The Loyola Writing Institute has offered creative writing workshops to the New Orleans community since 1993. Now offering a diverse set of lengths and topics, these non-credit evening workshops are open to aspiring writers of all ages and skill levels. Classes meet in six different locations (see below). All classes are small and supportive, and taught by experienced, published writers. Classes are capped at twelve participants.
We now offer classes at six locations: uptown campus Loyola University New Orleans, NOLA DNA Studio, the New Orleans Healing Center, Antenna Gallery Reading Room, the Southern Hotel, and A Studio in the Woods.
We now offer several ways to learn: 9-week evening classes (Tuition:$285), 2-Day Workshops (Tuition: $200), Saturday 1-Day Workshops, this fall these workshops will be led by exceptional visiting authors Sam Ligon and Kate Lebo (Tuition: $110), and 1-Day Retreats (Tuition: $125).
Instructor: Kate Lebo, Saturday, One Day Workshop, November 19 1-4 PM
• Flash Fiction: The Annihilating Form
In the anthology Sudden Fiction, Robert Kelly refers to short-short fiction as “the insidious, sudden, alarming, stabbing, tantalizing, annihilating form… neither poetic prose nor prosy verse, but the energy and clarity typical of prose coincident in the scope and rhythm of the poem.” In the same anthology, Joyce Carol Oates writes that “[v]ery short fictions are nearly always experimental, exquisitely calibrated, and reminiscent of Frost’s definition of a poem—a structure of words that consumes itself as it unfolds, like ice melting on a stove.” Very short fictions tend to rely on surprise, a hard turn at the end. They’re often elliptical or fragmented, and often shaped by tone and shadow. Charles Baxter says the short-short needs “a quick turning of the wrist toward texture, something suddenly broken or quickly repaired.” Mark Strand says, “Its end is erasure.” In this workshop, we’ll explore compression and limitation, evocation and implication, formal constraint and what might arise from line pressure and narrative restriction in the annihilating form.
• Intermediate Fiction: This course is designed for writers looking to sharpen their existing fiction skills, including those interested in polishing work for publication. Through supportive and specific critique, we’ll focus on the key elements and choices that make fiction work: setting, point of view, structure, exposition, action, dialogue, theme, development and revelation. We’ll also challenge ourselves to explore the more elusive aspects of storytelling: layering meaning, handling backstory, voice, and vision. Each student will workshop two to three times with the choice of either submitting different works or submitting substantial revisions based on earlier feedback. In addition to our discussion or student work, a portion of our weekly meetings will be devoted to examining short stories from contemporary authors. Finally we’ll discuss navigating the publication process, strategies for submission and getting work out. Not sure if you’re an intermediate writer? If you’ve ever taken a fiction course, workshop or written stories on your own, you’re an intermediate writer.
• Master’s Fiction: The Master's Fiction Class will offer seasoned students an intimate opportunity to connect with other committed and experienced writers working toward publication. LWI's first juried fiction workshop will be limited to just eight students. The smaller class size will allow for a closer dynamic and more individual attention. Students can also expect longer submission lengths and insight into avenues for publication. The class will focus on character-driven narratives, crafted voice, and integrity of theme and arc. By application only.
• Poems in Dialogue with the World: During our time together, we will read and write poems that are in dialogue with the world and with the tumultuous times in which we live. We will explore some of the ways that poetry can reshape our experience of “the news” and restore meaning to words gutted by political rhetoric. We will discuss poems that wrestle with language, poems that use formal technique to contain the chaos of their content, poems that re-vision history, poems that try to dig out a place for the “I” to see from. The class will be roughly divided between discussion of texts exploring these and other techniques, writing our own poems, and giving critical feedback on the poems written.
• Self-Compassion and Personal Narrative: Write Your Life with Greater Compassion: Spend the day writing at the beautiful A Studio in the Woods. This one-day retreat combines writing facilitation with compassion cultivation training in order to help you explore more deeply the stories of your life. In a relaxed and supportive environment, you will participate in exercises designed to increase your capacity for mindfulness and compassion, and you will have ample time to generate new writing. This workshop is especially helpful for writers working on personal narrative/memoir, or for writers interested in creating more rounded, multidimensional characters.
• The Night Will Erase You: An Erasure Workshop: In conversation, mishearing doesn’t eliminate what was actually said, but it can start a parallel conversation—an imagined exchange layered over the actual. Erasure does something similar, where one writer takes the work of another and makes a new text from a printed one. An erased text survives its erasure; in most cases, we can buy another copy. So it’s not stealing or destroying, exactly. Erasure is more like talking to someone who just left the room--which also means it’s like talking to ourselves. In this workshop we’ll study the erasures of Tom Phillips, Jennifer Borges Foster, Srikanth Reddy, Matthea Harvey, Sappho, and others. Then we’ll make our own erasures, borrowing from literature, visual art, and book art to find our voices within another writer’s.
• Two-Day Scene Writing Workshop: This two-day workshop will focus on the fundamentals of successful stories: building effective scenes. Using guided exercises, writers will produce multiple scenes, each developing from the last and working towards the creation of a cohesive story. By the workshop’s end, writers can expect to not only have gleaned exercise ideas for generating future work but also have a vibrant new story well underway. Between exercises, we’ll take a look at several excerpts from contemporary short stories. We’ll read as writers, examining the specific choices authors use when constructing their scenes and even more importantly, how we can apply those lessons to our own work. Our discussion will center on key elements of craft such as arc/development, character, conflict, setting, detail, backstory, interiority and dialogue. Writers will also have the benefit of two instructors with Allison and Tom alternating exercises and presentations. Snacks provided.
