Fight and Write: Wielding Words for Social Change (with Roberto Lovato)

Roberto Lovato




TUESDAYS, APRIL 4—25  |  The election of Donald Trump means that the time to expand the literary and political imagination is upon us. The time to simply write is past. It’s time to fight and write. But how does the engaged writer do so? Using tried and true techniques—writing exercises, close readings, group discussion, and critique—this research and practice-oriented course will prepare you to rise to the call to fight and write. The course is designed for journalists, essayists, fiction, creative nonfiction writers, and poets. Among the techniques and questions we will explore are:

Cultivating the engaged writer’s mind.


Truth, Lies, and Storytelling: Writing Memoir (with Zoe FitzGerald Carter)

Zoe FitzGerald Carter




TUESDAYS, APRIL 4—25  |  In this four-week class, we will cover all the basics of writing memoir, beginning with structure (beginnings, endings, timelines, and story arcs) and ending with more abstract issues of metaphor and theme (what is your story REALLY about?). In between, we will talk about what makes up a strong narrative voice (tone, language, style), how to write convincing dialogue, and why it is important to think of yourself as a character on the page. We will also tackle the question, What is truth in memoir?

Whether your memoir is largely theoretical or fully underway, this class will give you a chance to think both deeply and practically about your work and develop your writing tools.


Dystopian Dreams: Writing Into the Dark (with Jenny Bitner)

Jenny Bitner




THURSDAYS, APRIL 6 —MAY 11  |  1984, Fahrenheit 451, Children of Men, and The Handmaid’s Tale—some of the most powerful literature of resistance to evil has been dystopian writing. What skills do writers use to create an alternative world that is compelling in itself but also speaks to the problems of our own world? In this writing workshop, we will read and analyze selections from dystopian short stories and novels and write our own dark tales. There will be weekly writing assignments and approximately 20 pages of reading a week.

Jenny Bitner’s short stories and articles have been published in Best American Nonrequired Reading, PANK, The Sun, Mississippi Review, The Fabulist, Writing That Risks, and Fence magazine.


Flash Fiction Bootcamp (with Thaisa Frank)

Thaisa Frank




THURSDAYS, APRIL 6—MAY 4  |  This five-week course explores and exploits the limits of flash fiction. Although flash fiction has expanded in length to 750 and even 1,000 words, this course limits you to no more than 400 words and begins with the 100-word story. The shorter the form, the easier it is to understand how individual lines of the story relate to the narrative arc—that mysterious coalescence in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  Flash is ideal for seasoned writers who want to mine new ore, for beginning writers who want to tell a whole story, and for writers working in mixed genres. 


Stealing From the Masters: Using Existing Models to Craft Short Fiction (with Lindsey Crittenden)

Lindsey Crittenden

Lindsey Crittenden



SATURDAYS, APRIL 8 & 15  |  “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.”

This two-day course will explore the implications of this statement for anyone interested in fiction writing.  (And no, we’re not talking about plagiarism.) You’ll find practical solutions and inspiration by looking at such models as newspaper headlines, fairy tales and myth, short-story classics, and non-narrative forms such as recipes and to-do lists.  You’ll examine stories such as David Foster Wallace’s “Good People” and Nathan Englander’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank” with an eye to what their writers have “stolen” and how they’ve made their tributes fresh.  


Create Your Author Website (with Beth Winegarner)

Beth Winegarner




SATURDAY, APRIL 15  |  Every published writer should have a website where readers can go to find out more about you and your work, but not all publishers will set one up for you. Creating one for yourself might be intimidating, but the web offers a wealth of resources that make creating your own site easy — and even fun.

This three-hour workshop will cover the basics of setting up your author website, whether you’re working on a shoestring budget or you have a little money to spend. We’ll go through the following topics:

  •  How to set up your own web address
  •  How to choose a web host
  • Mapping out what you want on your site
  • How to integrate other social media, such as Twitter
  • The benefits and drawbacks of having a website versus a Facebook page

Beth Winegarner is a journalist and author.


Intensive Fiction Writing Workshop (with Glen David Gold)

Glen David Gold




WEDNESDAYS, APRIL 19 —JUNE 7  |  A first draft is a goofy-looking thing, a lean-to of hopes and fears and observations you want to build into something that connects with an audience. But how? Stephen King says a short story is like leading your reader to a room in a house to show them something; a novel is like building a house and showing off every room. Paul Bowles said he wrote fiction because he wanted to destroy the world. They’re both right. Each method involves planning, structure and focus, and times for SMASHING THINGS TO PIECES.


Kinda True Stories: Turning Your Life Into Fiction (with Jenny Bitner)

Jenny Bitner




TUESDAYS, APRIL 25—MAY 30  |  Is it true or is it fiction – and does it matter? Often the lines between memoir and fiction can be blurry. And most of great literature has at least some elements of truth in it, from books that are largely autobiographical like Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, and Chris Kraus’s Aliens and Anorexia to fictional worlds like Raymond Carver’s and Denis Johnson’s that are drawn from a world that could only be created through personal experience.

In this class we will explore memories, experiences, and characters from our own lives and turn them into fictional stories, blending the richness of our emotional and felt experiences with elements from our imagination to create compelling writing.


Writing in Pictures: A One-Day Screenwriting Intensive (with Xandra Castleton)

Xandra Castleton




SATURDAY, APRIL 29  |  Writers of all levels interested in screenwriting begin with the same questions (and some misconceptions) about how and why writing a screenplay is different from other forms of writing. What is the life cycle of a screenplay? What is different about writing with collaborators (such as directors and actors) in mind? What is the relationship of the screenwriter to the audience? What does it mean to write in the immediate present? Why do some ideas lend themselves well to the screenplay form and others not so well? What, in practical terms, does it mean to “write in pictures”?


Short Story Workshop (with Audrey Ferber)

Audrey Ferber




SATURDAYS, APRIL 29—JUNE 3  |  “Every short story is a drama,” V. S. Pritchett tells us. “A movement towards disclosure, a complete revelation of character, the changing of an emotion, the close of a mood…”

Do you have an idea for one of these brief illuminating jewels? Have you written a first draft but don’t know where to go from there? Do you need feedback, encouragement, and a deadline to get that next draft out? This class, suitable for story writers of all levels, will combine craft lessons, in-class writing exercises, workshopping, and a look at a few published stories for inspiration and to see how they’re made.