Writers' Workshop Program: January 5-9, 2025

Andre Dubus III

Writing Into the Unknown

Andre Dubus III, photo by David Le
Andre Dubus III, photo by David Le
  • January 5-9, 2025
  • ADVANCED, $675
See all 2025 Workshops


In this advanced workshop for novelists, Dubus will share his distinctive approach to writing through a combination of discussion, critique, and in-class writing. “If I teach nothing in my writing classes, I teach this: do not outline your novel. Do not think out the plot, the narrative arc, the protagonist’s journey, whatever you want to call it. Instead, try to find the story through an honest excavation of the characters’ total experience of the situation in which they find themselves. Do that, and I promise the story will begin to write itself, with little need for the controlling hand of the godly, intelligent, well-read, and ambitious author,” he says.

But how, precisely, does one go about this “excavation”? And how—technically speaking—can we ignite a story into “writing itself”‘? The instructor will demystify those writerly tools and skills that—time and time again, if they are sharp enough, and if the writer can summon enough daily faith and nerve—can penetrate the mystery of story itself.

This workshop is both generative and critique-based. Students may choose to submit up to 25 double-spaced pages of their novel in progress in late fall (not mandatory). For those interested, Dubus will schedule half hour one-on-one meetings after class.


  • This is an advanced-level workshop.
  • Please submit a cover letter that states your interest in this workshop and gives an overview of your prior workshop experience, if any. Also submit a writing sample of up to five double-spaced pages. (Please prepare your submission as a .pdf or .doc file.)
  • The cost is $675. If you are selected to participate in the workshop, a deposit of $300 is required to register, with the balance due by September 30.
  • If you are accepted, you have the option of attending the Keynote on Thursday, January 9, at a reduced price of $150 (we will send you a link upon confirmation). Alternately, you may purchase a ticket to attend the Seminar in full, as it runs after the workshops (January 9 – 12).
  • Financial Assistance is available to those who would not otherwise be able to attend—click here for guidelines and/or to apply for a Workshop Fellowship Award. (Do not submit a regular application if you are requesting financial aid.)
  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the class is full.



Andre Dubus III is the author of eight books, including the New York Times bestsellers House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days, and his memoir, Townie. His most recent books are the novel Such Kindness and Ghost Dogs, a collection of personal essays. His novel Gone So Long was named on many best books lists, including Boston.com’s 20 best books of 2018. House of Sand and Fog was a finalist for the National Book Award, and Dubus’s work has been honored with two Pushcart Prizes and the American Society of Magazine Editors Award for Fiction. His books have been published in more than twenty-five languages.

Dubus has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and the American Academy of Arts and Letters award in literature. He teaches full-time at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.