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The Norman Mailer Center & The Norman Mailer Writer's Colony

2014 Workshop List and Applications


01.

Poetry: Making, Form, Formed  MORE INFO

Dates
Sat., July 12, 2014 — Sat., July 19, 2014
Instructor
Ronaldo Wilson · Biography
Ronaldo Wilson

Ronaldo Wilson

Ronaldo V. Wilson, PhD is the author of Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man (University of Pittsburgh, 2008), winner of the 2007 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, and Poems of the Black Object (Futurepoem Books, 2009), winner of the Thom Gunn Award and the Asian American Literary Award in Poetry in 2010. Co-founder of the Black Took Collective, Wilson is also an Assistant Professor of Poetry, Fiction and Literature in the Literature Department of the University of California, Santa Cruz. His latest books: Farther Traveler: Poetry, Prose, Other, is forthcoming from Counterpath Press and Lucy 72 will be released by 1913 Press.  He was recently an Artist in Residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts, where he worked on a dance/video project, playing with elements from his sound album Off the Dome: Rants, Raps, and Meditations, http://theconversant.org/?p=3634

 

Course Description

This workshop will explore both formal and experimental modes through which to render, repel, replace, and break our habituations (even as we embrace them) in the making of poetry.  We will read, draw, move, paint, work from notes (live, found) across low (crayon, paper, scissors) and high (i-Movie, iPhone, Camera) materials (depending) to make or to see/hear new work.  You will also have the opportunity to bring in work for discussion, not simply in the spirit of how did this do what it did, but rather how might it now propel your poetry work and thinking into future forms. 

Application
Download the Application form (*.PDF)
02.

Creative Non-Fiction MORE INFO

Dates
Sat., July 12, 2014 — Sat., July 19, 2014
Instructor
Beverly Donofrio · Biography
Beverly Donofrio

Beverly Donofrio

Beverly Donofrio’s first memoir, Riding in Cars with Boys, has been translated into sixteen languages and transformed into a popular motion picture. Her second memoir, Looking for Mary (or, the Blessed Mother and Me), began as a documentary on NPR and was chosen as a Discover Book at Barnes & Noble.

Her first picture book, an award–winner, Mary and the Mouse, the Mouse and Mary, was illustrated by Barbara McClintock and appeared in 2007. The book’s sequel, also illustrated by Barbara McClintock, Maria and Mouse Mouse, Mouse Mouse and Maria, is scheduled to be released in 2013 Thank You, Lucky Stars, a book for middle–graders about dancing and friendship, appeared in 2008.

Beverly is an award–winning radio documentarian and essayist and can be heard on such programs as All Things Considered. Her personal essays have appeared in national newspapers and magazines, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Allure, Cosmopolitan, New York Magazine, The Village Voice, O, Marie Clair, and Spirituality & Health.

She lived for four years as a lay Carmelite at Nada Hermitage in Colorado, where she began her next memoir, Astonished, which will be published by Viking in the spring of 2013. Beverly is now in transit, in the hallway, between here and there, a lay Carmelite out in the world, spending time with family and friends, writing as always, and teaching at the low residency MFA program at Wilkes University.

Course Description

This course will survey and analyze the craft and technique of narrative works developed in the 1960s and 1970s by a group of American novelists and journalists to apprehend and depict the extraordinary events of that period. The innovations of writers like Mailer, Talese, Wolfe, Didion and Capote changed the face of American narrative prose and continue to affect the way we perceive social reality. In preparation for the class, attendees will read an assigned section of pieces by the mandarins of the Creative Non-Fiction. During class week, you will employ some of the approaches encountered in your reading in workshop.

Application
Download the Application form (*.PDF)
03.

On the Road: Writing from Abroad in the Digital Era MORE INFO

Dates
Sat., July 19, 2014 — Sat., July 26, 2014
Instructor
Andrew Meier · Biography
Andrew Meier

Andrew Meier

Andrew Meier is a nonfiction author and journalist who has written on political and foreign affairs—reporting from Russia, the Baltics, Central Asia, and the Caucasus--more than two decades.  A Moscow correspondent for Time, 1996-2001, he is at present a contributor to The New York Times Magazine and Director of Writing for Facing Change: Documenting America (www.facingchange.org).

