Below, an announcement from the Juniper Institute, the best summer writers conference around. I say that not because Mark and I are on the faculty, but because I know of no other weeklong program where such high standards and community are the order of the day. I hope you'll sign up this year, or else send other writers our way. Here's a link to a reading by the wondrous Joy Williams, also on the faculty: the story "The Last Generation" from her collection, Escapes.
The April 1 deadline for scholarship applications to the 2010 Juniper Summer Writing Institute is fast approaching! From June 20-26, poets and writers will gather at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to explore the creative process and advance their craft. Renowned faculty members Charles D’Ambrosio, Mark Doty, Noy Holland, Paul Lisicky, Dara Wier, and Matthew Zapruder will offer workshops in poetry, fiction, and memoir. Writers in residence (including James Tate, Joy Williams, and Thomas Sayers Ellis) will give readings, lead craft sessions, and participate in Q&As. For application forms and more information, visit The Juniper Institute. Workshops fill quickly, so applicants are encouraged to submit their materials soon!
UPDATE: Here's a description of my craft class, which Juniper has posted online.
THE MIND AT WORK: SHORT PROSE PIECES
Flash fiction, sudden fiction, short short, prose poem: different names for the same idea? Maybe names are beside the point. Maybe the better task is to look closely at some recent examples of the form. How might writers of short forms be grappling with structure in order to make something new? How is such work a record of the mind at work: part fiction, part essay, part poem? And what can we learn from a story in which every word and its placement matters? As part of our time together, we’ll take a close look at work by Lydia Davis, Amy Hempel, Steve Almond, Dave Eggers, and others. We’ll also try out an exercise or two inspired by the examples at hand.