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Randall Brown: Flash Fiction 

We will explore various ways writers attack the demands of the limited word-count of flash fiction, using both more traditional narrative techniques and more experimental non-narrative methods. In addition to craft, we will look at ideas regarding story, narrativity, and genre. Also, throughout, we’ll remain cognizant of the fact that we aren’t writing flash in a vacuum but within a literary community where many other flash fiction pieces have been and will be in circulation. There’s also the opportunity to complete various flash projects for critical feedback at any time post-workshop.

  • REQUIRED MATERIALS: Pocket Guide to Flash Fiction, 0983792852, Matter Press; 1st edition (2012)

brownBio: Randall Brown teaches at Rosemont College's MFA in Creative Writing Program. He appears in The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction: Tips from Editors, Teachers, and Writers in the Field and in The Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction. He's also the founder of Matter Press, its online magazine The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and the blog FlashFiction.Net. He has been published and anthologized widely, both in-print and online.


Joe Kulka: Writing Children’s Picture Books

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




Bio: Joe Kulka Joe has illustrated over 20 books for children, 6 of which he also wrote. His latest book as both author and illustrator is slated for publication 2019. Joe teaches children’s book illustration at Moore College of Art and Design.




Tawni Waters: Travel Writing That Takes You Places

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” Henry Miller

The most beautiful thing about travel is that it takes you places, not only physically, but mentally, spiritually, and emotionally as well. The best travel writers take readers on a journey with them. Readers emerge from the reading experience a little different than they were when they went in. This workshop will teach you how to craft a literary travel piece that takes your readers (and editors) to places they’ve never been. Submissions Due: June 1 to

  • WORD COUNT LIMIT/POEM LIMIT FOR SUMBISSIONS: 20 pages of prose or 5 poems  

watersBIO: Tawni Waters’ first novel, Beauty of the Broken, won multiple awards, including the prestigious International Literacy Association Award for Young Adult Literature. Her second novel, The Long Ride Home, will be released by Sourcebooks Fire in Summer 2017. She is the author of the poetry collection, Siren Song, and has been published in myriad magazines, journals, and anthologies. She travels the world, writing things, making friends, and teaching at various conferences, universities, and workshops.


Dilruba Ahmed: Leaps and Swerves: Creating Surprise in Poetry

Join us for a poetry workshop that will explore unexpected moves in poems: disruptions to syntax, shifts in tone, and leaps that move associatively down the page. In this workshop, you can expect in-class and take-away writing prompts that invite a sense of wildness and surprise to our creative work. We’ll study poems by poets such as Carl Phillips, Brenda Shaughnessy, James Wright, Natasha Tretheway, Martha Collins, and others. Together, we’ll investigate how poets use various craft strategies (such as lineation, syntax, and diction) to create an interplay between stabilizing and destabilizing forces in their work while engaging the reader in a journey of discovery. Submissions Due: June 1 to


ahmedBIO: Dilruba Ahmed’s debut book, Dhaka Dust (Graywolf Press, 2011), won the Bakeless Prize.  Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Blackbird, New England Review, New Orleans Review, and Poetry. Her work has been anthologized in Literature: The Human Experience (Bedford/St. Martin’s), Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry, and elsewhere. New poems are forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Copper NickelIndiana Review, and Western Humanities Review. She is a lecturer in creative writing at Bryn Mawr College and a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

Roseanne Wells: Spend the Weekend with a Literary Agent

Find out what an agent actually does: what a typical day might look like, what an agent does for their clients, and how to use your manuscript or any book to write a synopsis and a query letter. Plus a 10-minute one-on-one meeting, an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session, and a group critique of live pitches.


wellsBio: Roseanne Wells joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency as an associate agent in 2012. Previously with the Marianne Strong Literary Agency, she has also worked as a proofreader and a special sales/editorial assistant. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with degrees in Literature and Dance. An avid reader, Roseanne discovered her passion for book publishing during her internship at W. W. Norton, and she approaches agenting as a writer's advocate, editor, and partner. She is a member of SCBWI, and you can find her on Twitter @RivetingRosie.


Charles Holdefer: Novel Fundamentals

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. Submissions Due: June 1 to 


holdferBIO: Charles Holdefer is the author of four novels, most recently Back in the Game. His novel The Contractor was an American Booksellers’ Association “Book Sense Pick” and has been translated into several languages. His short story “The Raptor” won a Pushcart Prize and appears in the 2017 anthology, and a collection of short fiction, entitled Dick Cheney in Shorts, is forthcoming in 2017. He attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the Sorbonne. His fiction has appeared in the New England Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, North American Review, Slice and elsewhere. He also writes essays and reviews. Visit Charles at




Curtis Smith: Advanced Short Story Workshop

This workshop will focus on critiquing submitted stories. The workshop will utilize constructive and encouraging observations to help each piece achieve its potential. Each session will also feature short writing exercises and discussions of craft. Submissions Due: June 1 to 


smithBIO: Curtis Smith has published over one hundred stories and essays. His work has been cited by The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Mystery Stories, The Best American Spiritual Writing, and The Best Short Fictions. He’s worked with independent publishers to put out eleven books. His most recent books are Beasts and Men stories, Press 53), Communion (essays, Dock Street Press), and Slaughterhouse-Five, Bookmarked (nonfiction, Ig Publishing).


Jillian Sullivan: Creative Non-fiction – Casting the spell--FULL!

