Last Chance to Join Our Summer Writing Retreats in Granada & Paris!

The deadline is approaching for your last chance to join our Summer in Granada and Summer in Paris Writing Retreats. Apply by June 15, 2015 (rolling submissions) at cww.submittable.com.

Summer in Granada Writing Retreat:

Join the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop on our summer writing & yoga retreat to the cultural oasis of Granada, Spain. Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains in Andalucía, Granada is one of the gems of Spain and has inspired writers from Washington Irving to Salman Rushdie to Ali Smith.

The retreat offers the opportunity for writers of all genres and levels to work alongside award-winning authors & editors like Peter Orner (fiction, nonfiction), Rita Banerjee (poetry, fiction), Diana Norma Szkoloyai (poetry, nonfiction), Jessica Reidy (fiction, poetry) and Elissa Lewis (yoga, meditation).

Our Andalucían writing retreat will take place from August 3-10, 2015, and the cost of the workshop is $2950, which includes lodging, craft of writing seminars and writing workshops, yoga classes, room cleaning, and breakfast. Optional add-ons include reiki healing and aromatherapy sessions.

The retreat will be held at Hotel Guadalupe on Paseo de la Sabica in Granada, Spain.

Course Descriptions:

Storytelling Techniques in Short Fiction & Novels (with Peter Orner)
One way to see the difference between a short story and a novel is to compare a single pang in one’s heart with the tragedy (and potential triumph) of one’s whole life. It’s all a matter of how you feel the pain (and the joy). A story is complete, not a word wasted, and therefore remorseless. Read a great story and there it is—right now—in your gut. So often stories go off the rails because they lack the immediate intensity – even if this intensity is quiet – that a good story needs. No silver bullet, as each and every story is different, but in this mini-workshop, we’ll discuss the mystery of why certain stories have such a profound impact, talking about such intangibles as compression, momentum, and tension. We’ll look at among other writers, the stories of the great Japanese writer, Kawabata, who is able to do so much in so few words in what he calls “Palm of the Hand” stories, and Grace Paley who likewise, in just a few sentences, could capture a distinct universe. We’ll also discuss story openings. Writers will leave at least a handful of their own stories in progress.

A Tiny Survey of Spanish Prose in Translation: From Cervantes to Lorca to Ana Maria Matute to Javiar Cercas… (with Peter Orner)
To give a sense of Spanish literature through the ages, we’ll be reading a mini-anthology of Spanish writers beginning with excerpts from Don Quixote, arguably the first modern novel, and one that remains a touchstone of wildly provocative literary innovation. From Cervantes, we’ll look at more contemporary works, including the well-known plays of Lorca, as well as lesser known, but equally compelling stories and novels of Ana Maria Matute and Javiar Cercas.

Workshop on the Evocative Object (with Diana Norma Szokolyai and Rita Banerjee)
Enjoy searching for and discovering evocative objects in your surroundings, and tell their stories through lyrical descriptions that will thrill the reader.

Literary Taboo: Playing With the Five Senses (with Rita Banerjee)
Learn to play a literary game that will keep you on your wordsmithing toes. You will have to think of new ways to write about subjects, while avoiding clichés!

Your Voice (with Diana Norma Szokolyai)
Whether preparing for a literary reading or recording your poetry with musicians, it is important to develop your own voice because it is the vehicle for your words. In these sessions, you will connect with your inner voice to bring it outward, learning how to better create a bond between you and your audience.

Flamenco: Rhythm as Meaning in Poetry & Prose (with Jess Reidy)
Flamenco is a rich musical tradition grown out the Romani tradition that flourished in Spain—and as Flamenco is rooted in the Romani oral tradition of story-telling, the various musical forms are rich with meaning, just by virtue of their rhythm and structure. In this class, I’d like to examine and listen to two or three popular Flamenco forms and try some writing exercises in which we employ these rhythmic techniques and try to use the meaning of the form to enhance our own content. As writers, we have an intuitive sense of rhythm—the iamb is the beat of the human heart. But many writers are not aware of the semantics of rhythm, for example, what it means when there is a rest after a series of beats, both to the untrained ear and the informed reader. I’d love to have a couple of pre-recorded or live-music demonstrations, one in which we write our impressions of a song, and the other in which we write our own words to the beat of the song. Similarly to the above course, some cultural and historical will be helpful to the students, but depending on whether I teach both classes and/or which course comes first, I will of course tailor my contextualizing.

