Wrangling and Writing a Nonfiction Book Proposal,
with Kenneth R. Rosen
The idea feels bigger than an essay or article. It feels like a book. But do you write the book first? Or do you find a publisher to back you? Nonfiction manuscripts often begin as proposals before growing into book projects. Moving from how to structure your proposal, to the meaty chapter outline and excerpts, and to best-practice techniques for submitting to agents and publishers, this half-day workshop will tackle the beastly (and often prosperous) animal that is the first steps to publishing your nonfiction book. This workshop could also be useful for memoirists. Come prepared to discuss your book idea, as well as three books that are similar to the one you would like to write!
Saturday, September 8, 9 am – noon ($75) Register Now
Kenneth R. Rosen is a staff writer and senior news assistant at The New York Times. As an independent journalist, his reporting from the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and the United States has been published by (or is forthcoming in) Harper’s, WIRED, The Atlantic, The Atavist, FT Magazine, Foreign Affairs, Al Jazeera, The New Statesman, and New York Magazine, among other print and web publications.
Critical Craft Elements, with Seth Harwood
No matter what we write, fiction or nonfiction, our goal is simple: to make a reader’s imagination venture beyond mere words on the page. We want our readers to literally see our story’s events and characters in her mind’s eye. In this all-day workshop, we’ll explore ways to fully capture the imagination. Through a few time-tested techniques, participants will learn how to tie their reader’s heart to the narrator’s cinematic struggle, making her swoon with vertigo at the top of a tall building or wince from a cutting remark. Thinking back to what made us first fall in love with reading, we’ll look at how to create the sensation of seeing what is on the page in our minds. Such writing may seem elusive but is in fact an essential—and very learnable—skill.
Saturday, September 15, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm ($150) Register Now
Seth Harwood received an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and went on to build a large readership for his first novel, JACK WAKES UP, by serializing it as a free audiobook online. He is the author of four additional novels, as well as two collections of short stories, and a novella in the world of Kurt Vonnegut that deals with the themes of time travel, writing, religion, and fatherhood. He currently lives in central Massachusetts and teaches creative writing for Harvard and Stanford Continuing Studies. Find out more…
Plot Is Character, with Jacqueline Sheehan
Plot is one of those words that tends to make writers anxious. We all want to write gripping stories with strong narrative drive–the kind of stories readers can’t put down–but it’s easier said than done. Many writers will be relieved to learn that the best plots arise organically from characters, and not the other way around. If you know who your main characters are–if you know what drives them, what they want, how they tick, what gets in their way, you are already more than halfway to a compelling storyline. In this morning workshop, writers will learn tried and true techniques for identifying narrative arcs by way of character-definition. By getting to know our main characters better, we will clarify their desires, needs and conflicts, and will emerge with a much sharper sense of our story arc! Come prepared to discover, write, experiment, and be inspired!
Saturday, October 13, 9:00 am – noon ($75) Register Now…
Jacqueline Sheehan, PhD is the New York Times bestselling author of The Comet’s Tale, Lost & Found, Now & Then, Picture This, The Center of the World, and The Tiger in the House. She writes NPR commentaries, travel articles, and essays including the New York Times column, “Modern Love.” She edited the anthology, Women Writing in Prison. Jacqueline teaches workshops at Grub Street in Boston and around the world. Find out more…
Starting a Novel with Good Bones, with Randy Susan Meyers
Whether you’re launching your very first novel or beginning your fifth, it’s so easy to get lost in the morass of researching, generating and sketching… For those beginning a draft (or those lost in their umpteenth revision) this one-day workshop provides a valuable and effective approach for building (or rebuilding) your book’s structure. We will employ the ‘how do you eat an elephant’ approach: one bite at a time. Starting with an initial idea, participants move through a step-by-step outlining process. We’ll explore “what-if’s,” create a concept paper, transition into characterization, indexing and finally spine-building. By the end of the day, you will have a strong skeleton on which to hang your story. Back by popular demand. Appropriate for memoirists too!
Saturday, October 27, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm ($150) Register Now…
Randy Susan Meyers is the author of four novels: The Murderer’s Daughters (a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award), The Comfort of Lies, Accidents of Marriage, and recently, The Widow of Wall Street. Meyers teaches writing at Grub Street Writers Center and Writers in Progress of Florence. She is the mother of two grown daughters and lives in Boston with her husband. Find out more…
Busting through Writers Block, with Cindy Littlefield
You know how the writing process goes: inspiration strikes, your story starts off like gangbusters, and then your work comes to a screeching halt somewhere in the murky middle. It’s easy to lose your momentum when things start to get complicated… In this one-day workshop, writers will try their hand at a number of inspiring, quirky, challenging (in a good way!), and unforgettable tricks for getting their work moving again... Working together, we’ll rewrite a classic fairy tale, get swept away in a stream-of-consciousness writing exercise, play with improvisational dialogue, and create descriptions without using the very words we know are perfect (but overused) for the job. Writers of all genre are welcome. Come prepared to play and get unstuck!
Saturday, November 10, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm ($150) Register Now…
Cindy Littlefield’s fiction has appeared in Litro, Dogzplot, and the Rose & Thorn Journal, and she was a former finalist in the Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Southern New Hampshire University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University. Find out more.
The Power of the List, with Sarah Buttenwieser
Most writers have a love-hate relationship with their to-do lists, but in this half-day workshop, we’ll turn this practical strategy for ordering our work, home, and personal lives on its head! Lists actually have a lot of power, both as a narrative device in writing and as a way to approach work and creativity in general… In this half-day workshop, we’ll learn tricks for using list-making as creative inspiration. We’ll create characters in a list. We’ll complain bitterly in a list. We’ll be grateful in a list. We’ll share secrets in a list. In this fun and playful workshop, we’ll explore list-making as a creative tool that just may unlock the next story….
Saturday, December 8, 9-noon ($75) Register Now
Sarah Buttenwieser’s essays appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Paste Magazine, Full Grown People and many others. A freelance journalist, she’s also at work on a middle grade novel. She’s taught blogging workshops at WIP. She earned her MFA in fiction at Warren Wilson College.