• Workshop Descriptions and Details

    Students choose from one of the genre workshops listed below and participate in the same workshop all week. Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction are offered every July; special sections (such as fantasy, young adult, bookmaking, and creating erasure texts) are offered some years. Read workshop descriptions below. Find faculty biographies on Faculty & Guests page.

    Ladan Osman 200

    Poetry with Ladan Osman:  

    This workshop will explore the language/system of the mind in memory (re)construction and dreams, also in the unreality of hallucinations or visions. We will explore scientific, spiritual, and artistic inquiries of self image-making while thinking about how the process of recalling/reconstructing those images encourages a flexible understanding of time. 

    We will discuss poems, essays, media, and artworks that challenge us to deepen our understanding of conscious and unconscious modes of communication. These texts and works are explications of how our tangible and intangible realities can encourage us to use the content of our minds with greater imagination by deepening our understanding of recollection and image production. 


    Margaret Lazarus Dean wsrsww17

    CNF with Margaret Lazarus Dean

    Research and Invention in Creative Nonfiction

    For many of us, research is a key component in constructing a work of creative nonfiction, even in memoir. But integrating empirical information can risk losing a piece's structure and voice. Conversely, creative nonfiction can include elements of invention—imagined scenes, alternative possibilities, reconstructed memories—and writers can struggle with the limits of veracity, accuracy, and truth within that imagination. How do writers research and imagine—responsibly and artfully—within a genre that is at its heart a hybrid form?




    Chris Abani wsrsww17

    Fiction with Chris Abani: 

    Seeing the Angles

    This class is designed to give you an introduction to a range of writing techniques and to develop form and craft. Using exercises and approaches that are fun and easily accessible regardless of level, we will write short pieces in class that showcase our skills. We will consult the news for ideas and learn to zoom in and out, raise the stakes, create fun and complex characters, rewrite a fairy tale, and some more—time permitting.  

    Feedback will be easy and light. All you need are a laptop (or smartphone) so we can connect to the Internet, a sense of fun, a willingness to read your work aloud, and something to write with.


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