His first book, Black Earth: A Journey Through Russia After the Fall (W.W. Norton, 2003), was widely hailed as one of the best books on Russia to appear since the end of the USSR.  The Lost Spy: An American in Stalin’s Secret Service, Meier’s second book, is an award-winning biography of the first-known American to spy for the Soviets, Isaiah “Cy” Oggins.  Both were named to a number of “Book of the Year” lists.  

At present, Meier is at work on a biography of the Morgenthau family for Random House.   A nonfiction history of four generations of the German Jewish dynasty, the book covers 166 years of New York history, culminating in the life and work of Robert M. Morgenthau, the longtime District Attorney of New York County.

Meier has also written for numerous other publications (among them: Harper’s, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, National Geographic, The New Republic, The New York Times, Outside, The Washington Post) and reported for PBS television documentaries.  A recipient of fellowships from the Alicia Patterson Foundation, NEH, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Cullman Center for Scholars & Writers at the New York Public Library, Meier currently teaches Nonfiction and Journalism at Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts in New York City.

 

Course Description

This workshop focuses on writing from abroad in the digital era.   At a time when so many decry the death of journalism, the stories remain as big as ever: the Arab Spring, the Iraq and Afghan Wars, the Asian Century and a resurgent Russia.  U.S. newspapers and magazines may have fewer than 150 staff correspondents aboard, and challenges in this multi-platform, social-media world abound, but there’s never been greater urgency to report from overseas--whether you wish to cover war, travel, politics, business, arts or culture.  We’ll read writers at the height of their craft—past masters and contemporary practitioners, with subjects ranging from Tehran in the ‘70s to a Caribbean cruise in the ‘90s--to study how each establishes voice and authority, blending character, scene, and dialogue with deep reporting and research.   With an eye to shaping an article or book, students will be expected to workshop 10-20 pp. manuscripts.

 

Application
Download the Application form (*.PDF)
04.

Screenwriting MORE INFO

Dates
Sat., July 19, 2014 — Sat., July 26, 2014
Instructor
David Black · Biography
David Black

David Black

David Black is an award-winning journalist, novelist, screenwriter, and producer. His novel Like Father was named a notable book of the year by the New York Times and listed as one of the seven best novels of the year by the Washington Post. The King of Fifth Avenue was named a notable book of the year by the New York Times, New York Magazine, and the A.P. Among the television shows he has produced and written are the Sidney Lumet series 100 Centre Street, which was listed as one of the ten best shows of the year, the Richard Dreyfuss series The Education of Max Bickford, and Monk, CSI-Miami, Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice, and Law & Order. He won the Writers’ Guild of America Award for The Confession. He received an American Bar Association Certificate of Merit for “Nullification,” a controversial episode of Law & Order about Militia groups, which The Los Angeles Times called an example of “the new Golden Age of television.” Among his other awards, he has received a National Endowment of the Arts grant in fiction, Playboy’s Best Article of the Year Award, Best Essays of the Year 1986 Honorable Mention, Forward’s Book of the Year Special Mention, and an Atlantic Monthly “First” award for fiction. He has also received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for The Plague Years, a book based on a two-part series that he wrote for Rolling Stone and that won a National Magazine Award in Reporting and the National Science Writers Award.  He has taught writing at Lehman College, Mt. Holyoke College, and Harvard, where he is a scholar-in-residence at Kirkland House. He is a former board member of the Mystery Writers of America and a member of the Century Association, the Williams Club, the Columbia Club, PEN, the Explorers’ Club, and the Players.

Course Description

A week long seminar on story-telling – how we tell stories and how the stories we tell affect how we behave. The stories we tell ourselves about politics shape our actions – as do the stories we tell about our friends, our family, and ourselves. The course will discuss how to become more conscious of the stories around us and how to use those stories in fiction, non-fiction, and screenwriting. The course will also discuss structure, POV, and shaping scenes – as well as the business of writing. How to pitch a TV series or movie, how to write a proposal for a book or magazine article.

Application
Download the Application form (*.PDF)
05.

Writing Historical Fiction for Children: Finding a Voice That Works MORE INFO

Dates
Sat., July 19, 2014 — Sat., July 26, 2014
Instructor
Yona McDonough · Biography
Yona McDonough

Yona McDonough

Yona Zeldis McDonough was educated at Vassar College and Columbia University.  She is the author of five novels for adults, The Four Temperaments, In Dahlia's Wake, Breaking the Bank (which has been optioned for screen) A Wedding in Great Neck and Two of a Kind. Her sixth novel, You Were Meant for Me, will be out in October 2014. She is also the editor of two essay collections, The Barbie Chronicles: A Living Doll Turns Forty and All the Available Light: A Marilyn Monroe Reader. 

