Online | Fiction | Nonfiction | Seminar

2-Week Prose Seminar: Your Writing Practice Beyond Word Count & Workshop

Though it looks great on a movie screen (and on social media), there’s more to writing than clacking on keys into a document. This lecture-based class identifies and examines those other essential stages and processes so you can create a personal, sustainable writing practice that doesn’t sacrifice ambition or pleasure. Don’t worry; we’ll cover the clacking- on- keys part, too.

Open to writers of all genres with all levels of experience (though designed for prose), this lecture-based class is designed to help the writer understand and optimize process wherever they are in their life or writing career. I’ll give key definitions and resources while leading you through individual exercises for reflection and planning for taking charge of your writing practice so that the work gets done according to your own needs, aims, and constraints.

Topics we’ll cover include: overviews of methods for things such as setting goals, accomplishing work (from collecting ideas to drafting to revising to reading for work), and key assessments; how to return to a project after an absence, set up a writing space, create healthy boundaries around working time (and the time itself); when to bring in outside readers, join communities, or step back from a project. Though most of the class will be lecture-based, there will be time for a Q&A, and students will contribute to a shared document of resources during classtime.

In an effort to center underrepresented BIPOC participants, we'd love to offer a scholarship for two participants who are unable to cover the class fees at this time. Our goal is to eliminate barriers and make our classes as accessible and equitable as possible. If you find that you are interested in this class, but would need a scholarship to enroll, please send an email to [email protected] by December 21st, with the subject line "Danielle Lazarin Class Scholarship," and two writers will be selected through a lottery.

Class meetings will be held over video chat, using Zoom accessed from your private class page. While you can use Zoom from your browser, we recommend downloading the desktop client so you have access to all platform features.

Check out this page for details about payment plans and discount opportunities.  

COURSE TAKEAWAYS:

- Redefining parts of the writing process to make the work more visible and manageable

- Tools and strategies for implementing personal, sustainable processes for the whole of your writing life

- Handouts with resources and exercises

- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes

COURSE EXPECTATIONS:

Primarily a lecture-based class, at various points during the live session students will be guided through private reflective exercises. There will be opportunities to share resources via a collective document (sent as handouts after class is done) and time reserved for Q&A.

COURSE SKELETON:

Session 1:

Defining Writing Work

Noticing and Creating Conditions for Working Sustainably

Session 2:

Processes for Working, Detailed

Q & A

Danielle Lazarin

Danielle Lazarin is the author of Back Talk: Stories (Penguin Books, 2018). She received her MFA from the University of Michigan, where her stories and essays won Hopwood Awards. Her fiction has won awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, The Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, and Glimmer Train and can be found in The Southern Review, Colorado Review, Boston Review, and elsewhere. 

Testimonials

"Although Lazarin’s work has the tone and style of traditional mainstream short fiction, it joins a growing canon of quietly realist stories that establish women’s experiences as worthy of literary attention. And not just women’s experiences: These stories also explore the exhausting, slow poison of masculine power, the grind of the patriarchy on even the most privileged of women, the subtle ways in which men have trained women to minimize themselves."

Carmen Maria Machado for THE NEW YORK TIMES

"I absolutely loved this book—from the first page to the last, this collection is stunning for its insight into the lives of young women, revelatory for its finely tuned prose, and unforgettable for its humor and tenderness. I will return to these stories again and again. I envy the reader who gets to discover Danielle Lazarin's work."

Julie Buntin author of MARLENA

"The stories in BACK TALK are not only fierce and unflinching in their clear-eyed portrayal of women and girls, they are also tender and compassionate, imbued with a deep longing. Lazarin is a sophisticated writer and her remarkable debut offers us subtle but profound truths about growing up, moving forward, and finding ourselves."

Edan Lepucki NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of CALIFORNIA

"Danielle is an incredibly generous and encouraging instructor. Her close reading of my work allowed me to see my writing from new angles. Her thoughtful, incisive feedback helped me become a better storyteller."

former student

"Danielle is a terrific teacher, and I say that as someone who has chosen to study with her twice. Her classroom exercises have led to stories of my own. Her comments on my submissions have driven me to take pieces to full fruition, months after the final assignment. I have completed short stories now that exist solely because I was in her class. Beyond a doubt, working with Danielle has made me a better writer.  Highly recommended."

former student

"Danielle is an amazing instructor, and far exceeded any and all expectations I had for this class. She was incredibly thoughtful, well-organized, and knowledgeable, and was always prepared with hand-outs of work we'd need to read, and she provided thoughtful comments each week on our assignments. She was clear that she had high expectations for us -- she asked us to write a lot, but I liked that intensity! Plus -- and, I think this counts for a lot -- she took the time to get to know us. She remembered all of our names immediately, would reference questions we'd asked weeks ago, and just genuinely seemed to care about our growth as writers. I would highly recommend any class by her, and I hope that she has the chance to teach many, many more classes at Catapult."

former student

"Danielle's instruction on revision reoriented my writing life. I've always struggled with making sweeping changes, but Danielle made it easy. Her exercises and feedback demystified revision and made the process from first draft to final draft so much clearer. I no longer dread drafting, but see each iteration as an opportunity with an obvious goal."

former Catapult student

"Danielle’s class didn’t just teach me the most important revision technique ever (take her course and you’ll discover it, too!). She also introduced me to a variety of writers and tools for my story type, all of which have changed my revision process for the better."

former Catapult student

"Danielle Lazarin was a thoughtful and encouraging instructor. In the short story class I took, the students had a wide range of experience and comfort levels, and Danielle met each of us where we were. As a teacher, she was incredibly organized, patient and great at providing examples of whatever writing device we were discussing that week, and was a joy to learn from. She’s also a sharp editor who asks the right, probing questions, and knows how to push her students to write the best they can. I highly recommend Danielle for any of your writing needs."

former Catapult student