The workshops below are by application only and require submission of a 10-page example of the applicant’s best unpublished work. We also offer a beginning writing workshop that is filled on a first-come, first-served basis and does not require manuscript submission.

Ben Fountain

ben-fountain-c-billy-lynnBen Fountain’s novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk won the National Book Critics’ Circle Award, the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Award, and the L.A. Times Book Prize, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Ang Lee directed the film adaptation of Billy Lynn, which was released in November 2016 and starts Steve Martin, Vin Diesel, Kristen Stewart, and Chris Tucker. Fountain is also the author of Brief Encounters with Che Guevara (Stories), which won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Barnes & Noble Discover Award for Fiction, and a Whiting Writer’s Award.

Course Description
Desperate writers: those of us who write because we have to, we don’t have a choice. As opposed to “Sunday writers” (as in, Sunday painters). Each day there will be brief “lectures” on plot, character, dialogue, and other basic stuff, along with discussion on how writers might get their work done in America without going crazy (though sanity is probably overrated). Writing exercises will be on the menu, nothing too onerous, along with hikes (figurative) deep into the weeds. 

Hannah Tinti

hannah-tintiHannah Tinti is a writer, editor and teacher. Her short story collection Animal Crackers was a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her bestselling novel The Good Thief won the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, an American Library Association Alex Award, and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. In 2002, Tinti co- founded the award-winning literary magazine One Story, and for the past fourteen years has been its editor-in-chief. She teaches creative writing at New York University’s MFA Program and the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy, which she co-founded with Dani Shapiro, Michael Maren, and Antonio Sersale. Her new novel, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, has been optioned for television and will be published in March 2017 by the Dial Press.

Course Description 
This workshop will explore fun, creative ways to bring more to the page and deepen your writing experience. Our class will touch on the most important elements of storytelling–character, plot, structure, setting, dialogue, description, as well as beginnings and endings, with the goal of helping each author communicate more effectively with their audience. Each day will consist of mini-craft lectures, innovative writing exercises, and close-readings, giving each student a personalized experience and a list of focus points to bring their writing to the next level.

Jess Walter

jess-walter-c-hannah-assoulineJess Walter is the author of eight books. His 2012 novel Beautiful Ruins spent more than a year on the New York Times bestseller list, five weeks at #1. He was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award for The Zero and won the 2005 Edgar Allan Poe award for Citizen Vince. He’s been a finalist for the PEN/USA Literary Prize in fiction and nonfiction, a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize, and twice won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award. His most recent book, the short story collection, We Live in Water, was long-listed for the Story Prize and the Frank O’Connor International Story Prize and won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award. His books have been published in 32 languages and his short fiction has appeared twice in Best American Short Stories, in Harpers, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Esquire and many others. He lives in Spokane, Washington, with his family.

Course Description
“All Happy Families: Beginning a novel or short story.” The beginning is the most important part of any piece of writing; the DNA of any piece is contained in its first pages. We’ll talk about structure and style and voice and strategies for launching a story and keeping it afloat.