WRITING WORKSHOPS

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Jennifer Close is the best-selling author of Girls in White Dresses, The Smart One, and The Hopefuls. Born and raised on the North Shore of Chicago, she is a graduate of Boston College and received her MFA in Fiction Writing from the New School in 2005. She worked in New York in magazines for many years, and now, she lives in Washington D.C. and teaches at George Washington University.

This fiction workshop will jumpstart the creative process for new writers, and focus the skills of more experienced writers looking to improve. Five Wednesdays: July 5, 12, 19, 26, August 2, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sold out!

To be placed on a wait list for this class, please include your name and the title of this class in an email to classes@politics-prose.com.

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Alicia Oltuski is the author of Precious Objects, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Her work has appeared in Tin House magazine, W magazine, on NPR Berlin Stories, and other publications. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University, where she received a David Berg Foundation Fellowship, and a BA and MA from the University of Pennsylvania.

In this “gentle bootcamp,” writers at all levels will explore the art of dialogue-writing in a fun and eclectic environment. Four Tuesdays: July 11, 18, 25, August 1, 1 to 3 p.m.

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Aaron Hamburger was awarded the Rome Prize by the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his short story collection The View from Stalin’s Head (Random House). His next book, a novel titled Faith for Beginners (Random House), was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Poets & Writers, Tin House, Subtropics, Details, Michigan Quarterly Review, Boulevard, and The Village Voice. He has received fellowships from the Edward F. Albee Foundation and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria, Italy, as well as residencies from Yaddo and Djerassi. He has also taught writing at Columbia University, NYU, the Stonecoast MFA Program, and George Washington University.

Students in this two-session class will discuss different modes of food writing and use in-class tastings as a basis for writing exercises. Two Tuesdays: July 18, 25, 7 to 9 p.m. Sold out!

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Mary Hall Surface is a teaching artist, playwright, and theatre director and producer. She is on the faculty of Harvard’s Project Zero Classroom and presents workshops nationwide in creative writing and drama as a Kennedy Center teaching artist. Her plays have been produced at theatres, museums, and festivals throughout the US, Europe, Japan, Taiwan and Canada, including 17 productions at the Kennedy Center. She has been nominated for nine Helen Hayes Awards, receiving the 2002 Outstanding Director of a Musical. Mary Hall has published 12 plays, 3 original cast albums, 2 collections of scenes and monologues, an anthology of her plays and numerous articles. She was the founding artistic director of the DC’s Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival and is a member of Arena Stage’s 2017 Playwrights’ Arena. The National Gallery of Arts’ Writing Salon was recently featured in the Washington Post Magazine.

Discover a rich lens for exploring character, setting, and narrative by stepping inside of three very different paintings in a new course presented by the instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon. Three Thursdays: July 27, August 3, 10, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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With

John DeDakis is a former Senior Copy Editor on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" and the author of three novels, Fast Track, Bluff, and Troubled Water – all part of John’s Lark Chadwick mystery-suspense series. Bullet in the Chamber, the fourth novel in the Lark Chadwick series, will be released in October. This story deals, in part, with the death of John’s 22-year-old son Stephen in 2011. During John’s nearly 45-year award-winning career in journalism (25 years at CNN), he has been a White House correspondent and interviewed such luminaries as Alfred Hitchcock, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan. He has taught journalism at The University of Maryland – College Park and novel-writing at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda. In addition to leading writing workshops around the country and abroad, he edits book-length manuscripts. For more information, visit www.johndedakis.com.

A one-session primer that will help demystify the novel-writing process, examining each step along the way—from generating ideas, writing them down, publishing, and finally, finding readers. Wednesday, August 2, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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With

John DeDakis is a former Senior Copy Editor on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" and the author of four novels, Fast Track, Bluff, Troubled Water, and Bullet in the Chamber – all part of John’s Lark Chadwick mystery-suspense series. Bullet in the Chamber deals, in part, with the death of John’s 22-year-old son Stephen in 2011. During John’s nearly 45-year award-winning career in journalism (25 years at CNN), he has been a White House correspondent and interviewed such luminaries as Alfred Hitchcock, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan. He has taught journalism at The University of Maryland – College Park and novel writing at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda.  In addition to leading writing workshops around the country and abroad, he edits book-length manuscripts. For more information, visit www.johndedakis.com.

