Tinker Mountain Writers' Workshop/Online
Luke T. Johnson, program director
Fax: (540) 561-2325
Everyone talks about writing but does anyone actually do it? It takes practice and dedication to get over that hump; the key is confidence, which comes from understanding how fiction works and doesn’t work. You’ve got to know the rules to break them. In this workshop, students will focus on the nuts and bolts of writing fiction, from creating compelling characters to crafting complete stories with something at stake. Students will examine the elements of writing fiction, with a focus on applying what's discussed to their own work in selected published works ranging from Ernest Hemingway to James Baldwin, Raymond Carver to Kurt Vonnegut, with many writers in between. Students will also share their own writing for peer review in a digital workshop environment led by a seasoned fiction writer. Finally, students will emerge with the tools necessary to create their own writing and edit it for publication.
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont
Instructor: CL Bledsoe
Whether writing an epic or an epigram, all poets must address an empty page the same: one line at a time. In this workshop, we’ll start with an understanding of the poetic line and then use this understanding to explore the fundamentals of poetry: from writing in new and received forms to creating resonant images to revising and honing our metaphors. This workshop is designed to benefit both the beginning and the practiced poet, and to provide an opportunity for each to develop his or her craft while assembling a portfolio of new work. You will share writing and feedback with peers and read from a wide range of poets, including A.R. Ammons, Jack Gilbert, Mary Ruefle, Yusef Komunyakaa, and many others. At the close of the workshop, we will focus on the ever-shifting landscape of poetry publishing and discuss the many possible avenues for the work to find the world.
The Vintage Book of Contemporary Poetry, edited by J.D. McClatchy
Instructor: Luke Johnson
When the writer remembers, she reverses a process of dismembering. The art of memoir is to bring things together that have been separated by time and distance. We begin with the assertion that creative nonfiction is a built environment like any other narrative. The foundation is "self-curiosity" and a willingness to investigate why certain impressions stick with us. We will explore techniques for elucidating experience, through selective proximity of details, while also considering how these bend through the prism of the narrator's combined role of participant/observer. Keeping in mind that nonfiction has a special duty to the facts, the truest thing is what we make of memory. There will be weekly reading and writing assignments. Students will share their essays for feedback from their peers and the instructor.
Tell It Slant: Creating, Refining, and Publishing Creative Nonfiction by Brenda Miller & Suzanne Paola [Second edition]
Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction, Edited by Dinty Moore (brevitymag.com)
Instructor: Constance Adler
This workshop is designed for students who have taken the fall workshop of Creative Nonfiction: Tell It Slant, and want to continue the writing projects they began in that workshop. The workshop is also open to new students who have worked independently on a creative nonfiction manuscript and are seeking input on their work-in-progress. The primary focus of this workshop will be to support each other's forward progress on our creative nonfiction stories, with an emphasis on the role of selective memory in narrative and the fictive techniques that can be deployed to craft a fact-based story. There will be reading assignments, meant to inspire your own work, however, the primary task for students is to meet deadlines and provide thoughtful feedback on peer submissions.
Reading: Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction, Edited by Dinty Moore (online: brevitymag.com)
Instructor: Constance Adler