Oh, Summer! How busy and eventful you have been! Many of you know I completed my MFA in Fiction at Vermont College of Fine Arts this month, and I also had the great honor of representing my class as speaker at graduation. As if that wasn't enough excitement, I also completed my novel, for which I'm now (while continuing to obsessively revise) seeking an agent, a process I anticipate may be slow and arduous. Then again, writing itself tends to be, in the long view, slow and arduous, so. In any case, if you believe in things like crossing fingers, I would never turn down a shred of extra luck.
Meanwhile, I think some of you know I serve as nonfiction editor at Orison Books, which is about to close its annual Anthology Awards contest (August 1). If you have a short piece (under 8,000 words) or three poems to enter, please do! Visit orisonbooks.com for more information or to submit.
And the roster of Elephant Rock classes and workshops is filling out nicely now that fall is around the corner! Also, I won't say that again about fall being around the corner. I know how upsetting that can be for my Minnesota friends. Though I did see a yellow leaf drop today through the screen of green out my window. But no, no, shush, shush.
As for Elephant Rock offerings, we have two Write for Your Life memoir intensive workshops this fall, both in Minneapolis, one September 22-24 (several spots open) and one October 6-8 (almost full). These beloved Friday-Sunday workshops are intense, challenging, and inspiring for writers at all experience levels and I would love to welcome you.
Also, after many requests, we've finally created a model we like for our first-ever remote class, Art of the Fractured. We needed to envision a remote way of working that could capture as much as possible of the foundational warmth and intimacy of an Elephant Rock in-person offering, and we believe we have now. Running eight weeks from September 20 - November 8, Art of the Fractured looks at how to use the ephemera of life to write in nonlinear and broken ways, to cut, erase, collage, and break apart what is in order to create ... something else, and, in so doing, amplify meaning and resonance in the work. Fractured will include lively phone-in class sessions, detailed instructor feedback, illustrative readings and guided discussions, and inventive exercises intended to result in several micro essays and two slightly longer, complete works.
Last but not least, I have two spots left for private writing students, a tailored and intensive way to bring your work forward with one-on-one mentorship and feedback. I work with only a limited number of writers in this way, while also volunteering as a mentor through two organizations (The Association of Writers & Writing Programs and the Minnesota Prison Writers Workshop). In all cases, I find such one-on-one incredibly rewarding and enlivening. If you are interested in working this way, just review my mentoring page and inquire by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
That's a lot of business! As I said, it's been a busy summer! I promise my next post will have more whimsy and perhaps a bit of autumn wind. Oops. But speaking of fall, I'll reading from my novel on October 14 at the River Falls Literary Arts Festival in Wisconsin, along with Tekla Madsen, David Wood, and Michael Norman. More details coming soon on that! Would be super fun to see some of you there!