Writers Workshop

CLA Writers Workshops are open to individuals of all backgrounds--including those who are exploring creative writing for the first time--as well as aspiring writers who want to prepare their work for publication. Workshops are modeled on graduate-level creative writing courses, and may include short in-class writing assignments to jumpstart the writing process, as well as work outside of class that will entail reading the work of select published writers, critiquing the work of other workshop participants, and writing a piece to be workshopped by the class. Each participant will receive written comments from the instructor. Workshops are led by accomplished local authors, including students and alumni of the San Jose State University Creative Writing Program. 

For more details, click here to read the workshop policies and procedures and the cancellation policy.

Using Invented and Foreign Languages as Tools for World Building: A Fiction Workshop



Starting March 6

10:00AM–12:00PM (noon)

Running 6 weeks

Cost: $250

Instructor: Rita Bullwinkel, author of Belly Up

Course Description

One of the big things that makes us, as readers of fiction, read on into a book is mystery and, very often, that mystery comes in the form of a word or idea we don't yet understand. As a writer, one way to rope your readers in is to deliberately use words that you know your audience might not understand, and then, through context, teach your readers the meaning of those words. This is a tool used frequently in fantasy as well as literary writing. In this workshop we will explore several examples of this invaluable literary tool and learn how we can best deploy this strategy in our own fiction.

About the Instructor

Rita Bullwinkel is the author of the story collection Belly Up, which won the 2018 Believer Book Award. Bullwinkel’s writing has been published in Tin House, The White Review, Conjunctions, BOMB, Vice, NOON, and Guernica. She is a recipient of grants and fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Brown University, Vanderbilt University, Hawthornden Castle, and The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. Both her fiction and translation have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. She is an Editor at Large for McSweeney’s and a Contributing Editor for NOON. She lives in San Francisco and teaches at the California College of the Arts.

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