• Program Details

    For each writer, the Summer Writers Colony consists of a writing workshop, three literary salons, and a variety of additional activities. The schedule of organized activities is Monday through Thursday, with optional Friday activities.

    • 12:30-2:00 p.m. Supplemental Session (craft seminars, panels, and readings)
    • 2:30-5:00 p.m. Workshop
    • 6:00-7:50 p.m. Literary Salon

    2018 Writing Workshops

    The writing workshop is the core of the Writers Colony program. Workshop classes are limited to 12 students. An experienced writer-teacher focuses on student manuscripts, guiding you in the creative acts of self-editing and revision through class exercises and private conferences.

    You register for the Summer Writers Colony by selecting a workshop. Credit students must also register for the Literary Salons, NWRW2551. After you've registered, choose one literary salon (see below) per week and email your salon choices to summerwriters@newschool.edu.

    Workshop Choices

    • Fiction (Credit—NWRW3596 Section A; Noncredit—NWRW0596 Section A)

      Sharon Mesmer
    • Nonfiction (Credit—NWRW3596 Section B; Noncredit—NWRW0596 Section B)
      Madge McKeithen
    • Poetry (Credit—NWRW3596 Section C; Noncredit—NWRW0596 Section C)

      Kathleen Ossip
  • Literary Salons Week One


    James Lasdun, The Fall Guy

    Instructor: Andrew Zornoza
    Class Meetings: June 5-7, 6:00 - 7:50 p.m.

    The Fall Guy is a complex moral tale as well as a gripping suspense story, probing questions of guilt and betrayal with ruthless incisiveness. This is a book that explores both the passions and the fault lines in our most defining relationships. Who is the real victim? Who is the perpetrator? And who, ultimately, is the fall guy? Darkly vivid, with an atmosphere of erotic danger, The Fall Guy is Lasdun’s most riveting novel yet.

    Please read The Fall Guy before the start of this literary salon.


    Melissa Broder, So Sad Today

    Instructor: Sharon Mesmer
    Class Meetings: June 5, 6, and 8, 6:00 - 7:50 p.m.

    The acclaimed poet and creator of the popular Twitter account @sosadtoday has written an irreverent, open-hearted collection of essays that delve deeper into the themes she explored anonymously on Twitter. In the essays that make up So Sad Today, Melissa Broder confronts love, addiction, death, illness, anxiety, and the intricacies of identity. Her writing is dedicated to creating a portrait of modern life in all of its aching, dazzling complexity.

    Please read So Sad Today before the start of this salon.

  • Literary Salons Week Two


    Brenda Shaughnessy, So Much Synth

    Instructor: Kathleen Ossip
    Class Meetings: June 12-14, 6:00 - 7:50 p.m.

    In So Much Synth, Brenda Shaughnessy revisits the romances, isolation, and music of adolescence. This book is composed of equal parts femininity, pain, pleasure, critique, and synthesizer. A deep exploration of vulnerability, feminist self-awareness, and the hope there is in making any kind of art, the book was described by Hilton Als of the New Yorker as "utterly poetic, but essayistic in scope."

    Please read So Much Synth before the start of this salon.


    Ted Conover, Immersion: A Writer's Guide to Going Deep

    Instructor: Hawa Allen
    Class Meetings: June 12, 13, and 15, 6:00 - 7:50 p.m.

    Over three and a half decades, Ted Conover has become one of the premier practitioners of immersion reporting. He has covered raw and dangerous territory, from border crossing with undocumented immigrants in his book Coyotes to becoming a corrections officer to gain access to America’s prison system in Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing. In his new book, Immersion, Conover investigates the literary genre of immersive nonfiction writing, its ethics, and its challenges, to produce an essential guide for other writers ready to leap into another world. 

    Please read Immersion before the start of this salon.

  • Literary Salons Week Three


    Stephanie Danler, Sweetbitter

    Instructor: Mira Jacob
    Class Meetings: June 19-20, 6:00 - 7:50 p.m.; June 21, 12:00 - 2:00 p.m.

    Sweetbitter is a thrilling novel of the senses and a coming-of-age tale, following a small-town girl into the electrifying world of New York City and the education of a lifetime at one of the most exclusive restaurants in Manhattan. The rare debut novel that was also an instant best seller, this book deftly conjures the nonstop and purely adrenalized world of the restaurant. Evoking the infinite possibility of being young in New York with heart-stopping accuracy, the novel is about the power of what remains after disillusionment and the wisdom that comes from experience, sweet and bitter. 

    Please read Sweetbitter before the start of this salon.


    Lydia Davis, Can't and Won't

    Instructor: Madge McKeithen
    Class Meetings: June 19, 20, and 22, 6:00 - 7:50 p.m.

    Lydia Davis writes stories, but their compression and precision are reminiscent of poems. Though her prose is fiction, it inhabits moment-to-moment consciousness the way only the best autobiographical writing can. Lydia Davis has perhaps single-handedly ushered us into a post-genre moment, and writers of all stripes love her for it. In Can't and Won't, her fifth collection of stories, Davis writes with bracing candor and sly humor about the quotidian, revealing the mysterious, the foreign, the alienating, and the pleasurable within the predictable patterns of daily life. 

    Please read Can't and Won't before the start of this salon.