2017 Lit Fest Master Workshops

Announcing our visiting authors for Lit Fest 2017's Master Workshops:

  • Steve Almond 
  • Geoff Dyer 
  • Eileen Myles
  • Sarah Manguso
  • Rebecca Makkai
  • Elizabeth McCracken
  • Ada Limón
  • Merritt Tierce
  • Andre Dubus III
  • Akhil Sharma
  • David Henry Hwang

Advanced writers of poetry, nonfiction (narrative, short, and memoir)fiction (short, novella, and novel), and dramatic writing (screenplay and playwriting) are invited to apply for our weeklong or weekend Master Workshops. Each weeklong workshop meets five times (typically Monday through Friday) for a morning session and includes a one-on-one meeting with your instructor. 

The priority deadline for Master Workshop applications is March 1, 2017. To apply, click here. (Please note: Eileen Myles will be teaching a no-level poetry workshop. For that class only, no application is required. Registration will be first come, first served, starting in mid-March.) 

For tuition and fellowship information, click here. Questions? Check out our FAQs.

 

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POETRY

Master Poetry: To Make a Human Thing with Ada Limón

Monday through Friday, June 12–16
9:00 to 11:45 AM, with individual meetings outside of session times

Apply here.

This workshop is designed for experienced poets who would like to finish poems and prepare them for publication. With a constant focus on balance—the light and the dark, the real and the artful, the lyric and the narrative—we'll explore how to make poems go deeper, get messier, become sharper, until they feel more real and complete. We'll read numerous contemporary poems to help inspire and guide us in our own work. With rigorous in-class writing exercises and deep readings, we'll try to break open something new while breathing life into older work. You will need a notebook or laptop, a willingness to experiment, and an open mind.

Accepted participants will submit up to four poems for review by noon (MST) on May 12. Although all four poems will not be workshopped in class, there will be an opportunity to discuss them all during individual meetings with Limón, which will be scheduled the week of class.

Ada Limón is the author of four books of poetry, including Bright Dead Things, which was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry and the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and named one of the top 10 poetry books of the year by the New York Times. Her other books include Lucky Wreck, This Big Fake World, and Sharks in the Rivers. She serves on the faculty of Queens University of Charlotte's low residency MFA program and the 24Pearl Street online program for the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. She also works as a freelance writer, splitting her time between Lexington, Kentucky, and Sonoma, California.

Praise for Ada: "The lyrical genius of these poems sing to us of the perennial theme of home and our primordial ache of belonging. Ada Limón captures all the nuances that these colossal words call to mind with the gorgeous voice of her diction, and the timbre of her images. Both soft and tender, enormous and resounding, her poetic gestures entrance and transfix." —Richard Blanco

"Ada Limón is a poet of alchemy, able to transform herself into what is named as she utters the words—hummingbird, river, desire, gone. With Sharks in the Rivers she has created the thing itself, alternating rangy invocations with distilled wildness, always open to wonder." —Nick Flynn

Advance reading: Read and/or hear poems from Ada's collection Bright Dead Things on the Poets & Writers website. 

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NO-LEVEL POETRY WORKSHOP

How to Write a Poem with Eileen Myles

Monday through Friday, June 5–9 
9:00 to 11:45 AM, with individual meetings outside of session times

No application required: Registration will be first come, first served, starting in April.

Is advancement even possible in poetry? Often, inexperienced poets are more adept at picking up new things and employing them than more experienced practitioners. This workshop welcomes poets of all levels for a workshop geared toward creation. Students will read and discuss pieces from poets like John Wieners, Lorine Niedecker, Fred Moten, Simone White, and Judy Grahn, looking at what works and thinking about how to use similar techniques in their own pieces. Each class will include dedicated writing time, with the goal of writing a new poem every day. 

Accepted participants will submit up to four poems by noon (MST) on May 5 and will have the opportunity to schedule an individual meeting with Myles during the week of class.

Eileen Myles is the author of 19 books, including I Must Be Living Twice: New & Selected Poems and a 2015 reissue of Chelsea Girls. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in nonfiction, an Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Arts Writers grant, four Lambda Book Awards, and the Shelley Prize from the PSA. In 2016, Myles received a Creative Capital grant and the Clark Prize for excellence in art writing. Currently, she teaches at NYU and Naropa University and lives in Marfa, Texas, and New York.