A one-day, step-by-step workshop meant to deconstruct and demystify the novel-writing process for struggling and/or aspiring writers. Saturday, August 5, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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LOSE YOURSELF IN FICTION

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Nicole Miller’s prize-winning essays have appeared recently in New Letters and Arts & Letters magazines. Her fiction has been published twice in The May Anthology of Short Stories, edited by Jill Paton Walsh and Sebastian Faulks. She received an M.Phil in Victorian Literature from Lincoln College, Oxford; a PhD in English at University College, London; and an MFA at Emerson College, Boston, where she held the Graduate Fellowship in Creative Writing. At The Oxford English Dictionary, she has served as a scholarly reader for British Dialects since 2002. She edits faculty manuscripts in Harvard’s English Department and teaches nineteenth and twentieth century British literature at Politics & Prose in Washington D.C.

She also leads fiction workshops at Grub Street in Boston, and is an emerging writer in residence at Kingston University, Kingston-upon-Thames, U.K.

Additional information about this instructor can be found at her website, www.inthesmallhours.com.

This summer, be swept away by the drama of an empire in the unmaking by exploring Paul Scott’s post-war masterpiece: The Raj Quartet. Four Thursdays: July 27, August 10, August 31, September 14, 1 to 3:30 p.m.

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With

Nicole Miller’s prize-winning essays have appeared recently in New Letters and Arts & Letters magazines. Her fiction has been published twice in The Mays Anthology of Short Stories, edited by Jill Paton Walsh and Sebastian Faulks. She received an M.Phil. in Victorian Literature from Lincoln College, Oxford; a PhD in English at University College, London; and an MFA at Emerson College, Boston, where she held the Graduate Fellowship in Creative Writing. At The Oxford English Dictionary, she has served as a scholarly reader for British Dialects since 2002. She edits faculty manuscripts in Harvard’s English Department and teaches nineteenth and twentieth century British literature at Politics & Prose in Washington D.C.

This class will study the two short works that put E.M. Forster on the map, Where Angels Fear to Tread and A Room with A View, searching for the themes and preoccupations that connect all his fiction, and make Forster’s oeuvre a small, but perfect jewel in Britain’s literary crown. Three Tuesdays: August 15, 22, 29*, 1 to 3 p.m.

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With

Melanie (Penny) Du Bois did her undergraduate and graduate work at Harvard, has lived in Europe, and taught literature at universities there and here. She has directed a reading group in Washington since 1989, and taught at Politics and Prose throughout 2016, leading a series of three courses on Henry James' stories and novels.

Both Tolstoy and Grossman wrote long novels to show the lives of human beings living in Russia during times of war and violent social reorganization; after a discussion of War & Peace in the spring, this class will delve into Grossman's epic postwar novel, which found inspiration in Tolstoy's masterpiece. Four Wednesdays: August 23, 30, September 6, 13, 1 to 3 p.m.

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MEMOIR

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Mathina Calliope has taught writing to all ages, from elementary school through college to adults. Her own journalism and essays have appeared in the Washington Post's Outlook section and Magazine and her commentaries have aired on NPR's Morning Edition. Her memoir, My People Didn't Dance, tells the story of her divorce and subsequent immersion in D.C.'s salsa dancing scene. Mathina's MFA in creative nonfiction is from Goucher College. 

This five-session course will help you write your memories into scenes by responding to writing prompts, by workshopping essays and excerpts, and by studying Mary Karr's Art of Memoir. Five Tuesdays: August 8, 15, 22, September 5, 12, 10 a.m. to noon

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THE WRITING LIFE

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Sara Burnett is a writer, educator and consultant. Her poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Poet Lore, The Cortland Review, PALABRA, and elsewhere. She holds a MFA in poetry from the University of Maryland and a MA in English Literature from the University of Vermont. She is working on a full-length collection of poems as well as a chapbook, and has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference to support her writing. A former public high school teacher, she also writes on education equity and designs curriculum. She lives in Silver Spring, MD.

Explore and celebrate the creative self-expression of writing in a one day class designed to empower the voices of young women. Saturday, July 22, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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