Workshops

Weekend Workshops

Flash Fiction with Randall Brown This workshop discusses the technique behind writing great and fearless flash fiction. It’s an interactive, hands-on immersion into this exciting world where every word counts, where texts desire to end as soon as they begin, where every choice, every word, every second is your chance to go for it, like you never have before. Micro. Sudden. Flash. Fiction. Wow!

Word Count Limit for Submissions: 1,000 words
Writing Children's Picture Books with Joe Kulka A successful picture book is a good marriage of words and imagery. Both do their part to tell the story and ideally they enhance each other in doing so. A rudimentary dummy will be completed to better gain an appreciation of storytelling, pacing and the impact of the page turn that is unique to a picture book. Submissions Due: June 1 to cspataro@rosemont.edu

Word Count Limit for Submissions: 1,000 words
Spend the Weekend with a Literary Agent with Sheree Bykofsky
Join the bestselling author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Published at her one-of-a-kind workshop. This weekend seminar will teach you the ins and outs of the publishing universe, including:
  • What's hot right now in both fiction and non-fiction
  • The difference between a query letter, a pitch and a proposal
  • How to develop ideas with true commercial potential
  • How to write a query that really sells
  • How to locate and work with the right agent
  • How to craft an effective book proposal
  • What to realistically expect in a first-book contract
  • Why becoming a published author is just like being a contestant on Wheel of Fortune!

Tel Your Story with Anne Kaier

Turn your journaling, memories, and memoir drafts into marketable nonfiction stories. In the workshop we will write new work, share work to get feedback, discuss effective techniques and talk about how non-fiction is like and unlike
fiction. You should leave the weekend with several drafts of new stories and with tips on how and where to get your work published. Submissions Due: June 1 to cspataro@rosemont.edu

Word Count Limit for Submissions: 1,500
On Longing and Loss: a Poetry Weekend with Liz Abrams-Morley
Two drivers of much poetry are desire and dashed hope, longing and loss.  What do we want? Cling to? Grieve? Over this weekend poets will create new poems based on provided prompts and model poems. We will share work in progress then work together with various introduced revision strategies to deepen these new works, sharpen tension, hone form and subvert the sentimental in favor of real feeling. Endings and titles will get special attention.

Submissions: We will generate new poems and then work on revision strategies as we revise these new poems.

Weeklong Workshops

Novel Fundamentals with Charles Holdefer
You have the story in your head—but why isn’t it working on the page? Why do those chapters continue to languish in a drawer? What’s missing? This workshop, for novelists of all levels, operates from the premise that the spark of inspiration is all very fine but doesn’t take us far without a firm grasp of fundamentals.

In class we’ll pay considerable attention to language (I’ll give your sample pages a vigorous close reading). We’ll also discuss characterization and story arc, as well as common pitfalls that occur when writing about familiar subjects, e.g., family, mortality, faith or sex.
Ideally, you will go home with practical revisions, new material, and a firmer understanding of your options for your novel. Please contact cspataro@rosemont.edu for specific submission guidelines.

Word Count Limit for Submissions: 5,000
Crafting Short Stories with Gregory Frost
Short stories are as different from novels as poems are. In fact, the short story bears more resemblance to poetry than to the novel, both in concept and in execution. In this workshop we’ll focus on the distinctions between as well as the common shared elements, how they’re applied differently in different forms, and the ways those elements shape stories, regardless of genre. The workshop will involve in-class exercises and prompts, as well as readings and exercises that extend beyond each class. Submissions Due: June 1 to cspataro@rosemont.edu

Word Count Limit for Submissions: 10 double-spaced pages [3,500 words, 12 point serif type please] (including synopsis as necessary)
Writing the World for Fresh Eyes: An Exploration of Young Adult Literature with Tawni Waters
In this workshop, we will explore the traditional craft elements of fiction writing as well as the challenges that are unique to writing YA fiction.  Good adult literature and young adult literature have a lot in common.  Both employ strong characters, engaging plots, authentic dialogue, and vivid language.  But young adults see the world through different eyes than adults, and if you want to write for them, you need to freshen up your eyes--look at the world the way they do.  This workshop will help you to do just that!  In this workshop, we will learn mostly by doing and exploring your work, rather than by lecture, so please come ready to write and talk about your writing! Submissions Due: June 1 to cspataro@rosemont.edu

Word Count Limit for Submissions: Two chapters and a brief synopsis
Our Lives in Stories (Memoir) with Curtis Smith
This workshop will examine the challenge of taking real-life experiences and translating them into the written word. All realms of creative nonfiction will be addressed: personal and lyric essay, memoir, travel writing, and others. We will examine shape and structure, the use of traditionally fictive devises in creative nonfiction, and the burgeoning nonfiction market. Personal and detailed feedback will be provided through a supportive workshop that will meet daily to discuss students’ work.  Submissions Due: June 1 to cspataro@rosemont.edu

Word Count Limit for Submissions: 4,000
Deface or Reface? Erasures, Excerpts, & Eavesdrops with J.C. Todd
Through erasing, excerpting and eavesdropping we will experiment with ways to create new poems and micro-prose pieces by altering pre-existing texts and acts of speech. We’ll deface in order to re-face and renew. Our models will include contemporary work by Janet Holmes, Philip Metres, Claudia Rankine, Travis MacDonald and others. Poets and writers of very short fiction and non-fiction are welcome. Submissions Due: June 1 to cspataro@rosemont.edu

Submissions: Submit a paragraph or four or more sentences or continuous phrases from a “story” in the media or overheard dialogue or Facebook post or tweets or commercial or print advertisement. This language should not sound like you but it should grab your attention. Avoid cute; go for something with depth or dissonance. Submit as a word document in a readable 12 pt. font, double-spaced, if possible, with your name at the top. Do not disclose the source; just steal the language.  Do not submit a poem, just the language you have “stolen.” Submissions are due June 1 to cspataro@rosemont.edu