana Wildsmith:


Beyond Memoir

Register on the Wait List to be notified of future classes

Length of Class: 3 Sessions / 2.5 Hours each Session

Class Fee: OCAF Members - $130.00
Non-members - $140.00

Student Skill Level: Beginner to Advanced

Focus on the facts of your life to create stories, poems and essays which move beyond merely recording family stories. This class is for you if you have something to say to a larger audience, even if you are not sure how to begin. Learn how to go beyond memoir to saying something of value without being preachy or pedantic. Shape and share your writing with the class. We'll also discuss publication possibilities. Class is suitable for writers of all levels.



Writing the Personal Essay

Register on the Wait List to be notified of future classes


Length of Class: 3 Sessions / 2.5 Hours each Session

Class Fee: OCAF Members - $130.00
                     Non-members - $140.00 

Student Skill Level: Beginner to Advanced

Location: 1902 OCAF Center, Conference Room

Class Description Personal essays allow us to share our life experiences, strengths, struggles, and beliefs with others and are often required as a part of college and scholarship applications, as well as for other applications such as internships, contests, awards, distinctions and honors.

Come learn how to write about your insights and reflections, personal growth and goals, decisions and responses to events, even your favorite activities or books in a way that is both engaging and articulates the point your are trying to communicate.

Class will cover an overview of the personal essay, prompts to use when writing, and some student work evaluations.


Register here for Dana Wildsmith Literary Classes Wait List




Dana Wildsmith is ath author of a novel, Jumping, and her blog, Jumping: A journey through the writing of a novel, documents the process of writing a novel bassed on immigration stories and border issues. Her environmental memoir, Back to Abnormal: Surviving With An Old Farm in the New South, was a Finalist for Georgia Author of the Year. She is the author of five collections of poetry, including most recently, Christmas in Bethlehem. Wildsmith has served as Artist-in-Residence for Grand Canyon National Park, as Writer-in-Residence for the Island Institute in Sitka, Alaska, and she is a Fellow of the Hanbidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences. Wildsmith teaches English Literacy through Lanier Technical College.





"So You Want to be a Columnist"

Instructor: Dr. Wally Eberhard




Class has ended. Sign up on Wait List to be notified of future classes.

Length of Class: 4 Sessions / 2 Hours each Session

Class Fee: OCAF Members - $60.00
Non-members - $70.00

Student Skill Level: Beginner to Advanced

Location: 1902 OCAF Center, Conference Room

Class Description:

Opinions? We all have them. Editorial and "op-ed" (the page opposite the editorials in many publications) pieces are designed to stir us up, urge action, help us through life or maybe remind us of the good old days. You've been reading them for years. And, if you learn how to craft such opinions so an editor's eyebrows go up, your work may get published. With a cheap or free website or blog, your opinions can circle the globe. OR you may have expertise in a specific area to share with readers - knitting, genealogy, cooking, travel, for starters.

This course will walk, talk and write you through the basics of writing columns. Why do we read them? What makes one writer's work more appealing than another? What do editors expect? How do I go about establishing myself as a regular columnist? We'll talk ABOUT doing columns and we'll WRITE at least one with a market in mind.


Dr. Eberhard recently retired from the Grady College Department of Journalism, where he taught a wide variety of writing and editing courses for 30 years. Before that he taught half-time at the University of Wisconsin, while working on a doctorate in mass communication. And before that he taught at Bowling Green (Ohio) State University.

His journalism career covered a decade of experience as a reporter, editor and co-publisher of newspapers and magazines. He holds degrees from Michigan, Bowling Green and Wisconsin. He wrote a weekly column for the newspaper he and his wife owned in Michigan, and his columns are features have appeared in the Athens Banner-Herald, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Greenville (S.C.) News, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, Southern Distinction, Athens Magazine and the UGa alumni magazine.




Register here for "So You Want to be a Columnist" Wait List





The Made Thing –

A Beginner’s Poetry Workshop


Instructor: Michelle Castleberry 


Length of Class: 6 Sessions / 2 Hours each Session + Open Reading for final session

Previous Class Fee: OCAF Members - $120.00
Non-members - $130.00

Materials List: Bring your favorite poem to the first class and writing materials / an attitude of curiosity to all classes.

The Made Thing - A Beginner's Poetry Workshop was a great success and we will possibly offer the class again in the future. Interested? Sign up on our Waiting List below.

This class, for beginning adult writers, is aimed at providing a place to generate poems, gather poem-making tools, and learn how to sharpen one’s work.

Many feel intimidated at the thought of reading, much less writing, poetry. Yet “poem” means, at root, “a made thing.” This class is an introduction into the practice of crafting poetry, using language and the writer’s own experiences of the world. Together we will look at examples of different ways to trigger poems then draft, edit, share and present our “made things.”

All registrants will receive a signed copy of Michelle's acclaimed book, Dissecting the Angel and Other Poems.



Michelle Castleberry's work has appeared in Umbrella, The Naugatuck River Review, Poemeleon, The Anthology of Southern Poetry: Vol. V - Georgia, and The Chattahoochee Review. She is a regular reader in the Athens, Georgia community of Word of Mouth, a monthly open poetry reading. Her work, in text and audio form, can be found at

Her first book, Dissecting the Angel and Other Poems, was recently selected as finalist in poetry for the Georgia Author of the Year Award.



Register here for The Made Thing Wait List



Please be sure to check back! New classes & workshops are added as they are developed & scheduled.