Classes at the Attic

APPS DUE Apr 20: Creative Nonfiction (CNF) Studio | Apr 30 - July 2

Write what you know you want to know

The Creative Nonfiction (CNF) Studio is based on the idea that inspiration, accountability, and community are essential to every writer’s growth. The CNF Studio meets weekly for multi-month sessions, and its curriculum is designed to help you deepen your writing through a keener understanding of both literary craft and your own voice. The CNF Studio is open to applications from all writers, and members often return for multiple sessions. This creates the Studio’s special experience: a consistent, deep, and supportive study of your writing in the company of other writers. Each weekly session includes a close-reading and discussion of a selected work of creative nonfiction, a roundtable reading of take-home prompts, and in-depth critique of several works-in-progress. Over the course of their time in the CNF Studio, writers can expect to read widely and gain deep insight into their own writing, all the while exploring questions of structure, form, narration, truth, memory, influence, and voice.  The Studio culminates in a celebration at a nearby watering hole. | Maximum 10 students  

Learn more about applying to the CNF Studio

To Apply: To apply to join the next Creative Nonfiction Studio, please send a writing sample of up to 3,500 words and a 250-word statement of purpose.

APPLICATIONS DUE: Apr 20.

APPLY NOW

Teacher: 
Time: 
Thursdays, 6-9pm, Apr 30 - July 2 | 10 weeks
Total Fee: 
Registration: $544 (cash/check); $560 (Paypal).

APPS DUE May 10: Atheneum Master Writing Program for 2020-2021

An annual certificate program, the Attic 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 and seed literary life in the city. Atheneum Fellows form a unique community of literary artists and citizens.

 

Learn more and apply

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.

SPRING: Micro Memoir Workshop I w Matthew Dickman | Apr 26 - May 31

The smallest moment can profoundly change your life, a smell briefly caught on a walk can send you back in time, objects hold whole multi-histories and as the writer Jay Ponteri says "memories nest inside other memories." In this 5 week class we will be exploring memory and the tools of the memoir genre to write our own "Micro-Memoirs." These will be 1-5 page prose pieces. We will also be reading a lot of outside examples of this and writing together in class. This class is open to all writers, whether you identify as a poet, fiction, or creative non-fiction writer. Whoever you are let's all explore together! | Maximum: 14 writers [No class: Memorial Weekend]

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Sundays, 1-3pm, Apr 26 - May 31, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Discounted Early Registration is due seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Discounted Early Registration: $215 (cash/check); $227 (Paypal). | Tuition Registration: $230 (cash/check); $242 (PayPal).

SPRING: Poetry of the Ecstatic Unknown Workshop w Ashley Toliver | Apr 27 - June 1

“Whatever inspiration is, it’s born from a continuous ‘I don’t know.’” ~ Wisława Szymborska

In this class, we’ll approach writing as an emergent process, using Gertrude Stein’s famous line, “And then there is using everything” as our guide and north star. Each session, we’ll work to connect with the inherent and subtle creativity of the body through exercises designed to help us cross the threshold to what is unknown. In the spirit of shared experiment, we’ll push our poetic inquiries further through selected readings from contemporary poetry and assignments geared toward exploring this new new territory of the interior. Through sustained experimentation, interaction and collaboration, you’ll find new fluidity in your work and open the potential for grace in the process. | Maximum 12 writers

“I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.” ~ John Keats

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Mondays, 5:30 - 7:30pm, Apr 27 - June 1, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Discounted Early Registration is due seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Discounted Early Registration: $215 (cash/check); $227 (Paypal). | Tuition Registration: $230 (cash/check); $242 (PayPal).

SPRING: Craft of Memoir Workshop w Brian Benson | Apr 28 - May 26

“For who will testify, who will accurately describe our lives if we do not do it ourselves?” ~ Faye Moskowitz

Whether you're just getting started or looking to improve your work-in-progress, this new workshop will help you translate your personal experiences into a vivid, absorbing memoir. Through a mix of discussion, guided exercises and peer critique, we'll explore the many ways to pull compelling, relatable stories from one's life story, and we'll read and discuss a wide variety of memoir for inspiration and insight. Students will leave the workshop with many reading recommendations and writing resources. | Maximum 12 students

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Tuesdays, 5:30 - 7:30pm, Apr 28 - May 26, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Discounted Early Registration is due seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Discounted Early Registration: $215 (cash/check); $227 (Paypal). | Tuition Registration: $230 (cash/check); $242 (PayPal).

