by Theresa Miller
Our teacher, Mr. Walden, had it coming. He’d sent me to the principal’s office one too many times, and my best friend and I were looking for revenge; for the countless times he’d kick me out of class and for the potent, knockoff cologne he insisted on punishing his students with. Mr. Walden was going down.
Want to be able to incriminate yourself in a shameful tale? Anyone can do that. Want to do it well? Then let essayist and three time Moth Grand Slam Winner Cole Kazdin turn your awesome story into an awesome-er one! In her One-day Storytelling Workshop you’ll learn how to generate gripping story ideas, find the first line, and hone your structure through playful writing exercises.
Want a lil’ more? In Kazdin’s 7-week Storytelling Worshop she’ll share her tips for turning heartbreak, humiliation, and tragedy into two riveting five-minute pieces that are the perfect mix of vulnerability and comedic vavoom. You’ll also get targeted feedback on your drafts to help you polish up your diddies for submission. Yay!
Take a look at Writing Pad’s roster of classes below. They’re guaranteed to get your creative juices flowing, teach you invaluable techniques, and help you write an amazing story. We hope to see you at a class soon! And keep reading below the links for this week’s writing prompt.
From Blog Post To Book Deal: A Blog Writing Workshop
You In 1200 Words: Writing The Personal Essay
Personal Essay Clinic
You In 1200 Words: Writing and Publishing The Personal Essay (5 Wk)
A Novel Approach: Crafting The Page Turner (1 Day)
DC’s Word Parlor: A Creative Writing Intensive
Short and Sweet: A Short Story Workshop
Writing Reboot: A Short Story Clinic
Short, Smart and Literary: Writing and Publishing The Modern Short Story (5 WK)
ZOMBIES, WITCHES, AND KILLER ROBOTS: SCIENCE FICTION AND URBAN FANTASY WRITING
A Novel Approach: Mastering The Long Format Writing Project (Online 7 Wk)
Memorable Memoir Bootcamp
A NOVEL APPROACH: TACKLING THE LONG FORMAT WRITING PROJECT (5 WK)
Writing Accessible Poems
Writing for Actors
Going For The Gut: A Storytelling Workshop (1 Day)
STORY TIME: A PERFORMED ESSAY WORKSHOP (1 DAY)
STORY TIME PLUS: A PERFORMED ESSAY WORKSHOP (5 WK)
Grand Slam Story: A Storytelling Workshop (7 Wk Online)
From The Page To The Stage: A One-Person Show Workshop
It’s All About You: A One-Person Show Intensive
From Mad Men to Game of Thrones: Writing the TV Drama (1 DAY)
FROM PITCH TO FIRST DRAFT: WRITING THE TELEVISION DRAMA (7 WK)
From 10 Min. Play To Staff Writing Gig
Dream It, Write It, Pitch It: Screenwriting Bootcamp
FROM SLASHERS TO BODY SNATCHERS: WRITING THE HORROR SCREENPLAY
Politicos, Jailbirds And Werewolves: Writing The Cable Pilot
Precision Revision: A Comedy Revision Class
Coverage Madness: A Script Coverage Workshop
Publishpalooza: A Book Proposal Writing Workshop
Publishpalooza: A Book Proposal Writing Workshop (5 Wk)
HOW TO HOOK AN AGENT: BREAKING INTO YA
Think of something you did in the past that you’re ashamed of. It could be something you did as a child or something you did a couple hours ago. How did you feel while you were doing it? Why did you do it? How do you feel about it now? Write for 10 minutes and include sensory details.
In typical dorky Midwestern fashion, Mr. Walden was married to his cornflower-blue button-down shirt, pleated khakis and thick-soled leather shoes. Besides his bottom lip, which hung out in mid-air like a flying cereal bowl and collected saliva, we wouldn’t have paid him any attention. It was the fact that he practically bathed in cheap cologne before every class that sent us over the edge.
“Theresa…” he sighed.
“Get out!” the class laughed as they finished his sentence.
As was tradition, I waited for my friend at the door. It was then that we came up with “The Plan”. Operation Find And Destroy Cologne was a simple one: we’d wait until 5pm when everyone but the debate kids were gone, sneak into his office, find his cologne, and dispose of it. When the time came, we got a non-English speaking janitor to unlock his door. Then the search began.
After rummaging through his desk and file cabinets for about five minutes, we’d finally found it. I tucked the cologne in my jacket and we dashed out of there as fast as we could, giggling uncontrollably. Once we were about two blocks from school, we stopped on the sidewalk of a busy street. In a gesture of solidarity, we decided that I would hold the bottom of the bottle and she would hold the top. We raised our arms up in unison and smashed that Designer Impostor crap on the concrete. I’m not going to say that we didn’t do a celebratory dance around it, but we didn’t not do one.
The next day in class there was no putrid smell, just a sad little man without his favorite cologne. My friend was too high on the genius of our plan and I too satisfied with my revenge to really think about what we’d done. According to her, he’d done this to himself. Sure, he tended to use me as a scape goat in an unruly class, but he wasn’t a bad guy. He didn’t deserve to have his privacy invaded and his property destroyed. He was merely the hapless victim of some teenagers with a grain of spite in their hearts and too much time on their hands. One of the regretful scenes of a misspent youth.
Give us those stories! Post your story in the comments below and you could win a free class!