Classes at the Attic

APPLY BY: May 31: The Atheneum: Master Writing Program

Portland's groundbreaking master writing program.

The Atheneum melds independent study under close faculty supervision, student receptions, public readings, and other special Atheneum events created around good food and great conversation, dialogue, and literary community.

Running for just under a year, the Atheneum is designed to advance your writing in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry and to seed literary life in the city. Atheneum Fellows form a special community of literary artists and citizens. Many fellows have completed manuscripts for publication and have furthered their goals as writers.

Apply by May 31, 2016.

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Time: 
September 2016 - June 2016

FREE: Consult about Your Writing

Call us. Let us help you with your writing.

You're invited to schedule a free 15-minute conference call consult to describe your writing situation and focus. During the call, we listen to your writing situation and help you out -- sometimes writers will register for an upcoming workshop. Other times, after a consult, writers will initiate a formal Introductory Consult through our Individual Consult Group to find a writing coach selected specifically for your project.

To initiate a Free Consult, e-mail us -- and when you do, please let us know specifically what you're working on and want to discuss. Then we'll get back in touch and begin to talk together about your writing.

Register for a free consult

 

Time: 
By appointment only.
Location: 
Telephone Conference Call
Total Fee: 
Free.

Emily Whitman's Summer Young Adult/Middle Grade Workshop | Jun 7 - July 5

Spinning Gold from Straw: Retellings from Myth, Folk- and Fairy Tales

“People say to write about what you know. I'm here to tell you, no one wants to read that, cos you don't know anything. So write about something you don't know. And don't be scared, ever.” 
― Toni Morrison

Take a classic tale. One that’s always spoken to you—or one that grabs you right now. What is it in there that glitters? Unravel it. Spin it. Find its heart. Then use it to launch something unique in a way only you can tell it. Will you dig deeper into the classic form, or switch up gender, time, voice—and outcome? Count on lots of exercises, discovery time, and writing. We’ll look at some great retellings. Come away with a sheaf of ideas and handfuls of pages for your new YA or MG novel or story (or maybe your muse will steer you to poetry, memoir, graphic novel). If your summer schedule makes you miss a week, I’ll gladly catch you up with individual review and feedback.

Myths need to be brought back to life over and over. Breathe new life into a myth or tale—and into your writing life. | Maximum: 12 students.

Want more time and focus? Come deepen and develop your work for five more weeks in Working on your YA/MG Novel or Story.

Register for this workshop

 

Teacher: 
Time: 
Tuesdays, Jun 7 - July 5, 5:15 - 7:15, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Early Registration and Tuition Deadline is seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Early Registration: $202 (cash/check); $209 (Paypal). | Late Registration: $217 (cash/check); $224 (PayPal).

Natalie Serber's Craft Talk Series Workshop | Jun 9 - July 7

“It's the writing that teaches you.” 
― Isaac Asimov

In this multi-genre workshop we’ll spend each session digging deep into craft decisions and strategies to make all our work stronger and more vibrant. Concerned about point of view/persona, scene vs. summary, developing complex characters and writing realistic dialog? This is the perfect summer booster shot for your work. We’ll develop our writers’ toolbox through reading great excerpts from wonderful writers, conversations and prompts. Each participant will have the opportunity to bring in pages and for the class to discuss.

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Thursdays, 5:15 - 7:15pm, Jun 9 - July 7, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Early Registration and Tuition Deadline is seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Early Registration: $202 (cash/check); $209 (Paypal). | Late Registration: $217 (cash/check); $224 (PayPal).

Jennifer Dorner's Revive and Revise Workshop | June 12 - July 17

“When I am grown up I shall carry a notebook—a fat book with many pages, methodically lettered. I shall enter my phrases.”  ― Virginia Woolf

What comes of the writing you abandon?  That work lingering in computer files and languishing in boxes? With prompts and assignments designed to give renewed direction to your poems, essays, or stories, this revision workshop will give you a framework for reviving and completing that pending project. Be ready to find connections within your work and to explore and expand your writing process.

Led by Writing Fellow Jennifer Dorner: Jennifer Dorner was a 2013-2014 Atheneum Fellow and studied in the Poets Studio from 2014-2016. Her poetry has appeared in The Timberline Review, VoiceCatcher, and is forthcoming in Verseweavers, and she has received literary awards from Willamette Writers, Oregon Quarterly, and the Oregon Poetry Association. Jennifer earned her B.A. in English from the University of Oregon. She coordinates the Attic Institute's popular monthly all-genre open mic, Fridays on the Boulevard, and co-founded the Vault Voices reading series.

