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Rosemont Writer’s Studio

Two young women, both white brunettes, sit next to one another in front of bookshelves. They are speaking to a man, who only is visible from the back of his head. They are discussing a book.

The Writers’ Studio courses are non-credit offerings of Rosemont College’s MFA Program. Our mission is to offer MFA graduates, from any program, and other members of the larger Philadelphia writing community an opportunity to take focused writing and publishing workshops at a reasonable cost.


Fall I and II Sessions

Session I: Sept. 9th - October 14th, 2019
Session II: October 28th -December 9th, 2019

REGISTER

Winter and Spring Sessions

February 3rd - March 14th, 2020
April 14th - May 19th, 2020

REGISTER 

The Writer’s Studio will offer six-week courses that meet once a week for two hours, either on a weeknight or on Saturday. Courses are either open to all levels of student, from beginner to advanced, or restricted to advanced students only.

To gain entry to an advanced class students must have graduated from an MFA program, or have special permission from the MFA program director. Classes are held on Rosemont's Main Campus at 1400 Montgomery Ave, Rosemont PA.

*All courses are capped at 12 students. They require a minimum of 3 students to run.

For any additional questions, contact:

MFA Program Director, Carla Spataro 

(610)527-0200 ext. 2346 

cspataro@rosemont.edu


Cost

$450  general

$375 for Rosemont students and alumni 


 Writer’s Studio Offerings for 2019-2020

Fall I Session

Sept. 9th - October 14th, 2019

Instructor: Artress Bethany White

Course description: Over the course of this six-week workshop, students will examine recent personal essays from established and emerging writers who use provocative anecdotes as the genesis of good storytelling. The instructor will assign generative writing exercises to help students extend their narrative threads into compelling essays.

Instructor Bio: Artress Bethany White is a poet, essayist, and literary critic. Her collection of essays, Survivor’s Guilt: Essays on Race and American Identity is forthcoming from New Rivers Press/Minnesota State University in March 2020.

She is the recipient of the 2018 Trio Award for her poetry collection, My Afmerica (Trio House Press, March 2019). Her prose and poetry have appeared in such journals as Harvard Review, Tupelo Quarterly, The Hopkins Review, Pleiades, Solstice, Poet Lore, Ecotone, and The Account. 

White has received the Mary Hambidge Distinguished Fellowship from the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts for her nonfiction, The Mona Van Duyn Scholarship in Poetry from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and writing residencies at The Writer’s Hotel and the Tupelo Press/MASS MoCA studios. She is visiting professor of American cultural studies at Albright College in Pennsylvania.

Instructor: Carla Spataro

Course description: Students will evaluate their own and others' work in a supportive atmosphere, while examining the tools of the fiction writer's art. We will read the published work of successful short story writers with a particular emphasis on craft. Exemplary exercises and prompts will enable students to put into practice what they’ve learned.

Instructor Bio: Carla “C.J.” Spataro is the MFA program director at Rosemont College and the editorial director of Philadelphia Stories and PS Books. She is an award-winning short story writer, Pushcart Prize nominee, and a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant winner.

Her short fiction has appeared in Phantom Drift, december magazine, Italian Americana, Iron Horse Literary Review, Pithead Chapel, Permafrost, The Baltimore Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, and others. her poetry has appeared in Ovunque Siamo.

Her work has also been anthologized in Another Breath, Forgotten Philadelphia, Extraordinary Gifts, and 50 Over 50. Her students have had books published by big five publishers and have won nationally recognized awards.

Instructor: Eric Smith

Course description: Over the course of our sessions, we’ll spend time digging into the basics of literary agent, and what goes into the job. From author branding to career management, writing query letters to researching editors, to what happens after (and if you don’t!) selling the book, there will be a lot to dig into.

Students will walk away with not just an understand of the day to day when it comes to agenting, but will also understand how one gets into the business and how to prepare to seek out this kind of work.

Instructor Bio: Eric Smith is a literary agent with P.S. Literary. He’s worked with New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors, and focused mostly on Young Adult, genre-fiction, and select non-fiction work. Also an author, his latest book, The Girl & the Grove, was published with Flux in 2018, and his next novel, Don’t Read the Comments, will be published in 2020. His books have been translated into eight languages.

Fall II Session

October 28th -December 9th, 2019 (No Class Thanksgiving Week)

Instructor: Richard Bank

Course description:

This course will explore the craft of writing Creative Nonfiction and its sub-genres including memoir, personal and literary essays, opinion pieces, reviews, travel articles, and narrative nonfiction. The course will include an overview examining the components of creative nonfiction writing; samples will be read and discussed; ethical issues unique to the genre regarding how far one can stray from fact and the use of literary license; research techniques; and written exercises designed to

develop specific skills needed to write effectively in the genre. Relevant legal issues such as libel and privacy will be reviewed. Students will submit work within the genre that may be short complete pieces or a portion of a larger even book length project which will be workshopped by the class. Potential markets for creative nonfiction will be suggested.

Instructor Bio: Richard D. Bank received his BA from Temple University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is the author of eight books including The Everything Guide to Writing Nonfiction, Feig, a novel, and his most recent book, I Am Terezin, a work of creative nonfiction about the concentration camp Theresienstadt.

