Animated Star 17th Annual Key West Literary Seminar Animated Star
January 7-10, 1999
Writers' Workshops - January 11-14, 1999
The American Novel, January 7-10, 1999

1999
WRITERS'
WORKSHOPS

These are the workshops that were held during the 1999 Seminar.

The 1999 Writers' Workshops will afford writer participants an opportunity to examine, in depth, the writing of fiction with some of the country¹s most renowned writers and writing teachers. This year¹s Seminar will be followed by several writers' workshops; each will be limited to ten participants to ensure individual attention and will feature four days of intensive morning workshops, afternoon private consultations, and evening events. Workshops are designed to support writers of all levels of ability, published and non-published.

Applicants choose one of the workshops for the entire four day session. Sorry, it is not possible to do more than one workshop.

Workshops will begin Monday morning, January 11, 1999, 10:00 a.m. There will be an optional orientation dinner, Sunday, January 10, 7:00 p.m. Limited inexpensive group housing is available.

To register, please submit a sample of your writing (maximum of 15 manuscript pages), a $100 deposit (refundable if you are not accepted into the workshop of your choice), a brief statement of your interest and background, and indicate your first and second workshop choice.

The cost of the four day workshop workshop is $400 ($430 with tax); the cost of the Seminar and Workshop is $725.63. (The seminar is now sold out; if you are registered for the seminar, you qualify for the combined rate.)
Mail all materials to:
Writers' Workshops
Key West Literary Seminar,
9 Sixth Street
Plum Island, MA 01951
Direct questions to:
Miles Frieden, Executive Director
1-888-293-9291 (toll free)
or email keywest@seacoast.com
Early registration is strongly encouraged, as we anticipate workshops will sell-out early.


LIST OF WORKSHOPS
Click on workshop titles to read about them. Click on writers' names to read about them.
New Departures
with Harry Mathews
Monday
thru
Thursday
January
11, 12, 13, 14
10:00 AM
to
1:00 PM
Whose story is it, anyway?
with Hilma Wolitzer
Monday
thru
Thursday
January
11, 12, 13, 14
Times to be
announced.
Character as Fiction
in the Novel

with Susan Shreve
Monday
thru
Thursday
January
11, 12, 13, 14
Times to be
announced.
Writing Action
(from Jane Austen to
James Elroy to you)

with Irving Weinman
Monday
thru
Wednesday
January
11, 12, 13
Times to be
announced.


New Departures
with Harry Mathews
Monday thruThursday, January 11, 12, 13, 14 — 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM


It seems that many writers, perhaps most writers (and certainly this writer) tend to hold on for dear life to assumptions about writing that make the actual act of writing an occasion for doubt, anxiety, and sometimes total paralysis. The purpose of the workshop is to enable its participants to give up these often undeclared positions and attitudes so that the act of writing becomes an exuberant opportunity for discovery, one where possibilities are recognized, and where the prospect of achieving them becomes real. To this end, there will be no coaching or instruction in the techniques of fiction, poetry, or theater; no writing will be done except what is assigned during the course; and all writing will be done during the course itself. (If participants so wish, there may be additional assignments to be completed between sessions).

The workshop has produced its results at every level of writing competence. Past workshops, however, indicate that the greater the experience and skills of the participants, the more useful the workshop becomes. Applicants are therefore requested to submit a few pages of work.

"In the beginning was poetry - or call it song and dance - sometimes ecstatic, sometimes serene, absolute and abstract, in no need of explanation. In practice this meant: nursery rhymes (many of them sung), clapping games, being rhythmically bounced on my grandfather's knee. Soon after came story-telling: engaging, disturbing, never truly complete, always demanding explanation, and more explanation. In practice this meant my father, while he shaved, adding an instalment to whatever adventure he was creating for us, in Madagascar or on the moon; and my parents reading children's tales to me after supper.

"After I had learned to read by myself, there was more of the same: I repeated incantatory lines from Tennyson or Keats and hummed unfound words to favorite chord sequences at the piano keyboard. I read Big Little Books, then Action Comics and its competitors, piled high each week in the dark corner of my closet into which I had smuggled their wonders. I read stories of Sigurd the Volsung, too; and at last Tom Sawyer.

"Age 11, I wrote my first poem, my first piece of music (for full orchestra, no less), and my first story. The poem was all too poetic and derivative, but rhyme and meter were happiness enough. The music was naïve, but its lovely paraphernalia of notation made creation seem attainable. The story was "true," and modestly and correctly told, and so highly praised by my elders; and it was contemptible - nothing like Tom Sawyer.

"Since then, materials and methods have changed, not the addictions. They verge towards the question: how can plain narrative prose acquire the spellbinding authority of poetry, or the vivid, inexplicable hereness of music? How can the banality of what I know - "experience" - enter the magical realm of what I can never know?

"This is my work in progress.



Whose story is it, anyway?
with Hilma Wolitzer
Monday thruThursday, January 11, 12, 13, 14 — Time to be announced.


The aim of this workshop is revision, not despair. Hilma believes that writing can be taught (to writers, that is) via their own manuscripts, in a friendly and honest atmosphere. Participants are encouraged to truly participate, and while negative criticism can be useful, discovering one's strengths is usually even more so. Whose story is it, anyway? The answer, of course, is: yours. No one will rewrite your work for you, but you might come to some surprising and positive conclusions after absorbing the comments and suggestions of the other participants. The workshop title also refers to the defining voice each of us must find in order to tell a particular story effectively. Voice, character, language, landscape, structure, as well as other aspects of writing fiction will come up naturally during each session.

Character as Fiction in the Novel
with Susan Shreve
Monday thruThursday, January 11, 12, 13, 14 — Time to be announced


This workshop will look at the role of character as determining story in the fiction of writers in the workshop as well as in some of the great character driven novels we have all read.

Writing Action (from Jane Austen to James Elroy to you)
with Irving Weinman
Monday thru Wednesday — Time to be announced


Where's the action? Often considered the poor relation of fiction writing, action is essential to and more wide-ranging as part of all fiction. Broad action is at the heart of great novelists, from Balzac to Dickens to Hemingway. Action on a smaller scale is key to supposed non-action writers, from Jane Austen to Virginia Woolf; the best of contemporary American fiction typically has both broader and smaller scale action writing, as in Don DeLillo or Annie Proulx. The workshop begins from your submissions and, with reference to published examples and in-workshop writing, ends with a better understanding of method and meaning for your own writing. The action is here.

Applicants should submit the action excerpt they wish to work on during the workshop. Maximum length, 10 pages.

PLEASE NOTE: Unlike the other workshops, this will be a three day workshop (Monday-Wednesday). The cost is $250 plus tax, $272.50.



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