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Sundays, June 12 - July 17, 10am - 12pm, 5 weeks (no class July 3)
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Early Registration and Tuition Deadline is seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Early Registration: $202 (cash/check); $209 (Paypal). | Late Registration: $217 (cash/check); $224 (PayPal).

Fiction MEETUP | Mon June 13 | 6-9pm

Building Better Fiction: How Do Successful Openings Lead To Successful Novels and Stories?

The day is long, the slush is deep, and when it comes to your odds of getting published, beginnings are critical. In this class we’ll explore openings in successful contemporary novels, both literary and commercial, paying special attention to the lure, the hook, characterization, and implication, drawing upon insights from some of the nation's top MFA programs and the emerging body of neuroscience as it applies to fiction--with an eye toward making conscious choices, early on, that support the stories we aim to tell.

Participants will leave this class with a stronger sense of how to:
• Begin projects that may have been sitting on the back burner for a while
• Troubleshoot stories that don’t start off strong enough to succeed commercially
• Reliably create openings with powerful propulsion
• Whip the opening of a novel into shape, ready to send out to agents and editors

Led by Writing Fellow Susan DeFreitas

Register for this workshop

 

Teacher: 
Time: 
Monday, June 13, 6-9pm, 3 hours
Total Fee: 
Early Registration: $57 (cash/check); $62 (PayPal). | Late Registration: $62 (cash/check); $67 (PayPal). Tuition for Meetup workshops are non-refundable.

New Poetry MEETUP | June 13 | 6:15-9:15pm

This is a class for all levels, whether you’ve just written your first poem or have been seriously writing for years. We will closely read and discuss the work of contemporary writers such as Claudia Rankine, Eileen Myles, CA Conrad, Diane Wakoski, Anne Carson, Rachel Zucker, among others, focusing on the diverse ways that form and content inform one another. We will conduct some brief in-class writing exercises based on the readings. Students will also bring to class a short piece of their own writing to discuss. All aesthetics are welcome, experimentation is encouraged, and we will strive to meet each poem on its own terms. The emphasis will be both on the craft (the shaping and forming of language) as well as the vision that's unique to each individual. Our conversations will rest upon the assumption that there is no “correct” answer in art—that is, the thoughts and feelings that each poem evokes will be a welcome part of the discussion.

Led by Writing Fellow Patrick Dundon

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Monday, June 13, 6:15-9:15pm, 3 hours
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Early Registration: $57 (cash/check); $62 (PayPal). | Late Registration: $62 (cash/check); $67 (PayPal). Tuition for Meetup workshops are non-refundable.

Personal Essays MEETUP | Wed June 15: 6-9pm

Writing from the Margins

Are you frustrated by the lack of diversity in today’s media landscape? Yeah me too. The good news is media outlets are increasingly becoming aware of this lack of diversity and today they are actively seeking new voices to write about race, religion, sexuality, gender, disability, abuse, trauma, mental illness, and class. In this meetup, you will learn how to write personal essays that are vulnerable, nuanced, sensitive, and challenging. You will work on an outline for a personal essay and we will strategize about how you can finish your essay and how you can pitch your essay to an editor for publication. 

Led by Writing Fellow Zahir Janmohamed

Register for this workshop

 

Teacher: 
Time: 
Wednesday, June 15, 6-9pm, 3 hours
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Early Registration: $57 (cash/check); $62 (PayPal). | Late Registration: $62 (cash/check); $67 (PayPal). Tuition for Meetup workshops are non-refundable.

Flash Fiction MEETUP | Sat June 18 | 10am-1pm

Writing Very Short Stories: Sudden Fiction, Flash Fiction, Hint Fiction

“…success depends not on their length but on their depth, their clarity of vision, their human significance—the extent to which the reader is able to recognize in them the real stuff of real life.” ~ James Thomas

Short to tiny—we will read and dissect distinguishing characteristics of these short story forms and seek to unveil what makes these small gems successful. We will discuss word counts of the various categories, as well as share contest and publishing information. Through creative writing prompts, participants will spend in-class time playing with the forms and writing some of their own short shorts. 

Led by Writing Fellow Kristin Walrod

Register for this workshop

 

Teacher: 
Time: 
Saturday, June 18, 10am - 1pm, 3 hours
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard, Portland, Oregon
Total Fee: 
Early Registration: $57 (cash/check); $62 (PayPal). | Late Registration: $62 (cash/check); $67 (PayPal). Tuition for Meetup workshops are non-refundable.

