The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Paris Writing Retreat will take place July 25-30, 2018 in Paris, France. The retreat offers participating writers of all genres and levels to work alongside award-winning authors and editors. Participating writers will hone their craft and expand their writing skills, while working on new or existing projects.
There will also be time to explore the city of Paris in all of its historical, literary, and romantic charm. Situated in heart of Paris’ Montparnasse neighborhood, amongst the fresh and popular open air markets and charming boutiques, the hotel stay is full of Parisian charm and our classes will take place in a beautiful Moroccan themed room that opens to a courtyard that can also be used by our writers.
Retreat activities will include craft of writing seminars and creative writing workshops, literary tours of Paris. If you’re serious about writing and want to soak in some exquisite French culture this summer, join our retreat in Paris! Tuition is $3250, which includes lodging in central Paris, daily creative writing workshops and writing seminars, daily breakfast, and a walking tour of “literary” Paris.
Faculty includes internationally renowned author and writing coach Kathleen Spivack (fiction, poetry, nonfiction), Kristina Marie Darling (poetry, publishing), Diana Norma Szokolyai (poetry, nonfiction), Rita Banerjee (poetry, nonfiction, fiction).
If you’d like to join us in Paris, please apply online by June 15, 2018, and include $10 application screening fee and a 5-10 page writing sample of poetry or prose. Please also include the following in your cover letter:
1. Full Legal Name
2. Contact & Address
3. Age & Nationality
4. Prior creative writing experience and publications
5. Creative writing goals for the retreat
6. Short one paragraph biography
7. Contact of Two Personal References (Name, Email, Address, Phone, Relationship to Applicant)
(Due to limited seats, early applications are encouraged, but check for rolling admission after deadline, depending on availability). More information available at cww.nyc
Memory/Memoir (with Kathleen Spivack)
We will be working with memory, nostalgia, the other, and ourselves as we explore the role of memory in writing. We will focus on creating new work, or if you prefer, working on projects you bring to the class.
How can we use memory? Where do fact and fiction collide? What is a memoir and where exactly do we focus? How do we locate ourselves in our writing, and where do we find the starting place and point of view? There are many ways of approaching memory / memoir in our writing, and we will explore a few of them.
Prose Poetry and Micro-Fiction (with Kristina Marie Darling)
In this course, we will focus on prose poetry, meaning prose that draws from the extensive tradition, formal repertoire and literary devices that readers associate with poetry. We will work toward a set of drafts that enact the full range and diversity inherent in this exciting literary form. Questions we will address in class include: How can poets effectively and economically use the tools of fiction in their craft? What formal variations on the prose poem are possible? How can prose poems compliment work written in more traditional poetic forms? Readings will include work by Rochelle Hurt, Carol Guess, Kerri Webster, Joanna Ruocco, Jenny Boully, Sarah Vap, G.C. Waldrep, Suzanne Scanlon, and other writers as determined by student interests.
The Fine Art of Application Writing (with Kristina Marie Darling)
This workshop will walk students through the basics of writing convincing and persuasive applications to fellowships, residencies, grants, and other opportunities. We will begin with a discussion of strategies for researching those professional opportunities that best fit one’s chosen project. We will also address such topics as crafting personal statements, writing compelling project proposals, choosing the writing sample, and compiling your dossier as a whole. Students will leave the workshop with a packet of resources for researching residencies and grants, as well as sample application materials and strategies for effectively presenting their own writing to selection committees.
Ekphrasis: Writing Confronts Visual Art (with Diana Norma Szokolyai)
The word “ekphrasis” comes from the Greek, referring to a literary response to a visual scene, or more commonly, a work of art. By engaging in the imaginative act of reflecting on the action of a work of visual art, the writer expands the meaning of the art. After reading literary examples and holding a discussion about applying the practice of ekphrasis to our own writing, our classroom will be one of the most beautiful museums in Paris: The Musée D’Orsay.
Flâneurs, Essays, and Provocateurs (with Rita Banerjee)
An essay is an attempt. A trial. A test. In this class, we will explore how evocative essays are attempted and constructed. We will explore how being a flâneur and an essayist are intimately combined. And we will study how essayists from Montaigne to John McPhee to Richard Rodriguez to David Shields to Teju Cole and Lauren Elkin redefine the environment they inhabit and create a space for electric art.
Kathleen Spivack is the author of ten books, prose and poetry (Knopf, Doubleday, Graywolf, etc). Her most recent novel Unspeakable Things (Knopf) centers on European refugees in New York City, struggling to survive during the last years of the Second World War. Kathleen’s previous book was With Robert Lowell and His Circle: Plath, Sexton, Bishop, Rich, Kunitz and others (University Press of New England). Kathleen arrived in Boston in 1959 on a scholarship to study with Robert Lowell. Lowell introduced her to the poets of that time, who took her under their wing. This memoir centers on how these poets approached their work.
Other books include: A History of Yearning, Winner of the Sows Ear International Poetry Prize 2010, the London Book Festival Poetry Prize, and others; Moments of Past Happiness (Earthwinds/Grolier Editions); The Beds We Lie In (Scarecrow), nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; The Honeymoon (Graywolf); Swimmer in the Spreading Dawn (Applewood); The Jane Poems (Doubleday); and Flying Inland (Doubleday). She has also published in magazines and anthologies, including The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, The Chicago Review, Poetry, Massachusetts Review, Solas Awards, and many others. Her work has also been translated into French. Her work has been featured at festivals in France and in the United States. She performs in theatres, often with music. Kathleen is a recipient of the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award and a Discovery Winner among many others. She has also received grants from the Fulbright Commission, National Endowment for the Arts and various organizations. Her residencies include Yaddo, MacDowell, the American Academy in Rome, Ragdale, Karolyi Foundation, etc.