Praise for Eileen: “Myles has long been a steady presence on the New York poetry scene. With the publication of this new and selected volume, which covers her 40-year career, she has become the toast of the town and the poetry world at large.” —Publishers Weekly

“Myles is a big deal, a rock star, sort of like the Patti Smith of contemporary poetry. Myles is relentlessly casual, and even joyful. She has a good time journeying through Hell, and like a hip Virgil, she’s happy to show us the way.” —NPR.org Advance reading: Fifteen of Eileen's poems appear on the Poetry Foundation's website.  

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NONFICTION

Master Nonfiction: Fragmented Narratives with Sarah Manguso

Monday through Friday, June 5–9
9:00 to 11:45 AM, with individual meetings outside of session times

Apply here.

Sometimes telling the whole story in order isn't the best way to tell a story. Fragmented narratives use disorder, omission, and repetition in order to render the experience of elapsed time more accurately and artfully. Join acclaimed writer Sarah Manguso in discussing these techniques and how to apply them. Participants will discuss a wide variety of prose works that use fragmented narration and then use these pieces as a springboard into writing and discussing their own work.

Accepted participants will submit up to 20 pages by noon (MST) on May 5 and will have the opportunity to schedule an individual meeting with Manguso during the week of class.

Sarah Manguso is the author of seven books. Her prose titles include 300 Arguments, an essay-in-aphorisms; Ongoingness, a meditation on motherhood and time; The Guardians, an investigation of friendship and suicide; The Two Kinds of Decay, a memoir of her experience with a chronic autoimmune disease; and Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape, a collection of very short stories. She is also the author of the poetry collections Siste Viator and The Captain Lands in Paradise, poems from which have won a Pushcart Prize and appeared in several editions of the Best American Poetry series. Her essays have appeared in Harper's, McSweeney's, the Paris Review, the New York Review of Books, and the New York Times, and her books have been translated into Chinese, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. She has taught creative writing at Columbia, Princeton, NYU, the New School, the Pratt Institute, the Otis College of Art and Design, and St. Mary's College, and she is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Rome Prize. She grew up near Boston and now lives in Los Angeles. She is currently the Mary Routt Chair of Creative Writing at Scripps College. 

Praise for Sarah: "A new book by Sarah Manguso is always a cause for celebration. She is a poet-philosopher of the highest order who combines a laser-sharp intellect with a lyric gift and a capacious, generous heart. With 300 Arguments she deepens her inquiry into the very essence of what it is to be human.” —Dani Shapiro

"300 Arguments shook me. It’s dark, but the darkness comes from a refusal to look away. Its humor is wounded but present. Is it possibly a sort of novel? The writer says somewhere, ‘This book is the good sentences from the novel I didn’t write.’ The idea holds up when applied, and the attentive reader will intuit an encompassing narrative. Sarah Manguso deserves many such readers.” ―John Jeremiah Sullivan

Advance reading: Don't miss Sarah's essay on motherhood, "The Grand Shattering," for Harper's Magazine

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Master Memoir & Essay: Narrative Architecture with Geoff Dyer

Monday through Thursday, June 5–8
9:00 to 11:45 AM, and Friday, June 9
8:00 to 10:45 AM, with individual meetings outside of session times

Apply here.

Many nonfiction writers feel most at ease when they’re in research mode, completely immersed in a subject, even if that subject is their own past. It’s easy to feel charged with creative purpose during these periods. When it comes to actually writing a book or essay, however, that excitement can quickly turn to boredom or even anxiety, as writers face the challenge of organizaing all their research into an appropriate form. In this workshop designed for advanced creative nonfiction writers of all stripes, particular attention will be given to narrative form as a backbone to the larger creative work.

Accepted participants will submit up to 20 pages by noon (MST) on May 5 and will have the opportunity to schedule an individual meeting with Dyer during the week of class.

Geoff Dyer is the author of four novels: Paris Trance, The Search, The Colour of Memory, and Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi; a critical study of John Berger: Ways of Telling; two collections of essays: Anglo-English Attitudes and Working the Room; and many genre-defying books: But Beautiful, The Missing of the Somme, Out of Sheer Rage, Yoga For People Who Can’t Be Bothered To Do It, The Ongoing Moment, Zona, and Another Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H.W. Bush. A collection of essays from the last 20 years, Otherwise Known as the Human Condition, was published in 2011 and won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. His most recent book, White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World, was published in May 2016. A new book, The Street Philosophy of Garry Winogrand, will be published in early 2018.

