Madwomen in the Attic Creative Writing Workshops

Fall 2018
12 weekly classes, $175/workshop
Carlow University, 3333 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15213
Patricia Dobler Writing Center, Aquinas Hall


Please download and submit this form to register. If you plan on parking on campus, you can also submit this parking permit application.  

The fall 2018 Madwomen in the Attic workshops are open for registration! All workshops are open to beginning to advanced writers. Space is limited to 12 writers per group. This fall, we're offering the following workshops:

Poetry: Jan Beatty

Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., September 4 - November 27 (no class on October 16)

This class will focus on workshopping your poetry, based on the idea that reading your work aloud and responding to the work of others is integrally tied to the development of writing. We'll talk about how to find your voice, how to hear and honor your own internal dreams and visions, how to value your own work and put yourself first. The skills of listening to critique and offering comments that are specific and based on craft will be emphasized.

Poetry Special Topics: Lisa Alexander and Kayla Sargeson

Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., September 6 - November 29 (no class on November 22)

"The energy of revision is the energy of creation and change, which is also the energy of destruction." - Maggie Anderson. This workshop will focus on revision by taking apart and sharpening first drafts of poems to open them up to other possibilities. We will examine first and final drafts by other writers and read selected craft essays in order to ground our discussions around retooling our own work. We will look for ways to re-engage with our first drafts to find their best form. Over the term, we will do some workshopping of our own poems while focusing on an exploration of the craft of revision.

Poetry: Tess Barry

Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., September 5 - November 28 (no class on November 21)

This class will center on workshopping individual poems with a particular focus on the poetic line and the role of line breaks in the poet's craft. We will explore the line as a poetic device and how it works to inform authority of voice, stabilize or destabilize language, and support content. We will examine our own poems to understand how line impacts other poetic elements (such as sound) and how these elements work to create and shape meaning. This workshop is suitable for poets writing at all levels. We will read a selection of poems by contemporary American and international women poets including Hera Lindsay Bird, Joy Harjo, Jean O'Brien, and Patricia Smith.

Poetry: Joy Katz

Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., September 6 - November 29 (no class on November 22)

This workshop is devoted to generating new poems using play and playfulness. We read work by a wide variety of poets, paying attention to the playfulness in their language and craft and trying out their techniques in our own poems. When a poet engages play, it does not mean her poems are funny, but that she uses lightness, deftness, and/or pleasure as a tool. There will be in-class writing and weekly prompts. 

Poetry: Nancy Krygowski

Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., September 6 - November 29 (no class on November 22)

In this class, you'll have the opportunity to read and discuss three first books by contemporary women poets and write poems in response to the books. We'll read closely to explore how these writers use a poet's tools-metaphor, rhyme and rhythm, line and stanza breaks-for different effects. We'll do short in-class writing to experiment with craft and content, and I'll provide poem prompts inspired by our reading to help you stretch and flex your poetic muscles.

Poetry: Michelle Stoner

Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., September 4 - November 27 (no class on October 16)

This workshop will explore how regular practice of poetry impacts a writer's engagement with the craft. The class aims to heighten that level of engagement for participants, no matter their experience or skill. Sessions will dedicate time to reading poems that we admire, with the majority of class spent workshopping each other's poems by providing thoughtful critique and creating a space for exploration, experimentation, and uncovering.

Poetry: Sarah Williams-Devereux

Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., September 5 - November 28 (no class on November 21)

This workshop focuses on nourishing and sustaining your creative practice. During each session, you'll write in response to prompts chosen to help your unique voice flourish in deep, exciting, courageous ways. You'll receive meaningful, positive feedback from your fellow writers as they affirm what is strong and powerful in your writing. We'll also explore the poetry of women of color such as Sandra Cisneros, Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, and Elizabeth Alexander. By the end of the workshop, you'll have 12+ new pieces of writing to develop as you wish.

Fiction: Keely Bowers

Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., September 5 - November 28 (no class on November 21)

Fiction writers all are welcome to join us in navigating the geography of the story, from the quick stop of flash fiction to the extended, many-layered journey of the long story or novel. While exploring such areas of craft as character, voice, conflict, and movement, you're invited to search for new paths through old drafts as well as discover the unfamiliar and uncharted in stories you haven't written-stories that you might stumble upon without warning on your way to work or somewhere else, as well as stories that have followed you, hoping you'll someday have time to listen. We'll offer each other generous and constructive feedback and a supportive community of writers with a love of language and storytelling.

Fiction: Evelyn Pierce

Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., September 6 - November 29 (no class on November 22)

Fiction writers of all genres (literary, mystery, sci-fi, historical, and so on) are welcome. We workshop everything, from flash fiction to short stories to novels. Unwavering, however, is our desire to create characters and story lines that compel the reader to engage in great reading. While many of our Madwomen are published authors, beginning writers are welcome and will receive, as do all participants, guidance in craft (character, point of view, dialogue, scene, exposition, conflict, and plot development). 

Literary Nonfiction: Nancy Kirkwood

Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., September 5 - November 28 (no class on November 21)

We welcome writing in the areas of memoir, travel, and narrative journalism. The majority of our time is dedicated to participants' writing. Each week we will discuss four pieces of writing that are 1,000 words or less. There will be several short readings on craft and the genre of nonfiction. The expectation for each participant is that through writing, discussion, and readings you will leave our workshop a stronger writer.

Literary Nonfiction: Jane McCafferty

Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., September 4 - November 27 (no class on October 16)

This class will ask you to write memoir and essays, usually from prompts I'll offer. We'll read examples of other nonfiction writers as inspiration to keep developing our knowledge of craft. Each week, we'll get to review 3-5 short pieces (of up to 1,000 words) to allow for each member of our class to have their work reviewed four or more times during the term. Class is run as a discussion between a developing community. Each writer will produce a draft every week, whether your work will be reviewed or not. This is an attempt to get you writing every day, and gives you a chance to experiment with a variety of subjects and forms. You'll emerge from the term with many drafts, and some revisions. 

 

 

For more info, contact 412.578.6346 or sewilliams412@carlow.edu