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Rosemont Writer’s Studio

Two young women, both white brunettes, sit next to one another in front of bookshelves. They are speaking to a man, who only is visible from the back of his head. They are discussing a book.

The Writers' Studio courses are non-credit offerings of Rosemont College’s MFA Program. Our mission is to offer MFA graduates, from any program, and other members of the larger Philadelphia writing community an opportunity to take focused writing and publishingworkshops at a reasonable cost.

space is limited: register today

Fall 1 (September 12-October 17, 2022)

 Erasure Playground
Instructor: Autumn Konopka
Thursdays 6-8PM Main Campus

Erasure poetry blacks out, alters, or manipulates an existing text to create something entirely new. Often, such pieces incorporate additional materials – paints, textiles, paper, and even objects – changing a two-dimensional piece of writing into a mixed media work of art. This workshop will introduce erasure & mixed poetry, with a particular focus on using these techniques to grapple with troubling or problematic messages in the world. In other words, participants will mess with existing writing that troubles them and make it their own – something new and different. Working with texts from mainstream media, social media, and even participants’ own experience, we will add or subtract words, change word order and placement, manipulate images, add images, or…whatever. This work is playful and flexible. You don’t need a background in poetry or art, just a black marker and a point of view. Additional (optional) supplies will be provided. Open to All Levels

Autumn KonopkaAUTUMN KONOPKA is a novelist, poet, and trauma-informed teaching artist who has led writing workshops and curated literary events for more than 20 years. Her writing has appeared in Coal Hill Review, bedfellows, Apiary, Literary Mama, Philadelphia Stories, and Crab Orchard Review, among others. Her chapbook, a chain of paper dolls, was published by the Head & the Hand Press (2014, Philadelphia). She was poet laureate of Montgomery County, Pa., in 2016 and emeritus board member of the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference. She holds degrees in creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh and Antioch University, and she currently teaches college-level writing in Philadelphia. Her first novel, Pheidippides Didn’t Die, will be published in Spring 2023 by New Degree Press.


Reading Critically for Revision: Understanding manuscripts and story elements from the ground up
Instructor: Stacey Kucharik
Tuesdays 6-8PM Online

How do you know that a book is good? Can you define what makes it good?

A good manuscript is greater than the sum of its parts. Many story elements and literary devices meld together to make the reader experience. The best writers think critically about words and meanings understanding that language and symbolism are important to a great story. What does your manuscript have and what does it lack?

In this course, we will explore writing and storytelling at a granular level. In this course we will:

  • Read manuscripts critically
  • Review foundational principles of literary devices
  • Focus on narrative elements and their importance
  • Critically evaluate writings
  • Learn to revise your own manuscript

Open to Beginner and Intermediate Levels

Stacey KucharikSTACEY KUCHARIK began her editing company, Polished Print, fourteen years ago.  She has worked with hundreds of authors to polish their manuscripts into publishable novels.  Though her background began with academic editing, Stacey works with fiction authors exclusively and edits between ten and fifteen novels per year and recently celebrated the 300th novel in her professional career. Stacey holds two Bachelor’s degrees in English with a focus on creative writing and Communications as well as a Master’s degree in Publishing with a focus on editing from Rosemont. Polished Print aspires to educate authors and posts frequent educational videos about the publishing process and improving writings on Facebook.  Stacey has participated in multiple writing and publishing conferences in the past five years and has taught collegiate-level courses on editing and self-publishing.  For more information about Stacey, visit www.polishedprint.com or find us on Facebook.


From Submission to the Shelf
Instructor: Christina Rosso-Schneider & Alex Schneider
Mondays 6-8PM Main Campus

The publishing process can often feel like a mystery. But there is a list of steps writers can take to draft, polish, submit, and get their manuscript published. This course will outline these steps, while also talking about what happens after the book is published, from building your author platform to how to work with independent bookstores to get your book on the shelves. Led by the owners of the Philadelphia-based independent bookstore A Novel Idea on Passyunk, this workshop will break down the publishing process into manageable, attainable parts. Open to Intermediate Levels

Christina and Alex Rosso SchneiderALEXANDER SCHNEIDER (he/them) and CHRISTINA ROSSO-SCHNEIDER (she/her) are the owners of A Novel Idea on Passyunk, a community-minded independent bookstore and event space in South Philadelphia. Alexander has nearly fifteen years of experience as a graphic designer. Since 2016, Christina has been teaching writing classes through various universities, nonprofits, and the bookstore. She is the author of two books She is a Beast (APEP Publications) and Creole Conjure (Maudlin House). They are passionate about blending their love of books, accessibility, and education to foster a better and stronger community in the Philadelphia area.


