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Announcing Spring 2018 Workshops

Do you want to write while developing a community of writers of color? We’re offering master classes and multi-session workshops from nine talented instructors.


Are you interested in spending the beginning of your year writing a political novel, polishing pieces of writing to perfection, diving into the legacies of poetry by queer and trans people of color, or reading work by Cathy Park Hong for the first (second, or third) time? The Asian American Writers’ Workshop is offering nine workshops this spring—spanning poetry, hybrid genre, short story, and creative nonfiction. Browse through our list of courses with instructors Kay Ulanday Barrett, Christina Chiu, Marwa Helal, Monica Youn, Anelise Chen, Helen Wan, Bill Cheng, Nina Sharma, and Dilruba Ahmed. Jump-start your writing practice for the new year and write the writing you dream of reading. Reserve your seat today, and we’ll see you at the workshop!

The Years, Months, Days
Queer Longings and Longevity — Workshop with Kay Ulanday Barrett
Monday, January 22nd, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
4 Sessions – 1/22, 1/29, 2/5, 2/12

A poetry workshop centering queer and trans people of color with acclaimed trans pilipinx artist Kay Ulanday Barrett

Understanding our lineage as QTPOC is critical to innovating our own writing and creative forces. Collectively, we will read, write and share work, pushing our own multiple tool kits that emphasize poetry as method, as interrogation, as praxis. REGISTER HERE

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Mining Your Diamonds — Workshop with Christina Chiu
Saturday, January 24th, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
1 Session – 1/24

Mine your unique story to tell, and how to tell it in 90 minutes with an award-winning author Christina Chiu 

Everyone has a unique story waiting to be unearthed. Like diamonds under a bedrock, you need the right tools in order to extract and polish them. Join Christina Chiu for a 90-minute workshop that will guide entrepreneurs, writers, professionals, and everyone in-between through a metaphorical mining excursion to discover their unique story. REGISTER HERE


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Third Culture/Third Genre: Between Poetry and Prose* — Workshop with Marwa Helal
Tuesday, February 6th, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
1 Session – 2/6

Switch between poetry and prose to dive into the lyric essay, with poet and journalist Marwa Helal

We will look at the art of the lyric essay and think through what makes a poet’s prose successful; establishing structure and voice. Readings will include: Cathy Park Hong, Fady Joudah, Anne Carson, Rainer Maria Rilke, Hanif Abdurraqib Willis, and Ocean Vuong. REGISTER HERE


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Poetry Master Class — Workshop with Monica Youn
Saturday, February 17, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
1 Session – 2/17

Workshop your poetry in a three-hour master class with 2016 NBA Poetry Finalist Monica Youn

In a three-hour Master Class, workshop participants will have the opportunity to workshop their poetry with award-winning poet Monica Youn. Enrollment requires submission of 3 poems of 1-2 pages each. REGISTER HERE


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Memory Maps: An Introduction to Creative Nonfiction — Workshop with Anelise Chen
Tuesday, February 20, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
5 Sessions – 2/20, 2/27, 3/6, 3/20, 3/27

Map the connections between memory and narrative for creative nonfiction, with So Many Olympic Exertions author Anelise Chen

In this class, we will approach narrative writing as mapmakers of memory: We will visit the terrain, determine our location, establish the scale, insert symbols, and learn how to refine what we have mapped. We will read essays, theoretical texts, and memoir excerpts to explore each of these concepts and skills. REGISTER HERE

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Fiction as Activism — Workshop with Helen Wan
Monday, March 19, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
5 Sessions – 3/19, 3/26, 4/2, 4/9, 4/16

Depict and respond to our tumultuous political era through fiction, with novelist Helen Wan

This workshop will focus on how fiction writers can get story, voice, character, setting, resolution, and, pragmatically, timing, right during uncertain times in both publishing and the world. We will also discuss how to pitch a so-called “political novel” or “resistance literature.” REGISTER HERE


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Short Fiction Up-Close — Workshop with Bill Cheng
Tuesday, April 3, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
6 Sessions – 4/3, 4/10, 4/17, 4/24, 5/1, 5/8

Art and craft combine in a focused study of the short story, with NEA Fellow and fiction writer Bill Cheng

This mid-level workshop focuses on the craft of the short story. Together, we’ll be looking closely at how these tightly-constructed narratives are built, focusing through the lenses of language, structure, and character development. REGISTER HERE


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No-Name Mind: Stories of Mental Health from Asian America — Workshop with Nina Sharma
Saturday, April 14, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
6 Sessions – 4/14, 4/21, 4/28, 5/5, 5/12, 5/19

Transform your experiences with mental health into writing, with Pushcart Prize nominee Nina Sharma

As psychic lives of Asian American women are yet to be rendered in their full complexities, “No Name Mind” offers a space to name our experiences with mental health and and map the vast contours of our minds. This free workshop for women and nonbinary people explores what it means to convert private despair and silence into language and action. APPLY HERE

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Leaps and Swerves: Creating Surprise with Poetry — Workshop with Dilruba Ahmed
Saturday, April 21, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
2 Sessions – 4/21, 4/28

Create spontaneity, surprise, and wildness in your poetry, with Dhaka Dust author Dilruba Ahmed

Join us for a poetry workshop that will explore unexpected moves in poems: disruptions to syntax, shifts in tone, and leaps that move associatively down the page. We’ll study poems by poets such as Carl Phillips, Brenda Shaughnessy, Elizabeth Bishop, Lawson Fusao Inada, and others. REGISTER HERE


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