Weeklong June 17 to June 22 2018

Weeklong June 17 to June 22 2018

When was the last time you read a story you couldn’t put down? We all want to write such stories, but how do we do it? In this class, we will workshop short stories of up to 18 pages, with the goal of helping each writer identify and build on the strengths of his/her story. In so doing, we will discuss what makes a story irresistible. Among the questions we will consider: In what ways does this story engage and move us? Does the story have a recognizable structure that serves the writer’s artistic aims?

Weeklong June 17 to June 22 2018

You’re out of shape, bored of the same routine, or simply haven’t had the time to keep that promise you made to yourself in January. You’re stuck, in other words, in one way or in several. You need that extra push. Welcome to Essay Bootcamp. In this course, we’ll sweat our way back into the writing chair and work our way up to heavy lifting—of pencils and of thought—through a dozen new and generative exercises guaranteed to jumpstart a year of writing.

Weeklong June 17 to June 22 2018

The term “weird” was first used by Sheridan Le Fanu, a popular author of nineteenth-century ghost stories, and in his long essay “Supernatural Horror in Literature,” H.P. Lovecraft defines the genre for us: “The true weird tale has something more than secret murder, bloody bones, or a sheeted form clanking chains according to rule.

Weeklong June 17 to June 22 2018

This workshop is a communal effort toward deep and considered critique of original poems set before us by workshop participants. Our goal together will be a studied effort toward the powerful, mesmerizing poem, no matter what style or form the poem before us takes. The beginning half of each session will focus on a sample of masterful poems from history that might act as guides and examples of poetic techniques, including lineation, lyricism, diction, form, and figuration. We will dedicate the other half of each session to workshop.

Weeklong June 17 to June 22 2018

So you’ve finished your novel! Or you’re very close. Congratulations are in order, but you also know the manuscript needs at least one rewrite before it’s ready to meet the world. How do you begin that process?

 

Weeklong June 17 to June 22 2018

To write a mini-memoir is to create a moment in time. During this week you will generate a series of short pieces that stand alone and/or work collectively. Turning to the work of writers like Patti Smith, Brian Doyle, Beth Ann Fennelly, Sally Mann, and Mary Karr, we will examine how limitation can be liberating, why form is crucial, and what it means to unleash an arresting voice for a listening—as well as a reading—audience. By the end of the week you will have created your own podcast and a suite of mini-memoirs.

The act of writing a poem is a curious expedition. We start with a blank page—a shimmering neutral canvas laid out before us like an undiscovered country—and we slowly begin to track the rivers and valleys of our unique artistic exploration. Though we hope to end up with a map we are satisfied with, as creative cartographers we must remember an element crucial to perceived and self-appointed boundaries: there are often other ways to see them. This idea of reshaping and redrafting the borders we place around our work will guide our week together.

Weeklong June 17 to June 22 2018

We all have stories inside of us. Stories to tell, to share. In fact, one might argue that we are stories—creating our lives, day to day, every day. One of today’s most exciting writing forms—the personal memoir—is swiftly becoming the narrative option and publishing entry for many writers willing to embark on journeys of self.

 

Whether writing fiction or narrative nonfiction, you bring to the workbench a wealth of resources—your life experience, reading, language, personality, and imagination. This workshop focuses on writing tools necessary for transforming those resources into either fiction or a nonfiction narrative such as memoir or literary journalism. The cross-over of these techniques between fiction and nonfiction will be a prevailing theme as we examine strong examples in published writing.

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.

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.

Weeklong June 17 to June 22 2018

We often write short stories by the seats of our pants, with a combination of intuition and curiosity. In fact, this might be the best way to approach a short piece of prose. But a longer work is a different animal. While all writing should be a process of discovery, for many writers a novel needs a bit more planning. In this class, we will examine the structures of several (rather short) novels and discuss the choices made by the authors.