Media Contact:Ginny Greenberg
Room 202 Hofstra Hall
Phone: (516) 463-6819
Fax: TO REGISTER CALL (516) 463-5016
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Date: Jun 05, 2009
Hofstra University's English Department, Creative Writing Program and Continuing Education Present the 35th Annual Summer Writers Program, July 6 to 17, 2009
Brand New This Year: A Summer Writing Component for High School Students
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY ... Novelists, mystery writers, playwrights and children's authors are among the accomplished authors who will be teaching in Hofstra University’s annual Summer Writers Program, July 6 to 17, 2009. This event is sponsored by Hofstra’s English Department, its Creative Writing Program and Continuing Education.
This program, now in its 35th year, operates on the principle that true writing talent may be developed, nurtured and encouraged by writer-in-residence mentors. Through instruction, discussion, criticism and free exchange among the workshop participants, writers begin to find their voice and their style. The workshops provide group and individual sessions for each writer.
The Summer Writers Program includes a luncheon, guest speakers, and exposure to award-nominated and winning authors. Often, agents, editors and publishers make presentations during the program, and authors and students read from published work and works in progress. These presentations and the banquet offer additional opportunities to meet informally with participants, master writers and guest speakers.
Courses are offered 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day and may be taken on a noncredit or credit (graduate or undergraduate) basis.
Brand new this summer: Students entering grades 9-12 can now be part of the Summer Writers Program with a special section for high school students. Through exercises and readings, students will learn how to use their creative impulses to improve their fiction, poetry and plays and learn how to create cleaner and clearer essays. During this intensive two week course, students will experiment with memoir, poetry, oral history, dramatic form and the short story, and study how to use character, plot point of view and language.
Non-credit participant tuition is $550 for the two-week, 10-session course. Students who want to take the program for undergraduate or graduate credit must contact Professor Richard Pioreck in the English Department at Richard.J.Pioreck@hofstra.edu or (516) 463-0258. A July 16 luncheon is included in tuition for program participants and priced at $45 per person for non-participants.
High school students’ participation in the program is subject to approval. Interested students must submit a writing sample and a short letter requesting admission to the workshop. A writing sample consists of either five poems or 5 to10 pages of prose. For more information, contact Jennifer Jokinen at (516) 463-5016. Registration for the high school program is also $550.
For registration and all other information on the 35th Annual Summer Writers Program call (516) 463-5016 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . Information and an online brochure are available at www.hofstra.edu/ccepa/summerwriting
This year's workshops and mentors include:
WRITING POETRY: VERSE AND FORM
This course explores a variety of poetic forms – the triolet, the tritina, the ghazal, the rondeau, among others. Participants gain a working knowledge of the fundamental techniques of writing both rhymed and free verse. This workshop encourages personal discovery and the development of the individual poetic voice through the use of hands-on writing exercises, workshop presentations, readings of contemporary poetry, and constructive critical feedback from peers, as well as the instructor.
About the Instructor: Connie Roberts’ poetry has been published in journals in the United States and Ireland. She was a nominee for the prestigious 2009 Hennessy X.O Literary Award. She was a finalist in the Strokestown International Poetry Contest in 2001 and the Dana Awards in 2003, as well as a semifinalist in the Discovery/The Nation Contest in 2000 and 2002. Her book-length manuscript, Not the Delft School, a memoir in verse inspired by her experiences growing up in an orphanage in Ireland, placed second in the prestigious 2007 Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award.
Explore the world of mainstream literary fiction, the foundation upon which all other narrative forms stand. A writer begins with a notion of a scene or a character and asks “what if?” until the secrets of the story are revealed. This workshop addresses key components of fiction, including character, scene, plot, theme, dialogue, structure, style, and language. In-class exercises, outside readings, and supportive but honest evaluations will assist all participants. A writer’s life can be a solitary one, but by participating in a writing workshop, an author can be fueled by feedback and grounded by helpful feedback.
About the Instructor: William J. McGee recently completed his first novel, AirFear, and is at work on his second, titled Bush. An investigative reporter for Consumer Reports, a monthly travel columnist for USAToday.com, and a contributor to Conde Nast Traveler, he also has written for The Washington Post, Newsday, New York Magazine, Money Magazine, and many other publications. His work has received numerous prizes, including the 2007 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award for Investigative Reporting, for an expose on airline safety.
