Special Note:

How Will AI Change Writing?—Join our FREE Writers' Stage event "Writing for Change: Exploring The Question of AI" next Wednesday 4/17.

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Schedule & Curriculum

The 2023-2024 program will meet on Tuesday nights, from 6:00pm-9:00pm (ET), from September 5, 2023 to June 25, 2024. The program is divided into 5 Phases, often with breaks in between. [Note: these dates are subject to change, based on group or program needs, school vacations and holidays.]

Phase I Phase II Phase III

Essay Craft, New Essay Generation and Writing Process: September 5th – October 3th, 2023 (5 weeks)

In this phase, 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. We will look at examples from the history of the essay genre, as well as common contemporary forms, to support this learning. Via prompts and exercises, students will generate 3 new essays, including: one short narrative essay, one responsive timely essay, and one lyric or experimental / braided / collage / hermit crab essay, and receive feedback on these new essays. Resources will be shared and guest writer(s) will visit to introduce good writing habits, writing practice and writing process. Weekly writing prompts will encourage students to try new techniques and craft.

Workshop and Craft, October 24th - December 19th, 2023 (8 weeks)

Please note: Class does not meet November 21st.

An intensive workshopping phase. On a round-robin basis, students will workshop 3 essays during this phase. Essays may be existing or newly drafted 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 developmental “big picture” revision. Ongoing discussions of exemplary published work will focus on advanced craft lessons as they arise. Weekly writing prompts will encourage students to try new techniques and craft. Note: as a group, we may decide to meet remotely for parts or all of this phase.

Revision, January 9th - 30th, 2024 (4 weeks)

During this phase, writers will be introduced to a comprehensive framework and process for revision, and students will workshop one revision of an essay previously workshopped in Phase I or II. Before this phase, students will meet with the instructor for one-on-one consulting to identify at least 1 craft goal to work on during this revision phase, and a set of readings or other activities to help reach those goals. Weekly writing prompts will encourage students to try new techniques and craft. Note: as a group, we may decide to meet remotely for parts or all of this phase.

Phase IV Phase V

Workshop and Marketplace, February 20th-March 26th, 2024 (6 weeks)

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. Guest speakers (writer, editors) will visit the program to offer their professional perspectives and advice on submitting work, publishing and the marketplace. Resources for publication and crafting cover letters will be discussed, and students will 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. Weekly writing prompts will encourage students to try new techniques and craft.

Portfolio Workshop and Publishing, April 16th–June 25th, 2024 (11 weeks)

During this phase, students will present a portfolio of 5 to 10 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, and others which may not be fully ready. Students will receive brief final feedback on their essays, with recommendations for additional revision.

During this phase, students can also each workshop 1 new essay. 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. Additional guest speakers (writer, editors) will visit the program to offer their professional perspectives and advice on submitting work, publishing and the marketplace. Other sessions will focus on “life after the incubator”: developing a writing practice, staying connected to a writing community, staying on track with goals, submitting to contests/grants/fellowships, and crafting essays collections.

In advance of the Muse and the Marketplace conference (dates TBA), students will receive help preparing for the conference and their Manuscript Mart meeting. 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.