Embodying Queer Stories — $120
The world is shaped by patriarchal white supremacist power structures, and the traditional workshop table is no different. It’s time to change that. Felicia Rose Chavez (The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop) and Matthew Salesses (Craft in the Real World) are some of the writers who have paved a path for us to write our stories in our voices. Writing through the body is key. When we write through the body, we pay attention to what happens inside of us when we experience trauma. When we write through the body, we pick up a pen and paper and let our words pour out, unfiltered. Writing through the body is an act of resistance. Let’s build a collaborative and supportive community of LGBTQIA+ writers. Our stories are life-giving and lifesaving, but, unfortunately, even as Pride has been co-opted by rainbow capitalism, our stories are still marginalized. Whether you are a seasoned workshop participant or have never attended a workshop before, all are welcome. Together, we will create a space to share our work that is safe, constructive and inspiring.
This ten-week course is open to 12 LGBTQIA+ writers. We will meet Tuesdays from 7 PM to 9 PM at H&H Books, 2230 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125, starting on October 4, 2022. You will have the opportunity to have your writing workshopped twice—either submit two pieces of writing to the workshop, or revise your first submission and submit the revision as your second piece, whichever you find most helpful. Workshop cost is $120, but, in recognition of the systemic silencing of BIPOC voices at the traditional workshop table and beyond, there are two partial or full scholarship spots available for LGBTQIA+ BIPOC writers. Partial scholarship in this context means that you pay what you can to attend the course; full scholarship means you attend for free.
Genres eligible to be workshopped in this course include*:
*Note that for long-form work such as book-length projects, you will only be able to workshop two chapters or sections of up to 30 pages. You can, of course, use a revised chapter or section as your second workshop submission. If you are unsure if your work falls into a genre listed here, please email me! Though I love them, in this course we are not workshopping poetry, stage plays or screenplays. But stay tuned for future courses!
What Makes This Workshop Different?
No gag rule. Traditional workshops implement what’s often called the “gag rule,” where a writer whose work is being discussed must stay silent for the duration of that discussion. This is detrimental to the writer and to the workshop as a whole. Instead, writers will meet briefly with me (either a quick phone call or in person) prior to having their piece workshopped. Together, we will come up with a list of questions you’d like to pose to the workshop table. During workshop, you will stand and read a sentence or two of your work aloud to us. You’ll tell us what inspired you to write that passage, what it means to you, why this story matters to you. Then you will lead the workshop discussion and I will support you. If, for instance, you feel the discussion is becoming unhelpful, I want you to say so, and I will help you steer the conversation in another direction. Remember: You know your work better than anyone, and we are here to help you more fully realize your vision.
You write the syllabus. Seriously. As part of your application, you will be asked to name three writers or artists of any kind that inspire you. I’ll compile these, along with some of my own favorite pieces of art and literature, into a shared document that we can all refer to during the course.
Freewriting. We’ll freewrite at the beginning of each class. You are encouraged to do this with a pen and paper rather than on a computer or phone. For ten minutes, we’ll write without stopping, without crossing anything out, without censoring ourselves. If you want, you can share what you’ve written with us.
About The Instructor
Jenni Milton is a queer writer who studied at Connecticut College, Oxford University and the Columbia Publishing Course. After graduating, she worked in book and magazine publishing at One Story, Oxford University Press, and Grove Atlantic. She earned her MFA at the Programs in Writing at UC Irvine, where she taught composition, fiction writing and literary journalism. In her final year of the program, she was Fiction Editor of the Pushcart Prize-winning journal Faultline. She now works as a freelance copywriter. In her spare time, she volunteers at H&H Books and plays violin with the Roxborough Orchestra. She has published work in Juked and A Distant Memory Zine and is working on a novel.
How To Apply
Please email the following in one document to email@example.com. You can send your application as a .pdf, .docx or Google Doc file. Application deadline is September 18, 2022.
A writing sample that best represents the work you hope to share in workshop (an excerpt from your novel, a short story, an essay, etc.). Please submit no more than 30 pages, double-spaced.
A personal statement (1-2 double-spaced pages) that tells me who you are and why you want to attend this workshop. Tell me your story! What motivates you to write? What is your writing practice? What are you hoping to gain from this workshop? Name three writers or artists who inspire you. What about their work moves you? If you’ve done workshops before, what were some things you loved? Things you wish had been different?
A brief bio (200 words or less) and a photo of yourself.
If you are an LGBTQIA+ BIPOC writer interested in a scholarship, include a brief sentence at the end of your application to let me know, and be sure to indicate which type of scholarship you are applying for (partial or full).