Online Seminars

Online Seminars

Spring 2023
Applications open:
February 23, 2023
Applications close:
March 20, 2023
Cost:
$600
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Program

PROGRAM

Our online seminars comprise six 2.5 hour sessions limited to no more than fifteen participants. Writers will meet in a supportive environment to discuss assigned readings, learn craft, and develop accountability systems to support their completion of a manuscript or collection.

A mix of craft lectures and generative exercises, writers will be encouraged to ask questions, share problems within their manuscripts, produce and share work during sessions as well as engage in thoughtful craft discourse.

Participants will leave with a greater understanding of craft, supportive peers, and possible solutions to their manuscript’s toughest problems.

This is not a critique-focused workshop. Instructors will not be required to critique participants’ work outside of class or provide letters. Participants will be encouraged to share and receive feedback during sessions. 

Our hope is to provide a unique community-building opportunity for writers to learn and grow that it is not solely based on critiquing each other.

 

 

Seminars

Project Pedagogy: Teach Your Book
Instructor: A.E. Osworth
Genres: Fiction, Nonfiction
Dates: Apr 8, 15, 22 + May 13, 20, 27
Time: 11 AM – 1:30 PM PST/ 2 PM – 4:30 PM EST

So you wrote a whole novel, short story collection, memoir, collection of essays, series of articles, interpretive movement circus act—the list goes on and on. Whatever your project is or was, the fact that you wrote it means you’re an expert on all the craft moves it took to make it. In this online seminar, we’ll practice using your own work as a cite of course creation. Together we’ll engage in a little self-analysis of our own craft and process, define our areas of expertise, create a one-hour seminar that’s unique to your writing and practice teaching in small groups. We’ll talk pedagogy strategy, resources and troubleshooting.

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Collaging the Personal Essay
Instructor: Aisha Sabatini Sloan
Genre: Nonfiction
Dates: Apr 29 + May 6, 13, 20, 27 + June 3
Time: 9  – 11:30 AM PST/ 12 – 2:30 PM EST

This virtual seminar will investigate the way that contemporary essayists approach questions of structure. We will also think about how collagists approach their work. In order to truly borrow from collage as a frame for thinking about the writing process, we will use scraps, scissors, and glue every week to play with visual elements of collage. During each class, a participant or two will present a particular collage artist (or a style, movement, philosophy, etc.) that interests them. We will discuss how this relates to the essay forms we read for that week. We will give each other writing prompts and share the visual collages we made, leaning into the potential of visual experimentation as a form of prewriting.

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Novel Seminar: Sessions on Craft, Vision, and Creation
Instructor: Jennifer Baker
Genre: Fiction
Dates: Apr 9 , 23 + May 7, 14 + June 4 + 18
Time: 10  – 12:30 PM PST/ 1 – 3:30 PM EST

Writing is not solely about the act of putting down words, but in the dissection of craft, community-building, discussion, and contemplation of how work we’ve been introduced to (and inspired by) helps us think deeply about how we want our writing to resonate on and off the page. This six-session seminar has been organized to promote regular readings around designated themes, craft talks & collaborative discussions, writing and journaling, and goal-posting. Craft talks and thematic group discussions will revolve around the areas of world-building, establishing tension, character, narrative voice/POV, and beginnings/middle/endings. Each theme is meant to build into the following sessions as participants dissect novel excerpts across genre and engage in analysis. This generator offers space to generate work without the workshop and gain a firmer understanding of our practice.

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Writing About Social Issues
Instructor: Kavita Das, author of Craft and Conscience: How to Write About Social Issues
Genre: Nonfiction
Dates: Apr 18, 25 + May 2, 9, 16, 23
Time: 4 – 6:30 PM PST/ 7 – 9:30 PM EST

The current fraught socio-political climate is motivating nonfiction writers to engage with social issues on the page. There’s a collective realization that the personal is political, and the political is personal. In truth, the writer has long played a role as a witness, conscience, and predictor of social change. Writing About Social Issues will consider the following questions. How do we write compellingly yet responsibly about social issues? How do we write about the world as we’d like it to be without coming across as Pollyanna or propaganda? In each session, we will investigate these questions through lessons and reflections from my own experience as a writer who has written about and worked in social change. We’ll also explore these questions through close readings and discussions of work by writers which engage social issues and parse their relevance and application to our own work through creative writing exercises and assignments. 

