Appearances

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Writing Great Artist Statements for Fellowships, Residencies, MFA Programs, & More: Section B

Saturday, October 6th, 10:00am-5:00pm

Whether you want to enhance your craft or win more writerly time and support, chances are that someday you’ll face a competitive application process. At such times, a well-written artist statement can go a long way to make you stand out from the pack. In this session, we’ll discuss the key components that every artist statement should include, as well as other ways to make your application as strong as can be. We’ll also spend some time drafting statements and discussing them in class.


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The Final Drafts: Revising Your Short Fiction

You’ve written a draft of one or more stories. Now what? In this online course, you’ll learn techniques for polishing your stories. In particular, we’ll work in service of your story’s intention to locate its strengths and weaknesses, and create a plan for taking your draft to a place of completion. Emphasizing revision, this class will focus on a different craft topic each week-long session, including opening/ closing pages, character development, plot and structure, point of view, style, and sentence-level execution. Specifically, you’ll receive:

  • A weekly craft lesson focusing on an aspect of fiction
  • A weekly exercise to sharpen your revision skills
  • Group workshopping of fiction written by you and your classmates
  • Individualized critique of your fiction by the instructor
  • Discussion of published stories and craft essays by authors such as Lesley Nneka Arimah, Sherman Alexie, Ha Jin, Jhumpa Lahiri, George Saunders, and Jennine Capó Crucet

By the end of this course, you’ll come away with tools for revising future short work, as well as a concrete plan for revising your current story draft. Although you will be asked to finish coursework for each week-long session by Tuesday evening, there will be no time-specific online meetings or webinars to attend.

Where/ When:                                                                                                                                      

Online, beginning October 9th


Past Appearances

 

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With:

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Details below:

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2018 Muse and the Marketplace Conference

 

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Shubha and Jonathan-4

[Photo credit: Sri Thumati]

Writing Great Artist Statements for Fellowships, Residencies, MFA programs, & More

Whether you want to enhance your craft or win more writerly time and support, chances are that someday you’ll face a competitive application process. At such times, a well-written artist statement can go a long way to make you stand out from the pack. In this session, we’ll discuss the key components that every artist statement should include, as well as other ways to make your application as strong as can be.

GrubStreet’s Muse and the Marketplace literary conference, held April 6-8, 2018 at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel

3:45pm – 5:00pm, Friday, April 6th, 2018.

With: Shubha Sunder

Attendee Comments:

– “This was an exceptional session. Jonathan and Shubha are very knowledgable and generous with their examples and guidance. They provided excellent ideas and tools and answered questions in a helpful manner.”

– “Excellent advice, particularly from Jonathan Escoffery about how to talk about hardships and financial struggles you’ve overcome when you are asking an organization to support your work. That allowed me to see the positive, self-affirming side of a grant application, as opposed to simply providing evidence of need.”

– “Appreciated each teachers perspective. Awesome getting the advice from people who had received scholarships and fellowships. I liked having examples in front of me and receiving the handouts to refer to.”

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2018 AWP Conference Panel in Tampa

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A Question of Class: The Art of Writing From Below the Middle

As bell hooks said, counting the costs of revealing one’s lower class background can lead to self-censorship as writers struggle with what and how much to tell. Risks of disclosure include offering “entertainment fodder for a prurient privileged class” and otherization, especially within the academy. Real, too, are the risks of silence. This panel explores the complexity of writing below the middle class, on and off the page. Panelists speak from experience and teach in nontraditional settings.

Tampa Convention Center & Marriott Tampa Waterside
Date/Time: 3:00pm – 4:15pm on Friday March 9, 2018
Location: Room 16, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

With: Caitlin McGill, Jeannine Ouellette, Bao Phi, Michael Torres

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Back Porch Collective Reading at Goethe Institut Boston Open House

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Goethe Institut Boston, 170 Beacon St, Boston, MA from 5:00 to 5:30 p.m. on 9/22/17

