Important Dates:

Regular Scholarships and Registration Opens: February 15
Scholarship Applications Due: March 31
Scholars Notified: April 11
Manuscripts Due: May 12


Workshop Philosophies

Héctor Tobar (Fiction)

Writing workshop is a simulation of being published. When you share your work in a workshop, you have readers, and you see how others react to the world you’ve created on the page. Having said that, it’s important to remember you are the author: one does not apply the advice given by a workshop directly to one’s work without first considering whether that advice makes sense for your writing project. Put another way, it’s important for a writer to have an open mind to criticism, but at the same time writers must maintain a strong, personal sense of the uniqueness of what they want to say.

Meghan Daum (Nonfiction)

This workshop is designed to help students figure out what makes their stories and ideas unique and to guide them toward a narrative voice that is truly their own. Over the course of the week, students will not only receive constructive feedback on pages they’ve already written but also have the opportunity to discuss their stories and ideas verbally and “off the page.” These “off the page” conversations—essentially free-flowing group discussions about the issues and story elements the author is grappling with—have a way of leading to new and unexpected creative paths and often prove revelatory. There will also be some brief reading assignments and in-class writing exercises. Manuscripts of no more than 20 pages will be submitted in advance. Please bring your generosity, your intellectual courage and, most of all, a sense of humor!

Aimee Nezhukumatathil (Poetry)
The Sharing of Joy: Making Poems That Snap, Crackle, and Pop

Building upon Audre Lorde’s idea that “the sharing of joy…forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference,” we will spend our time in workshop generating poems that sing and celebrate the various big and small wonders of this earth. We will also discuss each other’s poems in workshop and each day learn a new poetic form or practice to help keep you generating new work long after you return home. Come prepared to roll up your sleeves and dig in!


Class Descriptions

Patrick Coleman
Sentence and Structure: Revising Your Way into Your Novel

First drafts can be joyful to write—”this might be the best thing I’ve ever written!”—and also, in retrospect, pretty uniformly disappointing. Raymond Chandler said, “Throw up into your typewriter every morning. Clean up every noon.” This workshop, geared for novelists but good for short story writers, too, won’t follow Chandler’s process literally (thankfully). Instead, we’re going to explore how to find pleasure and deeper meaning in the long, rich process of revision.

Through a series of conversations and exercises, we’re going to move from making the first draft and playing with language and point of view across successive drafts to finding freedom in structure and restructuring. The goal: to make your revision process one of pleasure, discovery, and excitement—and to end up with a book that is better and richer and more meaningful than you would have predicted on the day you put down your first word.

Lilliam Rivera
The Young Ones: How to Write Young Adult Fiction

The Outsiders. The Hate U Give. Walk into any bookstore and you will find an exciting array of young adult fiction that covers every genre—from contemporary stories tackling social justice themes to science fiction bringing other worlds to life. This course will break down the mystery of writing young adult, from capturing the young protagonist voice to writing realistic dialogue to worldbuilding. We will study excerpts from young adult authors and complete writing exercises meant to generate work for the start of our novels.

By the end of the course, each student will have a chapter of an original young adult novel and an outline for their novel-in-progress.


Jan-Henry Gray
“The (Re)Purpose of Poetry”

Are there types of language that “don’t belong” in a poem?

Can we better understand what makes something poetic by identifying language that is deemed unpoetic? What happens when advertisements, legal documents, recipes, or math equations enter a poem?  If we repurpose the unpoetic into a poem, do we not blur the poem’s perceived boundaries?

Inspired by the readymade, Pop Art, found footage collage, sampling, and other art practices, this course will invite us to attune ourselves to all manner of textual material around us. Through reclaiming, disrupting, and queering languages, we will discover new approaches to poetry.