Under the direction of John Biguenet and Laura van den Berg, this class will offer students an opportunity to write short fiction and poetry. Examining the student's own writing alongside published works, the workshop will present instruction in the essential elements of literary forms while providing each participant a community of readers to respond to his or her work. The fundamentals of publishing will also be addressed along with other aspects of succeeding as a professional writer.
Rolf Potts and Dinah Lenney will facilitate this workshop, which delves into the essence of nonfiction storytelling. Since the Paris setting is ripe for place-based narrative, travel writing will be a central aspect of this workshop — but students will also be encouraged to explore the art of personal essay and memoir. Though this class primarily aims to sharpen and evolve writers' instincts for constructing narratives, it will also touch on the practical matters of working with agents and editors, and submitting stories for publication.
The Paris Notebook (Journal Writing)
Students will keep a notebook throughout the course, working in a variety of modes of journal writing. This notebook will become a source for more finished pieces — poems, memoir, etc. — in the other courses. Daily journal prompts, and in-class free-writing assignments will dovetail with independent student excursions in and around Paris.
Presentation and Performance
The drama of the spoken word is the focal point of this one-time seminar. Participants will learn how best to achieve the desired effect when reading their written work aloud; how to use and interact with the audience; how to convey meaning in all its nuance. We will also learn how to bring the lessons of reading aloud back to writing and revision, so that our work lands as we intend, and sounds like us, regardless of who’s reading it and where.
Plays and Screenplays
This one-time seminar will take a practical and literary approach to writing dramatic works for the stage and screen. Writers will learn how these forms differ from other literary genres at both the practical and conceptual level. This class will also examine the intricacies of adapted versus original playwriting and screenwriting.
Submissions and Publication
This end-of-month seminar will give students information, insight and strategies for getting their portfolio work published. Topics covered include literary agents, book publishing and periodical markets — as well as online publishing and new-media venues.
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