Yearlong Manuscript Class in Prose [Peter Mountford]
In weekly meetings over the course of the 2016-2017 academic year, Hugo House’s three yearlong classes will provide dedicated writers with an intensive path toward finishing a draft of a book. Whether you are early in the writing process or already have a rough draft, these yearlong courses will help you set active, clear goals, as well as write and revise with intention. The first third of each course focuses on developing proficiency with the writing tools (craft elements) that you will need to use, and the remaining two thirds of these courses are comprised of workshops, and writing toward personally devised deadlines. There will be a full day intensive class on the book business and finding a market for your book. The publishing class will feature guests, including literary agents, and other individuals from the publishing business. It is okay to miss some classes because of travel. That said, students who get the most out of yearlong classes are often very dedicated to their writing, and are eager to develop a strong and steady writing practice, as well as become part of a tightly knit cohort of writers.
Peter Mountford designed and taught the original yearlong class at Hugo House, and this will be his fifth session refining the course in prose. The class is deliberately not genre specific, and is open to writers of fiction and nonfiction, as Mountford prefers to work with a cohort that spans a mix of genres in order to examine the principles that remain constant across different forms (as well as those that change). The models students look at will be from an array of contemporary literary fiction and nonfiction.
Although Mountford’s classes feature a strong emphasis on teaching the elements of craft—controlling narrative time, narrative structure, characterization, tone, voice, and point of view—his in-class style is often irreverent and humorous, but also very direct.
Asked about his mission with this class, Mountford wrote: “I don’t want my students to feel hostage by the whims of inspiration, or the accident of talent. In my experience people who read and write a lot on a regular basis and frequently examine their choices on the page, these are the people who become better writers, and often end up getting published. Ultimately, I want students to gain control over the craft elements in their work, so that they can more easily write with intention.”
AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST:
1. Previous years’ syllabi.
2. Samples of feedback from instructor.
3. Lesson Plans.
4. Contact info for previous students.
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