Additionally, McDonough is an award-winning children's book author with 21 children's books to her credit. The Doll Shop Downstairs received a starred review from Jewish Book World which opined   that it "will become a classic." In another starred review Kirkus called the sequel, The Cats in the Doll Shop, "a quiet treasure." The Doll With the Yellow Star won the 2006 Once Upon a World Award presented by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Her latest book Little Author in the Big Woods, a biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, will be published by Holt in September 2014.

For over a dozen years, McDonough has been the Fiction Editor at Lilith Magazine and her fiction, essays and articles have been published in many national and literary reviews.  Visit her at www.yonazeldismcdonough.com

Course Description

How do you create a convincing fictional voice for characters that lived many years ago? What kind of research is necessary to write historical fiction for children? What are some fertile historical periods to consider? These are just a few of the questions that will be addressed in this workshop designed for the writer interested in the niche market of historical literature for children. With the major success of the American Girl and Dear

America series, there is a significant interest in history for kids; it is the writer’s challenge to make that history the past fresh, new and relevant to today’s generation of kids. Craft-based written exercises and readings will be integrated with discussion and work shopping of students’ manuscripts.

Application
Download the Application form (*.PDF)
06.

Memoir: The Challenge of Depicting Live Characters MORE INFO

Dates
Sat., July 26, 2014 — Sat., August 2, 2014
Instructor
Kaylie Jones · Biography
Kaylie Jones

Kaylie Jones

Kaylie Jones newest endeavor is her publishing imprint with Akashic Books, Kaylie Jones Books. Her flagship publication is Laurie Loewenstein’s novel, Unmentionables (January 2014), which was honored at the ALA 2014 conference, and was a Midwest Booksellers Association January pick. Kaylie has published six books, the most recent a memoir, Lies My Mother Never Told Me (Harper Collins, 2009). Her novel A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries was adapted as a Merchant Ivory Film in 1998. Jones is the editor of the anthology Long Island Noir, published in Spring 2012. Her non-fiction essay, Judite is included in Ann Hood’s Knitting Yarns, published in November 2013. Kaylie has been teaching creative writing for more than 25 years, and is a faculty member in the Stony Brook/Southampton MFA Program in Writing, and in the Wilkes University Low-Residency Program in Professional Writing. Kaylie and her daughter spent the summer 2013 studying Kung Fu in China with Shaolin warrior monks.

Course Description

Many people have the talent to write excellent sentences; few have the understanding of how to structure a marketable book. This course will first and foremost address the issue of structure in memoir writing.  Other topics will include: how to get past the problems of truth versus fiction; how to attain equitability in addressing painful topics; how to get around problems of time sequencing and still remain true to facts; and how to achieve originality and emotional balance in the work.

Application
Download the Application form (*.PDF)
07.

Adaptations: From Page to Stage, From Book to Screen MORE INFO

Dates
Sat., July 26, 2014 — Sat., August 2, 2014
Instructor
Bonnie Culver · Biography
Bonnie Culver

Bonnie Culver

Bonnie Culver, Screenwriter, Playwright, Novelist. Bonnie Culver’s twenty-plus plays have been produced from NY to LA by colleges, regional theatres, and equity companies. Her professionally produced plays include: LIFELINES, GROUP S.O.S. (male and female versions), ACCIDENT, and SNIPER. In 2004, SNIPER won the New Jersey Arts Council Perry Award for Excellence in the Production of an Original Play and completed a first class equity showcase at Center Stage, NYC, in 2005. In 2006, SNIPER was included in the Florida Studio Theatre’s Richard and Betty Burdick National Playwriting Reading series, an annual event that showcases “the best in American contemporary theatre.” The screenplay SNIPER was a 1996 Sundance Film Development Program finalist as were her scripts GROUP S.O.S. and WATCHFIRES. A new play SILENT PARTNERS, is in development with actress Marlee Matlin. This spring the Villagers Playhouse produced SNIPER which was nominated for seven NJ Perry Awards; Jeff Mashey won the Best Supporting Actor category. Dr. Culver received her PhD from Binghamton University. At Wilkes, she is an associate professor of English, a former college dean, and currently the director of the low residency M.A./M.F.A. programs. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the president of the James Jones Society, and an Advisory Board member of the Norman Mailer Society and Etruscan Press. In 2010 she was elected to the Board of Trustees of AWP Association of Writers & Programs. Her short play CELL was produced in a festival of one-acts at The Venue, Norfolk, VA in 2010. She is currently at work on a novel/screenplay called HARMONY LAKE.
Course Description

