Elevate your writing with figurative language (May)

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”–Anton Chekov

Is your writing lackluster and in need of pop and spark?  Do you need a refresher course in figurative language to help transform and enhance the emotional significance of passages, and turn your prose into a form of poetry?

Writers use figurative language to heighten experience of their work in concrete ways. Figurative language gives body and shape to sometimes abstract ideas. The right metaphor, the apt simile, the exact personification and more can snap ideas into visual forms and have great impact, meaning, and feeling. Similes, metaphors, and more can transform feelings, observations, and ideas from abstract concepts into concrete ideas. Figurative language elevates and enhances the emotional significance of passages. It can turn prose into poetry and make the reader linger over your writing.

This lively workshop introduces eight different types of figurative language with memorable examples in music, poetry, and literature. We will enjoy music, poetry, and literature to examine how figurative language can enhance our own writing. These include great examples of metaphors, similes, personification, onomatopoeia, hyperbole, alliteration, and assonance.  You will have the opportunity to try your hand at figurative language to understand how to add depth and colour to your ideas.


  • Identify and practice a range of figurative language
  • Understand how figurative language works to render abstract ideas concrete
  • Practice writing different kinds of figurative language to visual prompts
  • Read great examples in literature of figurative language
  • Enjoy a supportive global writing community


  • £40
  • 7-9 PM GMT
  • Thursday, May 18

“Kathryn Aalto is a gift. Her mentoring is insightful, collaborative, and inspiring. Kathryn has helped shape my essay for submission and, most importantly, coached me to a deeper appreciation for my own intuition and skill as a writer.” – Kris, Ithaca, New York


My teaching philosophy is focused on encouraging a uniquely personal exploration of narrative nonfiction and its techniques, tools, and approaches. At its core, I believe teaching is about responding to each student, whether they are emerging writers or writing beyond the level of content mastery. I create a supportive learning environment that fosters creative expression, critical thinking, and individual artistic growth.


I am a passionate practitioner and teacher of narrative nonfiction.  For more than twenty-five years, I have taught writing and literature courses at colleges and universities including Western Washington University, Everett Community College, and Plymouth University. I have a global mentoring practice, thriving online writing courses, and lead in-person retreats, courses, and workshops throughout the United States and Britain.