SPRING: Poetry of the Everyday Workshop w John Morrison | Apr 28 - May 26

“Most of us live in a sort of linear and horizontal way, but what lyric poems and poetry are trying to do is probably to live in a vertical way down the shaft of one of those single horizontal moments.” Eamon Grennan

So much of the delight and depth of poetry comes from just paying attention. The most ordinary in the light of poetry reflects and shines with our inner life. What makes an image resonate? What tricks us into reverie? To write poetry is to take the mundane others dismiss for the inspiration it is always offering. In this session, we will see what moments and objects we can work loose from our day-to-day and lift up into poetry. In our exploration, we’ll  take our lead from great poems and the storehouse of our lives. Come prepared to read, scribble on generative exercises, share in a generous group, and take home potent drafts for your poetry practice. | Maximum: 12 writers

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Tuesdays, 5:30 - 7:30pm, Apr 28 - May 26, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Discounted Early Registration is due seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Discounted Early Registration: $215 (cash/check); $227 (Paypal). | Tuition Registration: $230 (cash/check); $242 (PayPal).

SPRING: Find Your Voice Fiction Workshop w Joanna Rose | May 2 - June 6

Sentences are the Lego of Story

 

A critique workshop for writers of all levels designed to lead you deeper into the experience of your story, true or imagined. Any story depends on its sentences, and this workshop is built on defining what the job of its sentences is, and how they are doing their work. We’ll look into voice and language in the terms of the stories at hand. | Maximum: 12 writers [No class Memorial Weekend]

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Saturdays, 9am - 11am, May 2 - June 6, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Discounted Early Registration is due seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Discounted Early Registration: $215 (cash/check); $227 (Paypal). | Tuition Registration: $230 (cash/check); $242 (PayPal).

SPRING: The Writer’s Crucible Workshop w Philip Kenney | May 2 - June 6

This workshop is designed for writers who wish to deepen their understanding of the ideas presented in the “Coming Through the Crucible” workshop. We will use the text of The Writer’s Crucible as a starting point for an exploration of the emotional vulnerabilities we encounter in our work. Why the Crucible? Crucible is defined as: A situation of severe trial, or in which different elements interact, leading to the creation of something new. Writers know what it is to go through the crucible. It is trial by fire and the joy of making something new. This is the agony and the ecstasy of our work. We will explore in depth, the psychological, emotional and creative aspects that interact in this dynamic process and move us to experience such a tremendous range of feeling. Writers will come to a better understanding of their own psychology and develop improved ways of providing self-support through difficult times. In particular, this workshop will delve into material related to emotional flooding, shame-based reactions to rejections and critique, managing and confronting negative self-talk and the ways in which trauma lives in the body and psyche. We will also look at spiritual methods of understanding the creative process and in short meditations to transform states of emotional constriction into states of openness. This workshop will offer both an intellectual understanding of the material and experiential processes that make what we learn personally relevant. Each class will include exercises designed to connect us with and accept our emotional life. We will use writing prompts to explore the psychological material and have small group sessions to share insights and experiences that come up in the course of the program. There will be ample time to question and comment on the readings and class presentations.    

Schedule for the class:

Week One:  The Paradox of Self: We are one and many in the Theater of the Mind              

Week Two:  Understanding the Psychology of Vulnerability: Dealing with insecurities

Week Three: Trauma and the Problem of Shame: The epidemic of unworthiness

Week Four:  Internal Self-Attack: Three approaches to standing up to the inner critic

Week Five:  Writing as Spiritual Practice: The challenge of getting out of our way 

Maximum: 12 writers

[no class Memorial Day Weekend

Register for this workshop

                

Teacher: 
Time: 
Saturdays, 10am - 12pm, May 2 - June 6, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Discounted Early Registration is due seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Discounted Early Registration: $215 (cash/check); $227 (Paypal). | Tuition Registration: $230 (cash/check); $242 (PayPal).sh/check); $242 (PayPal).

SPRING: Writers' Toolkit Weekend Workshop w Wayne Gregory | May 16-17

“Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.” ~ Pablo Picasso

You want to write and you think you may have a story to tell, but you’re not sure how to get started. The Writer’s Toolkit is the class for you. In this workshop, you will discover how to transform your ideas from imagination to a cohesive and compelling story that engages readers and keeps them turning the pages for more. You will learn some of the basic conventions for good writing that successful writers use: how to develop plot, how to create compelling characters, how to build dynamic scenes, and how to show rather than tell. You will learn by doing and will take away a wealth of writing tools and resources to keep honing your craft after the workshop is over. Whether you’ve never written anything or you’ve got reams of pages that you’re not sure what to do with, this workshop will be valuable for you. Sign up for A Writer’s Toolkit and learn the strategies you need to get you started as a writer and keep you going. | Maximum: 14 writers

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Sat/Sun, 9-4pm, May 16-17, 12 - 5pm, 10 hours
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Discounted Early Registration is due seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Discounted Early Registration: $215 (cash/check); $227 (Paypal). | Tuition Registration: $230 (cash/check); $242 (PayPal).