Adaptations:  from page to stage, from book to screen from screen to narrative. In tribute to many Mailer projects from THE DEER PARK to THE EXECUTIONER'S SONG, how does one navigate the issues of adapting one genre to another.  This workshop will deal with the process and assist writers in making that transition from one form to another.  What elements become necessary in making a narrative either a play or screenplay and vice versa?  What extra steps are required in the writing process?  Participants will work through their own "adaptations" in this hands-on week, writing and thinking in various forms.

Application
Download the Application form (*.PDF)
08.

Non-Fiction Narrative: Bringing Ideas to Life MORE INFO

Dates
Sat., July 26, 2014 — Sat., August 2, 2014
Instructor
Susan Lehman · Biography
Susan Lehman

Susan Lehman

Susan Lehman is the Editor in Chief at TED Books. 

She was deputy editor of the Sunday Review section of The New York Times and, in recognition of her work setting the tone for the new Sunday opinion section, was awarded the Arthur Sulzberger Prize for Excellence in Publishing.

She has worked as a book, magazine and Web editor and has written for a range of publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New York Observer and The Atlantic Monthly, Vogue, Glamour, Harper's Bazaar, New York, GQ and Spy.

She was the co-author, with Edward Hayes, of "Mouthpiece: My Life in — and Just Outside — the Law," with an introduction by Tom Wolfe, and has contributed to several essay collections. A former criminal defense lawyer, she was communications director for the Brennan Center for Justice, a producer at Court TV and Lifetime Television, and a consulting producer for CNBC's "Topic A With Tina Brown."

Ms. Lehman graduated from Amherst College and has a master's degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and a law degree from Georgetown. Before joining The New York Times, she was a member of the board of The New Press, a leading public interest book publisher.


 
Course Description

Capital Punishment. Campaign Finance Reform. Government Surveillance. 

How do you make these ideas come alive for readers? Especially readers who don’t think they care a lot about any of these subjects? In this workshop, we talk about good storytelling can make ideas accessible -- and interesting -- to mass audiences. 

 
 
Application
Download the Application form (*.PDF)
09.

Fiction: The Protagonists MORE INFO

Dates
Sat., July 26, 2014 — Sat., August 2, 2014
Instructor
Marita Golden · Biography
Marita Golden

Marita Golden

Marita Golden is an award-winning novelist, nonfiction writer, distinguished teacher of writing and co-founder of the Hurston/Wright Foundation, a national organization that serves as a resource center for African-American writers.

Marita Golden was born in Washington, D.C., in 1950 and attended the city’s public schools. She received a B.A. in American Studies and English from American University and a M.SC. in Journalism from Columbia University. After graduating from Columbia, she worked in publishing and began a career as a free-lance writer, writing feature articles for many magazines and newspapers including Essence Magazine, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.

Her first book, Migrations of the Heart (1983), was a memoir based on her experiences coming of age during the 1960s and her political activism as well as her marriage to a Nigerian and her life in Nigeria where she lived for four years.

She has taught at many colleges and universities, including the University of Lagos in Lagos Nigeria, Roxbury Community College,Emerson CollegeAmerican UniversityGeorge Mason University, and Virginia Commonwealth University. She holds the position of Writer in Residence at the University of the District of Columbia, in Washington, D.C. Previous Writer-in-Residence positions have been held at Brandeis UniversityUniversity of the District of ColumbiaHampton UniversitySimmons CollegeColumbia College , William and MaryOld Dominion University and Howard University. 

As a literary activist, she co-founded the Washington, D.C.-based African American Writers Guild, as well as the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation, which serves the national and international community of Black writers.

Course Description
Thinking the Unthinkable.  Speaking the Unspeakable.  Secrets.  Regrets.  These are the actions and "elements" that make for riveting characters.  Vivid, hard to forget characters are memorable because of the complexity of their fears and desires.  Great characters jump off emotional cliffs, dive into the deep end of the ocean of their experience.  This workshop will focus on how to create protagonists that take up residence in the reader's life and memory and live there long after the reader has finished the last page
Application
Download the Application form (*.PDF)