Lorca’s Gypsies: Blood of the Archetype (with Jess Reidy)
Lorca, in many ways the voice of Granada, also gives voice to the Romani people, albeit in a limiting fashion, curtailed by the mold of archetype. I get emails from many writers struggling to write out of their own demographics, despite their best intentions to be inclusive in their fiction and poetry with respect to gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and socio-economic status. This becomes especially complicated for writers working in poetry, fantasy, magical realism, The Fantastic, etc. In this class, we will examine how Lorca creates a simpatico between the speaker and the Roma—both outsiders, both struggling hardship, and both living life through art and trades—and how he plays on the Gypsy archetype to build metaphors for the pain of love, war, and fate. But we will also consider the reductive aspects of Lorca’s Gypsies—the Roma represent that which is primitive, natural, decorative, and functional—with the intention of learning how to write three-dimensional characters in both poetry and fiction who have their own meaningful stories to tell. In other words, we will learn how to give blood to the archetype. We will touch on the historical-political context of Lorca’s poetry, the Franco regime, as well as the history of the Romani people in Spain, to explore the importance of research and specificity in writing, and to better acquaint ourselves with the strongest parts of Lorca’s work and the more problematic aspects. We will also discuss the difference between exotic clichés and writing that is grounded in human experience, regardless of genre.

Featured Faculty:

Peter OrnerPeter Orner Chicago born Peter Orner’s fiction and non-fiction has appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly, Granta, The Paris Review, McSweeney’s, The Southern Review, The Forward, The San Francisco Chronicle, andPloughshares. Stories have been anthologized in Best American Stories and twice won a Pushcart Prize. Orner was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship (2006), as well as the two-year Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship (2007-2008). A film version of one of Orner’s stories, “The Raft” with a screenplay by Orner and the film’s director, Rob Jones, is currently in production and stars Ed Asner.  Esther Stories (Houghton Mifflin/​ Mariner, 2001) was awarded the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction, and was a Finalist for the Pen Hemingway Award and the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award. Esther Stories was a 2001 New York Times Notable Book.

RBRita Banerjee is a writer, and received her PhD in Comparative Literature from Harvard University. She holds an MFA in Poetry and her writing has been published in Poets for Living Waters, The New Renaissance, The Fiction Project, Jaggery, The Crab Creek Review, The Dudley Review, Objet d’Art, Vox Populi, Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure, and Chrysanthemumamong other journals. Her first collection of poems,Cracklers at Night, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2010 and received First Honorable Mention for Best Poetry Book at the 2011-2012 Los Angeles Book Festival. Her novella, A Night with Kali, was digitized by the Brooklyn Art-house Co-op in 2011. She is a co-director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, and her writing has been recently featured onHER KIND by VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and on KBOO Radio’s APA Compass in Portland, Oregon.

DianaNormaDiana Norma Szkoloyai is author of the poetry books Roses in the Snow and Parallel Sparrows(Finishing Line Press). Her writing and hybrid art have appeared in Lyre Lyre, Dr. Hurley’s Snake Oil Cure, The Fiction Project, Teachers as Writers, Polarity, The Boston Globe, The Dudley Review, Up the Staircase, Area Zinc Art Magazine, Belltower & the Beach, and Human Rights News. Founding Literary Arts Director of Chagall Performance Art Collaborative and co-director of the Cambridge Writer’s Workshop, she holds an Ed.M from Harvard and an M.A. in French Literature from the University of Connecticut.