WRITING FOR CHILDREN
Writing for children today is a demanding task of literary skill and creativity. Children’s books have a
lion’s share of the market, covering a wide array of age groups and genres, each with particular constraints. A fine children’s book makes dramatic use of language and has an emotional impact on the reader. This workshop explores plot, voice, characterization, setting, dialogue, physical and contextual frameworks, conflict, sensory detail, genres, figurative language, and the use of verse and prose. Participants also examine the submission process, work habits, the business side of writing and agents, plus an overview of the publishing process. Come ready to read, write, and play with words.
About the Instructor: Brian Heinz is a critically acclaimed writer of nonfiction and fiction, in both prose and verse. His picture book The Monsters’ Test was a CBC/IRA Children’s Choice. The Wolves was an Editor’s Choice and received rave reviews from Kirkus, which called it “an exquisite story of the wild,” while Booklist said it “rings with deep understanding and reverence for the natural world.” Nanuk: Lord of the Ice won a silver medal from the Society of Illustrators, and Butternut Hollow Pond was named Outstanding Children’s Science Trade Book by the CBC/IRA and the National Science Teachers Association.
WRITING VARIETIES OF NONFICTION:
THE EXAMINED LIFE: MEMOIR, AUTOBIOGRAPHY AND THE PERSONAL ESSAY
Explore how to shape and refine the raw material of our lives into nonfiction narratives by examining a diversity of voices and genres, including memoirs, personal essays and journals. Participants also consider the relationship between fiction and nonfiction. What distinguishes them from each other? Is it enough that “something happened”? What fidelity do we owe to the facts? And, how does the writer of nonfiction make use of such “fictional” elements as plot, dialogue, setting and narrative stance? Discussing published work and our own writing guides participants as they plumb their lives for the stories that reside there.
About the Instructor: Patricia Horvath’s stories have appeared in numerous literary magazines, including Shenandoah, Iron Horse Literary Review, and Puerto del Sol. In 2007 she received a fellowship in nonfiction literature from the New York Foundation for the Arts for her book Down to the Bones, an exploration of her experiences with scoliosis and spinal fusion. She is the recipient of residency fellowships from The Blue Mountain Center, Hedgebrook, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. Other awards include the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund for creative nonfiction, a New York Times Foundation Fellowship, and the Delaney Fellowship at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
PLAYWRITING: GO “FOURTH”: INNOVATIONS IN WRITING FOR THE THEATER
Breaking through the fourth wall is not new, but playwrights have been doing so in innovative ways, from interactive plays like Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding, to monodramas where a lone actor engages the audience, to material written for outlets like YouTube, MySpace and Break.com. Students develop and workshop projects removing the fourth wall to explore the boundaries of the world of the play and the rules it creates. This workshop emphasizes the interconnection of action, audience, point of view, environment, and the art of human relationships.
About the Instructor: Patricia Cregan Navarra a member of the Queens Theatre in the Park Playwrights Workshop, Actors Equity and Screen Actors Guild. Her collaborative works include Eddie’s Last Job (Anna Strasberg, Marilyn Monroe Theatre, Los Angeles), Chuck and Laura (Chamber Theatre, Los Angeles), and Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding, now playing its 20th year off-Broadway and around the world. Some awards received include the Charlie Chaplin Comedy Award, Los Angeles Drama Desk Award, and the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Award for Creative Fundraising. She has produced regional theater, performed off- and off-off-Broadway, and in independent films.
Explore the process of writing a screenplay from the initial inspiration to the final draft. Examine the elements of successful screenplays: effective story structures, vibrant characters, sharp dialogue, compelling beginnings, and persuasive climaxes. Watch and analyze movies to see what works and what doesn’t. Students’ story concepts are discussed, outlines are constructed, and screenplays are written. Overall, this class emphasizes developing the tools necessary to most effectively craft rough ideas into polished works.
