Essay

Weekend July 14 to July 15 2018

T.S. Eliot once said, “Every moment is a fresh beginning.” In storytelling, this couldn’t be more true as we face new moments and fresh beginnings over and over whenever we start a new story, a new chapter, or even a new scene. And fresh beginnings mean questions. Where should this novel begin, with a prologue or in medias res? How should I open my memoir? Where should this next chapter or scene pick up to smoothly transition from the scene before it?

Weeklong July 15 to July 20 2018

I love the personal essay and want to help you write one. Or at least begin to write one. This workshop is about generating new material. In a week of exercises that will help us tap our memories, find our form, and begin to revise, we will write a draft of an essay, and find the material and techniques that will help us write many more. I’ll lecture some about various kinds of essays, you’ll write and read a bit each night, and we’ll workshop our drafts.

Weeklong July 08 to July 13 2018

A first draft is a wonderful thing, but it only begins the process, for writing is mostly revising. Proofreading, copy-editing, and polishing are necessary, but they are not revision. Revision is re-envisioning. It’s about getting out of your computer and working with a hardcopy. It’s about digging deeper to find out what your essay is really about, and then what else it’s about.

Weekend June 23 to June 24 2018

Have you ever wondered if the stories you’ve grown up hearing about your family would make for a powerful written work? Have you ever considered bringing the story of your own life to the page? If so, this weekend workshop is right for you. Writers will learn the difference between an engaging anecdote and a compelling work of art by experimenting in a variety of forms: short stories, literary essays, and poems.

Weekend June 16 to June 17 2018

As any writing instructor worth her salt will tell you, the key to developing as a writer is devoting your time and energy to the craft. But, as any busy budding writer might attest, that time can often be difficult to come by in the hustle and bustle of modern life. In this workshop, writers will learn strategies for cultivating a healthy daily writing practice.

Annie Dillard famously said, “The writer of any work, and particularly any nonfiction work, must decide two crucial points: what to put in and what to leave out.” If you have a nonfiction or memoir project in progress, you probably agree. But you may be asking: how do I decide? I have all this material, but how do I shape it? Where do I begin and end? Which parts do I put in and which do I leave out?

 

Imagine a story about people who lack depth, or characters who lack emotional lives. Imagine these lusterless characters in hollow dialogue, in a setting so generic it fails to rise even to blandness. Imagine a story that blatantly ignores the richness our senses deliver. Insipid work is what we produce when we don’t utilize five basic tools that unleash soul and spirit into our writing.

Weekend June 16 to June 17 2018

Ideas, stories, characters, and scenes emerge from our memory, from our imagination, from dreams, lived experiences, history, family and friends. Normally, we begin a writing journey by sorting through these myriad sources. But we have another source deep within and often unknown to us—a place where our inner self, our soul, the essence of who we are resides. Possibilities for writing wait there, too, though they’re not always apparent.

Weeklong June 17 to June 22 2018

All writers revise, but it’s not always easy. In this workshop, we will explore a range of approaches to revision. Through writing exercises and workshops, you will write and re-write the same story or essay in a variety of ways. The exercises are designed to give you fresh perspectives on your work that will help you develop and deepen your original draft. These might include rewriting from a different character’s point-of-view or in a different tense or with a new structural device.

Weekend June 16 to June 17 2018

Maybe you have a lot of work that’s almost, but not quite, done. Maybe you think you’re done but you don’t know what to do with what you’ve finished. This workshop will help you get that story or essay ready to send out. You will bring in writing that’s close (but not yet!) done, and by the end of our weekend, you’ll have it polished and prepped for submission. We’ll spend some time looking at a range of options for publication geared to your writing style and genre.