Writing Prompt MEETUP | June 18 | 10am-1pm

What happens when you have writer’s block and what do you do when you think there's nothing to write about? How do you move beyond what you think you know? What would it be like to write a prose poem, or a sonnet, or a piece of flash fiction? This multi-genre class gives you the opportunity to generate lots of new work and stretch yourself in new and unexpected directions. This class will use exercises, readings, prompts and deep exploration to develop a life long toolbox of activities to generate new work. Get out of your comfort zone, dig deep, and play with language. This workshop is appropriate for all levels of writers.

Led by Writing Fellow Sara Rivara

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Saturday, June 18, 10am-1pm, 3 hours
Total Fee: 
Early Registration: $57 (cash/check); $62 (PayPal). | Late Registration: $62 (cash/check); $67 (PayPal). Tuition for Meetup workshops are non-refundable.
Deposit: 

Poetry MEETUP | Mon June 20 | 6-9pm

Writing Poetry for the Five Senses

You'll be challenged to describe specific sensory experiences I'll curate for you in the meetup workshop. You'll hear, see, taste, smell and touch. You'll test the power of metaphors and adjectives to recreate your perceptions in writing. You'll share your efforts at crafting surprisingly true sensory images. You'll read some published examples, and write a draft poem building on and connecting your experiments.

Led by Writing Fellow Edward Derby

Register for this workshop

 

Teacher: 
Time: 
Monday, June 20, 6-9pm, 3 hours
Total Fee: 
Early Registration: $57 (cash/check); $62 (PayPal). | Late Registration: $62 (cash/check); $67 (PayPal). Tuition for Meetup workshops are non-refundable.

Working Beyond Genre MEETUP | Mon Jun 20 | 6-9pm

Some of the most exciting and appealing literary work is unclassifiable, existing in the boundary zone between fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Together we’ll look at inspiring examples of “genre-less” work. We’ll also free up our own imaginative powers through some generative exercises designed to get us writing not toward a category or convention but toward the heart of our material, where the question of genre is perhaps the least important question of all.

Led by Writing Fellow M. Allen Cunningham

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Monday, June 20, 6-9pm, 3 hours
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Early Registration: $57 (cash/check); $62 (PayPal). | Late Registration: $62 (cash/check); $67 (PayPal). Tuition for Meetup workshops are non-refundable.

Writing Students League Workshop PM | June 21 - July 19

“Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.” 
― Mark Twain
 
The Writing Students League of Portland focuses on the language and process of writing. It is a place where anyone who wishes to pursue writing in any genre can realize your potential. The hourlong workshops are based on the atelier system, where a working writer trains students in a studio setting on the basics of creative writing: imagination, metaphor, and story. Participants may be experienced writers looking for accountability or you may have no previous writing experience and are simply seeking a pathway to writing. Writers are encouraged to follow your strengths, to experiment with forms new to you, and to apply your own perspectives. The goal of the Writing Students League writer is to locate ways to be accountable to your imagination and stories, to build focus, camaraderie, and community, to write in a way where the dignity of expressing yourself is seen as natural, and to trust that your interest in your writing deserves a fresh awakening.
 

Teacher: 
Time: 
Tuesdays, June 21 - July 19, 4-5pm, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard | Maximum 12 students
Total Fee: 
Early Registration and Tuition Deadline is seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Early Registration: $95 (cash/check); $99 (PayPal). | Late Registration: $110 (cash/check); $114 (PayPal).

Poets Studio Summer Session | June 22 - July 20

The Attic Institute's groundbreaking way to study writing poetry.

A poet's lifetime of experiences is the basis to develop poetic art, method, and practice — culminating in the creation and even publication of new poetry. The Poets Studio approach to writing and revising your poems inspires accountability, and it teaches you to experiment and learn more about your subjects, your style, and your capacity for growth as a poet. The Poets Studio special summer session provides an introduction to the steady, supportive, and comprehensive study of poetry among poets that characterizes the Poets Studio experience. Summer session is open to all poets. The summer session runs two hours each night. There is no application process. All participants take the summer class as "members." | Maximum: 12 students.

Learn more about the Poets Studio Oct - May program.

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Wednesdays, 5:30 - 7:30pm, June 22 - July 20, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Early Registration and Tuition Deadline is seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Early Registration: $202 (cash/check); $209 (Paypal). | Late Registration: $217 (cash/check); $224 (PayPal).