The Flash Creative Nonfiction Memoir
Instructor: MM Wittle
Saturdays 10Am-12PM Online

Using 1,000 words or less you will write a creative nonfiction memoir. In this course, you will look outside the box of prose writing and think about using pictures and poetry to help shape your narrative. We will spend each week with a writing prompt, then looking at a craft lesson (which will come directly from the needs of the students) and then a safe space to workshop your current musings. Open to Beginner and Intermediate Levels

Michelle WittleMM WITTLE is a writer of all genres who is a middle school teacher during the day, a college professor at night, and a bookworm and writer on the weekends. Wittle also spends her time knitting book scarves because to her, books need to be kept warm, too. Wittle’s work has appeared in Transient, The Bond Street Review, Free Flash Fiction, The Fox Chase Review, The Four Quarters, Decades Review, *82 Review, Thin Air Literary Magazine, Emerging Literary Journal and others. Wittle's Creative Non-Fiction book, Three Decades and I'm Gone was published by Creeping Lotus Press in 2014. Follow MM Wittle on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MMWittle.


Fall 2 (October 31-December 5, 2022)

The Commercial Novel: Writing Books That Sell -- CANCELLED!
Instructor: Jamie Brenner
Tuesdays 6-8PM Main Campus

It’s one thing to write a novel that attracts an agent or gets published, but it’s another thing to write a novel that finds a readership. This course will introduce students to the craft of commercial fiction writing, including story conceptualization, story archetypes, character development, plot, and understanding and entering the marketplace.  Using contemporary bestselling novels as examples, with weekly writing exercises, this course will make the distinction between the art of writing and the craft of storytelling. Open to Intermediate Levels

Jamie BrennerJAMIE BRENNER is the bestselling author of seven novels published by St. Martin’s Press, Little Brown, and Penguin Random House. Her books include The Forever Summer, Blush, and this summer’s Gilt. She has sold over a quarter of a million books worldwide,  and spends her summers traveling the country speaking to audiences about her novels and the craft of writing. Prior to becoming a novelist she worked in the book publishing industry for nearly two decades in publicity and agenting.  Jamie earned her B.A. in Literature from The George Washington University, where she studied under the late Claire Sponslor and novelist Maxine Claire. Most of her favorite books published in the 1980s, but she likes to keep that to herself.


She is a Beast: Writing the Monstrous Female

Instructor: Christina Rosso-Schneider

Wednesdays 6-8PM Main Campus

Monstrous female figures lurk in myths and folktales, terrorizing with their talons, wings, and insatiable hunger. Our culture teaches women and those deemed as other that it is dangerous and ugly to step outside of society’s allotted bounds. What if this was embraced instead of feared? In this six-week workshop, we will study monstrous figures such as Medusa and the Harpies, comparing earlier versions with more contemporary, feminist ones. The class will culminate in shaping our own she-beasts to be workshopped as a group. Open to Beginner Levels

Christina Rosso SchneiderCHRISTINA ROSSO-SCHNEIDER (she/her) lives and writes outside of Philadelphia with her two rescue pups and bearded husband. Together, they run an independent bookstore and event space called A Novel Idea on Passyunk. In 2016, she received an MFA in Creative Writing and an MA in English from Arcadia University. She is the author of Creole Conjure (Maudlin House) and She is a Beast (APEP Publications). Her fiction and nonfiction work centers around gender, sexuality, fairy tales, and the occult, and has been nominated for Best of the Net, Best Small Fictions, and the Pushcart Prize. When she isn’t writing or working at the bookstore, she teaches in the humanities department at Moore College of Art. She also offers a variety of writing and occult-based classes through A Novel Idea and local nonprofits.


