Eight Writers for Eight Months

"In my own work, whenever I try to write any kind of short anything, it seems to turn into a memoir, a novel, a linked collection; I seem to be wired for long-form writing. It's what I most love to teach, too. It's such a joy to witness the slow unfurling of a good story, to ask questions and offer ideas, to provide company on what can feel like a long, lonely road. The best workshops, like the best writing, should offer a way out of that loneliness. In Workshop 8, we’ll listen hard to each other; we’ll dig into and between the lines; and we’ll keep each other in good company as we all move from beginning to end." ~ Brian Benson

You must write a book to publish a book. So let's write a book. There's a saying in Italian which translates to keeping "Dreams in a drawer." Everyone talks about their "desk drawer book" which is the book they kind of work on, or they wrote a single draft then put it away thinking that someday they would return to it. So you've always told yourself, "I'm going to finish that book and if I could just pull together a group of a few committed writers to work with me, I could do this." Think of this eight month workshop as that particular someday.  Take your dream (your novel or memoir, or essay or short story collection) out of the drawer and into the world.

GOALS: Each year WORKSHOP 8 selects eight writers who are ready to write that novel or memoir or collection (essays or short stories). You can come into the group with a full draft, or a partial draft, or an idea that you are ready to make into a manuscript. We are your audience and your colleagues. We are that writing group you've wanted to help you get to the end of a workable draft. The page count turned into the workshop will be higher than most workshops, so much of your book (if not all of your book) can be read and discussed. You commit to your art, and the workshop commits to you.

TIMELINE: One of the essential benefits of WORKSHOP 8 is the unique schedule. The workshop meets January - June breaks for a summer of concentrated writing, and finally resumes in the fall, September - November. Additionally, the workshop meets for four weeks followed by a week break because it is hard for even the most seasoned writer to maintain an unending writing schedule. Building in breaks allows the writer to write at his or her own pace while processing the discussion from the workshop. 


Welcome Gathering: Jan 22

Round One: Jan 29, Feb 5, 12, 19 (BREAK Feb 26)

Round Two: Mar 4, 11, 18, 25 (BREAK Apr 1)

Round Three: Apr 8, 15, 22, 29 (BREAK May 6)

Round Four: May 13, 20, 27, Jun 3 (SUMMER BREAK June 10 - Sep 9)

Round Five: Sep 16, 23, 30, Oct 7 (BREAK Oct 14)

Round Six: Oct 21, 28, Nov 4, Nov 11

WORKSHOP PROCESS: Eight writers means that you will turn work in on a regular cycle. The page numbers will be high. We include scheduled breaks so participants will be less likely to have to forgo a workshop. Commitment is as important as getting your book done as anything else. This workshop creates that structured environment that will free you to create.

WHY APPLY TO WORKSHOP 8? Acceptance into the program is a major confirmation of your ambition and focus as a working writer. In evaluating you for acceptance into WORKSHOP 8, we consider the needs of writers for time and attention beyond the short traditional workshop. This workshop is an intensive immersion into the real world of writing where you are taken seriously and learn to take yourself seriously too.

WHO SHOULD APPLY? WORKSHOP 8 is ideal for anyone who is commited to working on a single project. It is open to all writers, including former Atheneum Fellows, CNF Studio veterans, post-MFA writers, as well as current and former Workshop 8 participants.

BRIAN BENSON: Brian Benson leads WORKSHOP 8. Brian is an Associate Fellow at the Attic Institute, where he also runs the CNF Studio. He is the author of Going Somewhere, which was a Powell’s New Favorite. Learn more about Brian.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Applications include 25 pages of writing plus a 200-word written statement about your writing and publishing goals during your WORKSHOP 8 participation. 

REGISTRATION: WORKSHOP 8 meets Wednesdays, Jan - Nov, 5:30-8pm, at the Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard. Early Registration: $1324 (cash/check); 1365 (Paypal). Installment payment option available for accepted writers: Two payments of $697 each (50% of $1324 = $662 plus $35 Admin. Fee) due January 12, 2020 AND February 16, 2020. Installment payments made by credit card through PayPal will also include the PayPal fee for a total of $718 each.


Applications due by email to Dec 1 2019