SUMMER 2017 – SEMINARS



Two-Day Seminar: David Foster Wallace—What His Postmodern Style Can Teach Us (taught by Bernard Cooper in Silver Lake) 

Two Saturdays
11:00 am to 2:00 pm

July 22 and July 29, 2017
 

David Foster Wallace was one of the most highly regarded and controversial writers of recent times. He has taken considerable liberties with both fiction and nonfiction, breaking rules and pushing language to startling extremes. DFW uses acronyms, footnotes, invented words, etc. in order to convey his complex takes on the terrors and absurdities that make us the convoluted creatures we are. In other words, he does a bunch of stuff you’re not supposed to do in writing and gets away with it, like combining just regular speech, you know, with eloquent, formal phrases.

This seminar will examine two of his best known works, “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again,” an essay about a hellish week aboard a Carnival Cruise ship, and “The Depressed Person,” possibly the most claustrophobic, neurotic story you will ever read. Through class discussion, we will attempt to better understand his work and see it in relationship to a few representative examples of postmodern art, architecture, and music. The seminar will include a writing assignment for writers of both fiction and nonfiction.

The class is open to students of all levels. It will be held in Silver Lake, where coffee, sparkling water, and light snacks will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$170 for new students; $150 for returning students


One-Day Seminar: Family Ties—Mining The Personal for Tension-Filled Fiction (taught by Lilliam Rivera in Los Feliz)

One Sunday
10:00 am to 2:00 pm

August 6, 2017

As writers, we strive to capture the truth on the page. We conjure up painful and sometimes exhilarating moments from our own lives and translate them into the experiences of three-dimensional characters. This one-day seminar introduces ways writers can unearth the intimately personal and repurpose those moments into compelling fiction. Participants will explore their own histories with in-class exercises that urge them to write bravely. The most personal experiences make for the most powerful fiction. This seminar is an interior mixtape where fiction and authenticity will flow freely.

This seminar is open to students of all levels. It will be held in Los Feliz, where coffee, sparkling water, and light snacks will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$130 for new students; $120 for returning students


One-Day Seminar: Organizing Your Writing with Scrivener (taught by Neelanjana Banerjee at Other Books in Boyle Heights) – 3 spots left! 

One Saturday
10:30 am to 2:30 pm

August 19, 2017

Have you been working on a novel or other long project and have a multiple drafts all over your computer? Do you have folders of notes from all the workshops you’ve taken your project through? Do you have a long, glitchy Word document that takes forever to load? Along with talking about practical analog tools for drafting and revising longer projects, this one-day seminar will walk you through how to use Scrivener—a software word processing and project management program aimed at writers—to help you draft and organize your novel or memoir. We’ll work on figuring out the best way for you to divide your manuscript and upload it to the Scrivener interface, plus how to use tools like the virtual index cards and how to easily save multiple drafts. This class is recommended for students who have longer projects, but it can be useful for anyone interested in learning about Scrivener and gaining tools for structuring and revising your writing. 

This seminar is open to students of all levels. It will be held in at Other Books in Boyle Heights, where coffee, sparkling water, and light snacks will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$130 for new students; $120 for returning students


Two-Day Seminar: Memoir 101—From Purge to Pitch (taught by Francesca Lia Block in Culver City)

Two Saturdays
1:00 to 4:00 pm

August 26 and September 9, 2017

 

Memoir is one of today’s best-selling genres and its popularity only continues to grow.  However, memoir isn’t just an exploration of the self; it’s a way to help others by revealing truths about our own lives. But to get to that altruistic truth, we must first go deep inside and find the most potent story to share.

In this two-day seminar, students will have the opportunity to brainstorm and explore ideas for their memoir and then further develop these ideas into an opening chapter and outline. On the first day, students will workshop a chapter and very rough outline (both written in advance) and on the second day, students will read and discuss their revised work. Opening hooks, sympathetic “characters,” “story problem,” time and place, voice, and theme will be discussed, as well as the basics of pitching and selling your finished work.

This seminar is open to students of all levels. It will be held in Culver City where tea, sparkling water, and light snacks will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$170 for new students; $150 for returning students