Writing Students League Workshop AM | June 22 - July 20

"Writing isn't about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end it's about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life as well. It's about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy. ...this book...is a permission slip: you can, you should, and if you're brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up." — Stephen King
 
The Writing Students League of Portland focuses on the language and process of writing. It is a place where anyone who wishes to pursue writing in any genre can realize your potential. The hourlong workshops are based on the atelier system, where a working writer trains students in a studio setting on the basics of creative writing: imagination, metaphor, and story. Participants may be experienced writers looking for accountability or you may have no previous writing experience and are simply seeking a pathway to writing. Writers are encouraged to follow your strengths, to experiment with forms new to you, and to apply your own perspectives. The goal of the Writing Students League writer is to locate ways to be accountable to your imagination and stories, to build focus, camaraderie, and community, to write in a way where the dignity of expressing yourself is seen as natural, and to trust that your interest in your writing deserves a fresh awakening.
 
 
Teacher: 
Time: 
Wednesdays, June 20 - July 18, 11am - 12pm, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Early Registration and Tuition Deadline is seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Early Registration: $95 (cash/check); $99 (Paypal). | Late Registration: $110 (cash/check); $114 (PayPal).

Publishing MEETUP | Sat June 25 | 10am-1pm

Everything You Wanted to Know About Publishing But Were Afraid To Ask

Everything you always wanted to know about publishing a literary journal (but were afraid to ask)
Got a piece of short fiction you want to send to a lit journal? Make sure it’s as good as it can be. Make sure you’ve got the right market for your work. There are a thousand and one publications you might send your work to, but maybe you’re someone who’d rather start the one thousand and second publication. Maybe there just aren’t enough outlets for the type of radical writing you do. Maybe you want to see something different, something cutting edge, something je ne sai quois. Here’s a chance to explore how you might go about it.
We’ll look at some basics -- what do you want to publish? How much is it going to cost and who’s going to pay for it? Where will you get your material? How do you make sure you get lots of the type of material you want, and a lot less of what you don’t want. What do you call this new publication? Something catchy, yes, but also something that says it all, says what you stand for, what you aspire to, something that captures your imagination. Let’s work on that. This is going to be a great opportunity to explore your vision for world domination by getting serious about expenses and revenues, assuming you’re in it for the long haul. Any potential benefactor is going to ask these questions. It’s better if we know the answers ahead of time.
We want enough revenue to print the second issue, right? That’s coming up pretty fast, so bring your ridiculously difficult questions, concerns, and opinions to this workshop and we’ll roll our sleeves up to find answers.

Led by Writing Fellow Peter Field

Register for this workshop

 

Teacher: 
Time: 
Saturday, June 25, 10am - 1pm, 3 hours
Total Fee: 
Early Registration: $57 (cash/check); $62 (PayPal). | Late Registration: $62 (cash/check); $67 (PayPal). Tuition for Meetup workshops are non-refundable.

Emily Whitman's Working on your YA/MG Novel or Story | July 12 - Aug 9

“When you write, it’s like braiding your hair. Taking a handful of coarse unruly strands and attempting to bring them unity. Your fingers have still not perfected the task. Some of the braids are long, others are short. Some are thick, others are thin. Some are heavy. Others are light. Like the diverse women of your family. Those whose fables and metaphors, whose similes and soliloquies, whose diction and je ne sais quoi daily slip into your survival soup, by way of their fingers.” 
― Edwidge Danticat

This workshop is for people who want to grow their work, whether that’s churning out new pages (maybe something you started in the June workshop Spinning Gold from Straw) or shaping and deepening a full draft. We’ll scatter in some exercises to spur ideas and learn craft, but the main focus will be working on your novel or story. Get feedback on pages, ask questions, and work though places where you’re stuck. Each week will include setting goals for your writing week to come, and discovering and clearing obstacles that may be holding you back. Come find a supportive, inspiring environment to develop your work, whatever stage it’s at. If your summer schedule makes you miss a week, I’ll gladly catch you up with individual review and feedback. | Maximum: 8 people.

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Tuesdays, July 12 - Aug 9, 5:15 - 7:15, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Early Registration and Tuition Deadline is seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Early Registration: $202 (cash/check); $209 (Paypal). | Late Registration: $217 (cash/check); $224 (PayPal).

