Spring 2021 Intensive Literary COurses

Introduction to writing Young Adult Fiction with Gwenda Bond

March 15 - April 3

Young Adult, or YA, fiction is a much loved and frequently misunderstood category. In this class led by New York Times bestselling author Gwenda Bond, we’ll be leaving aside the arguments about whether YA literature is a genre, a marketing term, both or neither, to focus on the craft elements that the best YA shares in common. YA is uniquely focused on experiences and stories told through teen characters. We’ll talk about how that immediacy impacts the writing and work through readings, group discussions, and exercise prompts to analyze and unlock methods of finding that authentic teen voice in your work. We’ll also talk about structure and pacing. All this will culminate in a final YA manuscript that will be marked by the instructor. 

Re-Cognition and Re-vision: Pushing the boundaries of poems with Nickole Brown

April 2021

Writers often place a hard line between the acts of writing and revising. While the first is seen as an act of joyful inspiration, the second is generally viewed as drudging perspiration. This workshop—which will spend the duration of three weeks working on one single poem each student will share the first day of class—focuses on specific elements such as tone, metaphor, imagery, form, and sound as we walk through a step-by-step process by which you might not only revise the poem selected for this class but also your other work as well. With the goal of infusing revision with the creative energy that accompanies writing early drafts, this straightforward, pragmatic workshop will be most helpful to writers currently working on drafts of existing poems

Introduction to writing speculative fiction
with Ashley blooms

May 2021

Every genre—from literary realism to high fantasy—must build a world that invites the reader to explore. But for writers of speculative fiction, who often bend or outright break the rules of our shared reality, world-building poses unique challenges. This class will look at the basics of building a world through character, setting, and language. We’ll consider the expectations of various genres, how they impact a writer’s goals, and how we can meet or subvert these expectations in our stories. Students will utilize close readings, group discussions, craft worksheets, and writing assignments to explore how worlds are built in horror, science fiction, fantasy, fabulism, and more. All this will culminate in a final speculative manuscript that will be marked by the instructor.