Writing Your Identity
Each and every one of us possess complex identities, which include such
elements as race, age, ethnicity, gender, orientation, religion, class,
national, political orientation and much more. In this summer workshop,
you’ll be encouraged to write your identities through the lens of fiction
and/or creative nonfiction. (All prose genres are welcome.) Participants
will submit and critique short narratives (or excerpts from novels or
novellas), in addition to doing weekly writing exercises. We’ll aim to
create powerful stories with rich and compelling characters, while also
exploring the basic elements of fiction/non-fiction writing: plot,
dialogue, point of view, setting, structure, and more. If time permits,
we’ll also address the business of writing — sending out stories and
novels, finding an agent, etc.
All levels of writers (including beginners) are welcome. The workshop will
meet online through a private mailing list, in two four-week sessions.
Limited to 20 participants. All participants are expected to read and
write one-page critiques for 1-2 stories or novel excerpts (up to 30 pages
each) from the other workshop members; participants will receive written
critiques from the instructor. We’ll also meet in a weekly online chat
session where participants can ask questions and exchange advice;
attendance for the chat is optional.
Workshop dates: Saturday, June 28 – Saturday, August 16. Optional,
additional chat sessions will tentatively meet on Saturday mornings, from
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. CST (subject to the group’s approval).
There is no required text, but I’ll be using exercises from Ursula K.
LeGuin’s Steering the Craft at various points through the
course; I recommend picking up a copy if you can. I may also ask you to
read other pieces available online.
Session 1 (language/setting/voice/character) : June 28 – July 19
Session 2 (character/pov/structure/theme): July 26 – August 16 ($100)
Both sessions: $175
If you have serious financial need, some discounted registration may be
available; e-mail Mary Anne and ask.
To register using your credit card or PayPal, just click below
and fill in the appropriate amount:
Please send checks to:
Mary Anne Mohanraj, 1658 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647,
and drop Mary Anne a note to let her know the check is on its way.
If you have any questions, please feel free to send me e-mail at