Write to Publish

Instructor: Tracee Garner

Thursdays 6-8PM Online

Write to Publish is an intimate course designed to give participants all the tools to write and seek publication for (or publish themselves) a body of work including a collection of essays, novel, poetry chapbook, memoir and/or the inspirational / self-help book. We will cover each genre briefly, talk about elements of each type of work and the publishing process once a book is complete. Additionally, we will discuss:

  • Finding one’s unique voice
  • Developing your story and ensuring it has all the right ingredients to fit in today’s market
  • Story elements
  • Various publishing markets and what their looking for
  • Costly pitfalls to avoid in one’s publishing journey
  • Selecting and mock pitching opportunities to editors/agents
  • Building your author platform, and
  • The publishing paths available for releasing your work into the market, whether that is through a traditional contract, or deciding to self-publish
  • Establish a professional critique circle to provide constructive feedback on the work

Students will understand the ins and outs of this ever-changing landscape and be able to put their best work forward. Open to Beginner and Intermediate Levels

Tracee GarnerTRACEE LYDIA GARNER is an international best-selling author of more than 20 books, a motivating speaker, humorist and book coach. She has taught at the academic level as an adjunct professor for 14+ years, teaching several courses including, Small Business PR and Promotion, Self-Publishing Boot Camp, and How to Write the Novel. Offered a book publishing contract at just 24 years of age with one of the “Top 5”, Tracee went on to write more work for publication and has also been published in her alma mater’s literary magazine. Tracee loves public speaking, teaching workshops, and talking about the craft of writing at every opportunity. She is the creator of Garner Solutions, LLC, coaching new and aspiring writers, helping them through the sometimes-daunting task of writing and professionally publishing their books.  Tracee holds a BS in Communications, and a nonprofit management certification.


What Touches Us: Writing Your Self

Instructor: Martin Wiley

Wednesdays 6-8PM Main Campus

Octavia Butler said “Whatever touches us touches our writing.”  The opposite is also true: what we write changes us.  In this course we will look at how writing helps us make sense of our lives, and how our lives can make sense of our writing. We will explore how we make poetry out of pain, and stories from our celebration.  Though readings, writing assignments, and discussions, we find ways to use our writing to know ourselves, heal ourselves, and just enjoy ourselves more.  This course is for all writers, from just-picked-up-a-pen to published author. Open to All Levels

Martin Wiley MARTIN WILEY is the author of Just/More, a chapbook built from discussing BLM with his young children, from Finishing Line Press, and Remember When We Used To Be Cute?, a narrative poetry book abut growing up mixed-race in the 80;s, forthcoming from CavanKerry Press.  He is a long-time poet and spoken word artist, as well as a teacher and activist.  He is the Adult Learning Lead Instructor for Project HOME and an adjunct at Rosemont College.

 


Winter (February 6-March 13, 2023)

The Business of Publishing 
Instructor: Adam Chromy 
Tuesdays 6-8PM Main Campus 
Adam Chromy, a successful literary agent for over twenty years, will take students through the life cycle of a career as an author: from developing professional-level writing skills, to choosing a genre, to querying and getting an agent, through the submission process, the book deal, and finally sustaining a career as a professional writer. Students will learn that writing is only half the job of being an author, the other half is building a brand and promoting it.  Intellectual property and the legal considerations in publishing will be simplified and thoroughly explained.  Students will obtain a firm grasp of the landscape and players within the book publishing industry.  Emerging technology and new distribution and revenue models for writers will also be explored.   Finally, case studies of successful authors will be discussed to highlight the current opportunities and challenges within the fiction and nonfiction book markets.  Open to Advanced Levels 

 

Adam ChromyADAM CHROMY has been a literary agent running his own boutique agency in New York for over twenty years.  He is also a published author, screenwriter and film/tv producer.   After earning a B.S. degree in Management and Finance from NYU’s Stern School of Business, Adam was the head of sales and marketing for a number of startup technology companies where he honed his entrepreneurial skills for nearly a decade.  But his love of storytelling inspired him to start over as a twenty-nine year old intern at an esteemed literary agency.  He soon realized the lessons he learned in tech could be applied to representing his clients’ business interests and developing a methodology for constructing effective narratives.  So he struck out on his own, and now his unique “value based storytelling” approach has made him a popular player in New York and Los Angeles and a frequent speaker at writing conferences.   


