Everything I Know About Short Fiction with Antonya Nelson
A workshop in which we will read exemplary short fiction and also do writing exercises designed to evolve into a sturdy short story through revision and discussion. We will not be reading or critiquing manuscripts.
Memoir Intensive with Dorothy Allison
In this workshop we’ll dissect the art and craft of memoir writing through lectures, writing exercises and class discussions. We won’t be reading and critiquing manuscripts, but rather closely examining elements of the memoir form with the intention of allowing you to see your work with deeper insight while also generating new material. Topics we’ll cover include the art of revelation, narrative density, setting, scene-making, risk-taking, emotional and literal plot trajectories, structure, metaphorical resonance, subtext, tone, connecting the specific to the universal, the use of objects, interiors and exteriors, and honesty, among other things. The class is appropriate for writers at all stages—from novice to experienced memoirists.
Short Story Workshop with Ron Carlson
This will be a directed workshop wherein we talk about some of the cornerstone elements of craft and discuss the stories from the group. Please bring a finished manuscript (which is still warm to you).
Shaping the Stuff of Your World Into Story with Pam Houston
Open to both fiction writers and memoirists/personal essayists, this manuscript based class will focus on the elements of good prose writing: metaphor, structure, voice, scene, tension and narrative arc. We will also examine the rich (and widening?) grey area between fiction and memoir and how to make choices about which genre is the best vehicle for the story you have to tell. Students should bring a manuscript of no more than 15 pages, and read Battleborn, by Claire Vaye Watkins in preparation for the class.
The Interior Journey: Reading and Writing as Spiritual Disciplines with Fenton Johnson
This workshop will address memoir and journaling as means of deepening our writing and our interior life. We will discuss how reading and research can complement the contemplative experience. We will devote particular attention to vivid figurative language as a way of enriching our encounter with the world, on and off the page. Students will share short samples of their writing – fiction, nonfiction, or poetry — and will be offered prompts designed to provoke questions and deepen their encounter with their writing and the world. Writers who may be included in the reader: Anne Lamott, Julian of Norwich, Thomas Merton, Bashō, Augustine of Hippo, Kathleen Norris, Hildegard of Bingen, Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, Sor Juana Inez, Theresa of Avila, Pema Chodron.
Setting Poetry in Motion with Carl Phillips
I believe there’s always a poem hidden behind even the most frustrating draft. We will arrive with a handful (three or four) of poems that have not managed to get off the ground, and we’ll try getting them into flight, by revisiting them and applying strategies that can allow us to see them in a new and surprising light. In addition to revising, we will try using these same strategies to set a couple of new poems in motion during the week.