We Are, After All, Creatures
Online Workshop with Pam Houston
Wednesdays, 9:00am - 12:00pm PDT
Session One: June 2 - July 7, 2021 (Full)
Session Two: June 16 - July 21, 2021 (Full)
Session Three: August 11 - September 15, 2021 (Waitlist Only)
Cost: $850 (each session limited to12 participants)
This will be a six week, mostly generative workshop where we will learn, among other things, to write our most creaturely selves into being. We will focus on all the ways the sensory details that surround us—the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures from the physical world, often the natural world—can give us access to that much more elusive interior landscape we are always trying to access when we write. If we write those details all the way down to the bone. If we sit in the dark with them and let them distill up from the swamps of memory. We will focus on what I believe to be the real artistry of prose writing: the way we dip our ladles into the bottomless pot of metaphor soup of our lived and witnessed experience and pull out what we need; the way we pick up hunks of the physical world and bring them back to the page, translated into language.
We will also work toward demystifying some of the essential components of prose writing (image, metaphor, structure, dialogue, character, scene, among others) and turning them into comprehensible tools that are at our disposal. We will all, no doubt, be humbled in the face of languages unlimited possibility as well as its limitation.
Although the class will be mostly generative, there will be a significant reading component (3-4 essays per week of published fiction and non, and one full length memoir) and a one-day speed dating type workshop where everyone will turn in no more than 2000 words of something they have written in the class, and we will look at them together.
Please come armed with pen, paper, or laptop, your vast memory banks, your active and engaged senses, and all the things you don’t even know you know. Please come ready to write your best work.
Pam Houston is the author of the memoir, Deep Creek: Finding Hope In The High Country, which won the 2019 Colorado Book Award, the High Plains Book Award and the Reading The West Advocacy Award and more recently, Air Mail: Letters of Politics Pandemics and Place coauthored with Amy Irvine. She is also the author of Cowboys Are My Weakness, Contents May Have Shifted, and four other books of fiction and nonfiction, all published by W.W. Norton. She lives at 9,000 feet above sea level on a 120-acre homestead near the headwaters of the Rio Grande and teaches creative writing at UC Davis and at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is cofounder and creative director of the literary nonprofit Writing by Writers and fiction editor at the Environmental Arts Journal Terrain.org. She raises Icelandic Sheep and Irish Wolfhounds and is a fierce advocate for the Earth.
Acceptance to the workshop is based upon review of a writing sample (10 pages of fiction or nonfiction/personal essay). Writing samples must be double spaced, using a size 12 Times New Roman or similar font.
An application fee of $25 is required. If you are accepted to the workshop, your application fee of $25 will be applied to your tuition. Applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Once you apply you will receive an immediate email confirmation of your application.Sometimes these go into your junk or bulk mail folder. If this happens, please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your safe senders list to make sure you get our acceptance notification! If you are accepted, you will be notified via email and asked to confirm your intention to attend within two weeks by enrolling and submitting your payment of $850.
Online Workshop Details and Cancellation Policy: This workshop will be offered online over Zoom. If you cancel by May 1, 2021, your tuition will be refunded minus a $150 cancellation fee. Refunds for cancellations made after May 1st are contingent upon filling your place and will be made only if your place is filled. In the unlikely event that we must cancel a workshop and you do not wish to transfer to another workshop, you will receive a full refund.