The Back Porch Collective will give a rollicking reading of their own work, centering on the evening’s theme of “Elsewhere.”  They are Shubha Sunder, Stacy Mattingly, Dariel Suarez, Ani Gjika, Jonathan Escoffery, and Sarah Colwill-Brown.  The Back Porch Collective held their first gathering on a Boston back porch, but the writers hail from places as far flung as Albania, Atlanta, Britain, Cuba, India, and Miami. They connect around a common passion for global narratives, literature’s potential to create empathy across borders, and a commitment to explore human nature from inside a given context, be it geographical, political, or cultural.  www.backporchcollective.com


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Writing Great Artist Statements for Fellowships, Residencies, MFA Programs, & More

Friday, August 31st, 10:30am-1:30pm

Whether you want to enhance your craft or win more writerly time and support, chances are that someday you’ll face a competitive application process. At such times, a well-written artist statement can go a long way to make you stand out from the pack. In this session, we’ll discuss the key components that every artist statement should include, as well as other ways to make your application as strong as can be.


 

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Publishing Your Short Work: Strategies to Maximize Success on Your Submissions

Saturday, June 9th, 10:00am-5:00pm

Whether your genre is fiction, poetry, or nonfiction, submitting to journals and magazines should become a regular part of your writing life. The act of sending work out, however, can feel daunting and confusing. What are the best publications for emerging writers? When is the ideal time to submit? Should I include a cover letter? What does it mean if I get a form rejection? In this class, we will discuss the entire submission process in detail. From determining when your writing is ready to be considered for publication, to familiarizing yourself with the lit journals and magazines landscape, you will be provided with resources, examples, strategies, and tips that will ensure your submissions are taken seriously. You will leave this course with a concrete plan for submitting your own work and a clear sense of what you can expect going forward.

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Intro to Poetry: Online

Do you want to try writing poetry? Do you need to refresh your understanding of the fundamentals of the genre? If you have an unpredictable schedule, travel often, or live outside the Boston area, this online course is the perfect fit for your modern lifestyle. “Introduction to Poetry” will teach you a slew of essential poetry techniques all from the comfort of your own desk–at any time that’s convenient for you! This class will focus on a different craft topic and/ or poetic form each week-long session, and will familiarize students with contemporary, as well as canonized, poets. 

6 weeks online; portal opens April 17th


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Intro to Fiction: Online

Attention authors of the 21st century! If you have an unpredictable schedule, travel often, or live outside the Boston area, this online course is the perfect fit for your modern lifestyle. “Introduction to Fiction” will teach you a slew of essential fiction techniques all from the comfort of your own desk–at any time that’s convenient for you! Although you will be asked to complete coursework for each week-long session by Tuesday evening, there will be no time-specific online meetings or webinars to attend. Emphasizing the short story form, this class will focus on a different craft topic each week-long session, including beginnings, character, plot, dialogue, point of view, and revision.

6 weeks online; portal opens April 17th


 

GrubStreet_Logo_Text

The Final Drafts: Revising Your Short Fiction

You’ve written a draft of one or more stories. Now what? In this online course, you’ll learn techniques for polishing your stories. In particular, we’ll work in service of your story’s intention to locate its strengths and weaknesses, and create a plan for taking your draft to a place of completion. Emphasizing revision, this class will focus on a different craft topic each week-long session, including opening/ closing pages, character development, plot and structure, point of view, style, and sentence-level execution. Specifically, you’ll receive:

  • A weekly craft lesson focusing on an aspect of fiction
  • A weekly exercise to sharpen your revision skills
  • Group workshopping of fiction written by you and your classmates
  • Individualized critique of your fiction by the instructor
  • Discussion of published stories and craft essays by authors such as Lesley Nneka Arimah, Sherman Alexie, Ha Jin, Jhumpa Lahiri, George Saunders, and Jennine Capó Crucet

By the end of this course, you’ll come away with tools for revising future short work, as well as a concrete plan for revising your current story draft. Although you will be asked to finish coursework for each week-long session by Tuesday evening, there will be no time-specific online meetings or webinars to attend.

