Teaching a Nonfiction Writing Seminar in NY June 17-21

For the third year in a row, I’ll be part of the excellent creative writing faculty at the Manhattanville College MFA Summer Writers’ Week. Taking place June 17-21, the program offers workshops every morning, craft and publishing seminars every afternoon, and readings every evening. It’s an awesome week.

This year’s featured writer is novelist Hannah Tinti, who will be teaching the fiction workshop. The wonderful Melissa Tuckey will be back to teach the poetry workshop and the talented Sharbari Ahmed returns to teach dramatic writing.

Registration is $750 and for a mere $200 more, you can stay in a single room in a suite in the dorms. Manhattanville is in Purchase, NY, just half an hour from New York City, making it easy to add a couple of days in Manhattan on either end.

Go to the Summer Writers’ Week website for full details.

Announcing a New Series of Posts about Writing and Being a Writer

Just over a year ago, I took early retirement after 20+ years of teaching writing at the college level to focus on my own work. Most of those years I taught literary nonfiction or fiction to both graduate and undergraduate students. The students at my last school, Portland State University, honored my efforts by voting me the English department’s Outstanding Teacher five times in 17 years, almost every year I was eligible.

I continue to work with individual writers and teach in summer programs at the Collegeville Institute in Minnesota and the Manhattanville College MFA’s Summer Writers’ Week, but I no longer have regular, year-long exposure to students. So, before I forget all I talked about in those classes, I’ve started writing a book about writing and being a writer.

As I work on the book, I’m going to be posting a series of short meditations on different aspects of both writing and living as a writer, to be called Three Thoughts About… The thoughts in the individual entries might be formal or informal, technical or creative, practical or whimsical. I’m hoping mostly just to have fun with them and share some of what I’ve learned in my decades of both teaching and writing.

To see the many kinds of writing I’ve done myself, click on the About link above. And please let me know what you think of my Three Thoughts About… entries or, better yet, share them with others by linking to them on social media or your own website.

I’ll Be Leading a Nonfiction Workshop for the Manhattanville College MFA’s Summer Writers’ Week, June 18-22

If you’re looking for a summer writing program to attend, you can’t do better than the Manhattanville College MFA’s Summer Writers’ Week.  For just $650 ($750 after March 31), you get an all-morning workshop each day with a small group of fellow writers, afternoon craft presentations in all genres, and evening readings and other events.  Housing for the week is just $40/night–and Manhattanville College is only a half hour away by train or car from New York City.  (All workshop and events take place in the most beautiful rooms you’ll find at any writers’ week anywhere.)

Bestselling fiction writer and memoirist Dani Shapiro will be the week’s keynote speaker and lead the fiction workshop.

Poet Melissa Tuckey, a co-founder of Split This Rock, will lead the poetry workshop.

Screenwriter Sharbari Ahmed will lead the dramatic writing workshop.

And I’ll lead the nonfiction workshop.

Click here for full details and registration information.

A Professor No More

On Monday of this week, I cleaned out my office in Portland State University’s Neuberger Hall.  On Tuesday, I filed my last set of grades.  On December 31, 2017, my retirement will be official.  After 22 years of university teaching and 17 years at PSU (during which I was fortunate to receive five student-selected teaching awards, one in almost every year I was eligible), I’ll soon be a writer only.  That should mean more time to post on this somewhat-neglected site.

I will continue to lead summer workshops at the Collegeville Institute and the Manhattanville College MFA’s Summer Writers’ Week–for information on either of these, including how to apply, go to my Talks page.

A big thank you to all of the students I’ve had the pleasure of teaching as a college professor.  I figure that over my 22 years at universities, I’ve critiqued more than 4,000 papers.  I’m happy to say that a fair number made it into print here or there.  I hope my comments on the others were at least somewhat edifying.

Look for more thoughts on teaching on this site in the weeks ahead, including some of the things I’ve taught and learned.

On to new pastures…