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.
In a single file, 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:
- Page numbers must be consecutive throughout the manuscript.
- Font must be 12-pt Times New Roman or Arial.
- Margins must be 1 inch.
- 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.
- No extra spacing between paragraphs except that which indicates transitions.
- If you submit more than 26 pages (25 of manuscript + 1-page synopsis), the coordinator will cut as necessary.
- Do not include title pages or dedications.
- Please submit manuscript + synopsis in a single file (with synopsis as final page).