Praise for Geoff: “If Chekhov himself were to read this book, when he got to the chapter ‘White Sands’ even he would surely feel some fraternal tremor of envy… Perhaps the most brilliantly original practitioner of his generation.” —Jan Morris

“I have read Geoff Dyer on World War I, jazz, photography, the Venice Biennale, and D. H. Lawrence, among many other subjects. It’s as though his mind is slave to some unpredictable Internet browser inaccessible to the rest of us. His new book—an inimitably close study of life on an American aircraft carrier—is one of his best, funniest, and most humane yet. Geoff Dyer remains an unconventionally great writer—perhaps the most bafflingly great writer at work in the English language today.” —Tom Bissell

Advance reading: Get to know Geoff in his "Art of Fiction No. 6" interview in The Paris Review and check out his recent essay in the New York Times

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Master Memoir & Novel: The Long Narrative with Andre Dubus III

Sunday, June 11
4:00 to 6:45 PM
and Monday through Thursday, June 12-15
9:00 to 11:45 AM, with individual meetings outside of session times

Apply here.

This class is for novelists, memoirists, and nonfiction writers interested in finding and developing deeper truths in their book-length narratives. Where does the story need expanding; where does it lie? In this workshop, we will explore the transformative power of finding your character's truth, as well as book-length concerns like structure, dramatic build, memory and imagination, narrative voice, and metaphor. Careful and in-depth critiques will help uncover the most captivating aspects of your story so you can capitalize on them.

Accepted participants will submit up to 20 pages by noon (MST) on May 12 and will have the opportunity to schedule an individual meeting with Dubus during the week of class.

Andre Dubus III is the author of six books, including the New York Times bestsellers House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days, and his memoir, Townie. His most recent book, Dirty Love, published in the fall of 2013, was a New York Times Notable Book and a Kirkus Starred Best Book of 2013. Dubus has been a finalist for the National Book Award and has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Magazine Award for Fiction and two Pushcart Prizes. He is a 2012 recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. Dubus teaches at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and lives with his wife, Fontaine, a modern dancer, and their three children. Praise for Andre: "These are masterful and ravishing tales of loneliness, confusion, betrayal, the hunger for oblivion, and the quest for forgiveness." —Donna Seaman "I've never read a better or more serious meditation on violence, its sources, consequences, and, especially, its terrifying pleasures than Townie. It's a brutal and, yes, thrilling memoir that sheds real light on the creative process of two of our best writers, Andre Dubus III and his famous, much revered father. You'll never read the work of either man in quite the same way afterward. You may not view the world in quite the same way either." —Richard Russo

Advance reading: An excerpt from Andre's memoir Townie can be found at the New York Times

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Master Short Prose: The BS Detector with Steve Almond

Saturday and Sunday, June 3–4
8:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Apply here.

Writing is decision making: nothing more and nothing less. What word? Where to place the comma? How to shape the paragraph? Join Steve Almond for a workshop focused on improving the decisions you make in your writing. By looking critically and carefully at other people’s work, you’ll walk away with a better sense of how to improve your own. The idea is not to slow your rate of composition via compulsive revision, but to make better decisions in the first place and to recognize quickly when you haven’t.

Accepted participants will submit short pieces of up to 4,000 words by noon (MST) on May 5 to be reviewed during the intensive.

Steve Almond is the author of 10 books of fiction and nonfiction, most recently Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto. Almond's second book, Candyfreak, was a New York Times bestseller, won the ALA Alex Award, and was named the Booksense Adult Nonfiction Book of the Year. He has published more than 150 stories in magazines such as Tin House, Playboy, Zoetrope, and Ploughshares, with several included in Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize anthologies. His essays and journalism have appeared in venues such as the New York Times Magazine, GQ, the Wall Street Journal, Poets & Writers, and Real Simple. He regularly teaches at the Tin House Writer's Conference and has taught fiction at Boston College, Wesleyan, and Emerson College.