To write creative non-fiction, work that employs language analytically, subversively, seductively as French writer Monique Wittig says, is to write knowing your own voice and where you stand. It’s telling the truth you want to tell - or understand - with clarity and compassion. It’s using story, with all its attributes of character, dialogue and detail, to illuminate and transform fact.

This week we’ll examine aspects of our lives mythically to see where we’ve come from and what we face as writers. We’ll bring the techniques of fiction to facts, and use sensory detail and the richness of the subconscious mind to evoke authentic worlds. Submissions Due: June 1 to 

  • WORD COUNT LIMIT FOR SUMBISSIONS: 1200 words, which may be part of a larger work

jillianBIO: Jillian Sullivan lives and writes in the Ida Valley, in the South Island of New Zealand. She’s published novels, collections of short stories, poetry, creative non-fiction and memoir. She has a Master of Creative Writing from Massey University, and teaches writing in NZ and in America each year. Her awards include The Highlights Fiction Award from America, and the Kathleen Grattan Prize and The Takahe Prize for poetry in New Zealand. Her latest book, the memoir A Way Home, tells the story of building a new life and a strawbale home in Central Otago (Potton and Burton 2016).






Grant Clauser: Poetry of Place and Home

We will read and write poems of “place”—poems which focus on the natural environment, on made environments, and on identity as “home”—a look at the art of identity politics—that is, we’ll read and write poems which address where and how we feel “at home.” Participants will be given model poems and prompts in order to generate new work for the first part of the week. We will share and respond, and then also spend time revising these drafts. The instructor will introduce a variety of strategies for re-vision—literally re-seeing, reentering and deepening our poems in process.  

  • POEM LIMIT FOR SUMBISSIONS: No advanced submissions

BIO: Grant Clauser is the author of two poetry books, Necessary Myths (Broadkill River Press 2013) and The Trouble with Rivers (Foothills Publishing 2012), plus the forthcoming collections, The clauserMagician's Handbook (PS Books) and Reckless Constellations (Cider Press Review Books).  He holds an MFA from Bowling Green State University where he was a Richard Divine Fellow. In 2010 he was named the Montgomery County Poet Laureate by Robert Bly. In 2014 he was a guest poet at the Sharjah International Book Fair in the United Arab Emirates. Poems have appeared in The American Poetry ReviewThe Cortland Review, Gargoyle, The Literary Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Southern Poetry Review, Tar River Poetry and others. He also writes about electronics, teaches poetry at random places and serves as the poetry craft essay editor for Cleaver Magazine. His blog is


Tawni Waters: Writer-in-Residence

Tawni will be available to provide in-depth one-on-one manuscript consultations in all genres (poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction) by appointment. Ten slots will be filled on a first come, first served basis. After registration, please contact the program director, Carla Spataro, at, to reserve your space.

  • WORD COUNT LIMIT FOR SUBMISSIONS: Advanced submission is required. Please limit prose to 3,500 words and no more than five pages of poetry.
  • Submission Deadline: June 1, 2016

watersBio: Tawni Water’s first novel, Beauty of the Broken, won multiple awards, including the prestigious International Literacy Association Award for Young Adult Literature. Her second novel, The Long Ride Home, will be released by Sourcebooks Fire in Summer 2017. She is the author of the poetry collection, Siren Song, and has been published in myriad magazines, journals, and anthologies. She travels the world, writing things, making friends, and teaching at various conferences, universities, and workshop


Friday Check-In 12-4 pm Gracemere Hall Great Room
Friday Supper and Welcome 5:00 pm Gracemere Hall Great Room
First Workshop 7:00-9:00 pm Please Check Course Packet
 Breakfast 8:00-9:30 am  Gracemere Hall Great Room 
 Morning Workshop 10:00am-12:30pm  Please Check Course Packet 
Lunch   1:00-2:30 pm

Gracemere Hall Great Room

 Workshops  3:00-6:00 pm Please Check Course Packet 
 Dinner   6:30-7:30 pm Gracemere Hall Great Room    
Evening Reading (open mic) 7:30 pm Gracemere Hall Great Room
Breakfast 8:00-9:00 am Gracemere Hall Great Room
Workshops 9:30-11:30 am Please Check Course Packet
Farewell Lunch 12:00 Gracemere Hall Great Room



4:00-6:00 pm

Gracemere Hall Great Room

Sunday Supper and Welcome 6:00 Gracemere Hall Great Room
First Workshop 8:00


The Daily Schedule

Breakfast  8:00-10:00 am  Gracemere Hall Great Room  
Yoga 8:30-9:30 Gracemere Lawn
FREE TIME 10:00 am-12:00 pm  
PS Writer’s and Readers Series 12:00-1:00 pm Kistler Library Main Room
Lunch  1:00-2:00 pm Cardinal Hall Cafeteria
Workshops 2:00-5:00 TBA
Dinner   On your own

Special Events

Monday Night Faculty Reading 7:30 pm Gracemere Hall Great Room
Tuesday Night Informal Publishing Roundtable 7:30 pm Gracemere Hall Great Room

Wednesday Night Guest and

Alumni Reading                    

7:30 pm

Gracemere Hall Great Room  

Thursday Night Student Open Mic

7:30 pm

Gracemere Hall Great Room

Friday Night Farewell Supper           

6:00 pm

Gracemere Hall Great Room

Checkout-Saturday, June 24

 10:00 am  






Contact MFA Program Director,
Carla Spataro or 610-527-0200 ext. 2346