You’ve written a draft of one or more stories. Now what? In this workshop, you’ll learn techniques for polishing your short stories. In particular, we’ll work in service of your story’s intention to locate its strengths and weaknesses and create a plan for taking your draft to a place of completion.
Each class will focus on a different craft topic such as opening/closing pages, character development, plot and structure, point of view, style, and sentence-level execution. We’ll do writing exercises to sharpen your revision skills. We will also read and discuss a few contemporary short stories, not (solely) for literary analysis, but as curious, careful writers of fiction.
By the end of the course, you’ll come away with tools for revising your future short work, as well as a concrete plan for revising your current story draft. The instructor will share individualized verbal critique of students’ work during class, and will be available to meet briefly with students one-on-one afterwards, if they are interested.
You will be receive the readings in advance and submit your own short story of up to twenty pages double-spaced (5,000 words max). In preparation for class, you will be asked to read this shared material, offering verbal critiques in-class and engaging with all of the texts from the perspective of the writer-in-learning.
- This is an all-levels workshop.
- Please submit a cover letter that states your interest in this workshop and gives an overview of your prior workshop experience, if any.
- 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 11, 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 11 – 14).
- 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.
Jonathan Escoffery is the author of the bestselling story collection, If I Survive You, a New York Times and Booklist Editor’s Choice, and an IndieNext Pick. The book was longlisted for the National Book Award, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence, the Aspen Words Literary Prize, and elsewhere, and is a finalist for the Southern Book Prize and the California Bookseller Alliance’s Golden Poppy Award. It was named a best book of 2022 by People, TIME, Oprah Daily, NPR, Literary Hub, the New Yorker, L.A. Times, the Boston Globe, Kirkus, and elsewhere.
Escoffery is the winner of the Paris Review’s 2020 Plimpton Prize for Fiction and the recipient of a 2020 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship. His story “Under the Ackee Tree” was among the trio that won the Plimpton Prize, the 2020 ASME Award for Fiction from the American Society of Magazine Editors, and was subsequently included in The Best American Magazine Writing 2020. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Paris Review, Oprah Daily, Electric Literature, Zyzzyva, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere.
He has taught at Stanford University, the University of Minnesota, the Center for Fiction, Tin House, and elsewhere. He is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.