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Word Counters Support Group
Instructor: Lilliam Rivera
Genre: YA, Fiction
Dates: Apr 8, 22 + May 6, 20 + June 3, 11
Time: 11 AM – 1:30 PM PST / 2 – 4:30 PM EST

There’s always talk of how writing can be a very solitary act but that is not necessarily the case. There are multiple conversations being held between you and your project with friends, strangers on social media, with non-writers and writers alike. These illuminating conversations always yields surprising results. A problem may be solved. A new path taken. Writing is in a sense an audible storytelling exercise: How can we convey what we see in our heads to the page? The “talking through it” is in itself part of the process. In this series of sessions, a small group will meet online to talk through their work. This is not a critique workshop. The sole purpose is to build on their current manuscript and help tackle issues that may arise. Each session will be a hybrid of craft lectures with generative exercises where participants will be encouraged to come to class with their own questions, to share freely, and to leave feeling accountable to their own work.

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Faculty

A.E. Osworth

A.E. Osworth is a transgender novelist with a decade of experience writing creative nonfiction for internet audiences. Their first book, WE ARE WATCHING ELIZA BRIGHT (Grand Central Publishing 2021) was long listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and the Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize. Their essays have been featured on QuartzMashabledrDoctor, and Autostraddle, among others. They are currently a columnist for Catapult, where they write Scaring Children, about children’s horror from the nineties and early aughts through the lens of a queer adulthood.

Aisha Sabatini Sloan

Aisha Sabatini Sloan was born and raised in Los Angeles. Her writing about race and current events is often coupled with analysis of art, film, and pop culture. She studied English literature at Carleton College and went on to earn an MA in cultural studies and studio art from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU and an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Arizona. She is the author of the essay collections The Fluency of Light: Coming of Age in a Theater of Black and White and Dreaming of Ramadi in Detroit. With her father, she is the author of Captioning the Archives, a conversation through image and text. She is a recipient of the 2018 CLMP Firecracker Award for Creative Nonfiction and a 2020 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship. She teaches creative writing at the University of Michigan.

Jennifer Baker

Jennifer Baker is a publishing professional of 20 years, the creator/host of the Minorities in Publishing podcast, and faculty member of the MFA program in creative nonfiction at Bay Path University. In 2019, she was named Publishers Weekly Superstar for her contributions to inclusion and representation in publishing. Jennifer is also the editor of the BIPOC-short story anthology Everyday People: The Color of Life (Atria Books, 2018) and the author of the forthcoming novel Forgive Me Not (Putnam BFYR, 2023). Her fiction, nonfiction, and criticism has appeared in various print and online publications. Her website is: jennifernbaker.com.

A color headshot of a person with brown shoulder-length hair, wearing a colorful shirt.

Kavita Das

Kavita Das writes about culture, race, gender, and their intersections. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Kavita’s work has been published in WIRED, CNN, Teen Vogue, Catapult, Fast Company, Tin House, Longreads, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Review of Books, Kenyon Review, NBC News Asian America, Guernica, Electric Literature, Colorlines, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. Kavita’s second book Craft and Conscience: How to Write About Social Issues (Beacon Press, October 2022) is inspired by the Writing About Social Issues class she created and teaches. Her first book, Poignant Song: The Life and Music of Lakshmi Shankar, was published by Harper Collins India in 2019. She lives in New York with her husband, toddler, and hound. Find her on Twitter: @kavitamix and Instagram: @kavitadas.

Lilliam Rivera

Lilliam Rivera  is an award-winning writer and author of young adult novels We Light Up The SkyNever Look Back, a Pura Belpré Honor book; Dealing in Dreams, and The Education of Margot Sanchez, as well as the Goldie Vance series for middle-grade readers and the graphic novel, Unearthed: A Jessica Cruz Story. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and Elle, to name a few. Lilliam lives in Los Angeles.

Applying

Applicants will be accepted on a rolling basis. 

We ask for a short unpublished writing sample of 2,000 words or less. In addition to the writing sample, the application includes several questions. 

Applicants must be 21 years of age to apply.

International writers  are welcome and encouraged to apply. 

All applications are evaluated through the lens of our Core Values. 

There is no application fee.

Financial Assistance

A scholarship is available for each seminar. The deadline for scholarship consideration is March 20th. In addition to scholarships, payment plans are available for admitted participants. If accepted, we are willing to work out a payment plan that best meets your needs. While seminar scholarships are merit-based and do not require financial disclosures, we ask our community to be mindful of the opportunities they can and cannot afford to pay for and apply accordingly.