Where/ When?                                                                                                                                      

Online, beginning February 27th


Publishing the Story Collection

How often do you hear that agents and publishers are not interested in story collections? Writers are commonly advised that their creative energies would be best spent on a novel (tell that to Alice Munro!). While writers seeking publication for a story collection might face particular challenges, a great many short story collections are, year after year, published, many to acclaim, some successfully launching the author’s career (Laura van den Berg, Jennine Capó Crucet, Molly Antopol, and Mia Alvar come to mind). In this three-hour intensive, we’ll demystify the path from finishing a collection to securing publication. Via lecture, discussion of resources provided, and Q & A, we’ll outline the options available to writers of collections. Topics will include researching agents, drafting an effective cover letter, the small press landscape, book contests, and how to build an audience for short fiction. You’ll leave the class with a deeper understanding of the publishing landscape, a packet of resources, and a plan for how to proceed with your own collection.

Where/ When?                                                                                                                                      

GrubStreet, 162 Boylston Street, 5th Floor, Boston, MA

Saturday, January 20th, 2018 10:30am-1:30pm

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Publishing Your Short Work: Strategies to Maximize Success on Your Submissions

Whether your genre is fiction, poetry, or nonfiction, submitting to journals and magazines should become a regular part of your writing life. The act of sending work out, however, can feel daunting and confusing. What are the best publications for emerging writers? When is the ideal time to submit? Should I include a cover letter? What does it mean if I get a form rejection? In this class, we will discuss the entire submission process in detail. From determining when your writing is ready to be considered for publication, to familiarizing yourself with the lit journals and magazines landscape, you will be provided with resources, examples, strategies, and tips that will ensure your submissions are taken seriously. You will leave this course with a concrete plan for submitting your own work and a clear sense of what you can expect going forward.

Where/ When?                                                                                                                                      

GrubStreet, 162 Boylston Street, 5th Floor, Boston, MA

Saturday, November 4th, 10:00am-5:00pm

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Young Adult Writers Program (YAWP): Publishing Your Short Work: Submission Tips to Get Your Work Out There!

Whether your genre is fiction, poetry, or nonfiction, submitting to journals and magazines should become a regular part of your writing life. The act of sending work out, however, can feel daunting and confusing. What are the best publications for emerging writers? When is the ideal time to submit? Should I include a cover letter? What does it mean if I get a form rejection?

In this seminar, we will discuss the entire submission process in detail. From determining when your writing is ready to be considered for publication, to familiarizing yourself with the lit journals and magazines landscape, you will be provided with resources, examples, strategies, and tips that will ensure your submissions are taken seriously. You will leave this course with a concrete plan for submitting your own work and a clear sense of what you can expect going forward. Writing notebooks will be available, but feel free to bring your own. For writers age 13 – 18 ONLY.

Join GrubStreet’s Young Adult Writers Program (YAWP), a FREE creative writing workshop for Boston-area high schoolers. Our students come from a wide variety of high schools in the Boston area and enjoy cool writing exercises, mingling with fellow young writers, snacks, and an optional open mic. After four great years, YAWP has already been recognized by the Boston Globe as Boston’s hub for writing teenagers. You must be 13-18 years to register.

Where/ When?                                                                                                                                      

GrubStreet, 162 Boylston Street, 5th Floor, Boston, MA

Saturday, October 21st 12:00pm-4:00pm

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Misunderstood: Inverting the Workshop Model

Has your writing about POC, LGBTQ, or immigrant issues been misunderstood in the workshop? Has your gender neutral multiracial Jamaican-American/ Cuban-American/ X-American protagonist been referred to as “too specific” or confusing? If so, this is the event for you! Part workshop and part story share, participants are invited to bring excerpts of their poems, essays, fiction, anecdotes, and oral histories that have been—or that participants fear will be—misread, misinterpreted, or outright rejected due to cultural differences between the author/teller and the reader/recipient of these stories.

Saturday, June 17th, from 3:00-5:00pm

Event takes place at the Arts at the Armory Cafe, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143. This event is free and open to the public thanks to grant support from the Somerville Arts Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and through sponsorship by GrubStreet. Seating is limited and registration is required on GrubStreet’s website.


