MASTERCLASSES

 

While specific master classes differ slightly in format, they share a common goal: to offer highly motivated writers an intensely sympathetic reading of their work, with strategic suggestions for revision. We encourage all participants to respond to each other’s work and to each other in the same spirit.

Please choose from the menu below in making your selection and be sure to check the days when each group will meet.

All master classes meet at the same time to encourage virtual enrollment across time zones.

9 am PST     *     11 am MEX     *     12 noon EST     *     5 pm UK    *    6 pm EUR

WRITING WITH A SENSE OF WONDER

SHEREE RENÉE THOMAS

Although the narrative of fantastic imagination has always accompanied humanity, from the original creation myths and legends to the most distant dystopias and utopias, its avant garde role in literature has been little recognized. Participants in this three-week fiction master class will explore the vast resources of speculative writing  — exploring “what if” and the realms of the fantastic — as powerful tools that not only make it possible to create with greater freedom and enjoyment but, as Ursula K. Le Guin would say, can lead to a broader vision of reality. This workshop is for those who want to take their writing beyond traditional boundaries with a more imaginative, contemporary and cutting-edge approach to storytelling. Open to both short story writers and people working on novels.

Tuesdays/Thursdays

LITERARY LAUNCHPAD

TIM MACGABHANN

A three-week writing boot camp for writers of fiction or nonfiction with books in their heads or in the early stages of composition. Designed for highly motivated writers willing and able to generate and revise new work, this master class provides a high-octane progression from idea to polished chapter or opening pages. You’ll leave with a clear road map for continuing beyond the program to complete your project. Your instructor is the prolific author of two recent novels and an impressive body of published poetry and journalism who will share his tips, tricks and insider methods to get your project off the ground and across the finish-line. 

Tuesdays/Thursdays

MULTIPLICADORES DE LA IMAGINACIÓN

La ficción como fuente de alternativas para el presente

ALBERTO CHIMAL

Este taller de tres semanas ofrecerá a los asistentes un espacio en el que puedan conocer, discutir y experimentar con diferentes formas de utilizar los recursos de la ficción para imaginar alternativas a la vida cotidiana “tal como es”, desde el nivel individual de las relaciones interpersonales hasta la creación de sociedades y mundos completamente diferentes al que habitamos. De esta forma se podrá poner en juego el valor de la invención como herramienta para afrontar, y no solamente reflejar, un presente incierto como el que vivimos, y superar las tendencias cínicas o cortoplacistas de mucho del pensamiento social y político de nuestro tiempo. Usando conceptos clave como “mundos contrafactuales” o “distopías”, ejemplos de géneros contemporáneos como el “afrofuturismo”, y obras de autorxs de diversos países, se invitará a que cada asistente elija un tema a desarrollar y comience un proyecto de ficción.

Martes/Jueves

POETRY

CYRUS CASSELLS

This three-week master class  is a space for dedicated poets to focus on poetry as witness, reflection and shelter, and to generate new work in response to the challenging dynamics of this COVID-19 pandemic period. We’ll look at individual poems and essays, such as Jacques Lusseyran’s “Poetry in Buchenwald,” that limn poetry’s consoling power in the face of loss, hardship or extremity. We’ll read Ellen Bryant Voigt’s “Kyrie,” a compelling mosaic of sonnets evoking the influenza pandemic of 1918-19, a little-recorded event that killed 25 million worldwide, half a million in America alone. We’ll workshop student-generated poems, with occasional prompts, both literary and visual. My emphasis as a workshop leader is on candor, risk-taking, sacred play and valuing one’s own work as a viable mirror—a source of self-wonder and revelation, even in the midst of our current pandemic and political upheavals.

Tuesdays/Thursdays

POESÍA

ELISA DÍAZ CASTELO

A diferencia del feed siempre predecible de las redes sociales, de la estructura repetitiva de las series, la poesía está signada por lo inesperado y toma rutas siempre novedosas. En este taller exploraremos el espacio de infinitas posibilidades, variación y juego que abre el discurso poético y nos pondremos en contacto con su naturaleza desobediente. Para ello, estudiaremos esa lógica oculta que rige los poemas y que echa a andar su excéntrico mecanismo. Puede tener muchos nombres, pero yo la llamo lógica zurda, y es del todo distinta a la que nos enseñaron en la escuela y a la que nos enfrentamos en nuestra vida diaria. En el curso de tres semanas, leeremos algunos ensayos donde poetas de diversas tradiciones hablan de ese sistema alterno que no responde a nuestra noción de causa-efecto. Realizaremos una serie de ejercicios lúdicos para desmadejar sus mecanismos y estructura. Además, cada sesión estará dedicada en buena medida a comentar y leer con cuidado los textos que los participantes traigan a taller.

Lunes/Miércoles

 

WRITING OF WITNESS

ELIZABETH ROSNER

This hands-on exploration of the intersection of writing and the world is predicated on a belief in language as a form of evidence. Whether you are composing a first-person narrative, developing a compilation of interviews, exploring a series of linked essays, constructing a hybrid memoir, or perhaps experimenting with form — this master class will focus on moving a work-in-progress either to completion (for a short piece) or to the point where you know how to take a longer piece forward.

Participants will share either their initial writing sample or another 5 -to-10 pages of writing with the workshop as a whole, sent in advance of our first scheduled meeting. Each writer will receive an allotment of full attention from the entire group, with the expectation that responses and comments are to be prepared ahead of our real-time discussion. Focusing on the inherent strengths your work already demonstrates, we will use those features as a frame for illuminating the missed opportunities and challenges you may have yet to address. We may consider structural concerns as well as specific textual elements such as voice, momentum, clarity of purpose, use of setting and dialogue (where relevant). The program’s expansive three-week time frame will also allow space for revision and new submissions, so that writers will leave the program with a polished piece as well as guidance for continuing onward with your project.

