Curriculum & Schedule
The 2022-2023 program will meet on Tuesday nights, from 6:00pm-9:
Phase I: Form, Marketplace, Generation September 6th – October 11th, 2022 (5 weeks)
Please note: Class does not meet September 27th.
We will review essay craft, look at examples from the history of the essay genre, as well as common contemporary forms and the publications where these appear. Students will review advanced lessons in essay-craft (structure, form, narrative modes, narrative arc, use of time, description, voice, etc.), to develop a common language with which to talk about the essay form. Via prompts and exercises, students will also generate 3 new essays, including: one short narrative mainstream essay, one responsive timely idea essay, and one lyric or experimental / braided / collage / hermit crab essay. Students will get on the spot feedback on these new essays in smaller cohorts. Students will adopt a handful of publications to follow and become familiar with. Writer/essayists will visit to introduce good writing habits, writing practice and writing process and revision.
Phase II: Workshop and Craft, October 25th - December 20th (8 weeks)
Please note: Class does not meet November 22nd.
An intensive workshopping phase. On a round-robin basis, students will workshop 3 essays during this phase. Essays may be existing essays, or newly drafted essays during the Form, Marketplace, Generation Phase. Each writer will be given a thorough oral and/or written critique on each essay from the instructor and fellow students. Focus will be on craft, and suggestions for developmental “big picture” revision. Ongoing discussions of exemplary published work will focus on advanced craft lessons as they arise.
Phase III: Revision/Generation, January 10th - 31st, 2023 (4 weeks)
Writers will be introduced to a comprehensive framework and process for revision. Students may also choose to workshop one revision of an essay previously workshopped. Via prompts and exercises, students will also be encouraged to generate new essays. During this phase, students will meet with the instructor for one-on-one consulting to identify at least 1 craft goal to work on for subsequent phases, and a set of readings or other activities to help reach those goals.
Phase IV: Workshop and Marketplace, February 21st-March 28th, 2023 (6 weeks)
Please note: Class does not meet April 5th or 11th.
An intensive workshopping phase. On a round-robin basis, students will workshop 2 new or revised essays. Each writer will be given a thorough oral and/or written critique on each essay from the instructor and fellow students. Focus will be on craft, and suggestions for logistical/production “final stage” revision. Students will also identify the marketplace options for their work, develop a short list of likely publications, consider revising with specific publication in mind, and begin to send out their essays.
Phase V: Portfolio Workshop and Publishing, April 18th–June 27th, 2023 (11 weeks)
During this phase, students will present a portfolio of revised essays to the workshop, with a goal of having at least 3 essays in finished and ready-to-submit form by the end of this phase. Students will receive brief final feedback on their essays, with recommendations for additional revision. Students will target and familiarize themselves with publications pertinent to their work, receive practical advice on submitting to these publications and building their careers as essay writers, and be required to submit at least one essay for publication. Guest speakers (writer, editors) will visit the program during this Phase to offer their professional perspectives. In advance of the Muse and the Marketplace conference (dates TBA), students will receive help preparing for the conference and their Manuscript Mart meeting. Students will also share with the class an informal lecture related to a craft issue they addressed in their own work. During this phase, students can also each workshop 1 new essay. At the end of this final phase, in a private one-hour consultation with the instructor, students will discuss their progress in the program, their publication and career plans, and steps for moving forward in their work and career.