Whether you have a short story, a chapter, an excerpt, or a blank sheet of paper—this workshop is for writers who want detailed, literary feedback, and the opportunity to learn advanced editing skills, which will enhance their fiction long after the workshop has ended. This workshop-focused eight-week course will also cover all the basics needed to start, develop, and maintain a solid fiction writing practice. Participants will address techniques to unearth stories and develop ideas to help maintain a narrative thread. Van Booy will also explore the mysterious techniques for bringing characters to life and suggest ways to develop, deepen, and layer story without losing momentum. He will discuss metaphor, language, dialogue, tone, pacing, line-editing, time (flashbacks), and voice, using examples to illustrate each point. Van Booy will suggest ways to balance writing practice with the demands of everyday life, and suggest ideas to stay focused—as writers rarely work under ideal conditions.
The goal of the workshop is for each participant to complete the course with greater confidence in his/her own writing abilities and to have fresh ideas (and motivation) on how to develop story, characters, tone, dialogue, and structure. This workshop will mostly concentrate on helping each writer find his or her own way, so that a strong practice can be developed following the workshop and then kept going for years to come.
The business of writing will also be addressed. This course is open to both beginners and more experienced writers, who may or may not already be working on a manuscript.
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.
- Develop a sustainable writing practice
- Greater confidence in your writing voice
- Learn how to give detail and use description in your stories without losing narrative momentum
- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes
Students can expect to have significantly polished work at the end of the class, and most importantly a sense of how to revise, moving forward, so they can look at their work with an editor's eye. Everyone workshops at least twice, and length of work submitted to the group is decided in the class period, depending on certain factors. Writing outside of class is required, and editing too.
Simon Van Booy is the award-winning and best-selling author of nine books of fiction, and three anthologies of philosophy. He has written for the New York Times, the Financial Times, NPR, and the BBC. His books have been translated into many languages. He lives in New York with his wife and daughter. In 2013, he founded Writers for Children, a project which helps young people build confidence in their storytelling abilities through annual awards.
"In one week, Simon instilled in me the confidence and determination to be a writer. I haven't looked back—and couldn't be more grateful."
"Simply put, one could not ask for a more splendid week writing, discussing, and experiencing literature with such an extraordinary and talented writer (and teacher) as Simon."
"Simon's insights help clarify the often murky process of writing, as well as the murkier process of getting published."
“His writing is consciously poetic and at times aphoristic, and he deftly portrays his characters’ raw emotions.”
“Masterful prose....From minimalistic sentences he wrings out maximum impact, stripping away artifice and elaboration in favor of stark, emotional clarity and honesty.”
“Breathtaking. . .chillingly beautiful, like postcards from Eden. . .Van Booy’s stories are somehow like paintings the characters walk out of, and keep walking.”