Praise for Steve: "Steve Almond is one of our finest literary provocateurs. His stories are without equal in their beautiful terrible honesty. Stylish and finely wrought, these are tales with the force of life itself." —Junot Díaz

“Steve Almond’s work is funny and beguiling and completely original.” —Lorrie Moore

"You could drop Steve Almond onto any strange planet and within days he'd beam back a story written by an insider, maybe even a native, that creeps you out it's so familiar and strange. His imagination is chameleon and ruthless, his fiction masterful right down to the sentence, the word." —Brad Watson

Advance Reading: Check out Almond's blog post on Mrs. Bridge on the Lighthouse blog as well as his short story “Ecstasy” in The Sun.

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FICTION

Master Fiction: Narrative Propulsion with Rebecca Makkai

Monday through Friday, June 5–9
9:00 to 11:45 AM, with individual meetings outside of session times

Apply here.

In narrative fiction, it's plot—cause and effect, development, change, suspense—that propels us forward. In less narrative fiction, we have to rely on other propulsions: lyricism, innovation, surprise, rhythm, revelation. And, as in every art form, we need to master the traditional forms before we can break the rules. In this workshop, we'll look at both the structure of traditional narrative fiction (referring to the wisdom of Aristotle, Freytag, and others) and also at the wildest formal experimentation being done today. We'll workshop student fiction in this light, focusing on arc, shape, and plot—or the lack thereof—and asking, in every case, what moves the story along and how to make it impossible to put down.

Accepted participants will submit up to 20 pages of fiction by noon (MST) on May 5. Participants will have the opportunity to schedule an individual meeting with Makkai during the week of class.

Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the short story collection Music for Wartime and the novels The Hundred-Year House, winner of the Chicago Writers Association award, and The Borrower, a Booklist Top Ten Debut that has been translated into eight languages. Her short fiction won a 2017 Pushcart Prize and was chosen for The Best American Short Stories for four consecutive years (2008-2011). The recipient of a 2014 NEA fellowship, Makkai is on the MFA faculty at Sierra Nevada college and has taught at the Iowa Writers Workshop, Tin House, and Northwestern University.

Praise for Rebecca: “A big-hearted gothic novel, an intergenerational mystery, a story of heartbreak and a romance, all crammed into one grand Midwestern estate.... A juicy and moving story of art and love and the luck it takes for either to last.” —Los Angeles Times

“Rebecca Makkai writes stories like houses: brick and mortar, but strangely alive. At their best, they fall together lightly, as if four walls and a roof should just happen to run into each other at the right place and the right time. More than a few are haunted.” —The Chicago Tribune

Advance Reading: Read Rebecca’s award-winning short story “The Briefcase” in The New England Review. (It's also in Best American Short Stories 2009.)

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Master Fiction: The Fictional World with Elizabeth McCracken

Monday through Friday, June 5–9
9:00 to 11:45 AM, with individual meetings outside of session times

Apply here.

The good news and the bad news is: there are no rules. When it comes to writing, a story succeeds or fails only depending on how it obeys its own rules, when it teaches the reader how to read and enter the particular fictional world. In our workshop, students will read each other’s work with generosity and optimism and rigor, to understand each piece’s best intentions and try to help the author to fulfill them. We'll learn, in other words, not only how to be critics, but how to read our own work critically. We will discuss in class and in conference both the smallest details of writing fiction as well as its loftiest aims.

Accepted participants will submit short stories of up to 30 pages by noon (MST) on May 5. Participants will have the opportunity to schedule an individual meeting with McCracken during the week of class.

Elizabeth McCracken is the author of five books: Thunderstruck & Other Stories, Here’s Your Hat What’s Your Hurry , the novels The Giant’s House and Niagara Falls All Over Again, and the memoir An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination. She’s received grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Liguria Study Center, the American Academy in Berlin, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She has taught creative writing at Western Michigan University, the University of Oregon, the University of Houston, and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She holds the James A. Michener Chair in Fiction at the University of Texas, Austin, and, boy, are her arms tired.

