Program Details

Writing workshops: These seminars are limited to 15 to ensure that every writer receives individual attention. Your original works are the primary topic of discussion. Having your work read with careful attention by other writers reveals valuable new pers
Berkeley, United States
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:

Program Overview

Program Description:
OUR UNIQUE SIX-WEEK PROGRAM offers aspiring, practicing and experienced writers a sustained community in which to create, network and live the writing life. The program offers college credit, with workshops in fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction (memoir, travel writing, and the lyric essay). Make lifelong connections while enjoying master classes with renowned authors, meeting with agents and attending and participating in panels. Specialized intensives such as novel writing and preparing the MFA application portfolio will also be offered.

Writing workshops: These seminars are limited to 15 to ensure that every writer receives individual attention. Your original works are the primary topic of discussion. Having your work read with careful attention by other writers reveals valuable new perspectives. Reading closely the works-in-progress of other writers develops the editorial eye so necessary during revision. The small class size creates an atmosphere conducive to exploring new voices and directions, as well as polishing mature drafts. Tuesdays and Thursday from 9-12:30 Readings courses (reading like a writer): What can Philip Roth teach us about point of view, or Chekhov teach us about scene? What can John d’Agata teach us about language? What can Dylan Thomas teach us about form? What can your favorite writer teach you? This course develops the author’s eye for prose and verse, so in these sessions we will read like writers. We will ask what makes our favorite poems, essays, and stories work and answer that question through the careful examination and discussion of masterworks -- both traditional and contemporary. The central philosophy is that by learning to explicitly identify specific features of work we admire, we become more adept at making use of those same techniques in own writing. As T.S. Elliot once said, Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal. Mondays and Wednesdays from 9-12:30. Master classes: Led by esteemed writers, these are in-depth explorations of form and practice, ranging from mastering craft to harnessing inspiration. There is a master class in each genre. Each is followed by a colloquium or a Q&A, giving you ample opportunity to ask questions about the art of letters, the writing life, and other topics during an intimate audience with a master.

Preparing the MFA Portfolio Graduate creative writing programs have grown exponentially over the last decade; however, undergraduate creative writing programs are also on the rise, meaning increased competition amongst applicants for the top MFA programs. In this seminar we’ll discuss selecting the schools that best suit your goals, the application process, identifying your best work, self-editing, and crafting a compelling statement of purpose. Socially Engaged Literary Arts Steinbeck, Roth, Morrison Greene, Bolaño, and Sinclair, among others, will both inspire and illuminate as we examine how attention to craft distinguishes the dramatic from the didactic. ? Quite the Character Faulkner drank. Wolfe stands. A poet who shall remain unnamed scribbles all first drafts on his hand. Writers have long prided themselves on their eccentricities, so naturally many of us are proud to be dubbed “quite a character.” If said about our fictional creations, though, those are fighting words. Our readers must be as moved by our protagonists as by people they know. In fact, our characters must become people readers know, and care about. But what if your character is a preternaturally intelligent boy who refuses to grow (The Tin Drum), an ape (The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore), a high-functioning autistic (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), or a man of questionable morals (Lolita)? How is larger-than-life characterization believably rendered? ? The Sentence Many a knuckle has been rapped over fragments, comma splices, run-ons, but each can be used to great effect. In creative prose. Momentarily setting aside notional rules of grammar (there are enough dusty tomes on those), we’ll examine the question: What make a good sentence? The answer: It depends. Through analyzing and emulating great sentences, we’ll discover that more than anything else, this is an education of both the heart and head. Novel approaches Perhaps what’s most novel about this forum is the opportunity it provides for feedback and support throughout the academic year. So, if you want to start, and finish, a novel, this is for you. Some modern skeptics (who will go unnamed) have declared “narrative technology” dead, implying that the traditional long-form narrative is an unsightly corpse. If you—like us—know that the novel remains among the most enduring and significant human artistic endeavors, or you simply like writing long works, this is for you.
Setting Description:
Immerse yourself in the rich Bay Area literary scene. The City by the Bay has been home to and inspired a range of remarkable writers, from Chandler to Eggers to Ferlinghetti to Ginsberg to Kerouac to Thompson to Tan. Classes meet Monday through Thursday morning, leaving afternoons, evenings, and weekends free for writing, reading, and discovering why that thread of water tying the bay to the ocean is called the Golden Gate.
Fees: Credit/non-credit $3597.00 Graduate students $4077.00 UC Undergraduates $3453.00