WEEKEND: Self-Portraits: Writing from Life w David Biespiel | May 31

This workshop, led by Attic Institute founder David Biespiel, is the kind of study every writer needs, from beginners to the most advanced. It's an opportunity to write from studying your own self-portrait via photos, drawings, snapshots, b&ws, candids, distortions, &c. The workshop approach empahsizes the concept of obseravtional writing as a direct route to achieve new imaginative possibilities, whether you're writng fiction, memoir, or poems. The approach demands careful observation and the translation of those observations into clear and precise notes, jottings, and studies. Self-portrait writing is one of the foundational skill sets that all writers should practice. It hones your concentration on details and the language that comes from those details, and it releases you into new zones for your memories and projections to emerge. Our focus will be almost entirely on making new pieces of writing with hardly any time dedicated to critique or revision. Included in your tuition is a signed copy of the tenth anniversary edition of David's book, Every Writer Has a Thousand Faces, with a Foreword by Chuck Palahniuk, which we will use as a "textbook" for the workshop.

Register for this Workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Sunday, May 31, 9 - 4pm
Location: 
Attic Institute, 4232 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Total Fee: 
Early Registration and Tuition Deadline is seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Early Registration: $150 (cash/check); $156 (Paypal). | Late Registration: $165 (cash/check); $170 (PayPal).

SPRING: Micro Memoir Workshop II w Matthew Dickman | July 12 - Aug 9

The smallest moment can profoundly change your life, a smell briefly caught on a walk can send you back in time, objects hold whole multi-histories and as the writer Jay Ponteri says "memories nest inside other memories". In this 5 week class we will be exploring memory and the tools of the memoir genre to write our own "Micro-Memoirs". These will be 1-5 page prose pieces. We will also be reading a lot of outside examples of this and writing together in class. This class is open to all writers, whether you identify as a poet, fiction, or creative non-fiction writer. Whoever you are let's all explore together! | Maximum: 12 writers

NOTE: Writers may take this class without having previously taken Micro Memoir I.

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Sundays, 1-3pm, July 12 - Aug 9, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Discounted Early Registration is due seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Discounted Early Registration: $215 (cash/check); $227 (Paypal). | Tuition Registration: $230 (cash/check); $242 (PayPal).

SPRING: Experiments in Poetic Revision Workshop w Ashley Toliver | June 8 - July 6

THE LUMINOUS DARK - EXPERIMENTS IN POETIC REVISION

Through experimentation with radical revision and embodied writing exercises, we'll tap into our inner knowing to find more wildness in our work and more freedom in the creative process. Come armed with 10-20 unfinished poems and an openness to pursuing intuitive pathways in this dynamic class. | Maximum: 12 writers

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Mondays, 5:30 - 7:30pm, June 8 - July 6, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Discounted Early Registration is due seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Discounted Early Registration: $215 (cash/check); $227 (Paypal). | Tuition Registration: $230 (cash/check); $242 (PayPal)

SPRING: Seeds for New Poems w Patrick Dundon | Jun 13 - July 11

“The opening line of a poem is like finding a fruit on the ground, a piece of fallen fruit you’ve never seen before. The poet’s task is to create the tree from which such a fruit would fall. ”—Paul Valéry

As poets, we constantly face the blank page. This can be maddening, as the same old fears can haunt us: What do I have to say? Is it interesting enough? Am I writing the same thing over and over? Will I ever write another poem again? In this class, we’ll immerse ourselves in the messiness of the creative process, drawing inspiration from a diverse array of sources—our observations, insights, memories, dreams, and language itself—to jump start our poetry, surprise ourselves, and find new doorways into our poems and ourselves. Through both in-class exercises and critique, we’ll emerge from the class with a rich heap of new writing, and transform the blank page into a space of potential instead of dread.

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Saturdays, Jun 13 - July 11, 9:30am - 12pm [no meeting July 4)
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Discounted Early Registration is due seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Discounted Early Registration: $215 (cash/check); $227 (Paypal). | Tuition Registration: $230 (cash/check); $242 (PayPal).

SPRING: So You Wanna Be a Writer Workshop w Wayne Gregory | June 25 - July 23

Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” ~ E. L. Doctorow

You have a thousand stories inside your head. You dabble on the page but rarely if ever finish anything, much less share with others. “Is my work good enough?” you wonder.  “Do I have something original and interesting to say? What makes me think I can be a writer?”  The biggest obstacle for emerging writers is not lack of time nor lack of skill nor lack of things to write about. It’s a lack of self-confidence. This workshop is designed for those who want to be writers, but are not sure they can be.  It provides a safe space for you to explore your interest in writing within a community of others who are on the same journey of exploration that you are. You will have an opportunity to share your writing and receive feedback that will help you identify your creative strengths and build on them. If you have work to share, bring it. If you haven’t written anything, bring an open mind to the possibilities that the class may open for you. Learn about the craft and, in the process, discover what it is about you that makes your stories worth telling and makes you the only writer who can tell them. | Maximum: 12 writers

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Thurdays, 5:30 - 7:30pm, June 25 - July 23, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Discounted Early Registration is due seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Discounted Early Registration: $215 (cash/check); $227 (Paypal). | Tuition Registration: $230 (cash/check); $242 (PayPal).