Praise for Elizabeth: “McCracken’s short stories are like no others. Her distinctive voice, her slightly askew manner of looking at the world, her mix of mordant humor and tenderness, her sense of life’s ironies, and the jolt of electricity at the end of each tale make her work arresting and memorable.... Readers will enjoy reading [the stories] twice—the first time quickly, because the plots are mesmerizing and strange, and the second to relish the dozens of images, aperçus, and descriptions.... McCracken transforms life’s dead ends into transformational visions.” —Publishers Weekly

“McCracken is a... robust, ferocious romantic who sees reality with all its chinks, twitches, and zits, and finds it beautiful.” —Katherine Dunn

Advance reading: Several of Elizabeth's short stories can be found online at Zoetrope

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Master Fiction: A Novel in Stories or Stories in the Novel with Merritt Tierce

Monday through Friday, June 12–16
9:00 to 11:45 AM, with individual meetings outside of session times

Apply here.

Whether you’re writing a collection of interconnected short stories or a novel you’d like to be able to excerpt for shorter pieces, this workshop is a place for exploration of longer and shorter forms of fiction. With books like A Visit From the Goon Squad, This Is How You Lose Her, Olive Kitteridge, and Tierce’s own Love Me Back, we see that old notions of what makes a novel, what makes collected stories, and how the twain might meet are becoming more and more fluid. Topics of discussion will include narrative build across stories, how to revise chapters to stand alone, and making decisions about the bigger picture of your work.

Accepted participants will submit up to 20 pages by noon (MST) on May 12 and will have the opportunity to schedule an individual meeting with Tierce during the week of class.

Merritt Tierce was born and raised in Texas, graduated from college at 19, and then waited tables for 10 years before attending the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award in 2011, and she is a 2013 National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Author. Her first book, the novel Love Me Back, won the 2014 Texas Institute of Letters' Steven Turner Award for Best Work of First Fiction. Love Me Back was also shortlisted for the PEN/Bingham prize for debut fiction and named a best book of 2014 by the Chicago Tribune and Electric Literature. Merritt's writing has appeared in the New York Times, Oxford American, and Southwest Review, among other magazines and publications. 

Praise for Merritt: "Tierce's prose possesses the force, bluntness and surprise of a sucker punch. Love Me Back is an unflinching and galvanic novel full of heart and heartache; one of my favorite books of the last few years." —Carrie Brownstein

"Merritt Tierce's debut novel, Love Me Back, is a gorgeous, dirty razor of prose—sharp and dangerous and breathtaking. This is a defiant story about a young woman choosing the life and motherhood that is best for her, without apology. At times, Love Me Back puts Marie into such vulnerable, honest, reckless places you want to cringe, but the fierce strength of Tierce's writing and the electric wonder of Marie's character will not allow you to look away." —Roxane Gay

Advance reading: Merritt's essay, "I Published My Debut Novel to Critical Acclaim and Promptly Went Broke," can be found in Marie Claire, and her short story "Everything I Did in Madrid" appears in H.O.W

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Master Fiction: Ask Yourself—What Am I Talking About? with Akhil Sharma

Monday through Friday, June 12–16
9:00 to 11:45 AM, with individual meetings outside of session times

Apply here.

Discovering the through-line of a story, the thing that thrums and justifies not just the chronological arrangement of events but the fact that the story exists at all, is the most important part of writing a story. This can take multiple drafts as we discover what interests us in the story. Multiple drafts are also often necessary for us to develop courage and become more able to tell the truth that we have been avoiding. This workshop will help you get to the truth that is driving the story under discussion. It will also help prepare you for the stories you want to write in the future.

Accepted participants will submit up to 20 pages by noon (MST) on May 12, and will have the opportunity to schedule an individual meeting with Sharma during the week of class.

Akhil Sharma was born in Delhi, India, in 1971 and immigrated to the United States in 1979. Sharma's most recent novel, Family Life, won the 2015 Folio Prize for Fiction. His first book, An Obedient Father, a novel set in Delhi during the period of Rajeev Gandhi’s assassination, won the PEN/Hemingway prize and has been published in numerous languages. He is also an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in the New Yorker and the Atlantic as well as a number of other publications. Sharma’s stories have been anthologized three times in Best American Short Stories and twice in The O. Henry Award Winners. In 2007, he was included in Granta’s list of Best Young American novelists. Akhil Sharma joined the faculty of the Rutgers Newark English Department/MFA Program in 2011. He lives in New York City with his wife, Lisa.

