Workshops & Faculty Bios
Please proceed to the Schedule page to see the daily and weekly schedule. Please proceed to the "Online Registration" and "Payment" pages to register. If you have any questions, please contact Jill Tolson Rox at the Atlantic Center for the Arts at 386-427-6975 x21 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are proud to host acclaimed authors Pam Houston, Mark Doty, and Richard Blanco in this distinctive natural setting for exciting week-long workshops in the Florida sun. Participants will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis, with a limit of 13 positions available with each of the three faculty. The free-flowing schedule will offer daily 2.5 hour workshops in the mornings, with afternoons of open studio time for writing, and craft discussions on a range of topics. Each evening will feature a reading by one of the faculty. In addition, there will be a special reading by Jill Bialosky and we will close on the final night with an open mic for participants to share their work with the group at large. All of the evening events are open to the local community.
|PAM HOUSTON • Glimmers, Memories and Metaphor Soup
In this workshop we will focus on what I believe to be the real artistry of fiction: the translation of the emotional stakes of the story onto its physical landscape; the way we dip our ladles into the bottomless pot of metaphor soup of our lived and witnessed and imagined experience and pull out what we need; the way we pick up hunks of the physical world and bring it back to the page, translated into language. We will be aiming for stories and essays in which the language is always working in at least two ways at once, where metaphors dance between meanings like beads of water on a too hot grill. We will work toward demystifying some of the essential components of fiction (image, metaphor, structure, dialogue, character, scene, among others) and turning them into comprehensible tools that are at our disposal, and we will talk about the ever expanding grey area that exists between fiction and nonfiction: the fictionalized memoir, the autobiographical novel etc. At the same time we will honor (and hope for) the inexplicable flights of creativity (and madness?) that take a good story and make it great.
Please bring 13 copies of a manuscript of up to 15 pages of fiction to distribute to your fellow workshop members. We will spend some percentage of class time on those manuscripts as well as writing we do all together. Please also read Battleborn, by Claire Vaye Watkins, and The Tenth of December, by George Saunders, before the week begins.
MARK DOTY • Getting to the Core: Time, Meaning and Memory
For the memoirist, there's often nothing more challenging than the handling of time. The juxtaposition of memories creates meaning, forging connections between disparate moments. Often the key to writing memoir lies in evolving a structure which allows the writer to move in time in a way that emphasizes theme and feeling, allowing us to get at not just "what happened" but the emotional truth of the past. How do we locate the core of the memoir? We'll look at prose that organizes time in different ways, ranging from traditional narrative or associative structures to innovative formal designs, and we'll practice working with the materials of memory in new ways. Our week together will involve readings and discussion, writing exercises, and looking closely at one another's work.
|RICHARD BLANCO • Five Ways to Break a Line and Other Mysteries
|JILL BIALOSKY • The Vocation of the Editor
Special guest Jill Bialosky will present a panel discussion on editing and give a featured reading. In addition, she will be available for individual 30-minute manuscript consultations (at an additional cost to participants).
SPECIAL GUEST Jill Bialosky
Jill Bialosky is Executive Editor at W.W. Norton & Company, and the author of a memoir, three poetry collections, and two novels. New York Times Bestseller History of a Suicide is a harrowing, wise, and brave memoir—combining her sister’s diaries with family history, bialosky gives a stunning exploration of human fragility and strength. Her poetry book Intruder was called “sharply perceptive, reminding readers about the way life forces us to our knees while restoring us to our true selves” by the LA Times. Her novels are House Under Snow and The Life Room.