Join the larger community of writers and artists, including our own Schirber!
Madeline Schirber's class for children's book illustrating:
Also: PENN CREATIVE WRITING PROGRAM READINGS (April 19-April 27) at Carriage House and the Penn Book Center
• Wednesday, April 19 | 6-7:30pm | Carriage House, 3907 Spruce Street
WE ARE CONSTANTLY JOURNEYS IN PROGRESS
A reading featuring EDWIN TORRES’ English 119 students
Tochukwu Awachie, Anastasia Hutnick & Linshia Luan, with special guests.
Come hear students in Edwin Torres’ Writing in Performance class present work from across the semester. This class has explored the way our physical bodies travel through language to incorporate our senses, to move through the tools we need for deeper connections to our internal/external voices, to shake the journey. Please join us! We’ve invited special guests to read with us - and refreshments will be served.
• Monday, April 24 | 3pm | Carriage House, 3907 Spruce Street
SCENE, SCENE, AND MORE SCENE: A FICTION READING
Featuring CARMEN MARIA MACHADO'S English 112 students
Come hear readings by the students in Carmen Maria Machado's Fiction Writing Workshop, who will present excerpts of their work from the semester. This class has been exploring storytelling in a multitude of genres and forms, reading from everyone from H.P. Lovecraft to Lucia Berlin. Will they use horror to terrify the audience, realism to make them weep, or fantasy to transport them? Only one way to find out.
• Tuesday, April 25 | 1:30pm | Carriage House, 3907 Spruce Street
LIONS, IGUANAS, AND DEER! OH MY!
Featuring the student writers of ANNA MARIA HONG'S ENGLISH 010: CREATIVE WRITING: ANIMAL TALES
Come hear the students from Animal Tales read original fables, true-life tales, speculative fiction, allegories, and odes to beloved creatures great and small.
• Tuesday, April 25 | 1:30pm | Penn Book Center, 130 South 34th Street (between Walnut and Sansom)
MAGIC, MONSTERS, AND MACHINES: A SPECULATIVE FICTION READING
Featuring CARMEN MARIA MACHADO'S English 144 students
Come hear readings by the students in Carmen Maria Machado's Speculative Fiction Writing Workshop, who will present excerpts of their work from the semester. This class has been exploring their obsessions and fears through the lenses of genre, form, and language. If it creeps, beeps, or divulges prophecy, it’s fair game—nothing is off-limits.
• Tuesday, April 25, 6pm | Carriage House, 3907 Spruce Street
DOUBLESPEAK hosts the POETRY AND TRANSLATION event
with delicious food and great poems from around the world
Poems by Korea's Yun Dongju, Chile's Gabriela Mistral, Russia's Osip Mandelstam, Pakistan's Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Mexico's Rosario Castellanos, Sweden's Tomas Transtromer, Palestinian Mahmoud Darwish, France's Arthur Rimbaud, Italy's Ungaretti, and other international heroes have been translated by students from these same countries who will read poems and share dishes from their hometowns for this celebration of food, poetry, and Penn's journal of literary translation (www.doublespeakmagazine.com).
All welcome. Exceptional food and exceptional poetry promised.
• Tuesday, April 25, 6pm | Penn Book Center, 130 South 34th Street (between Walnut and Sansom)
A READING featuring the students of RON SILLIMAN’S POETRY WORKSHOP
Penn has a history of developing great writing from a wide range of disciplines that dates back to the days of English major Ezra Pound and med student William Carlos Williams. The participants in Ron Silliman’s English 113 Poetry Writing Workshop show that this tradition is as alive today as it was 115 years ago: these poets include physicists, accountants, athletes and art historians as well as students of English. Readers will include Bea Carroll, Adriana Dropulic, Rachel Erani, Ben Facey, Kandyce Henderson, Katherine Kvellestad, Annabel Lewis, Lindsey Lui, Connie Miller, Cody Min, Alyssa Mulé, Gleeson Ryan, Regina Salmons & Jeffrey Silver.
• Thursday, April 27 | 3-5pm | Carriage House, 3907 Spruce Street
A CREATIVE WRITING READING
Featuring the students of KATHRYN WATTERSON
Come hear a variety of essays and stories by students in Kitsi Watterson’s two spring courses - Finding Voice: Perspectives on Race, Class & Gender and Writing & Remembering: A Memoir Workshop - as they close out a semester of committed and far-ranging work. Open to the public; refreshments served. Join us!
Please come to my house, address sent by listserv, for class beginning 2:30pm for tea. (Kosher snacks included.) We will discuss Solis' stories. Who else? talk to me, please.
We will also discuss
Between April 27th and May 8, you must send me your portfolio, including:
You'll be graded on the portfolio; we will negotiate credit for additions to the writing: such as illustrations, and multimedia, and I'll take into account page-count consideration age levels and genre. Your critiques and editing of other student-writers' work will also influence your grade.
