WRITERS' WORKSHOP PROGRAM: January 13-17, 2020

Francine Prose

Close Reading for Writers

Francine Prose, photo by Christine Jean Chambers
Francine Prose, photo by Christine Jean Chambers
  • January 13-17, 2020
  • Mixed, $600
See all 2020 Workshops


How do we learn to write by reading? How does close attention to language and structure help us in our own work? In this readers’ workshop, we will look—word by word, line by line—at short stories by John Cheever, Katherine Mansfield, Mavis Gallant, James Baldwin, and Roberto Bolaño, among others. Students will receive copies of the stories to be read in advance and we’ll spend time discovering and analyzing their literary craftsmanship in class. This is not a traditional writers’ workshop where student work will be the focus, but a readers’ workshop where the texts under discussion are by various published authors.


This class is now FULL. Apply to be an alternate. We have reserved two spots for workshop financial aid applicants. Apply for WFA.

This is a mixed levels workshop — it is open to writers of all levels, and requires no advance submission in the application (please note: this is not a generative writing class).

  • Please submit a cover letter that states your interest in this workshop and gives an overview of your writing background and prior workshop experience, if any.
  • The cost is $600. If you are selected to participate in the workshop, a deposit of $200 is required to register, with the balance due by September 30.
  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the class is full.

Financial Assistance is available to those who would not otherwise be able to attend—click here for guidelines and application.


Francine Prose is the author of twenty-one works of fiction, including the highly acclaimed novel Mister Monkey and the New York Times bestseller Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932. Her novel A Changed Man won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and Blue Angel was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her works of nonfiction include the highly praised Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife and the New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer, which has become a classic.

Prose is a contributing editor at Harper’s Magazine, and her stories and essays have appeared in the Atlantic, The Best American Short Stories, the New Yorker, and the New York Times, among others. The recipient of numerous grants and honors, including Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships, Prose was a Director’s Fellow at the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library and president of PEN American Center. She is currently a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College.