Brian Benson's Craft of Creative Nonfiction Workshop | July 14 - Aug 11

"Stories are compasses and architecture; we navigate by them, we build our sanctuaries and our prisons out of them, and to be without a story is to be lost in the vastness of a world that spreads in all directions like arctic tundra or sea ice. To love someone is to put yourself in their place, we say, which is to put yourself in their story, or figure out how to tell yourself their story.” ― Rebecca Solnit

The explosion of creative nonfiction has opened writers to new ways to share your stories and insight. Are you interested in writing memoir or personal essay? Literary journalism or travelogue? In this workshop, you'll learn to craft these and other styles of creative nonfiction. We'll (respectfully) pillage the works of contemporary writers and discuss form and voice, scene and structure, as we explore how to apply literary technique to real-life narratives. You'll get to try your hand at a wide range of creative nonfiction, and you'll receive in-depth feedback on your work in progress so that you can practice a range of paths. Open to writers of all levels. | Maximum 12 students

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Thursdays, 5:15 - 715pm, Jul 14 - Aug 11, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Early Registration and Tuition Deadline is seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Early Registration: $202 (cash/check); $209 (Paypal). | Late Registration: $217 (cash/check); $224 (PayPal).

Summer Writing Camp for Middle Schoolers | July 18 - July 29

Summer Writing Camp is led by Dave Jarecki

Summer Writing Camp at the Attic is back for its sixth year, and this year we're doubling down with two separate writing camps to give young writers more opportunities.

Designed for writers entering 6th, 7th or 8th grades, the middle grade writing camp will help young writers re-engage with the written word during the summer. We'll focus on craft and voice, and delve deeper into the wonderful world of revision and peer review.

WHEN: July 18 thru July 29 (six sessions over two weeks, every Monday/Wednesday/Friday)
WHERE: Attic Institute (4232 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland)
WHAT TIME: 10 a.m. thru 1 p.m.
HOW MUCH: $215 for all six sessions (prorated discounts are available for students who will miss sessions due to scheduling conflicts)
TO ENROLL: Use the Middle Grades online enrollment form
Teacher: 
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Learn more: http://davejarecki.com/blog/writing-workshops-for-young-writers-in-se-portland

Jennifer Dorner's Summer Retreat Workshop | July 24 - Aug 21

“All morning I lay down sentences, erase them, and try new ones. Soon enough, when things go well, the world around me dwindles: the sky out the window, the furious calm of the big umbrella pine ten feet away, the smell of dust falling onto the hot bulb in the lamp. That's the miracle of writing, the place you try to find--when the room, your body, and even time itself cooperate in a vanishing act.”  ― Anthony Doerr 

Compression, metaphor, precision, humility.  While studying poetry and the lyric works of others, this generative workshop in poetry and prose will look at ways to select, refine and intensify the language in your writing. Ready to take some risks in your writing? Let's risk finding our best words. This is a great summer retreat workshop for writers of all levels.

Led by Writing Fellow Jennifer Dorner: Jennifer Dorner was a 2013-2014 Atheneum Fellow and studied in the Poets Studio from 2014-2016. Her poetry has appeared in The Timberline Review, VoiceCatcher, and is forthcoming in Verseweavers, and she has received literary awards from Willamette Writers, Oregon Quarterly, and the Oregon Poetry Association. Jennifer earned her B.A. in English from the University of Oregon. She coordinates the Attic Institute's popular monthly all-genre open mic, Fridays on the Boulevard, and co-founded the Vault Voices reading series.

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Sundays, July 24 - Aug 21, 10am - 12pm, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Early Registration and Tuition Deadline is seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Early Registration: $202 (cash/check); $209 (Paypal). | Late Registration: $217 (cash/check); $224 (PayPal).

Summer Writing Camp for High Schoolers/College Prep | Aug 1 - Aug 19

Summer Writing Camp is led by Dave Jarecki

Summer Writing Camp at the Attic is back for its sixth year, and this year we're doubling down with two separate writing camps to give young writers more opportunities.

Our high school writers have always driven the writing camp, and this year they'll have greater access to a college-style writing seminar. We'll explore passages from different pieces of literature, will work on generative prompts and revisions, and will create space for high-level critique and review of their work.

WHEN: August 1 thru August 19 (nine sessions over three weeks, every Monday/Wednesday/Friday)
WHERE: Attic Institute (4232 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland)
WHAT TIME: 10 a.m. thru 1 p.m.
HOW MUCH: $275 for all nine sessions (prorated discounts are available for students who will miss sessions due to scheduling conflicts)
TO ENROLL: Use the High School/College Prep online enrollment form

 

Teacher: 
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Learn more: http://davejarecki.com/blog/writing-workshops-for-young-writers-in-se-portland