Whether writing in an attic, an ivory tower, pandemic lockdown, or a fit of blind faith fever, at some point writers need a hothouse workshop environment in which to evaluate and develop their work. Each week in Pure Critique, we will read and comment on a manuscript from 2-3 class participants (each can present at least twice) and ask what works, what seems less effective and why, as well as what we could try. Participants test out chapters or excerpts from their novels and memoirs or short stories and essays, or sometimes curious chimerical hybrids as their draft seeks form. What you will find in this course is a forum for continuous and insightful feedback that will help you keep working. We’ll discuss any writing issues that might arise – maybe if a metaphor works or if you even need one, the question of research, the effectiveness of dialogue, scene, narrative timeline, diction (is a word like chimera a good option?), structure, rhythm, interiority, humor, thematic intention…. The goal is to help writers engage in crafting and moving from draft to draft. We encourage each other to be writers, both playful and serious, and therefore more engaged in our writing by risking more and digging deeper. Intelligent conversation about your work: pure criticism.
This course will take place via Zoom. The link will be sent at the time of registration and the day before the course. Please check spam folders and write to [email protected] with questions. We can put students with questions about the course in direct contact with the instructor, if necessary.
The course will begin Wednesday, July 6 and run for six consecutive Wednesdays from 6-8 p.m. EST. The series will end on August 10.
Peter Bricklebank has published in The American Voice, Carolina Quarterly, Mid-American Review, Kansas Quarterly, Confrontation, Fiction, The New York Times Book Review, and The Chicago Tribune, et al. His essay/memoir chapter appears in The Portable MFA. He has taught at New York University, Sarah Lawrence College, and elsewhere, including a year as nonfiction writer-in-residence at Central Connecticut State University and Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv. Pandemics permitting, he teaches a winter workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico. He currently teaches in the online graduate program at National University and the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center. Her work appears in the latest issue of The Bellevue Literary Review and a podcast of a reading of one of her essays can be found at https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/planet-poet-words- in-space /id1528029902.