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Sometimes writers avoid research, while others might lose themselves in it, using it as a sneaky way to avoid the actual writing. In this class, we’ll aim to navigate between these extremes and find ways to use research to make your writing come more alive. We’ll explore how to take an expansive view of your subject, such as Richard Powers does with trees in The Overstory, how to interweave first-hand sensory experience with history to hold the reader rapt…Find out more »
In this class, we'll see how understanding a bit more about the brain can boost our own fiction writing. We'll revisit staple topics like detail, conflict, figurative language, character, dialogue, and point of view from this vantage point, learn how we can tap into the dreaming brain for inspiration, and even look at writer's block and hypergraphia (the compulsion to write) from a fresh angle. Through the lenses of neuroscience and neuropsychology, we'll also explore issues such as empathy, Theory of Mind, and memory. We'll look at writing from Garth Greenwell, Sheila Heti, Eduardo Halfon, Nafissa Thompson-Spires, and Valeria Luiselli.
Students will walk away from this class with array of practical techniques for their writerly toolkits: new ways of playing with metaphor, approaching dialogue, rendering internal monologue, and transforming life experience into fiction.Find out more »
In our attention-span-challenged times, it takes a certain nerve to write long sentences, yet recent Booker longlisted books include Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West, Mike McCormack’s Solar Bones, and Lucy Ellman's Ducks, Newburyport, all of which revel in them. How do we explain this? Sentence length can seem almost accidental, a byproduct of style or point of view. In this session, though, we’ll bring them to center stage and seek to cultivate sentences that are long but not annoying. Such sentences…Find out more »
As writers, we are encouraged to read widely, across genres and boundaries, yet only 3% of work published in English is that in translation, according to the University of Rochester. Where does that leave us as writers who wish to experience and learn from other places, which might offer alternative literary traditions, writing techniques, and aesthetic trajectories? In this class, we'll only scratch the surface of what's out there in terms of global writing both in English and in translation,…Find out more »