Once a week Mondays, 6:00 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT September 27 to November 15, 2021
Online via Zoom
The natural world is changing all around us. Sometimes it appears in our lives as a disaster in the form of a storm, a flood, or a drought, and sometimes it’s as unobtrusive as the weeds growing up through the cracks in the pavement. More than anything else, nature is forcing us to pay attention.
In this workshop, participants will direct their attention to nature and use it as the starting point to think about how they might write fiction and nonfiction that engages with the world around them. Readings will include novel excerpts, short stories, essays, and poems, and will look at nature in all its forms from the mundane to the catastrophic and uncanny. The class will use in-class exercises and prompts to help find strategies, stories, and structures that harness the changing natural world in new and exciting ways, and to suit the strange and unknown world we face today.
Madeleine Watts is the author of the 2021 novel, The Inland Sea. Her stories have been published in the White Review, Guernica, and the Lifted Brow, and her novella, Afraid of Waking It, won the 2015 Griffith Review Novella Prize. Her essays and nonfiction have been published by the Believer, Paris Review Daily, and Literary Hub. She has an MFA in Writing from Columbia University.
By Madeleine Watts
The Inland Sea
By Madeleine Watts
Published by Catapult
Drifting after her final year in college, a young writer begins working part-time as an emergency dispatch operator in Sydney. Over the course of an eight-hour shift, she is dropped into hundreds of crises, hearing only pieces of each. Callers report car accidents and violent spouses and homes caught up in flame.
The work becomes monotonous: answer, transfer, repeat. And yet the stress of listening to far-off disasters seeps into her personal life, and she begins walking home with keys in hand, ready to fight off men disappointed by what they find in neighboring bars. During her free time, she gets black-out drunk, hooks up with strangers, and navigates an affair with an ex-lover whose girlfriend is in their circle of friends.
Two centuries earlier, her great-great-great-great-grandfather—the British explorer John Oxley—traversed the wilderness of Australia in search of water. Oxley never found the inland sea, but the myth was taken up by other men, and over the years, search parties walked out into the desert, dying as they tried to find it.
Interweaving a woman’s self-destructive unraveling with the gradual worsening of the climate crisis, The Inland Sea is charged with unflinching insight into our age of anxiety. At a time when wildfires have swept an entire continent, this novel asks what refuge and comfort looks like in a constant state of emergency.
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.
Character Motivations: Writing the Short Story with Kate Milliken — Sold Out$395
Once a week Tuesdays, 7:00 pm EDT - 9:00 pm EDT September 21 to October 26, 2021
Reading the Queer Body: Desire, Trauma, and Transformation with Thomas Dooley (Online Only)
4 Monthly Sessions Wednesdays, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT September 22 to December 22, 2021
Hopscotch: Leaping and Bounding through a Julio Cortázar Classic with Samuel Rutter (Online Only)
5 Sessions Wednesdays, 7:00 pm EDT - 8:30 pm EDT September 22 to December 15, 2021
Crossing the Lines: A Mixed Genre Workshop with Dawn Raffel$395
Once a week Wednesdays, 7:00 pm EDT - 9:00 pm EDT September 22 to October 27, 2021
Unlocking Your Novel by Looking Within with Chelsea Bieker — Sold Out$150
Friday - Sunday 7:00 pm EDT - 9:00 pm EDT September 24 to September 26, 2021
Transgressing Gender in the Nineteenth-Century French Novel with Lise Schreier (In Person Only)
6 Sessions Tuesdays, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT September 28 to December 21, 2021
Kazuo Ishiguro: The Early Works with Miriam Tuliao (Online Only) — Sold Out
4 Monthly Sessions Tuesdays, 6:30 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT September 28 to December 21, 2021
Closer to the Truth: Translating Memory into Fiction with Debra Jo Immergut — Sold Out$495
Once a week Tuesdays, 6:00 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT September 28 to November 16, 2021
Women Crime Fiction Writers of the 1940s and '50s with Dr. Frankie Y. Bailey (Online Only) — Sold Out$140
4 Monthly Sessions Wednesdays, 6:30 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT September 29 to December 22, 2021
Detours and Dead Ends: On the Value of Wonder and Wandering in Crime Fiction with William Boyle$395
Once a week Wednesdays, 1:00 pm EDT - 3:00 pm EDT September 29 to November 3, 2021
Children’s Books: Writing, Illustrating, and Understanding the Industry with Katie Yamasaki (In Person)$495
Once a week Wednesdays, 6:00 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT September 29 to November 17, 2021
Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Petrolio with Rebecca Falkoff and Joseph Perna (Online Only)$175
4 Sessions Mondays, 7:00 pm EDT - 8:30 pm EDT October 4 to December 6, 2021
Character Development: Challenging the Binary with Wayétu Moore$125
Wednesday & Thursday 10:00 am EDT - 12:15 pm EDT October 6 to October 7, 2021
KidsWriting Genre Workshops: Fall 2021
Once a week Saturdays, 11:30 am EDT - 1:00 pm EDT October 9 to October 30, 2021
Reading Alice Walker with Dr. Regina A. Bernard, Ph.D. (Online Only)
4 Monthly Sessions Thursdays, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT October 14, 2021 to January 6, 2022
The Invisible Art: Re-seeing Revision with Peter Ho Davies$125
Saturday & Sunday 2:00 pm EDT - 4:15 pm EDT October 16 to October 17, 2021
Members Only: The LiterariansFree
Wednesday, 12:30 pm EDT - 2:00 pm EDT October 20, 2021
Criminal Minds: How to Craft Compelling Psychological Suspense with Alison Gaylin$150
Friday - Sunday 2:00 pm EDT - 4:00 pm EDT October 22 to October 24, 2021
Narrative Truth: How Fiction Can Serve Your Nonfiction with Courtney Zoffness$150
Saturday & Sunday 2:00 pm EDT - 5:00 pm EDT October 23 to October 24, 2021
Virtual KidsReading Club: The Jumbies
Saturday, 1:00 pm EDT - 2:30 pm EDT October 23, 2021