Praise for Akhil: “There's nothing like the pleasure of being devastated by a short novel. Like Jhumpa Lahiri, Akhil Sharma writes of the Indian immigrant experience with great empathy and a complete lack of sentimentality. Family Life is a dark and thrilling accomplishment by a wildly gifted writer.” —Ann Packer

Family Life will cut your heart to pieces but it will also make you rejoice. The language, the humor, the sophistication, the empathy, the insight―all signal a new kind of literature about families and the bonds with which they hold us tight.”—Gary Shteyngart

Advance reading: Check out a short video in which Sharma discusses his debut novel and a recent short story, "A Life of Adventure and Delight," in The New Yorker.

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Master Memoir & Novel: The Long Narrative with Andre Dubus III

Sunday, June 11
4:00 to 6:45 PM
and Monday through Thursday, June 12-15
9:00 to 11:45 AM, with individual meetings outside of session times

Apply here.

This class is for novelists, memoirists, and nonfiction writers interested in finding and developing deeper truths in their book-length narratives. Where does the story need expanding; where does it lie? In this workshop, we will explore the transformative power of finding your character's truth, as well as book-length concerns like structure, dramatic build, memory and imagination, narrative voice, and metaphor. Careful and in-depth critiques will help uncover the most captivating aspects of your story so you can capitalize on them.

Accepted participants will submit up to 20 pages by noon (MST) on May 12 and will have the opportunity to schedule an individual meeting with Dubus during the week of class.

Andre Dubus III is the author of six books, including the New York Times bestsellers House of Sand and FogThe Garden of Last Days, and his memoir, Townie. His most recent book, Dirty Love, published in the fall of 2013, was a New York Times Notable Book and a Kirkus Starred Best Book of 2013. Dubus has been a finalist for the National Book Award and has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Magazine Award for Fiction and two Pushcart Prizes. He is a 2012 recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. Dubus teaches at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and lives with his wife, Fontaine, a modern dancer, and their three children. Praise for Andre: "These are masterful and ravishing tales of loneliness, confusion, betrayal, the hunger for oblivion, and the quest for forgiveness." —Donna Seaman "I've never read a better or more serious meditation on violence, its sources, consequences, and, especially, its terrifying pleasures than Townie. It's a brutal and, yes, thrilling memoir that sheds real light on the creative process of two of our best writers, Andre Dubus III and his famous, much revered father. You'll never read the work of either man in quite the same way afterward. You may not view the world in quite the same way either." —Richard Russo

Advance reading: An excerpt from Andre's memoir Townie can be found at the New York Times

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Master Short Prose: The BS Detector with Steve Almond

Saturday and Sunday, June 3–4
8:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Apply here.

Writing is decision making: nothing more and nothing less. What word? Where to place the comma? How to shape the paragraph? Join Steve Almond for a workshop focused on improving the decisions you make in your writing. By looking critically and carefully at other people’s work, you’ll walk away with a better sense of how to improve your own. The idea is not to slow your rate of composition via compulsive revision, but to make better decisions in the first place and to recognize quickly when you haven’t.

Accepted participants will submit short pieces of up to 4,000 words by noon (MST) on May 5 to be reviewed during the intensive.

Steve Almond is the author of 10 books of fiction and nonfiction, most recently Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto. Almond's second book, Candyfreak, was a New York Times bestseller, won the ALA Alex Award, and was named the Booksense Adult Nonfiction Book of the Year. He has published more than 150 stories in magazines such as Tin House, Playboy, Zoetrope, and Ploughshares, with several included in Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize anthologies. His essays and journalism have appeared in venues such as the New York Times Magazine, GQ, the Wall Street Journal, Poets & Writers, and Real Simple. He regularly teaches at the Tin House Writer's Conference and has taught fiction at Boston College, Wesleyan, and Emerson College.

Praise for Steve: "Steve Almond is one of our finest literary provocateurs. His stories are without equal in their beautiful terrible honesty. Stylish and finely wrought, these are tales with the force of life itself." —Junot Díaz

“Steve Almond’s work is funny and beguiling and completely original.” —Lorrie Moore

"You could drop Steve Almond onto any strange planet and within days he'd beam back a story written by an insider, maybe even a native, that creeps you out it's so familiar and strange. His imagination is chameleon and ruthless, his fiction masterful right down to the sentence, the word." —Brad Watson

Advance Reading: Check out Almond's blog post on Mrs. Bridge on the Lighthouse blog as well as his short story “Ecstasy” in The Sun.

