Faculty and Workshops

Learn more about the 2013 conference faculty and what to expect from each workshop. Have you already decided which workshop is best for you? Click here to register online. If you prefer to mail-in your registration, download the form here.

Poetry: Katharine Coles

Workshop Title: Re/Generation: Making Poems, Unmaking Them, Making Them Anew

In this workshop members will both generate new poetic material through exercises and, through exercises and discussion, work through ways of seeing their poems differently.  Through this changed vision, workshop members will identify habits of mind that are productive and unproductive for their work, confront and (with help) abandon fears about unsettling or ruining poems, and find new, even startling ways to revise.  They will leave the class with a set of tools for thinking through both the composition and the revision processes.

Attending this Workshop?
Please come to the workshop with the following:
  • 6 original poems that are not as successful as you wish (prose poems or sudden fictions are fine);
  • 3-5 newspaper or magazine articles or short nonfiction excerpts you find compelling in language use and subject matter.  Katharine uses the New York Times, especially the science sections and also Opinionator blogs on mathematics (Strogartz), philosophy (The Stone), anxiety (various), and nature (Coniff); as well as nonfiction from explorers and natural historians–the important thing is that this be material that gives you poetry moodiness.
Faculty Bio:
Katharine Coles is a poet, novelist, and editor who earned her BA at the University of Washington, her MA at the University of Houston, and her PhD at the University of Utah. Among her awards and honors are a PEN New Writer’s Award, a 2012 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, and a term as Utah’s poet laureate. The Earth is Not Flat, Coles’ fifth collection of poems is available from Red Hen Press in March 2013.



Workshop Title: The Lie That Tells a Truth — A Fiction Writing Workshop

We’ll discuss the stories you’ve written, and we’ll address your own concerns about writing and storytelling. I will lecture on narrative techniques and the fiction writing process. We’ll do writing exercises designed to give our imaginations opportunities. You’ll come to the conference with an agenda—what it is you hope to learn—and we’ll do our best to see that your agenda is met.

So that’s workshop.  Discussion, writing, lectures. Some of these “lectures” will evolve from our discussions of the stories.  We’ll talk about narrative techniques like plot, point of view, tone, setting, and so on.  This is important: You ought to come to workshop with your own agenda. You ought to know what it is you hope to and expect to learn in the week we’ll be together. And you ought to express those desires in our sessions. So, if you want to know about agents and publishers, we’ll talk about them.  If you want to know about grammar and mechanics, we’ll talk about that.

Attending this Workshop?
Here’s what we’ll be doing. First of all, we’re going to read one another’s work and comment on that work.
  • Submit your twelve-page maximum manuscript to me and to the other members via email by May 1.
  • All manuscripts should be double-spaced, one inch margins, 12-point font.
  • Read and prepare responses to other attendees work prior to arriving at the conference.
  • More details about preparing for this workshop will be sent to members as they complete registration.
Faculty Bio:
John Dufresne is a graduate of Worcester State College and the Univeristy of Arkansas. Dufresne is an author of short stories, novels, plays, and screenplays. He also teaches in the MFA program at Florida International University in Miami. In 2012, Dufresne was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for his work.


Nonfiction: Christopher Merrill–THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL

Workshop Title: The Art of Nonfiction

Broaden your sense of the aesthetic possibilities in the literature of fact–essays, memoirs, travel narratives, literary journalism, nature writing, sports vignettes, war stories, and on it goes. We’ll generate new writings and critique your work-in-progress. The goal is to work together to deepen our understanding of what’s possible in the next pieces we write.

Attending this Workshop?
Please submit 10 pages to share with others in the workshop,  by May 15 if possible. Email as attachments to Jennifer@writersatwork.org  These will be distributed to registrants.  All manuscripts should be double-spaced, one inch margins, 12-point font (doc, rtf, pdf).
Please take a look at the following:
Faculty Bio:
Christopher Merrill has published four collections of poetry and five books of nonfiction, as well as writing journalism that has appeared in many publications. He currently directs the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. While serving on the US National Commission for UNESCO, he has conducted cultural diplomacy missions in over 30 countries. Mr. Merrill was also appointed to the National Council on the Humanities by President Obama in 2012.


Multi-Genre: Michael Martone

Workshop Title: The Cross-Section Workshop

Instead of looking at each piece individually and holistically as in the traditional workshop, the Cross-Section Workshop will look at all the pieces at the same time.  We will take “cuts” through each work, beginning with the title, then first line, then first paragraph, first page, etc. The discussion will be more about process instead of product, more strategic instead of tactical. The traditional “gag” rule where the writer of the work is asked to listen and not speak during the critique will be relaxed. In this workshop all of the writers will be asked to talk at all times, attempting to focus on the aesthetic choices and theories that operate behind and before the performance on the page.

Attending this Workshop?
Bring a page–no more than 250 words–of bad writing.  Attendees should write something bad.  They should write an example of their best badness.

Faculty Bio:
Michael Martone attended Butler University, graduated from Indiana University, and holds an MA from The Writing Seminars of The Johns Hopkins University. Currently a Professor at the University of Alabama, Mr. Martone has won two Fellowships from the NEA, a grant from the Ingram Merrill Foundation; and his stories and essays have been cited in the Pushcart Prize, The Best American Stories and The Best American Essays anthologies.
Writers @ Work interview with Michael Martone: http://www.writersatwork.org/wp/?page_id=1137

Have you already decided which workshop is best for you? Click here to register today.

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