Upcoming classes: Nonfiction
SUNDAY, MAY 28 | Breaking into the world of freelance writing can seem mysterious and downright impossible at the outset. How will you make enough money? If you currently have a job, how do you transition into full-time freelancing? When can you take the plunge? Where will you find clients? How will you successfully pitch to publications, especially if you don’t have a portfolio?
It took me several years of pitfalls, wrong turns, financial struggling, over-caffeinated meltdowns, and learning on the job to successfully make it as a freelance writer. In this one-day bootcamp, I will teach you the fundamentals of how to successfully begin freelancing for a variety of publications including magazines, newspapers, websites, and other forms of paid writing and editing work.→ READ MORE
SATURDAY, MAY 20 | Whether you’re writing about your own life in memoir or personal essay, or developing characters and situations for a fictional plot, imagery brings your material to life. Effective imagery goes far beyond flowery description to reveal character, mood, context, tone, setting, and theme. In this one-day intensive, we’ll explore how to make imagery work for you on the page. We’ll use exercises of intuition and right-brain association to harvest images, and we’ll look at how to choose and shape those images. Analyzing the uses of imagery in published pieces will help you cultivate your own voice and technique.→ READ MORE
SATURDAY, JUNE 3 | Point of view is one of the most essential aspects of imaginative writing. In fact, perspective is everything in narration, but writers sometimes place the narrator without understanding the implications of the choice they’ve made. In this one-day class, we’ll talk about POV options—the use of first, second, or third person as well as the manipulation of narrative distance and its impact on characterization across the genres of fiction, creative nonfiction, and even poetry. We’ll identity common POV “violations” and look at published examples, and we’ll respond to some writing prompts in class to experiment with POV.→ READ MORE
SATURDAYS, JUNE 17—JULY 15 | If you have started a writing project—or are longing to get one started—and need some structure and accountability and momentum, this is the class for you. Perhaps you’ve already taken a class and want to keep working in a structured environment. Or maybe you’ve been carving out writing time here & there on your own, and now’s the time to get more disciplined. Whatever your background, if you’re looking to generate pages and gain insight into your project, set aside five Saturdays this summer. You’ll find a supportive community designed to foster productivity and good writing habits.→ READ MORE
WEDNESDAYS, JUNE 21—JULY 5 | Have you thought about enrolling in a Creative Writing M.F.A. program but feel intimidated by the application process? Do you fret about how to make your application rise to the top in a stack of fierce competitors? What are the most common application pitfalls, and how can you avoid them? You probably know how competitive these programs are and how exacting the admissions requirements can be. Learn to present each aspect of your application in the strongest light, and avoid both the blunders and the omissions that many of your fellow applicants will make.→ READ MORE
SATURDAY, JUNE 24 | “Flat” writing hands off lifeless information in a two-dimensional exchange between reader and writer. Three-dimensional writing places the reader in a charged space of heightened experience, renewed perspective, and active meaning-making. How is that three-dimensionality created, and what do you do when you find your language stuck in 2-D? This combination lecture and workshop for writers of fiction and literary nonfiction examines specific strategies for three-dimensionality drawn from contemporary writers like Sheila Heti, Jo Ann Beard, and Maggie Nelson, and classics by Marguerite Duras and Bruno Schulz. We will try out new techniques and tricks—but ultimately what you will achieve is a shift in consciousness that will help make your writing spacious and transporting.→ READ MORE
SUNDAY, JULY 16 | This seminar could also be called Everything You Wanted to Know About Memoir But Were Afraid to Ask. We will discuss the elements that go into a successful memoir, including dramatic storytelling, tension, vivid characters, and clear sense of direction.
We will review the basic building blocks of storytelling – scene, summary and musing, and how to navigate the places where memory fails you. We discuss issues that arise from writing about living people. We will also address the publishing business, including how to increase your chances of finding an agent and getting published.→ READ MORE
TUESDAYS, JULY 18—AUGUST 22 | Interested in reportage, but can’t afford J-school? (Or don’t have the time?) Curious about how to make sure your creative projects bristle with factual material or an apt dose of history? Wonder how investigative reporters pry secrets out of protective subjects? Want to write and sell fact-based stories that are also artful?
This six-week summer course will introduce you to the basic elements at the core of the craft of journalism and will examine the role these elements play in exemplary work. We will explore a breadth of topics, but we will also give the inside goop on journalistic ethics, best practices, and tricks of the trade.→ READ MORE
THURSDAYS, JULY 27—AUGUST 24 | Pitching forms the core of all freelance writing careers. Writing a great pitch is essential to success in the field. In this course we will study successful (and unsuccessful) pitches to understand what makes a pitch great, and we will workshop one another’s pitches.
In this class, you will learn how to refine the angle of your story, conceptualize a hook, and use narrative techniques to draw the attention of editors. Whether you want to write for a small-scale blog or the New York Times, it’s essential that your pitch is good enough to get your foot in the door.→ READ MORE
SATURDAY, JULY 29 | Why do some memoirs take off from the first page, while others stall out before the end of chapter one? More importantly: How can you make sure the memoir you’re writing gets all the necessary gears lined up on those all-important first five pages?
In this combination craft lecture and trouble-shooting workshop, you’ll learn the three Cs of narrative engine: Character, Conflict, and Clock. What’s clock, you say? Glad you asked. It’s a simple but elusive element that’s crucial to your story’s drive—but many memoir writers don’t realize their pages are missing it.→ READ MORE