The Business of Writing in Entertainment
Instructor: Dete Meserve
Wednesdays 6-8PM Online

Many screenwriters don’t find the success they deserve because they don’t understand the business principles of working in the entertainment industry. The same is true for authors who want to see their work adapted for the screen. This course will walk you through what a deal looks like, key concepts to create and control Intellectual Property, how to work with producers, agents, and managers, protections of the Writer’s Guild of America, residuals, reversions, turnaround, approvals, how to attach others to your project, and other key concepts every writer needs to know to forge a path to success. Open to All Levels

Dete MeserveDETE MESERVE is a creator and producer of films and television series as well as a best-selling and award-winning novelist. As a partner of Wild Dancer Films, she oversees worldwide business and creative properties for the film and TV company. Meserve is also leading her own company, Melrose Hill Entertainment, focusing on animation content. She serves as Executive Producer on projects in production including the award-winning PBS astronomy series Ready Jet Go!, Space Camp a feature film for Universal Studios, an animated TV series for Apple TV+, and Storywoods, a stop motion series. Meserve’s work spans television series such as Home Improvement and Saint George with George Lopez, as well as the award-winning films Bernie (Jack Black), The Keeping Room (Amazon), One Small Step (PBS), Wildest Africa (Discovery/Netflix), What Men Want (Paramount), and Good Sam (Netflix). Meserve is writing the screenplay and will produce the feature film Random Acts of Kindness based on her bestselling book. Meserve is also the author of four best-selling and Award-winning novels: Good Sam for which she wrote the screenplay and produced the film for Netflix, as well as Perfectly Good Crime, The Space Between, and The Good Stranger. She is writing a fifth novel, The Memory Collectors. Meserve is a member of the Producer’s Guild of America, the Writer’s Guild of America West, and the Television Academy. In addition, she serves as vice chair of the board of directors for PRX (This American Life), the premier producer and distributor of podcast content.


From Zero to 100 in 6 Weeks
Instructor: Gregory Frost
Saturdays 10Am-12PM Main Campus

A “start-to-finish” overview of the processes and essential elements of writing stories and novels, from the “Zero” draft to revision and polishing. Revision, as they say, is where the hobbyist and serious writer part company, and where most of the rules shaping the final story apply. The course will include readings and in-and-outside of class writing prompts, and, depending on class members, may make use of their own work for analysis and critique. Open to All Levels

Gregory FrostGREGORY FROST (Shadowbridge/Lord Tophet–an ALA Best Fantasy Novel pick) is an American writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. Currently, he is at work on a three-book project, Rhymer, set in 12th century Scotland, and a supernatural western, Devil’s Draw, set in the Kansas Territory of the 1850s. His collaborative SF short story with late author Bill Johnson, “Boomerang,” will be out early next year in Asimov’s Magazine. Frost’s previous collaborative work, with Michael Swanwick, “Lock Up Your Chickens and Daughters, H’ard and Andy Are Come to Town,” won an Asimov Readers Award in 2015. His novels and short stories have been finalists for the World Fantasy, Stoker, Nebula, Hugo, James Tiptree, International Horror Guild and Theodore Sturgeon awards. He taught the Fiction Writing Workshop at Swarthmore College for eighteen years.


Mixed With a Twist: Writing Poems & Flash Prose
Instructor: J. C. Todd
Saturdays 10Am-12PM Online

Clear thinking about mixed emotions. In this 6-week session, we will apply poet W. H. Auden’s touchstone phrase to advance our own poems, short-form prose, and hybrids. Our explorations will begin with situations of conflicting / opposing emotions (think: all mixed up). Inspired by discussion, prompts, workshops, and model poems and short prose, we will expand and deepen early drafts, then home in for a surprise twist of image, narrative, or thought that reveals the core of the conflict. During the course, participants may work in a single form or switch forms.  Exploration and experimentation are encouraged. Open to Intermediate and Advanced LevelsJC Todd