• Writing Fiction: The short story is a natural passageway into fiction writing. In this course, we will discuss the fundamentals of story writing through the study of works by contemporary short story authors and through instructor-led workshops of student manuscripts. Additionally, students will be encouraged to view the writing process as a daily activity by writing sketches that develop powers of observation and starting to look ahead to publishing strategies and the current fiction marketplace.
• Writing Narrative Fiction: This workshop-based class will invigorate the practice of fiction writers of any level through craft-based discussions, readings of published work, and writing exercises, and well as the writing workshop. While the class will focus on the short story, students are welcome to bring excerpts from longer projects. The class is predicated upon the idea that writers master the fundamentals of good storytelling not from a single exposure to the elements of craft, but from constant exposure and practice, developing their skills through conversation with other writers and by sharpening their critical eyes. Novice writers should find useful starting points, an overview of the basics of writing literary (and genre) fiction. More advanced writers should find new approaches to deepen their practices. Students should expect to leave the class with enough instructor and peer feedback on works in progress to enable them to make significant progress with one or two pieces of short fiction.
• Writing the Personal Essay: In this course, students of all levels will draw on a combination of research and life experience to produce polished essays on subjects of their choosing. Students will read essays by award-winning authors such as Eula Biss, Joan Didion, Susan Orlean, Leslie Jamison, Kiese Laymon, and John Jeremiah Sullivan and, through class discussion, consider aspects of craft, structure, and content. Short, generative exercises will provide opportunities to practice specific writing techniques including dialogue, pacing, reflection, and characterization. During the last several weeks of class, students will workshop their own personal essays. The course will conclude with a discussion of revision, publishing, and developing a personal practice of writing.
• Allison Alsup holds an M.F.A. from Emerson College and regularly teaches fiction workshops via the Loyola Writing Institute. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals. Her short story “Old Houses” was selected for the 2014 O. Henry Prize Stories (the story originally appeared in The New Orleans Review), and will also appear in the forthcoming college textbook, Arguing About Literature, 2nd Edition. Other fiction has won contests from New Millennium Writings, A Room of Her Own Foundation and Philadelphia Stories. Allison has been awarded writing residencies from the Aspen Writers Foundation and the Jentel Foundation. Her non-fiction appears in the 2015 Best Food Writing. She is a regular contributor to Edible New Orleans, writes occasionally for The New Orleans Advocate and is a co-author of The French Quarter Drinking Companion.
• Andy Young is a poet and essayist and is the co-founder of Meena, a bilingual Arabic-English literary journal. Her poetry collection All Night It Is Morning was published in 2014 by Diálogos Press. She teaches at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and is a free-lance writer for Heinemann. She received her MFA from Warren Wilson College and has taught at Tulane University and at the American University in Cairo. She . Her work has appeared in places such as Los Angeles Review of Books, Guernica, New World Writing, and One, as well as in electronic and flamenco music and as elements in visual art. You can find her book here: http://www.lavenderink.org/content/diag/295
• Anya Groner’s essays and stories have appeared in journals including Guernica, The New York Times, The Oxford American, and The Atlantic. She received her MFA in fiction from the University of Mississippi where she was a John and Renee Grisham Fellow and has since been awarded scholarships and grants from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, the Sewanee Writers Conference, and the Louisiana Board of Regents. In 2014, Meridian, a quarterly journal published by the University of Virginia, awarded her the Editor’s Prize for her story “Buster.” She is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Loyola University and teaches creative writing at NOCCA.
• Cassie Condrey received a BA degree from Duke University and an MFA degree in fiction from Emerson College where she also taught undergraduate writing. Her story “Because You’re Mine,” published in New Orleans Review, received the 2013 Walker Percy Prize in Short Fiction. Her stories have also been recognized by Glimmer Train and The Normal School. She was born and raised in Louisiana and has lived in Argentina, where she directed an English language writing program, Singapore, and now New Orleans.
• Kate Lebo (Visiting Author Nov. 2016) is the author of two cookbooks, Pie School and A Commonplace Book of Pie. Her essays and poems have appeared in Best American Essays 2015, Best New Poets 2011, New England Review, and Willow Springs, among other places. Her most recent zine, From a Tree, is a collection of erasures from Wikipedia entries for fruits, vegetables, and herbs made in collaboration with book artist Dan Shafer.
• Samuel Ligon (Visiting Author Nov. 2016) is the author of Drift and Swerve, a collection of stories, and Safe in Heaven Dead, a novel. His new novel, Among the Dead and Dreaming, is forthcoming in April 2016, as is a new collection of stories, Wonderland. His short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, New England Review, Gulf Coast, New Ohio Review, New Orleans Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Okey-Panky, The Quarterly, and Post Road, among other places, and his essays appear monthly in The Inlander. Ligon serves as Artistic Director of the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, and teaches at Eastern Washington University, in Spokane. He edits the journal Willow Springs.
• Thomas Andes received his MFA from San Francisco State University and recently attended the Kenyon Review Writer's Workshop. His work has appeared in journals including Witness, Natural Bridge, Xavier Review, and Blue Earth Review, and has been anthologized in Best American Mystery Stories 2012. He has received residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and the Ragdale Foundation for the Arts, and he frequently contributes book reviews and interviews with writers and musicians to publications including Necessary Fiction, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and The Rumpus. As well as the Loyola Writing Institute, he has taught creative writing at San Francisco State University and the ADVANCE Camp for Young Scholars in Natchitoches, Louisiana.
A non-refundable fee of 10% is included in each registration. Partial refunds will be granted for cancellations received before the second class meeting of a multi-week class or before the first meeting of a single-session class, or full credit for a future class can be granted in lieu of a refund. We cannot refund for missed classes.
Classes that do not meet minimum enrollments may be cancelled prior to the first class meeting with full refunds to all students. Classes are limited to 12. Register early to ensure that your class makes.