Thursday, January 10, 2019

Syllabus: NYC Winter 2019 Writing Workshop Starts January 22

One of my favorite activities is developing a new syllabus.  I teach in six and ten week sessions and spend a few days every two or three months looking for stories, essays and portions of memoirs and novels that I love and want to teach, and which I hope my writing students will love and want to read. Great reading leads to great writing.

I admit I teach some authors over and over---Raymond Carver, Nathan Englander, Lauren Groff, Tessa Hadley, Etgar Keret, Jhumpa Lahiri, Chang-Rae Lee, Yiyun Li Alice Munro, David Sedaris, Curtis Sittenfeld, Zadie Smith---but I also try to push myself to find writers who I haven't read much of (Rachel Kushner, ZZ Packer, Min Jin Lee) or  have just discovered (Scholastique Mukasonga.) I gravitate towards women writers, so have to nudge myself to find men, There are some good ones. I love discovering an established writer who I've never read before and then rushing to read as much of him or her as I can---lately I've been on a Donald Hall tear.

Below is what I'm teaching this winter. There is one spot left in the workshop I'm teaching on Tuesday nights at the JCC Manhattan. We start Tuesday, January 22 and the workshop runs ten sessions through April. We meet from 5:30-7:30 p.m. so you can nibble on something during class or go out for dinner afterwards. Here is the link to the class if you're interested. The cost is $480 for non-JCC members, $420 for members.

We will be reading some great fiction and creative non-fiction. The setting is small and intimate. We sit around a conference table and I run the workshops the way I was taught at Columbia: We discuss great authors' published work first, do some writing exercises, and then discuss submissions from writers in the workshop. The writer whose work is being discussed stays "in the box" (remains silent) while his/her work is being discussed, and then can ask questions afterwards.

I believe that writers need community, and that we all need feedback and deadlines. In this workshop, you get all three.

If you would like to read student testimonials, click here. If you would like to see where my students have been published, click here. If you decide you would like to write with me and read these pieces this winter, let me know asap. If not, you can read them on your own. They're all free and fabulous on line. 

Writing Our Stories
Winter 2019

Nora Ephron, Nora Ephron’s Apartment: A Love Story (non-fiction)

Donald Hall, Between Solitude and Loneliness (non-fiction),

Tessa Hadley,  Silk Brocade (fiction)

Etgar Keret, Creative Writing (fiction)

Phil Klay, After Action Report (fiction)

Bobby Ann Mason, The Burden of the Feast  (non-fiction)

Alice Munro, Home (blend of fiction and non-fiction; Alice Munro: The Art of Fiction, Q&A with Jeanne McCulloch and Mona Simpson from Paris Review

David Sedaris, Father Time (non-fiction)

Callan Wink, A Refugee Crisis (fiction)

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