We will meet outside our classroom building at 3808 to leave at 2pm for St. James School. Bring your puppet and fiction stories on paper and have them available to you on your device. By having two ways to read your story, you'll be less likely to oopsie and zero out. I will give your student-critics a few questions to answer. Pls be prepared to take notes.
We should return to UPenn about 4. In class we will discuss Krupa's story.
For the last week, please put onto your calendars the ABCS summit, featuring your classmates!
Your homework for this week is to read both stories aloud several times and be ready for your middle-school student-critics to hear them. They should take no longer than seven minutes to read. Prepare yourself to read without preamble; everything necessary to understand and enjoy the story should be in the text or suggested by the text and the action.
Please write drafts of FB posts and Tweets to accompany each blog or story. Writing these will also prepare you to introduce your stories to the students. Later, they will allow you to introduce each other's work at your reading.
Here are this week's consult times as I have them booked. Please check for errors or let me know, after consulting open times on the Doodle, if you need to change. Not booked? Please choose a time. Thanks. We'll meet in my office in FBH. Look forward to talking to all of you. Do bring problems. This is absolutely about solving them.
If you can, please give me a day's notice to read new work and text me to alert me you've sent it. We'll talk about non-fiction, fiction, and tiny puppet fiction pieces, in the order of urgency, as you choose it. Also scheduling workshop discussion time for those who are not on the schedule.
Critiques and revisions:
We will go at critiques using criteria that seem appropriate to the story. Afterward, I will often write to the author with my thoughts on the discussion. Please feel free to share that email to the listserv, and please respond as you revise, with thoughts, questions, ideas. From now on, we will enter a gentle game of tennis. Or you can stop in during office hours, Friday, 2-4pm, or during the easier-going Study Hall, Tuesdays, 3-6pm.
Please sign up for the Doodle I've sent to the listserve for individual consults next week, Tuesday through Friday.
We will go to St. James on 4/19, with driving help from Sadeghi, to arrive at 2:30 to meet with the 7th graders and read to them your revised, super-short puppet stories. Bring puppets.
Then, we'd like to meet with the 6th graders to read to them stories that are a little longer, and vary from picture books for little kids to YA.
You are writing for real, interviewing, reporting, imagining, grappling. Making mistakes is not only OK, it's required! Let's begin to help each other for real now, too, with sharp minds and open hearts. Mostly we fumble and write and mess around, as Godwin and Lamott urge us to do--and then, suddenly, just for a minute, we get a reprieve from our own bad prose.
When it happens, it feels like a miracle.
2:00: Discuss Lamott, Godwin briefly
2:15: We'll check out the Work schedules, check out your progress.
2:45 Notice the bossy Writers Digest article full of advice from Chuck Palahniuk that I've put into your class Doc folder. It may keep you company.
2:50: Aspen Challenge Solutions Showcase next week: we will attend the exhibit during second half of class. Logistics...
3:00 Daniel Finkel's up first. Brave man!
We will practice a strict protocol for discussing his piece to make sure that we discuss thoughtfully and with care.
First, we'll read. Then, focus on what you notice most, what grabs you as a reader. Here are some criteria by which we assess the power and effectiveness of story drafts.
A writer's life requires constant rearranging: writing, interviewing, event preparation, working with collaborators. We will do that in this class, working together toward structure with flexibility.
Anne Lamott: Short assignments, shitty first drafts, and finding readers
Second Half Scheduling: The writing life work schedule
3/22 - Daniel
Aspen Challenge final event 3/29
3/29 - Zeeshan, Jono, and Madeleine
4/5 - Nina Rohr, Aerin Rosenfeld
Week of 4/12: individual meetings
4/19 - Cary-Anne, Jonida
4/26 - Coaching about Reading
4/28 at 4pm - Public Reading
2-3:30: Welcome, Rebecca Pepper Sinkler!
Your session with Ms. Sinkler, former editor of The New York Times Book Review, will not be all childlike genius, but rather a very grown-up discussion about craft. Specifically, I've asked her to talk to you about what she requires for non-fiction blogs for SafeKidsStories.com. Please make her welcome, and have ready your project descriptions and any questions about how to begin the blogs, how to interview your subjects, how to get enough color and action into a piece that's all talk or ideas, how to end. Ask her what young writers--or old ones for that matter--often do wrong, or what she's delighted to find in a new blog. Ms. Sinkler has anecdotes, experience, editing energy, humor, and a well of generosity for this, her city, for children, and young writers. Enjoy!
This week, we will do the scheduling of deadlines that I failed to do with you last week--after promising Kupa I would. Oy! Aspen Challenge winner(s) will be announced on March 29, and we are hoping to publish Aspen Challenge stories during the month of April. This is only the second time we will publish stories during the term in which they are written. We will need them written sooner rather than later so that Ms. Sinkler has time to read, edit, and talk to you about them.
Anyone whose page count is looking short need to do another piece? Here's a very good one one: https://www.rvcrew.com/rebel-crumbles/
Finally, page counts for children's books. Here's a good article from the Guardian, although WritersDigest.com has lots of them.