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DRAMATIC WRITING

Master Dramatic Rewriting: Plays, TV Pilots, and Screenplays with David Henry Hwang

Monday through Friday, June 12–16
9:00 AM to 11:45 AM (with the exception of Monday, which will be delayed due to instructor's duties at the Tony Awards the previous night)

Apply here.

You've finished your play or script. You've done some celebrating. It's been said, however, that plays (and certainly TV scripts and screenplays) are not written, they're rewritten. For many, rewriting can seem daunting. What sections do I approach first? Should I attack dialogue or structure? And once I take the thing apart, how do I know I can put it back together again? This workshop is designed specifically for advanced writers who have already completed a first draft and are willing to undertake a rewrite before Lit Fest begins. Furthermore, everyone must read their fellow writers' first drafts prior to the workshop. You'll leave this week with a stronger dramatic work, a deeper understanding of the process, and a better sense of your own originality as a writer.

Accepted participants will submit their first drafts by May 12 and will subsequently be sent their classmates' scripts to review. During the week of June 12-16, each participant will have the opportunity to present a second draft of their work—stage play, screenplay, or TV pilot—which David will discuss. This class is limited to eight students and carries a slightly higher tuition rate. (See below for pricing details.) Thanks to the Terry Dodd Memorial Fellowship, there is one tuition-free spot in this class for someone who could not otherwise afford to take it.

David Henry Hwang's work includes the plays M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Golden Child, Yellow Face, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the Broadway musicals Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival), and Disney’s Tarzan. Hwang is a Tony award winner and three-time nominee, a three-time OBIE award winner and a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in drama. His screenplays include Possession (co-writer), Golden Gate, and M. Butterfly, and he is currently developing an original television series for Lionsgate and Bravo. Yellow Face was adapted into a full-length movie for YouTube by the YOMYOMF Network in 2013. Hwang won the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award, the 2012 Inge Award, the 2012 Steinberg “Mimi” Award, and a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award. He serves on the boards of the Lark Play Development Center, American Theatre Wing, and the Actors Fund, and as the president of Young Playwrights Inc. David Henry Hwang was recently the Residency One Playwright at New York’s Signature Theatre, which produced a season of his plays, including the premiere of his newest work, Kung Fu.

Praise for David: "Playwright David Henry Hwang has something to say and an original, audacious way of saying it. A rarity on Broadway."—Wall Street Journal

"A brilliant play of ideas, a visionary work that bridges the history and culture of two worlds."—New York Times

Advance Reading: Take a peek at the New York Times article on Hwang, "The Man Who Can Make Bruce Lee Talk." 

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TUITION AND FELLOWSHIP INFORMATION

Weeklong Tuition: $850/members; $900/non-members (discounts available through Lit Fest passes, available early April); the Hwang Dramatic Rewriting class is limited to 8 people, includes draft and revisions of full scripts and is $975/members; $1,025/non-members.

Weekend (Almond) Tuition: $495/members; $545/non-members

Application fee: $30 (non-transferrable, non-refundable)

We have many payment plans available to make Master Workshop tuition more manageable. Also, all of our visiting instructors will give free readings, and most will offer one-time craft seminars that qualify for tuition assistance

Lit Fest Fellowships for Emerging Writers 

The Lit Fest Fellowship for Emerging Writers covers the full cost of tuition for a Master Workshop. Lighthouse will be awarding four fellowships for Lit Fest 2017 to advanced writers of fiction (1), poetry (1), dramatic writing (1)*, and creative nonfiction (1) who haven’t yet published a book-length work and who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford a weeklong or weekend Master Workshop.

Guidelines:

All fellowship recipients will be responsible for their own airfare, accommodations, and transportation to and from Lit Fest.

A panel comprised of published writers and writing faculty will review each fellowship application, looking for talent, promise, and originality of vision. The panel’s final decisions will also consider the applicant’s financial need. Please do not send letters of recommendation.

Applicants should apply using the general application via Submittable and follow the instructions outlined for selecting the fellowship option. The deadline for fellowship applications is March 1, 2017.

We will notify fellowship recipients by email by early April.

*The fellowship in dramatic writing is made possible by the generous donors who supported the Terry Dodd Memorial Scholarship Fund. 

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