25ugmblJessica Reidy earned her MFA in Fiction at Florida State University and a B.A. from Hollins University. Her work is Pushcart-nominated and has appeared in Narrative Magazine as Short Story of the Week, The Los Angeles Review, Arsenic Lobster, and other journals. She’s a staff-writer and the Outreach Editor for Quail Bell Magazine, Managing Editor for VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts, Art Editor for The Southeast Review, and Visiting Professor for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop retreats. She teaches creative writing and is a certified yoga instructor and Reiki Master. Jessica also works her Romani (Gypsy) family trades, fortune telling, energy healing, and dancing. Jessica is currently writing her first novel set in post-WWII Paris about Coco Charbonneau, the half-Romani burlesque dancer and fortune teller of Zenith Circus, who becomes a Nazi hunter. You can learn more at www.jessicareidy.com.

ElissaLewisElissa Lewis is the Yoga & Arts Coordinator of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop.  She began her journey with yoga in 2006, when she moved to France and made the practice part of her daily routine. She saw yoga as a lifestyle, not only a class, helping her to clear her mind and have more compassion for herself and others. In 2010 she moved to New York and completed her teacher training at Laughing Lotus, a creative, soulful yoga studio that teaches the student to ‘move like yourself.’ She’s taught private and group classes in Manhattan and Brooklyn ever since. Visit her websitefor informative yoga sequences and information.
Summer in Paris Writing Retreat:

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Paris Writing Retreat will take place July 22-30, 2015 in France. The retreat offers participating writers of all genres and levels to work alongside award-winning authors and editors like David Shields (nonfiction, book-length essay), Diana Norma Szokoloyai (poetry, nonfiction), Rita Banerjee (poetry, fiction), Jessica Reidy(fiction, poetry), and Elissa Lewis (yoga, meditation).

If you’re serious about writing and want to soak in some exquisite French culture this summer, join our retreat in Paris! Tuition is $2950, which includes lodging in central Paris, daily creative writing workshops and writing seminars, one-on-one manuscript consultations, daily breakfast, daily yoga and meditation classes, and a walking tour of literary Paris.

Course Descriptions:

Brevity (with David Shields)
Lecture. Exegesis. In-class writing/critique.
A sustained argument for the excitement and urgency of literary brevity in a hyper-digital, post-religious age; a rally for compression, concision, and velocity; and a meditation on the brevity of human existence. We are mortal beings. There is no god. We live in a digital culture. Art is related to the body and to the culture. Art should reflect these things. Brevity rules.

Collage (with David Shields)
Lecture. Exegesis. In-class writing/critique.
The novel is dead; long live the anti-novel, built from scraps./I’m not interested in collage as the refuge of the compositionally disabled. I’m interested in collage as an evolution beyond narrative./A great painting comes together, just barely. /It may be that nowadays in order to move us, abstract pictures need if not humor then at least some admission of their own absurdity-expressed in genuine awkwardness or in an authentic disorder./These fragments I have shored against my ruins./Collage is the primary art form of the twenty-first century.

Collaboration (with David Shields)
Lecture. Exegesis. In-class writing/critique.
A class on kinds of collaboration: collaboration with yourself, with your own material, with other texts, with other people, and the world in general. I’ll talk for a while about the kinds of collaboration I’ve done and ask people in the class to bring in an idea for how they might collaborate on their next project.

Workshop on the Evocative Object (with Diana Norma Szokolyai and Rita Banerjee)
Enjoy searching for and discovering evocative objects in your surroundings, and tell their stories through lyrical descriptions that will thrill the reader.

Literary Taboo: Playing With the Five Senses (with Rita Banerjee)
Learn to play a literary game that will keep you on your wordsmithing toes. You will have to think of new ways to write about subjects, while avoiding clichés!

