Welcome to the Advanced Fiction Workshop for Whittier College’s Jan Term 2017

This will be an intensive writing experience, where you must plan on dedicating the lion’s share of three weeks of time to the class. This is intended as an immersive and unusual few weeks. While the class meets every day for three hours, you must come prepared to dedicate significant time outside of the classroom to your writing practice. While I understand that we all have lives that continue during the month of January, please be ready to dedicate the equivalent of a full day of reading, writing and practice, every day, for the duration. In other words, imagine that you have made writing your nine-to-five job for the duration of this class.

Think of this class as a kind of writing bootcamp.

Once you have listened to the description of the class and read the course policies, your first task is to read the syllabus and complete and sign page eight.

There is an emerging field of science around mindfulness, creativity and the brain. In some ways, I am suspicious of the corporate world’s sudden concern with inner peace. However, this course draws on some of these understandings of human behavior and creativity, with the intention of unlocking a deeper sense of invention for each writer. It is intended to guide you through a new engagement with your creative practice. Obviously, this means that the output for each student can and should be very different and thus very hard to render commensurable. This is part of why I don’t grade the writing. I grade your engagement with the process. People teach writing in many different ways. Signing the syllabus indicates that you understand and are dedicated to trying this way, this time.

While this class may sound “easy” since I do not grade your writing, please believe that this commitment will not be easy, and that I am not kidding about the nature of this request. Please stay only if you are willing to go on this particular journey.

If you are committed to trying this, then let’s begin…