He is a past president and current board member of the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference and has published over 100 articles, essays, short stories and book reviews. Richard has taught writing courses at the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University and other venues.

He currently is on faculty at Rosemont College in the Graduate Publishing and MFA programs where he teaches courses including creative nonfiction and publishing law. Richard provides services as a writing coach for serious writers.

Instructor: Trish Rodriguez

Course description: Do you want to write short stories but you aren’t sure where to begin? Are you stuck with an idea but can’t get it out of your head? In this class we’ll explore the creative process. We’ll generate writing through in-class exercises and discuss published stories from a writer’s perspective. During the last few weeks of class, students will have the opportunity to get feedback on their own writing in a supportive environment.

This class is open to all levels of writers.

Instructor Bio: Trish Rodriguez lives, reads, and writes in Media, PA. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Rosemont College. She has served as managing editor for Rathalla Review. Currently, Trish is a prose editor for Typehouse Literary Magazine and the fiction editor for Philadelphia Stories.

Her writing has been published in Awakened Voices and Animal: A Beast of a Literary Magazine. She lives in Media, PA with her family, including her cat, Elvis, and Samoyed, Rico Suave.

Instructor: Artress Bethany White

Course description: Over the course of this six-week workshop, students will examine poetry from established and emerging writers who use the page in creative ways. The instructor will assign generative exercises to inspire new poems. Students will then workshop poems reflective of their creative use of the poetic page and wedding content to form.

Instructor Bio: Artress Bethany White is a poet, essayist, and literary critic. Her collection of essays, Survivor’s Guilt: Essays on Race and American Identity is forthcoming from New Rivers Press/Minnesota State University in March 2020.

She is the recipient of the 2018 Trio Award for her poetry collection, My Afmerica (Trio House Press, March 2019). Her prose and poetry have appeared in such journals as Harvard Review, Tupelo Quarterly, The Hopkins Review, Pleiades, Solstice, Poet Lore, Ecotone, and The Account. 

White has received the Mary Hambidge Distinguished Fellowship from the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts for her nonfiction, The Mona Van Duyn Scholarship in Poetry from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and writing residencies at The Writer’s Hotel and the Tupelo Press/MASS MoCA studios. She is visiting professor of American cultural studies at Albright College in Pennsylvania.

Winter Session

February 3rd - March 14th, 2020 

Instructor: Liz Abrams-Morley

Course description: Stalled? Stale? Looking to get started? This workshop is designed to jump-start post-graduate writers who find they aren’t writing as much, as often or as fluidly as they hoped after they leave the support of an MFA program, and, at the same time, create a launch pad for the “always loved writing but. . .” writers who want to get going and develop a writing life.

Focus will be on generating new material in response to weekly prompts, though participants will also enjoy opportunities to get feedback on work in progress in a supportive community. The instructor will introduce, and we will all have time to discuss, strategies for keeping going in those sometimes “slogging middles” of ongoing projects, or whenever the reason we aren’t writing is “you know—life.”

Instructor Bio: Liz Abrams-Morley's collection, Beholder, was published by Word Poetry, April, 2018. Her collection, Inventory, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2014. Necessary Turns was published by Word Poetry in 2010 and won an Eric Hoffer Award for Excellence in Small Press Publishing that year.

Her poems and short stories have been published in a variety of nationally distributed anthologies, journals and ezines, and have been read on NPR. She is co-founder of Around the Block Writing Collaborative,(www.aroundtheblockwriters.org). A sometimes professor in Rosemont’s MFA program who also teaches children at all levels in literacy in the schools programs, Liz wades knee deep in the flow of everyday life from which she draws inspiration and, occasionally, exasperation.

Instructor: Chelsea Covington Maass

Course description: The best movies keep audiences hooked, desperate to know how it will all come together in the end. Great books do the same thing for readers. In this class, students will study "Save the Cat! Writes a Novel" by Jessica Brody and learn to apply successful screenwriting techniques to plotting a novel. By the end of this course, students will understand the method, discover their story genre, and begin laying the framework for their next big project.

Instructor Bio: Chelsea Covington Maass is a graduate of the MFA program at Rosemont College. An excerpt from her thesis won a 2016 Helen McCloy Scholarship from the Mystery Writers of America. In 2017, her flash fiction story "Refuge" was nominated for the Pushcart Prize by Newfound. Her work has also been published at HOOT, Shotgun Honey, and Literary Mama. She lives in the Philadelphia area and teaches writing at several local universities. 

Instructor: Sharmila Venkatasubban

Course description: Fact-checking has always been a vital newsroom task that ensures accuracy and fairness in reporting. But as journalism has come under fire in the past few years, it’s become a key practice that creates transparency into the reporting process, challenges the spread of disinformation, and trains media consumers to how think critically when reading the news.

This course will provide professional journalists with the basics of fact-checking investigations and features such as verifying sources, interviewing sensitive subjects, and an overview of media law. We’ll also learn how to find public records, use social media to dig up hard-to-find sources, and run background checks.

