“No Word Out of Place: Revision from the Ground Up”
By application, $550
January 16–20, 2017
Acclaimed novelist and short story writer Charles Baxter once said in an interview, “Sometimes a story will stand or fall on a simple word choice or on one sentence in the middle of a paragraph that either says too much or doesn’t say enough … I am amazed by the way that a story can fail by having a few words out of place.”
In this workshop, we’re going to hunt down those words and tackle revision on the sentence level—all the while seeing how these choices change the story as a whole. We’ll start by examining paragraphs and sentences in published short stories, digging deeply into them on the word- and sentence-level to see what makes them tick. We’ll talk about how revising the seemingly small things—sentence structure, word choice, punctuation—leads to important shifts in the big things like point of view, characterization, theme, and plot. We’ll figure out how the building blocks of stories—the words themselves—impact the overall picture, and then we’ll apply what we discover to our own work, transforming the sentences of our stories, paragraph by paragraph, to reveal the story’s full potential. We’ll also do short exercises both in and out of class based on the stories you submit, and these will showcase additional craft elements that will feed into our discussion of our own work.
This workshop is intended for advanced fiction writers looking to interrogate and thus hone their prose style. Previous workshop experience is highly recommended.
This workshop is now full. You can still apply to be considered as an alternate.
• Admission to this workshop will be based upon an application including a writing sample of twenty pages (twelve-point font, double-spaced) or fewer. Please submit a story or novel chapter that you feel represents your clearest voice on the page. This manuscript can serve as your piece for revision / examination during the workshop, or you may submit another manuscript as the workshop approaches.
• The cost of this workshop is $550. If you are accepted, a $100 deposit will be required to hold your place within a week of acceptance, with full payment due by September 30.
• Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis beginning March 16 until the class is full.
• Confirmed participants are expected to read the manuscripts of fellow writers in advance of the workshop. These will be emailed prior to the start of the conference.
Financial Assistance is available to those who would not otherwise be able to attend—click here for guidelines and application.
About Jennine Capó Crucet
Jennine Capó Crucet is the author of the novel Make Your Home Among Strangers and the story collection How to Leave Hialeah. The recipient of the Iowa Short Fiction Prize, the John Gardner Book Award, and the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award, her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Review, Epoch, Prairie Schooner, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. A winner of an O. Henry Prize and the Picador Fellowship, she was raised in Miami and is currently on the faculty of the University of Nebraska’s Creative Writing Program.