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Master Classes

Master Classes offer advanced writers a chance to delve more deeply into a particular genre. Each Master Class will take place over the course of Sessions I and II, and will be limited to the first 10 qualified registrants.

While publication credits are not required, Master Class participants should be experienced writers, dedicated to their craft, with at least some experience in workshop settings. Applications will be reviewed, and qualified registrants admitted, on a rolling basis, until the Master Class is full or the deadline of Friday, April 5, whichever comes first.

Please submit your current C.V., along with the required manuscript (see each Master Class’s course description, below, for its manuscript requirements), to masterclass@ncwriters.org, on the day you register for the Spring Conference. You cannot be considered for a Master Class until we receive your C.V. and required manuscript. Again, the deadline to apply for a Master Class is Friday, April 5.

When you register for the Spring Conference, if applying for a Master Class, please choose another workshop as a back-up for each session, in case you are not admitted to the Master Class. Application to a Master Class requires a non-refundable $20 processing fee, in addition to the Spring Conference registration fee. If registering for the conference online or by phone, you can pay this processing fee with a VISA, MasterCard, or Discover. If registering by mail, you must include a separate check for $20.


Creative Nonfiction Master Class: Elevating Life into Art with Stephanie Elizondo Griest

Memoirs. Travelogues. Lyric Essays. Literary Journalism. Testimonios. No matter whether you are conducting an internal excavation or an external investigation, all forms of Creative Nonfiction are welcome in this workshop. We will strive to push your essays to the next level by taking risks both in content and in form. Questions we’ll be asking: Where is the pulse? How can it beat louder—or deeper? Should the story follow a classic rise-fall arc or be a fractured narrative with a scrambled chronology? In addition to critiquing each other’s work, we will also discuss ways of feeding ourselves as artists both figuratively and literally, by sharing our motivations and strategizing on sustainable ways of fueling our practice. So join us. Together, we will be pilgrims wandering the wilderness of memory. Arbiters of the dynamic Fourth Genre. We will elevate life into art. We will write words that matter.  

Please submit up to 1,500 sequential words from a single work, along with your current C.V. in a separate attachment, on the same day that you register for the conference. Submissions should be saved in an MS Word document, using double-spaced 12-point Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman font, with numbered pages, and sent as an attachment to masterclass@ncwriters.org. The Word document’s file name should include your own last name, and the title of the work and your name should appear on the submission itself. If accepted into the Master Class, your submitted work will be shared with other Master Class registrants.

Each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Master Class.

Fiction Master Class: Smaller, Better with Halle Hill

The boring bits of everyday life are secret jewels. Eudora Welty calls them “continuous threads of revelation.” Yet, we have trouble seeing them. Or valuing them. Our distracted world praises excess. But fiction writing thrives on specificity. What would it look like if we slowed down and looked closer – to the gross, the horrible, the erotic, the subtle? In this Fiction Master Class we will practice trusting “smallness,” reviewing and revising your submitted work with an eye for essential details. Additionally, we will do a few exercises that develop confident self-trust and lead the way for intention. Together, we will discuss techniques for brevity, as we carve back our pieces to a stronger, more voice-assured place. We will read four brief examples from writers and poets to warm up our awareness and tune our ears. Please bring a notebook and pen in case we have time for an image-making generative practice.

Please submit up to 1,500 sequential words from a single work, along with your current C.V. in a separate attachment, on the same day that you register for the conference. Submissions should be saved in an MS Word document, using double-spaced 12-point Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman font, with numbered pages, and sent as an attachment to masterclass@ncwriters.org. The Word document’s file name should include your own last name, and the title of the work and your name should appear on the submission itself. If accepted into the Master Class, your submitted work will be shared with other Master Class registrants.

Each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Master Class.

Poetry Master Class: Our “I” and Our Dreams: Writing with a Speaker Who is Less Afraid with Tyree Daye

CLASS FULL, REGISTRATION CLOSED

My poems, like my dreams, contain another self. Who can “overwhelm the Devil.” They contain my braver self, who does not mind the places, people known and unknown. This self can communicate with ghosts, look every cousin in their eyes, and tell them I love you. In this way, I think we, as poets and all artists, work inside the metaphysically “I,” an “I” that Dorothea Lasky states “is always a kind of performer. The ‘I’ of a poem necessarily wears a mask and is an actor. Upon its birth, it has been given the holy task of acting both like and not like its real self.” In our workshop we will examine how poets write an “I” that is “like and not like its real self,” which allows them to approach more difficult subject matter.

Please submit three poems, totaling no more than five pages, on the same day that you register for the conference, along with your current C.V. in a separate attachment. Poems should be saved in a single MS Word document, using single-spaced, 12-point, Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman font, and sent as an attachment to masterclass@ncwriters.org. The Word document’s file name should include your own last name, and your name and the title of each poem should appear on the submission. If accepted into the Master Class, your submitted work will be shared with other Master Class registrants.

Each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Master Class.