Mondays/Wednesdays

 

ESCRITURA y TESTIMONIO

SANDRA LORENZANO

El objetivo de este taller es producir textos que nos permitan explorar y experimentar con ese género híbrido, a veces inasible, breve, flexible y creativo que solemos llamar “crónica literaria” o “comentario literario”, y que suele tener como destinatarios a lectores de revistas no especializadas, periódicos, blogs, podcasts, o  libros. Estos textos, generosos por la libertad que permiten desde la escritura, suelen combinar la creación, la opinión personal, pero sobre todo la sensibilidad y las ganas de transmitir tanto ideas e información como emociones. La profundidad puede expresarse de manera breve, clara, entretenida y sugerente. El secreto consiste en encontrar los caminos adecuados para ir entretejiendo el adentro con el afuera, la sensibilidad propia con el mundo externo.

A lo largo de tres semanas de taller pasaremos de la exploración de esos caminos a la construcción de un proyecto individual concreto durante las seis sesiones y las consultas individuales para que cada uno de los participantes obtenga un texto listo para publicar.

Lunes/Miércoles

JOURNALISM of WITNESS/PERIODISMO de TESTIMONIO

ALFREDO CORCHADO & ANGELA KORCHEGA

Borders are more than geography; they’re laboratories for reporting on the critical issues of our time.  

Team-taught by Alfredo Corchado and Angela Korchega, award-winning journalists based in El Paso, Texas, our 2022 journalism master class will focus on the challenges of covering the increasingly complex stories that arise at the flash points where countries and cultures meet—stories of corruption, drugs, poverty, climate change, organized crime and people caught in the crosswinds of forces larger than a single life.

In this three-week master class for early- to mid-career working journalists, participants will be challenged to think more boldly about the root issues that underlie such stories as they prepare to draft longer investigative pieces.

We will look not just at push factors but also the powerful forces that pull migrants and often whole families away from their homelands. We will also examine the enablers who profit from migration, including smugglers, lending institutions and industries that rely on migrant labor, as well as governments who depend on remittances.  

With feedback from the group and close mentoring from both instructors, each participant will conceive and develop a fully documented, sourced and polished pitch to submit for publication.  The workshop will also delve into using multimedia elements including video and audio to create powerful stories. Shorter “en route” pieces may also be written during the program in support of the longer-term projects.

Guest presenters throughout the session will be drawn from the ranks of distinguished reporters and correspondents from both Mexico and the US.

PLEASE NOTE:  This master course is bilingual and welcomes participants with a strong reporting track record and an interest in taking their journalistic voice to the next level. Enrollment is limited to 12. Class sessions will be held in English, but guidance and close reading of emerging pieces will be provided in each language via individual consultations.

 

WRITING OF WITNESS

ELIZABETH ROSNER

This hands-on exploration of the intersection of writing and the world is predicated on a belief in language as a form of evidence. Whether you are composing a first-person narrative, developing a compilation of interviews, exploring a series of linked essays, constructing a hybrid memoir, or perhaps experimenting with form — this master class will focus on moving a work-in-progress either to completion (for a short piece) or to the point where you know how to take a longer piece forward.

Participants will share either their initial writing sample or another 5 -to-10 pages of writing with the workshop as a whole, sent in advance of our first scheduled meeting. Each writer will receive an allotment of full attention from the entire group, with the expectation that responses and comments are to be prepared ahead of our real-time discussion. Focusing on the inherent strengths your work already demonstrates, we will use those features as a frame for illuminating the missed opportunities and challenges you may have yet to address. We may consider structural concerns as well as specific textual elements such as voice, momentum, clarity of purpose, use of setting and dialogue (where relevant). The program’s expansive three-week time frame will also allow space for revision and new submissions, so that writers will leave the program with a polished piece as well as guidance for continuing onward with your project.

Mondays/Wednesday s

 

MANUSCRIPT SEMINARS/SEMINARIOS de MANUSCRITOS

Intended for experienced writers with substantial book-length manuscripts in progress, our Manuscript Seminars are open to both fiction and non-fiction projects. Enrollment in each section is limited to six.

Acceptance is based on a 25-page sample from your book; submit your strongest work with a contextualizing note. This does not necessarily need to be the beginning of the ms. Participants will be expected to submit their manuscript no later than December 1.  Maximum word count:  100,000.

ENGLISH

TIM MACGABHANN

Through a mixture of group meetings in which the strong points of individual manuscripts will be used to demonstrate larger points around character, structure, pacing and tone, and intensive one-on-one consultations, participants will discover what kind of book their draft wants to be and receive both written and verbal guidance on moving it to the next stage. Discussions will take in recommended reading, strategies for exiting blind alleys, and deeper questions around the nature of plot and the motor of its characters’ desires. 

Mondays/Wednesdays

ESPAÑOL

VERÓNICA MURGUÍA

Después de una breve reunión inicial del grupo, se programarán consultas individuales de manuscritos dentro del marco de la residencia. Nuestro enfoque será excavar el núcleo de cada texto, prestando atención a la voz y el estilo únicos de cada escritor(a), y examinar los diversos estratos que forman los mundos de ficción, desde los elementos estructurales hasta el encantamiento y el asombro. Dependiendo del interés de quienes participen, también será posible discutir lecturas externas y trabajar en ejercicios generativos.

Martes/Jueves