Workshops & Classes

 ​​Complete Workshop Philosophies &
Course Descriptions Forthcoming


Jos Charles

An Utterance is an Anticipation of a Response

In this workshop we will prioritize description as a means in to providing feedback on each others' work. Through reading and discussion we will foster together a critical reading and writing vocabulary for the workshop, utilizing our own individual skill-sets, interests, and knowledge through our collective participation and feedback. For the structure of the workshop itself, this class will utilize a modified version of the Liz Lerman Critical Response Method—a routinized workshop format that involves description, questions, and revision suggestions. This method of workshopping prioritizes the author--allowing them to ask questions of the respondents and choose which lines of discussion to follow. As such, students are encouraged to come into workshop with an idea or two of where they'd like to take their work. 

I believe the workshop, despite its limitations, can be a generative space for encountering and sharing work with others. I try to facilitate as generous and possibility-strewn an environment as possible--encouraging variety and variation. The workshop, I believe, presents a unique opportunity to collectivize and to practice collectivizing: reconciling group response to individual action, where description meets inscription. As such, I try to foster constructive and a spirit of multiplicity in feedback. Engagement is central here, whether encouragement, descriptive, or critique. The workshop is, ultimately, a learning space—a space for work-in-progress. I believe, then, workshop to be a space for the mid-written, tender, unfolding.

T Kira Madden

Our lived experiences, and our memories, are rarely understood through a tidy chronology. They seldom mirror a Western “hero’s journey.” In this workshop, we will experiment with structure, speculative memories, and interrogate the Self as Narrator in order to find the truest version of our stories. We will focus on isolation and compression, on finding narrative heat and emotional potency in our syntax, our selves, and all the selves we’ve been, discussing strategies one uses to render work inspired by real events and people, and the compromises and thrills that come with that responsibility.

Mary Oliver once wrote that "attention is the beginning of devotion." Together, we will nurture our attention, our wonder, and identify not only who we are through rigorous self-inquiry, but what conversations we are participating in when we write, what literary traditions we perpetuate, and, perhaps most importantly, what traditions we break.

Sequoia Nagamatsu

In this workshop, we will embrace the notion that good writing stems, in part, from a
foundation of becoming adept critical readers. Together, we will practice reading both
published and participant work like writers and articulate how the elements of fiction can
manifest in a story. We will also wrestle with the relationship between story and genre
category. While critical feedback of an early draft of participant work is one of the products of
the workshop, the primary goals will to be to reimagine how deliberate reading can
reinvigorate writing, as well practicing supportive and empathetic literary goodwill within a
community. Sessions will comprise of a mixture between story workshop and discussion of
published fiction and craft essays. Participant are expected to submit a manuscript of up to 20
pages ahead of time. Novel excerpts should be accompanied by a brief one-page synopsis, as
well as a statement of context if not submitting the opening. Many sessions may also include
writing prompts and professional development question and answer sessions.


torrin a. greathouse

Writing the Unreliable Speaker

While the concept of the unreliable narrator in fiction is commonly known,the unreliable speaker is a far less discussed concept. Utilizing this mode enables us to write towards akind of narrative slipperiness, allowing poems to occupy complex spaces of memory, creating alternate,winding pathways through the poem's narrative. In this class, we will be exploring the techniques thatenable this unreliability—from surrealism to self-erasure—to create poetic speakers who lie,misremember, redirect, and rewrite their stories, as well as the kinds of narrative this approach best serves.

Angela Jackson-Brown

Mastering the Dance Between Good and Evil: Crafting Compelling Antagonists

Creating antagonists who transcend mere villainy is a writer’s formidable task. This course will delve into crafting multi-dimensional adversaries – moving our antagonists beyond just being representatives of the ultimate evil to becoming characters readers love to hate. We will explore the psychology of human behavior by discussing lessons learned in past Psych 101 courses and applying those lessons to the development of our characters. Participants in this course will leave with tools designed to help them craft antagonists who are layered and nuanced. Also, as a bonus, anything we discuss in terms of developing the personality of the antagonist will also transfer to the creation of well-rounded protagonists.

Alex Marzano-Lesnevich