Our submission period for 2020 workshops is now open and will close on November 1 (11:59pm Eastern time).  Applicants will be notified of their standing by November 15.  

Please visit our website for 2020 conference information.

Faculty: Gregory Pardlo

In this craft-based workshop, we will begin with a high-altitude view to help analyze the poet’s overall writing practice. Using both generative homework exercises and representative samples of previous poems, we will look for trends, tendencies and idiosyncrasies to identify distinctive characteristics of the poet’s voice. This is not necessarily a workshop for “fixing” individual poems or acquiring tricks of the trade. We will use our grasp of the poet’s unique style to devise a path toward building on her strengths and expanding her practice of constructing poems in general.


Please submit up to 10 pages of poetry.
Required format for writing samples:
 

  1. All poems must be submitted as one document.
  2. Font must be 12-pt Times New Roman or Arial, single-spaced.
  3. All manuscripts must contain a header or footer with page numbers and author’s name.
  4. Titles of each poem should appear in all caps and each new poem should start on a new page.

 

Faculty: Ann Hood

In this workshop, we will read and discuss published essays every day to examine what makes a good piece of memoir writing. We will then critique pages from your own memoirs and essays with an eye toward revision.

 
Submit the opening 25 pages of a memoir-in-progress plus a 1-page synopsis (as p 26). Synopsis should include the following: one brief paragraph summarizing the memoir and status of the project (i.e., unfinished first draft, completed first draft, completed draft which has undergone multiple revisions, etc.). If you are submitting a portion which appears later in the work (for example, pages 25-50), provide a detailed synopsis of the pages prior to your submission (e.g. pages 1-24).


Required format for writing samples:
 

  1. Page numbers must be consecutive throughout.
  2. Font must be 12-pt Times New Roman or Arial.
  3. Margins must be 1 inch.
  4. All manuscripts must be double-spaced including the one-page synopsis and contain a header or footer with page numbers and author's name.
  5. No extra spacing between paragraphs except that which indicates transitions.
  6. If you submit more than 26 pages (25 of manuscript + 1-page synopsis), the coordinator will cut as necessary.
  7. Do not include title pages or dedications.

 

Faculty:  Laura Lippman

Are there really "rules" for crime-writing? Only one: Keep the reader turning pages. Students interested in crime fiction will learn about the specialized challenges of pacing their stories, playing fair with readers and why less is often more when it comes to mysteries.

Submit the opening 25 pages of a novel in-progress plus a 1-page synopsis (as p. 26).  Synopsis should include the following: one brief paragraph summarizing the book and status of the project (i.e., unfinished first draft, completed first draft, completed draft which has undergone multiple revisions, etc.). If you are submitting a portion which appears later in the work (for example, pages 25-50), provide a detailed synopsis of the pages prior to your submission (e.g. pages 1-24).


Required format for writing samples:
 

  1. Page numbers must be consecutive throughout the manuscript.
  2. Font must be 12-pt Times New Roman or Arial. 
  3. Margins must be 1 inch.
  4. All manuscripts must be double-spaced including 1-page synopsis. All manuscripts must contain a header or footer with page numbers and author’s name.
  5. No extra spacing between paragraphs except that which indicates transitions.
  6. If you submit more than 26 pages (25 pages of manuscript + 1-page synopsis), the coordinator will cut as necessary.
  7. Do not include title pages or dedications.


Faculty:  Michael Koryta

The workshop is open to both fiction and nonfiction writers who are interested in improving their storytelling and broadening their range of techniques. Focus will be on how the handling of core issues such as character, plot, tension, and emotion are imperative regardless of the form, and demonstrating that fiction writers can benefit from seeing how journalistic techniques can add depth and realism to their own work, while nonfiction writers can benefit from learning how to build scenes, create suspense, and use dialogue. 

Submit up to 25 pages of a book-length work in fiction, nonfiction or memoir, plus a 1-page synopsis (as p. 26).  Synopsis should include the following: one brief paragraph summarizing the book and status of the project (i.e., unfinished first draft, completed first draft, completed draft which has undergone multiple revisions, etc.). If you are submitting a portion which appears later in the work (for example, pages 25-50), provide a detailed synopsis of the pages prior to your submission (e.g. pages 1-24).


