July 10-14 Fiction with Téa Obreht: Vaporizing the Other Version. In a recent article for The New York Times, writer David Mitchell stated that: “A novel contains as many versions of itself as it has readers.” Reading is an intimate, individual endeavor, and its reward depends heavily on what the reader him or herself brings to the table, but what is the writer’s relationship to this individual experience? If certain aspects of narrative depend very heavily on a single, universal interpretation, how can the writer control the basic reading experience, ensuring that almost everyone is, for lack of a better phrase, on the same page? In this workshop, we will focus on layering the world of the narrative and manipulating information transfer, detail, voice and nuance, the smoke-and-mirrors and sleight-of-hand techniques that are the writer’s equalizing arsenal.
July 17-28 Fiction with Melissa Bank. Study fiction with the author of A Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing and The Wonder Spot.
July 17-28 The Novel with Meg Wolitzer. This workshop will look closely at the important choices a writer makes when taking on the long form of the novel. Whether dealing with the various potential problems and pleasures of beginnings, middles or ends, we'll focus on why something "works" or doesn't, and we will pay careful attention not only to language, form and content, but also to that essential question that a reader inevitably asks of a novelist: Why are you telling me this?
July 17-28 Truth Or Dare: YA Fiction & Nonfiction with Patricia McCormick. This workshop will focus on combining fact and fiction. We will bring the skills of a researcher to the stance of a poet. We will see how facts enhance fiction and how a careful choice of language elevates the telling of a real-life experience. We will also practice interview and research techniques, and ponder the age-old of question of when to stop researching and start writing. McCormick is a two-time National Book Award finalist and won the ALA Best Book of the Year Award.
July 10-14 Picture This: Visual Storytelling in Graphic Novels, Children's Books and Comics, with Jules Feiffer. This is a workshop in visual storytelling for writer-illustrators across multiple genres. Join the Pulitzer-winning and internationally syndicated Village Voice cartoonist whose award-winning children's books include Bark George, I Lost My Bear, and The Man in the Ceiling. Feiffer's next project, a noir satire in graphic novel form due out next year, is called Kill My Mother.
July 10-14 Poetry with Grace Schulman. Come to this workshop for an in-depth reading of the poems you submit to the conference. We’ll consider what you have achieved, what you hope to achieve, and how you might build on passages in your work in order to ascend to a new level.
July 17-28 Poetry with Billy Collins. Our workshop will focus on the work of its participants with an eye to improving each poem under consideration. I would like to put special emphasis on how poets can employ a set of maneuvers to guide their poems to surprising ends. Each of you should bring a dozen copies of a poem for discussion to each of our meetings.
July 17-28 Poetry with Heather McHugh. Emphasizing close reading of poems for structural (NOT necessarily formal) effects, we'll discuss in detail 2 poems by each of the workshop participants. Those poems will have been chosen by the workshop leader, from a submission of 4 poems you send to Southampton Workshop organizers (send your best, if you will). Once received, the poems will be arranged to create patterns of critical linkage in discussion. The worksheets (on which we'll base our discussions) will be distributed during our first meeting. Your job? Submit four poems, be willing to hear your work discussed without your intervention, and be prepared to participate generously ("not untrue and not unkind") in discussion of the work of others.
July 10-14 Memoir with Susan Cheever. Memoir: the novel of the twenty-first century. This workshop will start with excellent examples of memoir writing and go from there to your own work, which we will circulate ahead of our first meeting. Participants will submit up to 20 pages by June 26 on this prompt:"Write about a physical scar that you have. Three pages of material from your childhood will be your maximum; seventeen pages will be about your experience as an adult."
July 17-28 Memoir with Mary Karr. Study memoir with the best-selling author of The Liar's Club, Cherry, and Lit: A Memoir. Students must be serious about taking comments and rewriting. They should also be comfortable questioning what is and isn't true about what they remember.
July 17-28 Creative Nonfiction with Matt Klam. Whether they're writing a memoir, first person journalism, a piece of fiction or a graphic autobiography, my favorite authors use personal experience, carefully observed details and facts to make great stories. I'm thinking of writers such as Mary Karr and Alison Bechdel, Jon Krakauer and Ernest Hemingway. In this class we'll focus on creatively made but realistic stuff, essays, personal histories, fiction and memoir, writing every day, reading and discussing a little bit in class, while also talking about your own work in a helpful, constructive manner.
July 17-28 The Memoir with Roger Rosenblatt. A workshop in which students progress toward writing their memoirs by doing a number of exercises designed to deal with the nature of memory, the unearthing of the past, and the understanding of life as art.
July 10-14 Writing for Performance with Leslie Ayvazian. Working spontaneously from prompts, participants create work that springs from both personal experience and imagination. The point is to stimulate thinking and investigate what's on our minds with an eye toward performance. At the end of the session, each participant will have the opportunity to present a portion of their work to the Conference community.
July 10-14 Subtext and Truth with Ellen McLaughlin. In this workshop we will be exploring the notion of subtext, which drives playwriting more than any other literary form. We will be paying attention to the way people lie, how lies are exploded and how the truth, when it is spoken, is revealed, generally in climaxes. We will be looking at the way that what is not being said can be used as a tool to creating compelling scenes. We will see how complex characters can be created and understood by discovering the half-truths they spin and the self-delusions they live by.
Participants should come prepared to write a lot, both in and out of class. Participation is not limited to people with previous experience of the form.
July 10-14 Playwriting with Jon Robin Baitz, Pulitzer Prize finalist, Guggenheim and NEA Fellow, Drama Desk Award-winning playwright (Other Dessert Cities, Substance of Fire, Three Hotels, Brothers and Sisters, The West Wing)
July 17-21 Playwriting with Stephen Adly Guirgis, multi award-winning playwright and screenwriter (The Motherf**ker with the Hat, Our Lady of 121st Street, Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train , In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, NYPD Blue, The Sopranos)
July 17-28 Playwriting with Annie Baker. In this workshop you will generate a large quantity of messy, inspiring, all-new material. You will leave here with the several ten-minute plays and almost a dozen beginnings and fragments of future full-lengths. Through exercises and take-home readings, we will debate what it means to make theater in this film-and-TV-saturated times and collectively explore ideas about structure and how language and speech function onstage. Be prepared to do a lot of writing and reading in your free time. We will not be revising or discussing any work you wrote before the first day of class. Spend a week and a half taking artistic risks and pushing yourself to write in new and thrilling ways.
Subscriber with Workshop. Become immersed in creativity. Choose to take an introductory creative writing workshop filled with writing prompts, feedback and constructive support. Get access to all the electives, readings, evening events and receptions the conference has to offer. Intro workshop is led by one of the graduate students in Stony Brook Southampton’s MFA in Creative Writing & Literature.
Subscriber. Love literature but not writing? Get access to all the electives, readings, mini-workshops, evening events and receptions the conference has to offer and you don't have to pick up a single pen (though you'll probably want to).
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