Saturday, February 28, 2009

New Orleans writing workshop starts March 9th

Narrative Truth
A workshop with Ken Foster
Mondays, 6pm-8pm; March 9-April 27
8 sessions; $200

Whether working in fiction or nonfiction, the challenge all writers face is in creating narratives that ring true to the reader. This workshop will allow students to dip into both genres--short story and creative non-fiction--and measure their work against the same literary standards: character, conflict, detail and use of language. Each student will be able to workshop at least two full-length stories or essays during the course. In addition, students will be given short, focused, weekly assignments designed to break them out of their comfort zone.

Ken Foster is the author of a memoir, The Dogs Who Found Me; a collection of stories, The Kind I'm Likely to Get; and a collection of essays, Dogs I Have Met. His work has appeared in numerous publications including Salon, Fence, Bomb, McSweeney's, The Believer, The New York Times, Bark, The San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Yaddo, the New York Foundation of the Arts, and The Sewanee Writers Conference. Ken received an MFA in Writing from Columbia University and has taught at The New School, Florida State University, Tulane University and UNO.

To apply to the class, send an email and writing sample, with a list previous workshop experience, to

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Mardi Gras Houseguest

This is Buddy, and as you can see, he's sort of a pit bull, but really not. Still, he looks enough like what some people think a pit bull is that his chances are pretty much shot if he ever ends up in a shelter (or a North Carolina court room, but that's another story.) He was found just after the last evacuation in September, and for six months he was being fostered with another rambunctious dog and a very bossy cat. But time ran out at that home, so last Tuesday he moved in with me and my three completely intolerant dogs. But, it turns out Buddy is so agreeable that even my grumpy dogs don't mind having him around. The biggest problem has been my inability to shake the idea that I'm walking around the neighborhood with a Dr. Suess drawing on a leash.

In an effort to find him a home, I took him all over yesterday: to the Bywater Art Market, to a couple of cafes, etc. It was surprising to see how new this experience was to him. He's never been around that many people at once, but when he realized that everyone wanted to pet him and sneak him french fries, he decided it was quite good. This morning I even took him by the dog park, where he played for a long time with several different dogs before coming home good and tired.

For more information on adopting Buddy, email