our goal

to provide affordable, accessible, intensive, and fun, online classes for writers of all skill levels.

the truth is, we've been disappointed with many online educational options for writers: programs that charge top dollar only to cycle through as many students as possible with little personalized attention, and then leave those students behind once the class is done. that is not us. we are real people, working in the industry, with knowledge and skills we are committed to sharing with each and every one of our students. we hope to inspire a collaborative, warm, learning environment, where students feel comfortable to take risks in their work, and try on new ways of reading and writing they may not have previously imagined. even more than that, we want to exist as your go-to resource for all things literary, and you can expect us to be your biggest hype people for as long as we're around.

why we're different

writing and publishing today is different than it used to be. even 5-10 years ago. we understand this, and will act as both a resource for improving your work on the page, but off of it as well. writers nowadays have to not only produce great work, but do much of their own PR and promotion too. our approach incorporates all of this: everything from querying and MFA prep, to designing your own advertising materials, to promotion and navigating Twitter, to starting your own publishing company. 

special guests

special guests will be frequent. we will use our network to bring you the best and brightest minds from all aspects of the industry. this includes writers, publishers, editors, agents, publicists, designers, etc.

fall 2020 courses

fiction/poetry/CNF workshop 1

topic:

words of the west
 

in an interview in The Nation, author Hernan Diaz stated that “[the western] is so ideologically charged and neglected that it’s ripe for subversion. its scaffolding is there, ready to be hijacked and repurposed.” it may come as no surprise we’re interested in “the west.” i mean, we were founded in Montana, and it’s right there in our name. but where are the “westerns” of today? Who are the writers writing about the west? In this course, we will explore some of the finest contemporary fiction/poetry/CNF about “the west” as an idea, a construct. we will focus on writers who, as Hernan Diaz put it, have “hijacked and repurposed” the western, and have mined and twisted its themes, tropes, and ideological concerns, to unearth a vibrant new vision. along with reading authors such as Tommy Orange, Hernan Diaz, Percival Everett, Claire Vaye Watkins, Annie Proulx, C Pam Zhang, Colin Winnette, each week, writers will submit one “western” of their own for workshop.

class size: 6 max

5 week workshop: $200.00 ($40/session)

short fiction workshop 2

topic:

micro fiction
 

“micro fiction,” “short shorts,” “matchbook stories”—here, smaller is better. and even smaller is even better. and even even smaller is—well, you get the idea. in this generative course, students will be responsible for writing and sharing their own micros (based on unique, in-class prompts) in the span of each meeting. they’ll also read and discuss a vast history of sublimely succinct fiction: Franz Kafka, Robert Walser, Lydia Davis, Jorge Luis Borges, Donald Barthelme, Grace Paley, Kiley Reid, Amelia Gray, Ben Marcus, Jamaica Kincaid, Amy Hempel, Padgett Powell, Roberto Bolaño, Yasunari Kawabata, Kathy Fish, and more.

class size: 8 max

5-week workshop: $200.00 ($40/session)

online

tuesday sept 22 - oct 27 7-9 pm (est)*

instructor: david queen

sign up here

online

monday sept 21 - oct 26, 7-9 pm (est)*

instructor: david queen

sign up here

short fiction workshop 3

plausible magic is a technique that suggests an unbelievable—and often surreal—scenario can arise from “believable” character action and reasonable narrative means. plausible magic is ordinary life rendered strange through the strength of the author’s vision. in this course, students will read and discuss the bizarre stories of Alexandra Kleeman, Donald Antrim, Camille Bordas, Joy Williams, and more. they will also be required to bring in their own “weird” stories each week to workshop—work that attempts to embrace the idiosyncratic weirdnesses in their authorial vision, and, on the page, makes the quotidian seem fresh and new.

5 week workshop: $200.00 ($40/session)

online

wednesday sept 23 - oct 28 7-9 pm (est)*

instructor: david queen

sign up here

short fiction workshop 4

topic: the comedic story

 

“Humor is what happens when we're told the truth quicker and more directly than we're used to.”

 

― George Saunders

 

a great story is like a great joke. it has a beginning, middle, end, and works to generate a sense of speed and surprise, before cutting off just after the height of its conclusion. most of all, joke-telling is storytelling, in its most stripped down and truthful form. it’s no wonder contemporary short fiction writers have long been drawn to the art of comedy: from George Saunders’ obsession with British comedy troupe Monty Python, to Amy Hempel spending a good part of the 1970s in and out of comedy clubs, absorbing the ways brevity and surprise were used to maintain an audience’s interest. in this 5 week course, students will develop the tools needed to identify the humor in their own writing, as well as utilize the structural devices of comedy in their fiction. they will also read comedic short stories of all kinds—from the deranged satire of George Saunders, to the acerbic irony of Sam Lipsyte and Ottessa Moshfegh, to the observational wit of Lorrie Moore.

5-week workshop: $200.00 ($40/session)

online

thursday sept 24 - oct 29 7-9 pm (est)*

instructor: david queen

sign up here

* time subject to change in order to better accommodate student time zones/schedules.

let's talk.

195 broadway
brooklyn, ny 11211

hello@wordwest.co

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© 2019 by word west llc.