Nothing fancy, narrowly focused, or fussy, this is your meat-and-potatoes short story workshop, geared toward writers with a passion for short fiction in all its variety.
Over eight weeks we will read and discuss one another's work, alongside the stories of a few masters, paying close attention to narrative strategy, voice, and the crucial question of what does and doesn't need to be said. Whether you are looking to hone stories sitting in the drawer or exploring a new genre, this class will adjust weekly to students' interests and needs, drawing craft lessons directly from the issues, questions, and serendipities that arise in your work.
During this eight week intensive workshop, each student will workshop twice and meet with the instructor for individual conferences. Writers will leave with stronger stories and a better sense of what makes short fiction tick, charm, move, and astound.
- intensive peer and instructor critiques on two fiction submissions
- deeper understanding of the fundamentals of fiction
- one private conference with the instructor to discuss your writing and goals
- practical advice about next steps: from applying to MFAs to preparing work for submission to contacting agents
*no class Oct. 9th
The New York Times called Greg Jackson's debut collection Prodigals "so bold and perceptive that it delivers a contact high." He was chosen by Granta in 2017 for their once-in-a-decade "Best of Young American Novelists" list, and by the National Book Foundation in 2016 as one of their "5 Under 35." His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, and Virginia Quarterly Review, among other places, and he has taught fiction writing at Columbia University, Fordham University, Southern New Hampshire University, and the University of Virginia.
"Greg Jackson is an explosive writer, seriously funny, deeply serious. Prodigals is a memorable, powerful debut, full of dark splendor, and it's clear that Jackson is here to stay."
"Inventive, daring, and exhilarating, the stories in PRODIGALS offer a vital, volatile mix of style and heart, slyness and candor. Read these stories and find yourself newly awake, thin-skinned to the world."
"Greg Jackson's PRODIGALS is that rare treat: a narrative inquiry into the nature of narrative that is neither tedious nor tired, that takes itself just seriously enough. His lyric virtuosity is thrilling, his sensibility acute and nuanced, but it was something deeper than either of these things that ultimately compelled me in these stories: It was a genuine sense of searching—without irony or apology, with fierce intelligence—for what might constitute a meaningful life."
"This ultra-contemporary collection evokes a rarefied world of hyper-educated, over-stimulated people caught in the grip of their own privileged consciousness. Transcendence-seekers find themselves earthbound as art, drugs, role-playing, and material goods serve as temporary balms for the anomie of modern life. The elusive cure is love, and Jackson nails the way sophisticated, hard-bitten entanglements give way to sudden surges of old-fashioned romance. Jackson writes with terrific fluency, wielding Fitzgeraldian phrases as he presses through to endings full of feeling."
"Greg Jackson is an uncommonly good writer—wickedly funny and deeply perceptive—and PRODIGALS is one of the most absorbing, intelligent, and unnervingly dead-on collections I've read in ages. I loved it."
"PRODIGALS is elegant and unpredictable. These stories of bewilderment, heartbreak and psychotropics will charm you with their humor and stun you with wisdom that's both rigorous and compassionate."
"The writing in Greg Jackson's first book of stories, PRODIGALS, is so bold and perceptive that it delivers a contact high... You may sometimes feel you are reading a furious, Instagram-era updating of Ann Beattie's short stories... There's also the crunch of writers like Ian McEwan and Martin Amis in Mr. Jackson's prose. Best of all there's that sense—only the excellent ones give it to you—that whatever topic the author turns his mental LED lights toward will be powerfully illuminated... What makes these stories radiant... is how invested Mr. Jackson is in peeling off the rind of life, in getting to the juice... 'The passage of experience back through us'—that's a powerful line, and it represents what this young writer is capable of delivering, right now and, if fortune smiles, long into the future."