Multi-Genre/Genre-Bender

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?

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.

One of the most essential components of writing and selling fiction is how quickly and strongly you’re able to snare your audience. Having a strong hook is not only a good marketing strategy, it can also improve and strengthen your writing. In this workshop, we will discuss ways to sell our books to readers, agents, editors, and ourselves with highly-crafted, sharply-honed hooks and elevator pitches.

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.

Weekend June 23 to June 24 2018

Literary magazines are the first place of publication for many writers, and publishing work in a lit mag can be great preparation and publicity for an upcoming book. But many authors have no idea how a literary magazine works, what the editors want to see, or how to collaborate with an editor once a piece is accepted for publication.

A common intellectual fantasy is to be able to encounter pure ideas in a featureless imaginary space. But tough luck: ideas come from people, and people come with bodies. In this generative class, we will consider the implications of our embodiment on writing and look at how the body informs the mind and the art it creates. Sports, sickness, aging, beauty, pregnancy, disability, sex—when we write on these topics, what forms are best suited to say what we want to say?

Weekend July 14 to July 15 2018

“It sounds like a simple thing, to say what you see,” Mark Doty has written. “But try to find the words for the shades of a mottled sassafras leaf or the reflectivity of a bay on an August morning—” In this workshop, we’ll take refuge in the sensory experience found in some contemporary writing as a way of thinking about a number of questions: How does description contain or convey meaning? What do we do when we describe something? Reproduce, account for, portray, trace, parcel out?

Strong feeling is often what drives us to write. We want our reader to experience the sadness or outrage, the delight or sense of betrayal we feel when thinking about a fictional (or nonfictional) situation. But how do we do that, exactly? How do we tell a story that’s not cold, but that’s not melodramatic either? This workshop will explore a variety of ways to get emotion on the page—through description, in dialogue, via what characters do, and in the way we use language itself.