Online | Open-Genre | Bootcamp

5-Week Chapbook Summer Camp

When I co-founded the chapbook publisher Fruit Bat Press, I felt inspired by the joy and surprise handmade books could offer and wanted to share that joy with others. Chapbooks are essentially small paperback books or pamphlets—they can contain poems, short stories, personal essays, or anywhere in between. There are dozens of different ways to bind chapbooks and they vary in color, texture, shape, size, and formality. Chapbooks are a perfect way to add another element of art and expression to your writing.

This month-long camp will function as half a writing workshop and half a guide to small indie print publishing. On Monday nights, we'll learn about small-scale print and how to make our words come to life on paper. On Wednesdays, we'll workshop writing for our pieces. The genre of this course is OPEN to any short form—personal essay, short story, flash, or poetry. Given the short form of the chapbook: no novels, please.

The class is open to any experience level. Beginning writers and chapbook creators and beginners-at-heart are all welcome! Seasoned pros are welcome, too.

By the end of the class, you'll know a few simple book stitches and have a completed pamphlet or chapbook of your own. Each student will receive a chapbook materials kit in the mail by the first day of class. Due to the logistics of shipping materials, this course is only available to students in North America.

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. The Zoom calls will have automated transcription enabled. Please let us know ([email protected]) if you have any questions or concerns about accessibility.

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

COURSE TAKEAWAYS:

- In a digital, media-driven world that demands perfection, learn to embrace imperfection and experimentation with handmade publishing.

- Learn to make a book even if you didn't consider yourself "crafty" before.

- Explore some indie presses and zine publishers you may be interested in submitting to in the future.

- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes.

COURSE EXPECTATIONS:

There will be two hour-and-a-half classes per week, plus one to two hours of weekend homework.

COURSE SKELETON:

Mondays - Publishing and Bookmaking Lectures

Week 1: A Miniature History of Chapbooks

Week 2: Contemporary Chapbook Publishers

Week 3: The Personality of a Book

Week 4: Exploring Binding Techniques

Week 5: Turning Writing to Art

Wednesdays - Writing and Writing Workshops

Week 1: Conceptual Writing

Week 2: Workshop 1

Week 3: Workshop 2

Week 4: Blueprinting and Editing

Week 5: Sharing and Presenting

This class will culminate in a completed pamphlet or chapbook of your own.

Caroline Macon Fleischer

Caroline Macon Fleischer is a theatremaker, writer, and editor. Her first book, The Roommate, comes out Summer 2022 via Joffe Books. She has worked as a playwright and dramaturg with companies including Lookingglass Theatre Company, Chicago Dramatists, Chicago Children’s Theatre, and others. Her writing has been published by American Theatre Magazine, The Rumpus, MAKE Magazine, and more. She is a co-founder and editor of the small chapbook publisher, Fruit Bat Press, and lives in Chicago with her husband, son, and Border Collie.

Testimonials

"Caro fosters a very supportive and hospitable environment for the incubation of work. Her structure for evaluating each other's work provides a wide range of ways we can improve, without feeling overly critical. Also, Caro is just very passionate about the subject matter, this class is a great fit for her."

former student

"Caro does a great job of keeping her class informal and uplifting. She always looks for the best in us. She is constantly there and gives us much time and energy. I felt like I could approach Caro about anything, and she'd be honest and supportive."

former student

"Caroline has been lovely to work with. She's communicative, responds quickly, and is clear with timeline and expectations. Her assessment was very thoughtful and detailed, and provided me with a lot of substantive recommendations (rather than vague suggestions). There were critiques, but they were delivered warmly and without harshness. A pleasure to work with all around!"

former editing client

"Caroline's editorial assessment was far and beyond what I had expected. The overview she provided of my work gave me the sense of inspiration I needed. Then she went chapter by chapter pointing out areas I could expand and draw the reader into the story. The edits she recommended were thoroughly explained."

former editing client