Have you been writing on your own and want to take the next step? Have you been interested in workshopping but don’t know where to start? This class is perfect for those who are new to writing workshops or have limited experience in a workshop setting. At a certain point, we stop being able to see our own work clearly and we need other writers to help—this is the magic of workshop!
In the first class, we’ll walk through how to write a helpful critique and go over the process of peer workshop. We’ll talk about why reading and critiquing the work of other writers is so beneficial to your own writing. The goal of the workshop is to become more comfortable sharing your own work as well as becoming a valuable member of a writing workshop.
The majority of class will be spent workshopping, but there will also be some reading and short assignments. Each week, we’ll either read a short story for discussion or I’ll provide a writing exercise that will hopefully help you generate new material.
In this six-week workshop, each student will workshop twice and have one individual phone call with the instructor.
You’ll leave this workshop with a better understanding of the workshop process, a community of writers, and some new material.
Class meetings will be held over video chat, using Zoom accessed from your private class page. While you can use Zoom from your browser, we recommend downloading the Zoom desktop client so you have access to all platform features.
- A deeper understanding of workshopping and writing peer critiques
- Two workshopped stories (up to 12 double-spaced pages each)
- Weekly reading and writing assignments to help generate new material
- One-on-one phone call with instructor to discuss workshopped pieces at the end of class
- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes
-Submit two stories for workshop (up to 12 pages double-spaced)
-Read and provide feedback, both in class and written for 3-4 student workshops per week.
Week 1: Introductions and Critiques
Week 2: Workshop and Beginnings
Week 3: Workshop and Dialogue
Week 4: Workshop and Character
Week 5: Workshop
Week 6: Workshop and Endings
Jennifer Close is the best-selling author of Girls in White Dresses, The Smart One, and The Hopefuls. Born and raised on the North Shore of Chicago, she is a graduate of Boston College and received her MFA in Fiction Writing from the New School in 2005. She worked in New York in magazines for many years and has taught creative writing at George Washington University for the past 8 years.
“New York newlyweds head to D.C. to—what else?—chase their dreams. Actually, just Matt’s dreams. His wife, Beth, isn’t all that impressed by the surrounding political haughtiness until she meets another couple, Jimmy and Ash. The Hopefuls will make you rethink inviting your best married friends over for dinner.”
“Captivating. . . . Close, whose husband worked on Obama’s campaign, uses her knowledge of this world—and her experience as an outsider—expertly. Beth’s conversational narration feels like peering into the diary of someone who shares your deepest insecurities.”
“I couldn’t put down this juicy novel, which is all about what striving to make it in politics does to relationships.”
“Inspired by Close’s own experiences moving to Washington for her husband’s work on the Obama campaign, The Hopefuls is blisteringly honest about the circus of American politics and Washington’s exhausting culture of competition—one that that renders people outside of political circles virtually invisible.”
“Hilarious. . . . A pleasure to read. . . . [Close] has a light, precise touch about the way a young marriage works when the partners are caught between old ideals and new realities.”