C. TODD is the author of Beyond Repair (Able Muse Press, 2021), nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and The Damages of Morning (Moonstone Press, 2018), a finalist for the 2019 Eric Hoffer Award, as well as chapbooks and collaborative artist books. Winner of the 2016 Rita Dove Poetry Prize and ‘Commended’ in the 2021 competition of the Poetry Society of the United Kingdom, she has held followships from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and residency programs here and abroad. She has taught on the faculties of the Rosemont Writers Studio, MFA Program at Rosemont, and Creative Writing Program at Bryn Mawr College.  www.jc-todd.com


Wooing the Muse (Continually) - CANCELLED!
Instructor: Liz Abrams-Morley
Tuesdays 6-8PM Main Campus

Stalled?  Stale?  Looking to get started?  This workshop is designed to jump-start post-graduate writers who find they aren’t writing as much, as often or as fluidly as they hoped after they leave the support of an MFA program, and, at the same time, create a launch pad for the “always loved writing but. . .” writers who want to get going and develop a writing life.   Focus will be on generating new material in response to weekly prompts, though participants will also enjoy opportunities to get feedback on work in progress in a supportive community.  The instructor will introduce, and we will all have time to discuss, strategies for keeping going in those sometimes “slogging middles” of ongoing projects, or whenever the reason we aren’t writing is “you know—life.” Open to Beginner and Intermediate Levels

Liz Abrams MorleyLIZ ABRAMS-MORLEY’S Beholder, was published by Word Poetry in April, 2018. Other collections include Inventory, (Finishing Line Press, 2014) and her collection Necessary Turns which was published by Word Poetry in 2010 and won an Eric Hoffer Award for Excellence in Small Press Publishing that year. Named 2020 Passager Poet of the Year by Passager Press,  Liz’s poems and short stories have been published in a variety of nationally distributed anthologies, journals and ezines, and have been read on NPR.   Co-founder of Around the Block Writing Collaborative, (www.aroundtheblockwriters.org), she has taught in Rosemont’s MFA program and teaches literacy through the arts programs to children in K-12 classrooms. Wife, mother, grandmother, and perpetual activist, Liz wades knee deep in the flow of everyday life from which she draws inspiration and, occasionally, exasperation.  Visit her at www.lizabramsmorley.org


Spring (April 17-May 22, 2023)

Storyweaving: Adding Subplots to Your Novel
Instructor: Amanada Arista
Saturdays 10AM-12PM Online

You have your Hero's Journey, but what about everyone else? Take your story to the next level by learning how to enhance theme, increase characterization, and flesh out the journey with subplots. We will look at general plotting and subplotting techniques, analyze structure of popular subplots, and weave these subplots into your current hero's journey. There will be an opportunity for crafting time with classmates, helping you strengthen your HJ, clarify your external versus internal versus extraneous story elements, and craft surprises and laughs on every page for your readers. Don't forget the Post-it notes!

General Weekly Structure:

  1. Basic Definitions and Concepts in Plotting and General Scene Structure
  2. Story Structure: Basic HJ and Characters and Arc and theme (Activity- need to know the feelings of the characters going into and coming out of every scene before you start weaving- that will effect new decisions made in the HJ)
  3. How to identify subplots and brainstorming
  4. How do you want it to look
  5. How to Weave (Activity: Scene Cards)
  6. Work shopping with a partner

Course Materials: A draft outline, writing materials, plotting materials based on your style (post-its and poster board, 11x17 paper, index cards)

Course Homework: Pride and Prejudice and Stars Wars

Open to Intermediate and Advanced Levels

Amanda AristaAMANDA ARISTA was born in Illinois, raised in Corpus Christi, lives in Dallas but her heart lies in London. Good thing she loves to travel. During the summer after second grade, she read every book in the young adult section of the library, much to the surprise of the local librarian. So she started making up her own stories and hasn’t stopped. Along with her BA in English & Psychology and her MA in Education, Amanda is a graduate of the SMU The Writer’s Path and taught other aspiring authors for six years in the program. She has delivered lectures at several writer conferences and loves discussing craft, character, and structure. Amanda is the author of the Diaries of an Urban Panther series and The Merci Lanard Files. She is represented by Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary Management.