 Required format for writing samples:
 

  1. Page numbers must be consecutive throughout the manuscript.
  2. Font must be 12-pt Times New Roman or Arial. 
  3. Margins must be 1 inch.
  4. All manuscripts must be double-spaced including 1-page synopsis. All manuscripts must contain a header or footer with page numbers and author’s name.
  5. No extra spacing between paragraphs except that which indicates transitions.
  6. If you submit more than 26 pages (25 pages of manuscript + 1-page synopsis), the coordinator will cut as necessary.
  7. Do not include title pages or dedications.

 

Faculty:  Stewart O'Nan

The class will be primarily a workshop.  Students will read one another’s novel excerpts, interrogating character, action, language, ideas and setting with an eye toward revision.


Submit the opening 25 pages of a novel-in-progress plus a 1-page synopsis (as p. 26).  Synopsis should include the following: one brief paragraph summarizing the novel and status of the project (i.e., unfinished first draft, completed first draft, completed draft which has undergone multiple revisions, etc.). If you are submitting a portion which appears later in the work (for example, pages 25-50), provide a detailed synopsis of the pages prior to your submission (e.g. pages 1-24).


Required format for writing samples:
 

  1. Page numbers must be consecutive throughout the manuscript.
  2. Font must be 12-pt Times New Roman or Arial.
  3. Margins must be 1 inch.
  4. All manuscripts must be double-spaced including the 1-page synopsis. All manuscripts must contain a header or footer with page numbers and author’s name.
  5. No extra spacing between paragraphs except that which indicates transitions.
  6. If you submit more than 26 pages (25 of manuscript + 1-page synopsis), the coordinator will cut as necessary. 
  7. Do not include title pages or dedications.


Faculty: John Dufresne

So here’s what we’ll be doing. We’ll demystify the writing process, which may once have seemed intimidating. Writing is work; it’s a physical, if sedentary, activity. Writers write even when the writing’s not going well—especially when the writing’s not going well. We’ll discuss the craft of storytelling, explore the elements and techniques of short fiction, and examine the qualities that make for vivid and compelling flash fiction. You’ll read exemplary short-short stories that will inspire, provoke, and serve as models for your own stories. You’ll write up a storm following the prompts and exercises. You’ll play with found forms and invent your own. You’ll get writing and you’ll keep writing. You’ll learn that your characters, your settings, and your themes are out there in the world. You’ll learn to look, to listen, to pay attention, and to notice, the fiction writer’s first job. The act of writing itself, you’ll realize, the act of making up people you come to care about, the fun of playing with words and with worlds, is its own reward. And the more you write the more you’ll want to write.
 

Submit up to 25 pages of flash fiction with each story being no more than 1500 words.  No synopsis required.

Required format for writing samples:
 

  1. 1500 words max per story.
  2. Begin each story on a new page, but keep page numbers consecutive throughout the manuscript.
  3. Font must be 12-pt Times New Roman or Arial.
  4. Margins must be 1 inch.
  5. All manuscripts must be double-spaced and must contain a header or footer with page numbers and author’s name.
  6. No extra spacing between paragraphs except that which indicates transitions.
  7. If you submit more than 25 pages, the coordinator will cut as necessary.  
  8. Do not include title pages or dedications.

 

Faculty: Stephanie Elizondo Griest

Memoirs. Travelogues. Lyric Essays. Literary Journalism. No matter whether you are pursuing internal excavations or external investigations, this workshop will empower you to take risks both in content and in form. Questions we’ll be asking: Where is the essay’s pulse? How can it beat louder—or deeper? Should the story follow a classic rise-fall arc or be a fractured narrative with a scrambled chronology? In addition to critiquing each other’s manuscripts, we will strategize on sustainable ways of fueling our practice as we strive toward our literary goals. So join us. Together, we will be pilgrims wandering the wilderness of memory. Arbiters of the dynamic Fourth Genre. We will write words that matter.  
 

Submit up to 25 pages of creative nonfiction, plus a 1-page synopsis. Synopsis should include the sub-genre of creative nonfiction you are submitting (memoir, literary journalism, lyric essay, hybrid, etc); where we are in the narrative if this is an excerpt of a longer work; and a brief paragraph summarizing the status of the project (i.e., unfinished first draft, completed first draft, completed draft which has undergone multiple revisions, etc.). 

