Category Archives: Writing Classes

In Which the Secrets of the Library are Revealed

It is a fact generally observable by all that the world is filled with idiots and boors including (but not limited to) people who place perspiring beverages on antique wood surfaces, women waiting in line at the bank who declare loudly that the tellers should “stop checking their email and help customers” and individuals in […]

Teaching! Learning! Excess Exclamation Points!!!

Do you often stand up in front of sold-out crowds yearning to hear you read from your best-selling blockbuster novel? Do you find yourself stricken with fear, unprepared and nervous? Do you wish you had someone, anyone, to help you prepare? Of course! We all do! Luckily, we can help. Starting on May 6th, for […]

Not Dead, Only Concussed

I have been recovering of late from Not-Getting-Into-Any-MFA-Program-Anywhere, a disease unfortunately on the rise despite assurances from the CDC. I shall not belabor your patience with a detailed description of the gruesome symptoms, as sick people are usually wont to do, but instead shall leave you with two neat-o technical terms for novel plotting: energeic […]

What You Can’t do in 250 Words

University of Arizona’s writing program required a personal statement of 250 words or less. I was so proud of my triumph over this parsimonious word limit I wanted to post my essay immediately. Now that Arizona has rejected me I remain proud and find myself free to share. Enjoy: If I could just have 300 […]

Welcome to School. Don’t Forget your Flask.

You want to know what kids should take as undergraduate writers? Try here and here. Now, read on for a three semester look at what classes they’d take if they wanted to make themselves ready for an actual life writing. Year 1 Semester 1 Workshop etiquette: reasons not to sleep with people in your workshop. […]

Another Option for Undergrads

Here’s my brother Peter’s attempt at creating an undergraduate writing curriculum. (Mine is here.) You’ll notice many similarities, although I think Pete’s does a better job of dealing with actual undergraduate level intelligence, breaking them in with some more basic classes which I neglected to include. I forgot how dumb I was when I started […]

The Literature Is Not Dead Undergraduate Creative Writing Program

My brother and I issue ourselves a literary challenge every month, and this month since we were halfway through when we got started we picked a fun, easy one. We decided to design our own undergraduate writing program. Below is mine. I know I was highly influenced by Dennis Cass’s dream MFA program he posted […]

The Fiction Writer’s Reference Shelf

You need to know a lot of weird things to write fiction. Every writer has a dictionary, thesaurus, and various grammar and usage guides on their reference shelf, but the well stocked fiction writer’s shelf should also include some of these: Multiple-language dictionaries. I have Spanish/English, Russian/English and Latin/English. Useful whenever verisimilitude in an international […]


Have I mentioned before that no one writes stories with endings anymore? I’m pretty sure I have. If I gave my posts more descriptive, less ridiculous names I might be able to refer you back to that previous mention, but I don’t, so I can’t. No one writes stories with endings anymore. I’ve been reading […]

I get Classy

I’m currently taking two writing classes through Johns Hopkin’s Odyssey program. I took an Odyssey class last year and the two this year confirm that the program in general is phenomenal, affordable, and fun. So go get smarter. The class I’ve been in longest is on Flash Fiction, and is taught by Christine Stewart. She […]