Last, we’ll look at the emergence of “fake news” and its subversion of the democratic process, particularly through sites such as Facebook and Twitter. This will include debunking altered photographs and videos, reading for bad quotes, and questioning secondary sources.

This class is open to all levels of writers.

Instructor Bio: Sharmila Venkatasubban works as a researcher and fact-checker for investigative outlets and newsrooms; this has included BuzzFeed News, The Nation Institute's Investigative Fund (now known as Type Investigations), and The Hechinger Report. Through these organizations she’s researched major investigative stories for The New York Times, NBC News, Outside Magazine, and others.

She is currently on staff as a researcher and fact-checker for Al Jazeera. She got her start as a reporter for alt-weekly newspapers in Pittsburgh and since then have worked as an editor in New York City for the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, the arts organization Creative Time, and on the copy desks of Rolling Stone and New York Magazine. She holds a BA in English and Professional Writing and an MA in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University.

Instructor: Tawny Scarlet Sverdlin

Course Description: Organize your web content and optimize it for SEO. Gain an intermediate understanding of how websites appeal to humans and search algorithms. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a method of marketing used by companies and is one of the most effective ways of obtaining an audience for your product. Learn how to improve basic HTML code, choose keywords, write dynamic web copy, use images, and implement the basic elements of user-friendly design.

Instructor Bio: A premium blend of data and creativity, Tawny has specialties are info architecture, SEO, copywriting, and UX. A creative non-fiction writer, poet, and former librarian, she now applies her skills to digital marketing and technology. She's worked in start-ups, ecommerce, and corporate environments in both San Francisco and Philly. However, she currently works full-time for Rosemont College.

Spring Session

April 14th - May 19th, 2020

Instructor: Grant Clauser

Course Description: Poetry is a type of communication, and communication requires a relationship. Just like the best relationships are based on trust, poetry also requires an element of trust. In this course we'll discuss the techniques that help create that sense of trust and honesty, so your readers will trust the experience of your poems.

We'll look at lots of example poems, work on in-class exercises and take-home prompts, and discuss your own poems in-depth as a group. This workshops would be good for both people just beginning to explore poetry as well as experienced writers looking to consider their art from a new perspective.

Instructor Bio: Grant Clauser is the author of four books, most recently The Magician's Handbook and Reckless Constellations. His awards include the Cider Press Review Book Award, the Dogfish Head Poetry Prize and the Montgomery County Poet Laureate.

His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Cortland Review, The Journal, The Literary Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Southern Poetry Review, and others. He's a contributing editor to the online publication Cleaver and works as a senior editor for Wirecutter at the New York Times.

Instructor: Stacey Kucharik

Course description: Self-publishing has become more prevalent than traditional publishing. It is moderately simple, cheap, and can sometimes be lucrative. But, if you want to self-publish a manuscript, you’ll need to do it correctly.

That means that you’ll need to know a little bit about the publishing process, resources that will be available to you, and how to create a finalized product that doesn’t “look” like it was self-published. This course will guide you in a step-by-step fashion how to take a manuscript and turn it into a book. We will cover all the bases from editing to formatting to self-marketingInstructor

Instructor Bio: Stacey Kucharik began her editing company, Polished Print, twelve years ago. She has worked with hundreds of authors to polish their manuscripts into publishable novels. Though her background began with academic editing, Stacey works with fiction authors exclusively and edits between ten and fifteen novels per year.

Stacey holds two Bachelor’s degrees in English with a focus on creative writing and Communications as well as a Master’s degree in Publishing with a focus on editing from Rosemont. Polished Print aspires to educate authors and posts frequent educational videos about the publishing process and improving writings on Facebook. Stacey participated in a panel discussion at Push to Publish writing conference in 2018. For more information about Stacey, visit www.polishedprint.com or find us on Facebook.

Instructor: Chelsea Covington Maass

Course Description: Over this six-week session, students will use the approach learned in Novel Writing I to plot and begin drafting a novel. Writers will create a novel road map and unleash their story-worthy heroes. We will spend two weeks on each of the three acts, taking time to discuss any roadblocks we encounter along the way.

Instructor Bio: Chelsea Covington Maass is a graduate of the MFA program at Rosemont College. An excerpt from her thesis won a 2016 Helen McCloy Scholarship from the Mystery Writers of America. In 2017, her flash fiction story "Refuge" was nominated for the Pushcart Prize by Newfound. Her work has also been published at HOOT, Shotgun Honey, and Literary Mama. She lives in the Philadelphia area and teaches writing at several local universities

Instructor: Trish Rodriguez

Course description: Flash Fiction is a complete story expressed through deftness of language. We’ll read published flash pieces and experiment with different forms of narrative. Join this generative class that will explore writing a beginning, middle, and ending in l000 words or less.

This class is open to all levels of writers.

Instructor Bio: Trish Rodriguez lives, reads, and writes in Media, PA. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Rosemont College. She has served as managing editor for Rathalla Review. Currently, Trish is a prose editor for Typehouse Literary Magazine and the fiction editor for Philadelphia Stories. Her writing has been published in Awakened Voices and Animal: A Beast of Literary Magazine. She lives in Media, PA with her family, including her cat, Elvis, and Samoyed, Rico Suave.