Writers on Craft

Do you long to dive more deeply into your characters? Are you in need of some new methods to invite the reader into your work? Do you wish to get over your fear of dialogue? Do you want to write at the intersection of the personal and the political? Have you always wished you understood the poetic line? Please join our favorite Writing By Writers faculty members online on Monday nights as we offer two-hour topic-specific craft seminars in character, structure, dialogue, and all the elements of style and storytelling. Choose your favorites or sign up for the whole series. Classes will be offered via Zoom and capped at 20 participants. More writers being added.

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Joe Wilkins - Best Smiling
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Amy Irvine Headshot
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Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths
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Paul Lisicky
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blue%20headshot_edited
UKauthorphoto_edited
Rachel_Swearingen_Sm
abigail
Toni Jensen Picture1 (1)
8
Kim B
headshotroberts2
Kate_edited
Joe Wilkins - Best Smiling
Author photo 2013 copy
author photo sweater_credit_John Ricard
Amy Irvine Headshot
author%20pic%20credit%20franco%20vogt_ed
John M
Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths
ginger-gaffney
Paul Lisicky
Chip Livingston foto
lidia authorphoto1
pamnew
Aimee_NezhukmatathilBlack-240x360_edited

Crafting a Short Story with Robert Boswell

Online Seminar - $75

March 15, 5:00pm - 7:00pm PDT 

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In this class, I will try to teach you as much about crafting a short story as I can cram into the time. But it's a class, not a lecture. I will read a story aloud and we will discuss each part of it as we go. For teaching reasons, I do not want you to read the story in advance. We will discuss most of the standard aspects of craft, as well as matters that rarely appear in craft books, and I'll reveal a few of the secrets I've discovered about the writing of short fiction.

Robert Boswell has published seven novels, three story collections, and two books of nonfiction. He has had two plays produced. His work has earned him two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Iowa School of Letters Award for Fiction, a Lila Wallace/Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, the PEN West Award for Fiction, the John Gassner Prize for Playwriting, and the Evil Companions Award. The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards was a finalist for the 2010 PEN USA Award in Fiction. What Men Call Treasure was a finalist for the Western Writers of America Nonfiction Spur Award. Both the Chicago Tribune and Publisher’s Weekly named Mystery Ride as one of the best books of the year. The London Independent picked The Geography of Desire as one of the best books of the year. Virtual Death was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award and was named by the Science Fiction Chronicle as one of the best novels of the year. Boswell has published more than 70 stories and essays. They have appeared in the New Yorker, Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Stories, Pushcart Prize Stories, Esquire, Colorado Review, Epoch, Ploughshares, and many other magazines and anthologies. He holds the Cullen Endowed Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Houston. He lives in Houston, Texas; Las Cruces, New Mexico; and Telluride, Colorado. He also spends time in a ghost town high in the Rockies.

Jump Starting Your Short Stories with Rachel Swearingen

Online Seminar - $75

March 29, 5:00pm - 7:00pm PDT 

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Of all the elements of fiction, plot tends to cause the most frustration, especially when we’re writing more complex or unusual stories. While traditional ways of devising a plot can be helpful, they don’t always serve literary writers well. In this intensive course we’ll look at a more simplified, organic method for liberating our stories and injecting energy into our prose. Toward that end, we’ll examine stories from several writers, including Louise Erdrich, Stuart Dybek, and Lesley Nneka Arimah.

Rachel Swearingen is the author of How to Walk on Water and Other Stories, winner of the 2018 New American Press Fiction Prize (October 1, 2020). Her stories and essays have appeared in VICE, The Missouri Review, Kenyon Review, Off Assignment, Agni, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the 2015 Missouri Review Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize in Fiction, a 2012 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, and the 2011 Mississippi Review Prize in Fiction. In 2019, she was named one of 30 Writers to Watch by the Guild Literary Complex. She holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a PhD from Western Michigan University, and teaches at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

The Art of Consciousness with Nadia Owusu

Online Seminar - $75

April 26, 5:00pm - 7:00pm PDT 

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Some of the best contemporary works of fiction and narrative nonfiction mix ample amounts of reflection into their storytelling, incorporating philosophy, theology, politics, and social and historical criticism. What are some strategies for making this work? We’ll consider examples from Sarah Broom, Weike Wang, Terese Marie Mailhot, and James Baldwin whose intertwining of thought and narrative have earned wide acclaim. And, we'll discuss and practice relevant techniques. 

Nadia Owusu is a Ghanaian and Armenian-American writer and urbanist. She was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and raised in Italy, Ethiopia, England, Ghana, and Uganda. Her first book, Aftershocks, A Memoir, topped many most-anticipated lists, including The New York Times, The Oprah Magazine, Vogue, and TIME. Nadia is the recipient of a 2019 Whiting Award. Her lyric essay chapbook, So Devilish a Fire won the Atlas Review chapbook contest. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The New York Times, The Washington Post’s The Lily, Orion, Granta, The Literary Review, The Paris Review Daily, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Electric Literature, Catapult, Bon Appétit, Epiphany and others. By day, Nadia is the Director of Storytelling at Frontline Solutions, a Black-owned consulting firm that helps social-change organizations to define goals, execute plans, and evaluate impact. She is a graduate of Pace University (BA) and Hunter College (MS). She earned her MFA in creative nonfiction at the Mountainview low-residency program where she now teaches. She lives in Brooklyn.

Re-seeing Revision with Peter Ho Davies

Online Seminar - $75

June 7, 5:00pm - 7:00pm PDT 

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Writers from Ernest Hemingway (“The only kind of writing is rewriting”) to Khaled Hosseini (“Writing for me is largely about rewriting”) to Joyce Carol Oates (“Most of my time writing is really re-writing”) have stressed the importance of revision. And yet, since all we usually have access to is the final draft of a published book or story, revision is something of an invisible craft. In this seminar we’ll try to draw it forth into the light, calling on examples from life, literature and even pop culture (from remakes to reboots to retcons), as well as offering a range of strategies - ‘Save’ your darlings, Revising Titles, Getting to Done - for how to re-see re-vision.

Peter Ho Davies’ most recent novel is A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself. Other books include The Fortunes, winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Award and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; The Welsh Girl, long-listed for the Man Booker Prize and a London Times bestseller; as well as two critically acclaimed collections of short stories. His work has appeared in Harpers, The Atlantic,  The Paris Review and Granta and been anthologized in Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories.

More writers being added each week. Check back often for new craft seminars!

REGISTRATION INFORMATION & CANCELLATION POLICY: When you register you will receive an immediate confirmation email with the zoom link. If you do not receive this please check your junk mail folder. If it is not there, send an email to info@writingxwriters.org and we will confirm your registration. Please note, we DO NOT record the craft seminars. If you cancel your registration more than 48 hours before the start time of the seminar, you will receive a full refund. If you cancel within 48 hours of the start time, we will refund you based on our ability to refill your spot. To cancel please send an email to info@writingxwriters.org. 

Our Mission

To create a rigorous and compassionate environment to learn the art of reading and writing from accomplished authors.

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