Since 1990, Kathleen has been a visiting professor of American Literature/Creative Writing (one semester annually) throughout the French University System. In the U.S. she directs an advanced writing program and has been named by the National Writers’ Union as “best writing coach”. Her students have published widely and won major prizes. You will too! For more information on Kathleen Spivack, please visit her website at www.kathleenspivack.org. You can also follow her on Facebook.
Kristina Marie Darling is the author of thirty books, including Look to Your Left: The Poetics of Spectacle (University of Akron Press, 2020); Je Suis L’Autre: Essays & Interrogations (C&R Press, 2017), which was named one of the “Best Books of 2017” by The Brooklyn Rail; and DARK HORSE: Poems (C&R Press, 2018). Her work has been recognized with three residencies at Yaddo, where she has held both the Martha Walsh Pulver Residency for a Poet and the Howard Moss Residency in Poetry; a Fundación Valparaíso fellowship; a Hawthornden Castle Fellowship, funded by the Heinz Foundation; an artist-in-residence position at Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris; three residencies at the American Academy in Rome; two grants from the Whiting Foundation; a Morris Fellowship in the Arts; and the Dan Liberthson Prize from the Academy of American Poets, among many other awards and honors. Her poems appear in The Harvard Review, Poetry International, New American Writing, Nimrod, Passages North, The Mid-American Review, and on the Academy of American Poets’ website, Poets.org. She has published essays in The Kenyon Review, Agni, Ploughshares, The Gettysburg Review, Gulf Coast, The Iowa Review, and numerous other magazines. Kristina currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Tupelo Press and Tupelo Quarterly, an opinion columnist at The Los Angeles Review of Books, and a contributing writer at Publishers Weekly.
Diana Norma Szokolyai is a writer and Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. Her edited volume, CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing, will be released by C&R Press in May 2018. She is author of the poetry collections Parallel Sparrows (honorable mention for Best Poetry Book in the 2014 Paris Book Festival) and Roses in the Snow (first runner-up Best Poetry Book at the 2009 DIY Book Festival). She also records her poetry with musicians and has collaborated with several composers including David Krebs (US), Robert Lemay (Canada), Claudio Gabriele (Italy), Peter James (UK), Jason Haye (UK), and Sebastian Wesman (Estonia). Diana Norma is a founding member of the performing arts groups Sounds in Bloom, ChagallPAC, and The Brooklyn Soundpainting Ensemble. Her poetry-music collaboration with Flux Without Pause, “Space Mothlight,” hit #16 on the Creative Commons Hot 100 list in 2015, and can be found in the curated WFMU Free Music Archive. Her work has been recently reviewed by The London Grip and published in VIDA: Reports from the Field, The Fiction Project, Quail Bell Magazine, Lyre Lyre, The Boston Globe, Dr. Hurley’s Snake Oil Cure, The Dudley Review and Up the Staircase Quarterly, The Million Line Poem, The Cambridge Community Poem, and elsewhere, as well as anthologized in Our Last Walk, The Highwaymen NYC #2, Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, Always Wondering, and Teachers as Writers. She is currently at work on her next book and an album of poetry & music. Diana Norma holds a M.A. in French (UCONN, La Sorbonne) and an Ed.M in Arts in Education (Harvard). Diana Norma Szokolyai is represented by Nat Kimber (The Rights Factory).
Rita Banerjee is the Executive Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop and editor of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, March 2018). She is the author of the poetry collection Echo in Four Beats (Finishing Line Press, February 2018), which was a finalist for the Red Hen Press Benjamin Saltman Award, Three Mile Harbor Poetry Prize, and Aquarius Press / Willow Books Literature Award, the novella “A Night with Kali” in Approaching Footsteps (Spider Road Press, 2016), and the poetry chapbook Cracklers at Night (Finishing Line Press, 2010). She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and her writing appears in the Academy of American Poets, Poets & Writers, Nat. Brut., The Scofield, The Rumpus, Painted Bride Quarterly, Mass Poetry, Hyphen Magazine, Los Angeles Review of Books, Electric Literature, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, AWP WC&C Quarterly, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Riot Grrrl Magazine, The Fiction Project, Objet d’Art, KBOO Radio’s APA Compass, and elsewhere. She is an Associate Scholar of Comparative Literature at Harvard and teaches at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Germany. She is the judge for the 2017 Minerva Rising “Dare to Speak” Poetry Chapbook Contest, and she is currently working on a novel, a documentary film about race and intimacy, a book on South Asian literary modernisms, and a collection of lyric essays on race, sex, politics, and everything cool.
What Happens After I apply?
Once you apply, you can expect to hear from us within 7-10 days and know whether you were accepted into the program. Once you are accepted, you will receive a welcome packet with detailed information regarding the program.
What is the process of paying tuition?
Once you are accepted into the program, you will need to pay a 30% tuition deposit to hold your seat within 3-5 days of acceptance. Please note that the deposit is non-refundable. The remainder of tuition will be due by June 15, 2018. Our standard and preferred method of payment is PayPal invoice, which does have a service fee. You can also mail us a check to:
Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, Inc.
PO Box 380482
Cambridge, MA 02238 USA
What is included in tuition?
- lodging in central Paris
- daily breakfast
- creative writing workshops
- craft of writing seminars
- manuscript consultation
- a literary walking tour Paris
- a celebratory meet-&-greet dinner with faculty
Where will the program be held?
The program will be held at Hôtel Denfert-Montparnasse, 70 rue Daguerre, 75014 Paris, France.
What if the deadline has passed? Can I still apply?
Sometimes, we do have seats open after our deadlines have passed. Please apply or just email us directly at directors[at]cambridgewritersworkshop.org to check whether there is still availability.