2 Online Sessions
Out of stock
Wednesday & Saturday June 8 to June 11, 2022
Online via Zoom
This workshop has reached its capacity. To join the waitlist, please email email@example.com.
Wednesday & Saturday, 6/8 & 6/11
6-9pm ET (6/8), 11am – 2pm ET (6/11)
What can a writer learn from compression? In a word, everything. Short works allow us to examine in a granular way how we make art out of language. Every great work, no matter its length, issues out of precision–of language, of structure, of vision and voice. In the first session, we’ll discuss sentence-making, voice, and structure, with specific examples, in an interactive format. We’ll end with a few prompts from which to chose. In the second session, we’ll share work that we’ve created, look at strategies for refining the work (including titles), and consider the ways that short pieces can be layered into longer narratives. The door is open to innovation and suggestion, to language, to mystery and to surprise.
Dawn Raffel is the author of five books, including two collections of very short stories and a memoir in vignettes. Her work has appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, BOMB, New Philosopher, the San Francisco Chronicle, Conjunctions, Open City, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, Best Small Fictions, Best Microfictions, and numerous anthologies. She has taught at The Center for Fiction, Summer Literary Seminars, and Columbia University. Her sixth book, Boundless as the Sky, will be published in January 2023.
By Dawn Raffel
The Strange Case of Dr. Couney
By Dawn Raffel
Published by Penguin
What kind of doctor puts his patients on display? This is the spellbinding tale of a mysterious Coney Island doctor who revolutionized neonatal care more than one hundred years ago and saved some seven thousand babies. Dr. Martin Couney’s story is a kaleidoscopic ride through the intersection of ebullient entrepreneurship, enlightened pediatric care, and the wild culture of world’s fairs at the beginning of the American Century.
As Dawn Raffel recounts, Dr. Couney used incubators and careful nursing to keep previously doomed infants alive, while displaying these babies alongside sword swallowers, bearded ladies, and burlesque shows at Coney Island, Atlantic City, and venues across the nation. How this turn-of-the-twentieth-century émigré became the savior to families with premature infants—known then as “weaklings”—as he ignored the scorn of the medical establishment and fought the rising popularity of eugenics is one of the most astounding stories of modern medicine. Dr. Couney, for all his entrepreneurial gusto, is a surprisingly appealing character, someone who genuinely cared for the well-being of his tiny patients. But he had something to hide…
Drawing on historical documents, original reportage, and interviews with surviving patients, Dawn Raffel tells the marvelously eccentric story of Couney’s mysterious carnival career, his larger-than-life personality, and his unprecedented success as the savior of the fragile wonders that are tiny, tiny babies.
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.
The Wings of the Dove: A Henry James Reading Group with Sheridan Hay
Once a week Thursdays, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT October 6 to October 27, 2022
Birds of Different Feathers: Writing And/As/About Resistance with Eraldo Souza dos Santos$150
Friday - Sunday October 7 to October 9, 2022
World and Languages: Writing About Languages, Travels, and Immigration with Jenna Tang$295
Once a week Wednesdays, 7:00 pm EDT - 9:00 pm EDT October 12 to November 2, 2022
The Other Side of the Coin: Dystopia and Utopia in Short Fiction with Jacqueline Ahl$90
Thursdays, 7:00 pm EDT - 8:30 pm EDT October 13 to November 10, 2022
Italo Calvino and the Natural World with Antonio Romani
Once a week Saturdays, 12:00 pm EDT - 1:30 pm EDT October 15 to November 19, 2022
Members Only: The LiterariansFree
Wednesday, 12:30 pm EDT - 1:30 pm EDT October 19, 2022
Character Development: Summoning Compelling Players Who Drive Story with Debra Jo Immergut$150
Saturday & Sunday 12:00 pm EDT - 3:00 pm EDT October 22 to October 23, 2022
Narrative Cartographies with Dianca London Potts$125
Saturday, 2:00 pm EDT - 6:30 pm EDT October 22, 2022
The Great Fire: A Shirley Hazzard Reading Group with Sheridan Hay (Sold Out)
Once a week Tuesdays, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT November 8 to November 29, 2022
Storytelling and Place with Omer Friedlander$150
Friday - Sunday November 11 to November 13, 2022
Writing the Apocalypse with Dianca London Potts$125
Saturday, 2:00 pm EDT - 6:30 pm EDT November 12, 2022