Self-Publishing 101
Instructor: Stacey Kucharik
Tuesdays 6-8PM Online

Self-publishing has become more prevalent than traditional publishing.  It is moderately simple, cheap, and can sometimes be lucrative. But, if you want to self-publish a manuscript, you’ll need to do it correctly.  That means that you’ll need to know a little bit about the publishing process, resources that will be available to you, and how to create a finalized product that doesn’t “look” like it was self-published. This course will guide you in a step-by-step fashion how to take a manuscript and turn it into a book.  We will cover all the bases from editing to formatting to self-marketing. Open to Beginner and Intermediate Levels

Stacey KucharikSTACEY KUCHARIK began her editing company, Polished Print, fourteen years ago.  She has worked with hundreds of authors to polish their manuscripts into publishable novels.  Though her background began with academic editing, Stacey works with fiction authors exclusively and edits between ten and fifteen novels per year and recently celebrated the 300th novel in her professional career. Stacey holds two Bachelor’s degrees in English with a focus on creative writing and Communications as well as a Master’s degree in Publishing with a focus on editing from Rosemont. Polished Print aspires to educate authors and posts frequent educational videos about the publishing process and improving writings on Facebook.  Stacey has participated in multiple writing and publishing conferences in the past five years and has taught collegiate-level courses on editing and self-publishing.  For more information about Stacey, visit www.polishedprint.com or find us on Facebook.


“What’s This Thing Called, Again?” -- The Prose Poem, Short-Short, Flash (Non)Fiction, MicroDooDad, & Other Stray Cats
Instructor: Alexander Long
Saturdays 10AM-12PM Online

What we name things matters. Or.... Consider: Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" is a prose poem. Wait. What? No. It's a short-short. No. It's a .... What makes a prose poem a prose poem & not, say, flash fiction? Or flash (non)fiction? We'll closely read & then write & revise pieces of writing that exist on the margins -- literally, aesthetically, and imaginatively. On their surfaces, these stray cats of short prose may look identical. That's where most of the meaningful similarities among them end. In addition to honing craft, we'll also investigate what may motivate one to identify a piece a "prose poem" or "flash (non)fiction", as well as the conscious and subconscious conditions and consequences (personal, political, cultural, fictive, historical, etc.) of these motivations. Because, after all, what we name things matters. 

Open to Intermediate and Advanced Levels

Alex LongALEXANDER LONG has been teaching creative writing in higher ed since 1997; in 2020, I was promoted to full professor with tenure at John Jay College, CUNY. I've published four books of poems with university/independent presses. My CV & website -- www.alexbasspoem.com -- detail these & other publications. I garnered, somehow, my first publication in 1995, & have been publishing with regularity since. The cornerstones of my pedagogy are close reading & active listening: to what students write, & crucially, what they haven’t yet written. One of my objectives as a creative writing instructor is to save students time writing in the "wrong" direction(s) while also writing & reading—that is, re-vising, re-listening—in new directions. The most vivid experiences I've had as a writer & someone who tries to teach it are the many mistakes I've made & continue to make. From mistakes come success, sometimes, so I share mine as points of instruction, yes, but also as evidence of empathy among writers.


Publishing Bootcamp: Demystifying the Query Process and the Book Deal
Instructor: Laura Sibson
Thursdays 6-8PM Main Campus

Do think your manuscript is ready for the next step? In this course, the instructor will walk you through the process of querying agents. We will read first pages, research agencies, and write query letters. In addition, the instructor will share what happens after the book deal. This course is ideally suited to the experienced writer who has completed a manuscript and is curious about what comes next. Open to Intermediate and Advanced Levels

Laura SibsonAfter a career in undergraduate counseling, LAURA SIBSON pursued an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Laura currently teaches creative writing at Arcadia University and has taught at the Highlights Foundation. When she’s not writing or teaching writing, you can find her exploring the neighborhood streets or hiking with her dog in Fairmount Park. She lives in Chestnut Hill with her family. She is the author of the young adult novels The Art of Breaking Things and Edie In Between.