"Beyond a doubt, working with Danielle has made me a better writer. Highly recommended." - former student
This workshop is for the short story writer who needs guidance taking their stories beyond their own sticking points in content and craft. We’ll read contemporary short stories with an eye on the writer’s choices, discuss how to select dramatic and compelling moments for story, and experiment with techniques for creating meaningful work of our own. Students are expected to read published work and the work of their peers with equal respect and investment, and to be committed to the work it takes to drive their own progress. Though we will spend a lot of time on generating new work, we will also devote time to the process and practice of revision. We will identify and confront the trickier bits of writing in your work, whether it be dialogue, point of view, finding material, or dealing with time. You will learn how to write things you maybe thought you didn’t know how to write. Students will have the option of workshopping two stories or workshopping one new story and submitting a revised story for the instructor’s eyes only.
This class is intended for students with short story workshop experience. Please submit a short story for your writing sample.
- A greater sense of your strengths and weaknesses on the page
- Generative exercises
- Revision strategies and practice
- One private conference with the instructor to discuss your work in progress or writing goals
- Access to a community of thoughtful peers who are committed to the work of writing and reading
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.
"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."
"Danielle is one of the best readers and editors I've ever been lucky enough to have read my work. She reads, as she writes, with electricity~ responding to images, dialogue, and formal choices as someone deeply invested in narrative and language. She has an elegant understanding of structure: how and where to enter and exit a scene, and her responses are thorough, thoughtful, deeply felt, and get to the heart of what good story telling is supposed to do."
"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."
"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."
"These are wonderful stories—sparkling, witty, and tender, riding that sweet spot between urbane and vulnerable, between hilarity and heartbreak—all those impossible contradictions that remind us of what love is like. Lazarin’s astonishing insight and craftsmanship put me in mind of short story masters like Beattie and Baxter. I think she’s destined for the big leagues."
"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."
"Danielle Lazarin’s BACK TALK is deceptively quiet but packs a powerful punch—much like the girls and women in its pages. The stories in this collection batter at the boundaries of female desire—not just for sex, but for intimacy, for visibility, for agency. They talk back to the idea that stories about women are ‘domestic,’ burrowing deep to find wildness and a smoldering fury beneath. The best collection I’ve read in years, from a phenomenal new talent."