Anaïs Nin & the Art of Journaling (with Jessica Reidy)
The great novelist Anaïs Nin kept a journal throughout most of her life and filled volume upon volume with a rich record of her personal, professional, and creative life (most of which was lived in Paris). She wrote far more volumes of her journals than novels, and after encouragement from other friends and writers she published excerpts of her journals. And while Nin feared that her journal consumed her, she also knew that it was the channel and source of her creativity. Creativity teacher and filmmaker Julia Cameron insists that, no matter the type of artist you are, daily journaling is an essential part of the artistic process. In this class, we will read and discuss some of the inspiring advice from Nin and Cameron, and try out a few different journaling techniques, invention exercises, and the practice of self-awareness and setting achievable goals. We will also practice using the journal as a ‘safe space’ for new writing projects, and a scrapbook or canvas for different ways of approaching a piece of writing (collage, drawing, etc).

Featured Faculty:

jUSEu2sSo4RfT2C6eSXb6-plQPuQlknv-LggVh9tpUsDavid Shields is the internationally bestselling author of twenty books, including Reality Hunger (named one of the best books of 2010 by more than thirty publications), The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead(New York Times bestseller), and  Black Planet(finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award). Forthcoming are That Thing You Do With Your Mouth(McSweeney’s, June 2015),War Is Beautiful (powerHouse, September 15),Flip-Side (powerHouse, January 2016) and Other People (Knopf, February 2017). The recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, Shields has published essays and stories in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s,Esquire, Yale Review,Village Voice, Salon, Slate, McSweeney’s, andBeliever. His work has been translated into twenty languages.

Diana Norma Szkoloyai is author of the poetry books Roses in the Snow and Parallel Sparrows(Finishing Line Press). Her writing and hybrid art have appeared in Lyre Lyre, Dr. Hurley’s Snake Oil Cure, The Fiction Project, Teachers as Writers, Polarity, The Boston Globe, The Dudley Review, Up the Staircase, Area Zinc Art Magazine, Belltower & the Beach, and Human Rights News. Founding Literary Arts Director of Chagall Performance Art Collaborative and co-director of the Cambridge Writer’s Workshop, she holds an Ed.M from Harvard and an M.A. in French Literature from the University of Connecticut.

rb1-e1425855638846Rita Banerjee is a writer, and received her PhD in Comparative Literature from Harvard University. She holds an MFA in Poetry and her writing has been published in Poets for Living Waters, The New Renaissance, The Fiction Project, Jaggery, The Crab Creek Review, The Dudley Review, Objet d’Art, Vox Populi, Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure, and Chrysanthemumamong other journals. Her first collection of poems,Cracklers at Night, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2010 and received First Honorable Mention for Best Poetry Book at the 2011-2012 Los Angeles Book Festival. Her novella, A Night with Kali, was digitized by the Brooklyn Art-house Co-op in 2011. She is a co-director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, and her writing has been recently featured onHER KIND by VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and on KBOO Radio’s APA Compass in Portland, Oregon.

Jessica Reidy earned her MFA in Fiction at Florida State University and a B.A. from Hollins University. Her work is Pushcart-nominated and has appeared in Narrative Magazine as Short Story of the Week, The Los Angeles Review, Arsenic Lobster, and other journals. She’s a staff-writer and the Outreach Editor for Quail Bell Magazine, Managing Editor for VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts, Art Editor for The Southeast Review, and Visiting Professor for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop retreats. She teaches creative writing and is a certified yoga instructor and Reiki Master. Jessica also works her Romani (Gypsy) family trades, fortune telling, energy healing, and dancing. Jessica is currently writing her first novel set in post-WWII Paris about Coco Charbonneau, the half-Romani burlesque dancer and fortune teller of Zenith Circus, who becomes a Nazi hunter. You can learn more at www.jessicareidy.com.

ElissaLewisElissa Lewis is the Yoga & Arts Coordinator of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop.  She began her journey with yoga in 2006, when she moved to France and made the practice part of her daily routine. She saw yoga as a lifestyle, not only a class, helping her to clear her mind and have more compassion for herself and others. In 2010 she moved to New York and completed her teacher training at Laughing Lotus, a creative, soulful yoga studio that teaches the student to ‘move like yourself.’ She’s taught private and group classes in Manhattan and Brooklyn ever since. Visit her websitefor informative yoga sequences and information.

Advertisements