2017-18 Classes Begin
Saturday, October 14!

2017-18 Course Descriptions

Fiction & Poetry

Coming-of-Age Writing Workshop: “Okay, [writers], now let’s get in formation”
Faculty: Fion Wu
In the road of our lives, there are moments that have taken our breaths away, altered our views, and forced us to grow up and leave Peter Pan’s Neverland, which at one point seemed so real to us. The coming-of-age narrative focuses on these moments, on the narrative of a young person transitioning into an adult. In this workshop we will explore the structural arrangement of narrative and the freedom to write about a multitude of topics within the coming-of-age genre. As we begin to understand the coming-of-age genre as one of formation, we will study how this quest for identity can assume a variety of languages and cultures.

NOTE: This is a multi-lingual course; students are welcome to write in languages other than English.

Fiction & Nonfiction

The Art of Brevity: Storytelling in 800 Words or Less
Faculty: Carly Youssouf & Alex Ebel
A story doesn’t always need 300 pages to develop characters, plot, setting, tension, or truth. Sometimes all you need is a few words to impact a reader. This course will explore the succinct, yet evocative world of short and flash narratives. Students will read and write fiction, nonfiction and hybrid stories, then examine how writers make such as brief space come alive. They will consider why brevity is sometimes necessary to express certain truths as well as come to terms with the complex, yet flexible relationship between fiction and nonfiction. This course will delve into new forms, material, and themes each week to introduce students to the exciting world of short-form narratives.

For sale: baby shoes, never worn
— A 6-word novel by Ernest Hemingway

Genre Fiction

“The Things That Scare Us” - Justice and Social Change in Fiction 
Faculty: Diana Fernandez & Jayne Roberts
In this course, we will be exploring classic and contemporary writers such as Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, Ray Bradbury, and Shirley Jackson to look at how genres such as horror and science fiction can communicate real problems within our own society, and explore human nature like no other literary genre can. In our politically-charged country, issues such as racism, sexism, intolerance, and mental health stigmas directly affect our generation and those to come. Join us while we explore how writing in the alternative fiction genres can cause real change, one scary story at a time.  

We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.
— Stephen King


Poetry: Page Meets the Stage
Faculty: Brandon Melendez & Marin Sklan
Over the next weeks, we will delve into works of written and performed poetry that engage with the self in dangerous, challenging and imaginative ways. With guidance from [some of the writers we will engage with include but are not limited to]: Sandra Cisneros, Claudia Rankine, Danez Smith, Anne Sexton, and Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, we will explore poetry’s unique ability to reveal the self, or reimagine the world. Our goal is to create a space that empowers student voices, while  providing a network of artists and authors to aid in your exploration. Given poetry’s vast and textured history, we invite all styles, so long as they  continue to challenge and inspire you.

Poetry is a political act because it involves telling the truth
— June Jordan

2017-18 Calendar

Saturday Workshop Schedule:
Time: 10am-1pm

  • Saturday, October 14, 21, 28
  • Saturday, November 4, 11, 18
  • Saturday, December 2, 9, 16
  • Saturday, January 13, 20, 27
  • Saturday, February 3, 10, 17

8th Annual EmersonWRITES Showcase: Sunday, February 25, 2018