Out of stock
Once a week Mondays, 7:00 pm EST - 9:00 pm EST April 10 to May 15, 2023
Online via Zoom
This workshop is for anyone writing literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, memoir, or hybrid work, and for those who genre-hop. The class will explore writing strategies that apply across the board, including tapping into the roots of creativity, crafting memorable openings, investigating structure and chronology, and developing sustainable writing practices. It will also explore the way genres intersect, inform, and energize one another. The workshop will include interactive exercises and a group critique of one manuscript of up to 4,000 words from each participant, along with written commentary from the instructor. Nontraditional narratives welcome!
This will vary slightly depending on enrollment, but in general:
- Session I: In-class writing exercise on the roots of perception; personal introductions and goals; interactive discussion of powerful beginnings.
- Session II-V: Manuscript workshopping/critique, plus some conversations around time and the clock of the story, alternative structures, making and breaking writing habits, tapping into deeper wells of creativity.
- Session VI: How personal is personal? Strategies on writing impactful work with a potential guest essayist.
Dawn Raffel is the author of six books, most recently Boundless as the Sky, a hybrid collection of stories. Previous books include The Strange Case of Dr. Couney (narrative nonfiction), memoir (The Secret Life of Objects), and fiction. Her writing has been published in O, The Oprah Magazine, BOMB, New Philosopher, The San Francisco Chronicle, Conjunctions, Black Book, Open City, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories and more. She has taught for many years at the Center for Fiction, as well as through Summer Literary Seminars (now International Literary Seminars) in Russia, Lithuania, Georgia. and Kenya. She serves as a writer-to-writer mentor at AWP.
By Dawn Raffel
Boundless as the Sky
By Dawn Raffel
Published by Sagging Meniscus Press
Dawn Raffel’s Boundless as the Sky is a book of the invisible histories that repose beneath the cities we inhabit, and the worlds we try to build out of words. The first of its two parts, stories of real and invented cities, some ancient, some dystopian, is a response to Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. The second part comes together into one narrative, taking place in a single city—Chicago—on a single day in 1933. It is based closely on a true event, the arrival of a “roaring armada of goodwill” in the form of twenty-four seaplanes flown in a display of fascist power by Mussolini’s wingman Italo Balbo to Chicago’s “Century of Progress” World’s Fair. The 7000-mile flight from Rome to Chicago was lauded by both Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Hitler, at a time when aviation made banner headlines across the US, and news of the Nazis was often in a side column. The novella follows a few of the many thousands of Chicagoans there to witness the planes’ arrival. These two panels of Raffel’s poetic diptych call out to each other with a mysterious and disquieting harmony, and from history and fantasy to the dangers and dark realities of the current moment with startling insight and urgency.
About this series
We strive to make our classes the most inviting and rewarding available, offering an intimate environment to study with award-winning, world-class writers. Each class is specially designed by the instructor, so whether you’re a fledgling writer or an MFA graduate polishing your novel, you’ll find a perfect fit here.
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