Required format for writing samples:
 

  1. Page numbers must be consecutive throughout the manuscript.
  2. Font must be 12-pt Times New Roman or Arial.
  3. Margins must be 1 inch.
  4. All manuscripts must be double-spaced including the one-page synopsis
  5. All manuscripts must contain a header or footer with page numbers and author’s name.
  6. No extra spacing between paragraphs except that which indicates transitions.
  7. If submitting from a longer work, please do not submit more than 26 pages (25 of manuscript + 1-pg synopsis).  The coordinator will cut as necessary. 
  8. Do not include title pages or dedications.

Faculty: Les Standiford

The workshop will focus on the refinement of a feature film synopsis and its first act (or a complete dramatic short of up to 25 pp), with attention to the particular nature of screenwriting language and form, dramatic structure, scene, character and dialogue.  Applicants will submit a synopsis of no more than 500 words along with a first act of no more than 25 pp.  Each day's session will consist of an hour's discussion of principles, followed by an hour's discussion of each of two submissions, including the cogency of the synopsis and the efficacy of the opening act.

Submit the opening 25 pages of a screenplay or a complete dramatic short of up to 25 pages plus a synopsis of no more than 500 words.
 

Required format for writing samples:
 

  1. Please follow standard screenplay formatting practices (Courier, 12-pt font). 
  2. Submit your work in pdf only.
  3. Page numbers must be consecutive throughout the manuscript.
  4. All manuscripts must contain a header or footer with page numbers and author’s name.
  5. If you submit more than 26 pages (25 of manuscript + 1-p synopsis), the coordinator will cut as necessary. 
  6. Do not include title pages or dedications.

Faculty: Sterling Watson

We will cover as many matters of craft and art (character, theme, point-of-view, language, structure, and setting) as we can fit into the time allotted with especial attention to problems and possibilities that arise from our reading of the students' manuscripts.  Using the manuscripts as prompts, I will suspend discussion occasionally for mini-lectures and demonstrations of key ideas.  This class will help participants fashion a better synopsis and sample chapter to send out to agents.

Submit the opening 25 pages of a novel-in-progress plus a 1-page synopsis.

Required format for writing samples:
 

  1. Page numbers must be consecutive throughout the manuscript.
  2. Font must be 12-pt Times New Roman or Arial.
  3. Margins must be 1 inch.
  4. All manuscripts must be double-spaced including the one-page synopsis. All manuscripts must contain a header or footer with page numbers and author’s name.
  5. No extra spacing between paragraphs except that which indicates transitions.
  6. If you submit more than 26 pages (25 of manuscript + 1-p synopsis), the coordinator will cut as necessary. 
  7. Do not include title pages or dedications.


Faculty:  Andre Dubus III

If I teach nothing in my writing classes, I teach this: do not outline your novel or novella or short story or essay. Do not think out the plot, the narrative arc, the protagonist’s journey, whatever you want to call it. Instead, try to find the story through an honest excavation of the characters’ total experience of the situation in which they find themselves. Do that, and I promise the story will begin to write itself, with little need for the controlling hand of the godly, intelligent, well-read, and ambitious author. But how, precisely, does one go about this “excavation”?  And how, technically speaking, can we ignite a story into“writing itself”?  Come to this workshop, and I will seek to demystify those writerly tools and skills that time and time again, if they are sharp enough, and if the writer can summon enough daily faith and nerve, can penetrate the mystery of story itself.


Submit one short story of 25 pages maximum.  No synopsis necessary.

Required format for writing samples:
 

  1. Page numbers must be consecutive throughout the manuscript.
  2. Font must be 12-pt Times New Roman and Arial.
  3. Margins must be 1 inch.
  4. All prose manuscripts must be double-spaced. All manuscripts must contain a header or footer with page numbers and author’s name.
  5. No extra spacing between paragraphs except that which indicates transitions.
  6. If you submit more than 25 pages, the coordinator will cut as necessary. 
  7. Do not include title pages or dedications.


Writers in Paradise