About the Instructor: Paul Zimmerman currently teaches creative writing at Hofstra and New York City’s Gotham Writers’ Workshop. He wrote the screenplay for A Modern Affair (Audience Award winner at the Long Island Film Festival). He spent several years as screenwriter-in-residence for Tribe Pictures, and has written screenplays for many other companies. His play Pigs and Bugs received a staged reading at the New York Public Theater, and was produced by the Echo Theater Company in Los Angeles. His monodrama Reno was seen in New York at the West Bank Cafe, Under Acme, the Tweed Ensemble Festival of New Works, and at several other colleges and performance spaces nationwide.
WRITING MYSTERY FICTION
Through the use of innovative and engaging methods, students learn the professional tricks of the trade and how to avoid the pitfalls of writing a first mystery. Subjects of study include, but are not limited to: dramatic structure, plot creation, point of view, narrative voice, and character development. Everything from setting, to tone, to dialogue, to subgenre conceits are discussed. Individual routine, process, and cultivation of editorial skills are also emphasized. By the end of the class, each student should have completed a polished and professional first chapter and a roadmap for writing a marketable mystery novel.
About the Instructor: Reed Farrel Coleman has published 10 novels in three series. His 11th novel, Tower, is a stand-alone novel written with award-winning Irish author Ken Bruen. Mr. Coleman has been twice nominated for the Edgar, Shamus, Barry, and Macavity Awards. He has won the Shamus (twice), the Barry, and Anthony Awards. He was the editor of the short story anthology Hardboiled Brooklyn. His short fiction and essays have appeared in Wall Street Noir, The Darker Mask, Brooklyn Noir 3, These Guns for Hire, and several other publications.
Become part of the Pride Press, Inc. editorial team and work collaboratively with writers in the program. Develop fiction editing skills in this intensive hands-on workshop as participants learn the basics of desktop publishing. Make decisions on the editorial content, organization, design, and format of this publication. Edit online and meet with writers as they shape the manuscript into a publishable form. Learn what it takes to be a successful editor, and see the results of works published this summer.
About the Instructor: Barbara Heinssen teaches editing courses at Hofstra University and runs her own freelance editing company. She spent several years working in editorial, sales, and marketing, for companies such as Macmillan, St. Martin’s Press, and Houghton Mifflin. In her most recent role as associate publisher at The Princeton Review, she conceptualized and ran the creation of SideStreets, a successful after-school math and reading series for children in grades 2 through 8.
HIGH SCHOOL SUMMER WRITERS PROGRAM
Through exercises and readings, students learn how to use their creative impulses to improve their fiction, poetry and plays, as well as how to create cleaner and clearer essays. Creative writing is an effective way to communicate and find a release for the imagination. Learning how to use creativity within structured guidelines, learning creative writing techniques, writing in a relaxed atmosphere, and exchanging ideas with others improves individual style. During this intensive two-week workshop, experiment with memoir, poetry, oral history, dramatic form and the short story, and study how to use character, plot, point of view, and language.
About the Instructor: Janice Levy has written many children’s books, including: The Man Who Lived in a Hat; Finding the Right Spot: When Kids Can’t Live With Their Parents; Alley Oops! Totally Uncool; and Gonzalo Grabs the Good Life. She has also written four books in Spanish. She has also been published in Glimmer Train, StoryQuarterly, Iowa Review, Alaska Quarterly, Quarterly West, Chattahoochee Review, The Sun, New York Stories, Mid-America Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Confrontation, American Voice, Hawaii Review, Prism International, Saint Anne’s Review, Literal Latté, Portland Review, Madison Review, Kalliope, and Belletrist Review.
Luncheon: Thursday, July 16; 12:30 to 2 p.m.
“WHAT IT TAKES TO GET YOUR WORK BEFORE AN EDITOR”
Inside Information from Dan Conaway, Agent, Writers House
Before joining Writers House as a literary agent in 2007, Mr. Conaway worked as an executive editor at G. P. Putnam’s Sons and HarperCollins. He was director of literary acquisitions for PolyGram Filmed Entertainment and worked in a variety of capacities for W.W. Norton. In 2004 he authored one of the first anonymous publishing industry blogs, BookAngst 101, writing as Mad Max Perkins.
Related Link: Summer Writers Program