GrubStreet Seminar: Publishing Your Short Work: Strategies to Maximize Success on Your Submissions

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Saturday, June 17th, 10:30am-1:30pm

Whether your genre is fiction, poetry, or nonfiction, submitting to journals and magazines should become a regular part of your writing life. The act of sending work out, however, can feel daunting and confusing. What are the best publications for emerging writers? When is the ideal time to submit? Should I include a cover letter? What does it mean if I get a form rejection? In this seminar, we will discuss the entire submission process in detail. From determining when your writing is ready to be considered for publication, to familiarizing yourself with the lit journals and magazines landscape, you will be provided with resources, examples, strategies, and tips that will ensure your submissions are taken seriously. You will leave this course with a concrete plan for submitting your own work and a clear sense of what you can expect going forward. Seating is limited and registration is required on GrubStreet’s website.


Four Stories Reading

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4 Stories Event

I’ll be reading at the next Four Stories event at The Middle East in Central Square, Cambridge on Thursday, May 18th along with Sarah Colwill-Brown, Patrick Gabridge and Suzanne Berne. The event is from 6:30-8:30pm, at the Middle East’s corner bar.

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2017 AWP Conference Panels in D.C.

Beyond Diversity: How to Run the Truly Inclusive Creative Writing Workshop
Capital & Congress, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four
Friday, February 10, 2017
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm

How do we move beyond the vague concept of diversity to create truly inclusive workshops? In focusing on craft and ignoring the larger cultural context of our writing, we often sideline POC, queer, and other voices marginalized by the literary establishment. Speakers from GrubStreet, Warren Wilson, and the University of Houston will traditional pedagogy for inherent bias and offer strategies on navigating issues of identity to take workshops from simply diverse to truly inclusive.

and

Committing to Inclusion: What Does It “Really” Mean?

Marquis Salon 6, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two
Saturday, February 11, 2017
10:30 am to 11:45 am

So your writing organization believes that race, gender, sexual orientation, and other dimensions of diversity are integral to artistic excellence. But what does that really mean? What vision and work does it entail? Since 2012, GrubStreet has been reckoning with its own shortcomings in this area, and working toward real and meaningful change. Come hear from board members, staff, and instructors about our ongoing structural efforts to ensure that our community is fully inclusive to all.

Boston Lit Crawl

Lit Crawl

I wrote (part of) a spooky story for the inaugural Boston #litcrawl with Alden Jones, Ron MacLean, and Eson Kim. More info here.

  • Thursday, October 13, 2016 8:30pm – 9:30pm
  • Trident Booksellers & Cafe 338 Newbury Street, Boston.

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Monday, August 29th, from 7:00pm-8:15pm
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
Selected Authors:
Shanoor Seervai, Anne Bernays, Jonathan Escoffery, Carrie Oeding, and Jonathan Weinert.
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7:00 PM, June 22nd.
Poetry/Fiction/Creative Nonfiction
Reading
338 Newbury Street

Boston, MA 02115


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UNLOCKED: Reconsidering Home & Place 
June 18, 2016, 7:30 p.m. BOSTON, MA.
Back Porch Collective in collaboration with musicians Giuseppe Paradiso and Jussi Reijonen
The Middle Gray Gallery/Cafe
Co-sponsored by GrubStreet
Details at our Facebook event.


Come out and support the arts at The Middle Gray Cafe during the Back Porch Collective’s Reading on Sat., Feb 6th! A talented group of readers: Stacy Mattingly, Ani Gjika, Shubha Sunder, Sarah Colwill-Brown, and special guest George Clements of The Lonely Heartstring Band will join me. The event is co-sponsored by GrubStreet.

The Back Porch Collective, appropriately named, held their first gathering on a Boston back porch. The writers hail from places as far flung as Albania, Britain, Cuba, India, Atlanta, and Miami, and one of their number is currently overseas. Their initial desire was to meet together, share work, and discuss issues that mattered to them. They quickly developed a rapport, and when a musician joined in that initial evening to cap off the night, the group knew something special had occurred. Now the Back Porch Collective are giving their first off-the-porch reading at the Middle Gray Cafe with musician George Clements as a special guest. We hope you will join them and continue to expand the artistic community they set out to find when they first gathered.12495047_10156541330960372_4309681813689699035_n

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