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Creative Writing Workshop

CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP

Join select students and professional writers July for a month-long creative writing workshop. College credit is available for this hands-on English-language writing program, with intensive workshops that include instruction in:

  • Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Travel Writing
  • Memoir
  • Screenplays and dramatic writing
  • Literary journalism
  • Journal Writing
  • Presentation and Performance

In addition to taking classes and amassing writing portfolios, students will participate in one-on-one critiques with professional writers, give readings in Parisian bookshops, and receive « survival » French lessons. Between classes and tutorials, there will be ample time to experience the city, attend cultural events, visit museums, learn history, take day-trips to the countryside, read books, hang out in cafes, dance by the Seine, and make friends from around the world.

Literary Fictions Workshop

Under the direction of novelist, short-story writer, poet and playwright John Biguenet, this workshop will offer students an opportunity to write short fiction and poetry, as well as dramatic scripts for the stage and screen. Examining the student’s own writing alongside published works, the workshop will present instruction in the essential elements of literary forms while providing each participant a community of readers to respond to his or her work. In addition, each student will meet with Biguenet for individual conferences to develop a project for the final portfolio and for submission for publication. The fundamentals of publishing will also be addressed along with other aspects of succeeding as a professional writer.

Creative Nonfiction Workshop

Travel writer Rolf Potts will lend a professional touch to this workshop, which delves into the essence of nonfiction storytelling. Since the Paris setting is ripe for place-based narrative, travel writing will be a central aspect of this workshop — but students will also be encouraged to explore the art of memoir, as well as the ins and outs of literary journalism. Though this class primarily aims to sharpen and evolve writers’ instincts for constructing narratives, it will also touch on the practical matters of working with agents and editors, and submitting stories for publication. Potts will give one-on-one guidance for each student’s work, and final portfolios will include one polished nonfiction story to be submitted for publication.

The Paris Notebook (Journal Writing)

Guided by novelist Lauren Grodstein, students will keep a notebook throughout the course, working in a variety of modes of journal writing. This notebook will become a source for more finished pieces — poems, short travel, etc. — in the other courses. Writing assignments will be coordinated with readings and with excursions in and around Paris.

Presentation And Performance

The drama of the spoken word is the focal point of this one-time seminar, taught collectively by John Biguenet, Rolf Potts, and Lauren Grodstein. Regardless of the form they wish to explore, writers will learn how to enhance the dramatic potential of their work through readings in the workshop. Writers will grasp how their presentation appears and sounds to others; and why it is essential for publication that a work possess its own voice once removed from the actual writer.

John Biguenet

John Biguenet is the widely acclaimed author of The Torturer’s Apprentice: Stories and Oyster, a novel. His stories have appeared in such magazines as Granta, Esquire, Playboy, Story, and Zoetrope and been presented in « Selected Shorts » at Symphony Space on Broadway. He is the author of three plays, Wundmale, The Vulgar Soul, and Rising Water, which won the National New Play Network Commission Award. His new play, Shotgun, premiered at Southern Rep Theatre in 2009. Another new play, Night Train, was developed at the National Theatre in London this past year. An O. Henry Award winner for his short fiction and a New York Times guest columnist, he is the Robert Hunter Distinguished University Professor at Loyola University in New Orleans.

Rolf Potts

Dubbed « Jack Kerouac for the Internet Age » by USA Today, Potts’ essays and reportage have appeared in such venues as the New York Times Magazine, Salon.com, Slate.com, National Geographic Traveler, the Travel Channel, and National Public Radio — as well as over a 20 nonfiction anthologies, including the Best American Travel Writing series and the Best Creative Nonfiction series. He has won four Lowell Thomas Awards for his travel writing, and his first book, Vagabonding, has been translated into four languages. His newest book, published in 2008, is Marco Polo Didn’t Go There. This will be his eighth summer of teaching at the Paris American Academy.

Lauren Grodstein

Lauren Grodstein is the author of the short story collection The Best of Animals (Persea, ’02) and Reproduction is the Flaw of Love, a novel (Dial, ’04). Her new novel, A Friend of the Family, was published by Algonquin in 2009. Her essays, stories, and reviews have been published in The New York Times, The Ontario Review, and several anthologies. She is an assistant professor of English at Rutgers University, Camden, where she helps direct the new MFA in creative writing.