Thursday, June 06, 2013

New Orleans Writing Workshop Tuesdays 7-9pm June 18th - August 6th; Online edition starts June 19th

ENROLLMENT UPDATE: There are one or two spots left for the online course and a handful of openings for the New Orleans workshop, which will be a small group.

After bouncing back and forth between teaching fiction and non-fiction workshops for years, it occurred to me it might be useful to bring these two "genres" together into a single workshop. Good essays borrow some of the qualities of great fiction, and the essay's sense of purpose can often be a useful aspect to deepen a short story. To be more blunt about it: some essays make better short stories, and vice versa. Why not explore both possibilities? I did a short version of this course several years ago, and this summer I'm taking advantage of my otherwise free schedule to return to it in an online class (for students who might be on the road part of the summer) and a traditional table workshop in New Orleans. The details and course description follow:

Narrative Truth:
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.  8 sessions, $275.

An online version of the course will be offered for $200 beginning June 19th.  

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. His most recent book, I'm a Good Dog, was selected as one of the year's best by Vanity Fair Magazine.

To apply to the class, send an email and writing sample, with a list previous workshop experience, to ken@kenfosterbooks.com.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a writer, do you believe that facts and the opinions of experts are important; or is making things up as you go okay as long as it supports the point you're trying to make? Like the fact that since 1851 there has not been ONE decade in which pit bulls didn't account for at least 50% of human fatalities (http://cravendesires.blogspot.com/2011/10/animal-people-more-adoptions-will-not.html), or since 1980 pit bulls have consistently accounted for 65% of human maulings and fatalities even though pit bulls make up less than 5% of the US dog population (http://dogbitelaw.com/dangerous-vicious-dogs/serial-attacks-and-rampage-attacks.html). Or is there no ethical issue with ignoring the breeds genetically inbred characteristics, like unpredictability of aggression, gameness (unwillingness to give up a fight), and a unique hold and shake attack style that causes life altering and life ending injuries; which DOCTORS in canine behavior and veterinary medicine agree cannot be loved, trained, or socialized out (http://www.thetruthaboutpitbulls.blogspot.com/search/label/experts). As a writer do you thing it's irresponsible for people to continue to repeat the nanny dog myth, a lie so huge that even pit advocacy is rejecting it as an 'innocent' mistake (http://www.thenannydogblog.blogspot.com/)?

kfoz said...

It seems you are guilty of the things you accuse me of, which is an interesting psychological phenomenon. (And, since you'd probably ask, yes I do have several degrees in counseling, which also includes work in statistics, something you would apparently benefit from.)

Since you are concerned with research, you should probably have read my book before asking some of these questions, since you'd find the answers there. But you're too lazy, or just unconcerned with the truth.

I'm not sure what "doctors" you refer to, since the AVMA is actually against breed specific legislation. And that is something you would also know, if you bothered to read.

Best of luck to you. I'd suggest that you do some actual research on the subject, rather than quoting from sources who have strong public records of antisocial behavior paired with a disregard for facts.

Anonymous said...

You trying to play the psych card is ripe. Here is what a REAL practicing psychologist has to say about pit advocacy: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/canine-corner/201304/dogs-bite-and-people-dont-listen You should also read up on PATHOLOCIAL ALTRUISM: doing what you perceive as good (like pit advocacy) until someone ELSE gets hurt: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324688404578545523824389986.html I'm glad I had this discourse with you, it answered a question I've had for a long time: since every carefully constructed talking point of pit nutterism has been proven a LIE, from nanny dogs (http://cravendesires.blogspot.com/2013/05/badrap-surrenders-to-facts.html) to media bias (http://www.occupymaulstreet.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-most-famous-dbrf-in-american.html) to it's the owner not the breed/it's all in how your raise them (http://www.thetruthaboutpitbulls.blogspot.com/search/label/experts) I've wondered if you actually believe the pitarrhea that comes from your mouth or if you're so pathologically desperate you'll repeat the lies even though you know the truth. Thanks for the answer! Btw, there's a reason DOCTORS and EXPERTS are allowed for testimony in court and amateurs and bloggers are not; that's why I believe their facts and not yours.

kfoz said...

Again, you aren't quoting any experts and you refuse to identify yourself. How does this make you an expert. Particularly pathetic is your use of additional anonymous sources to verify your own anonymous post.

You still want to criticize me without reading anything I've actually said--a behavior quite similar to what is described as pathological altruism. Let's face it, you aren't actually concerned with be a service to anyone, or keeping anyone safe. You just want attention.

I look forward to your book, which I'm sure you will publish anonymously as well. But I'm equally sure that your nuttiness would never get past the legal department of any major publisher. Why has mine? And why have you hijacked a post that has nothing to do with dogs? Because you aren't rational.

kfoz said...

Also, you keep harping on the nanny dog myth. If you had half a brain, you'd know that I've been disputing that one even longer than you.