Summer Writing Camps! (For Grownups)
The kids get to go to summer camp, so why not you? Left Margin LIT is offering a series of short summer classes designed to fit into your summer and rev up your writing practice. Dig deeper into your passion, or try something new. Each class is one week long, Monday through Friday, and meets for two hours every afternoon. At the end of the week, you will depart with inspiration, momentum, and many solid pages written and ready for the next step.
Days: Monday through Friday (see dates below)
Time: 1:30-3:30 pm
Price: $285 per week
FICTION CAMP: Make a Scene! | Melanie Abrams | June 17-21
What does a toddler do when he wants attention? Makes a scene. What does a writer do? Makes a scene! Scenes are the building blocks of stories, novels, and memoirs, but how do we get them to grab and keep a reader’s attention while still building character and advancing plot? In this workshop, we’ll spend each class session focusing on one of the four elements that make up a scene: action, dialogue, description, and interiority. We’ll look at stories by expert scene builders, discuss the nuts and bolts of these four methods, then work on crafting our own. Come to class with a work in process or spend the week writing your next page turner.
Melanie Abrams is the author of the novel Playing (Grove Atlantic) and the recently completed Meadowlark. She teaches at UC Berkeley. She’s married to the novelist Vikram Chandra, and they live with their daughters in Oakland, CA.
MEMOIR CAMP: Micro Memoir | Monica Wesolowska | June 24-28
Ready to write short? Then this is your summer camp.
Micro memoir has been around for centuries under many different names—essaykin, meditation, flash—but what is it? Beyond being short, great micro memoir combines the saturation of poetry, the drama of fiction, and the punch of truth; and it is currently having an explosion of popularity.
Each day this week, we’ll examine a few dazzling examples of published micro memoir. You’ll get to explore your own life through this powerful medium and get feedback on your efforts. By the end of the week, you should have not only a handful of pieces with punch but the motivation to continue shaping your own world through this fresh form.
Monica Wesolowska, author of the memoir Holding Silvan: A Brief Life, has a debut children’s picture book forthcoming from Scholastic. She also publishes short fiction and essays in a wide variety of venues, including The New York Times. A former fellow at the Fine Arts Works Center in Provincetown, she’s been teaching writing for fifteen years as well as working with clients as an independent editor. Read more at monicawesolowska.com
POETRY CAMP: Poetry For Prosers | Jacques Rancourt | July 15-19
This fun, generative, weeklong workshop welcomes new and returning students to the craft of poetry. Whether you love the form already or work in another genre (or a whole other discipline) and just want to learn more about how poems are made, this class will immerse you in great poems and help you break down what makes them tick. With daily prompts to get you started and a community of likeminded writers with whom to discuss the craft, every participant will be inspired to play, create, and push into new ways of composing.
The 5-day intensive workshop model will ask participants to write a poem each evening for workshop the following afternoon. We will meet for two hours to read and discuss your newly-created drafts and consider craft elements to support your writing. You'll depart each day with great feedback on your work as well as materials to help launch the next poem. By the end of the week, every participant will have written five brand new poems, and have a new understanding of how and why poems work.
Jacques J. Rancourt is the author of Brocken Spectre (forthcoming from Alice James Books in 2021), Novena (winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd prize, Pleiades Press, 2017), and a chapbook, In the Time of PrEP (Beloit Poetry Journal, 2018). His poems have appeared in the Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, Missouri Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Best New Poets, among others. He has held poetry fellowships from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, and Stanford University, where he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow. He lives in San Francisco.