Evening Courses – Spring 2017

SCRIPTWRITING WORKSHOP with CJ Hopkins

When: Thursday Evenings, 18:30-20:30

Where: CJ’s Writing Room, Kottbusser Damm, Kreuzberg

Course Length: 7 weeks

Dates: Thursday 9th March – Thursday 27th April (April 13th off)

Course Length: 7 weeks

Cost: €140 (€130 for returning scriptwriters)

Maximum Participants: 10

Multi-award winning, internationally produced playwright CJ Hopkins (cjhopkins.com) will once again be offering a 7-week scriptwriting workshop for screenwriters and playwrights. Participants meet weekly, submit excerpts of their stage- or screenplays on a rotating schedule, and receive constructive feedback and personalized mentoring from CJ in a supportive and professional setting. The workshops are focussed on developing and strengthening the individual writer’s voice and craft and are thus appropriate for writers at every level of experience, from beginners to working professionals.

If you wish to reserve a spot please email hello@thereaderberlin.com as soon as possible as places are limited and very popular.


 CREATIVE NON FICTION I with Susanna Forrest

Dates: 6 March – 24 April (April 17th off)

When: Mondays, 7-9pm

Where: Prenzlauer Berg.

Maximum participants: 11

Cost: 140 euros plus VAT at 19% (fee payable 1 January 2017)

Does your blog need a boost? Would you like to complete a memoir or pitch an essay? Creative nonfiction has become a dynamic, wide-ranging form that demands its own space at the literary table. Essays and long-form pieces blur memoir, travel, reportage and commentary. Food writing gets mixed up in social history. Nature writing combines science, descriptive lyricism and cultural studies. This seven-week workshop provides a supportive space for writers of all levels to get a sense of the tremendous possibilities of nonfiction, whether they’re working on existing texts or looking for fresh ideas. We’ll give close feedback, explore texts from a wide range of writers and try out creative exercises. We’ll discuss the ethics and intricacies of wrestling fact into narrative while crafting descriptions that are vivid but accurate.

To book your place email hello@thereaderberlin.com

SUSANNA FORREST’s first book, If Wishes Were Horses, tackled the phenomenon of horse-crazy girls. It was acclaimed as “richly evocative” (The Guardian), “Delicious” (Melanie Reid, The Times), “lyrical” (Sunday Telegraph) and “delightful and exhaustively researched” (TLS). Her second, The Age of the Horse, is a “five star” (Sunday Telegraph) “powerful, passionate book” (Sunday Times) that’s “original, cerebral and from the heart” (Times). She’s written for the New York Times, Guardian, Telegraph, Times and others, and got her first break editing and commissioning writers like Michel Faber, DBC Pierre and Sarah Hall at the Erotic Review magazine. She won the Sophie Coe prize for writing on food history in 2016 and will be a Hawthornden Fellow in 2017.


INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING 1 with Jane Flett

When: Wednesday evenings, 19:00–21:00

Where: Another Country, Riemann Staße, Kreuzberg

Date: March 22nd – May 17th

Course Length: 9 weeks

Maximum Participants: 10

Cost: 170 euros

Is there a story inside you that’s waiting to be told? Jane Flett, a BBC Radio short story author and one of Salt’s Best British poets, will be running a nine-week course for writers who would like to explore their ideas in fiction. Whether you’re writing prose for the first time or just need the motivation of a deadline to finish that story, the workshop will provide a supportive environment to share your writing and discover how to improve it. As well as receiving detailed feedback on your own work, you’ll also gain experience critiquing and editing your fellow writers. The course will include classes on narrative technique, characterisation, dialogue and voice, and writing exercises to get your inspiration flowing.

To book your place email hello@thereaderberlin.com

Jane Flett is a short story writer whose work has been commissioned for BBC Radio, read at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, awarded the Scottish Book Trust New Writer Award, and published in numerous literary journals. She features in the Best British Poetry 2012 and has toured Europe extensively performing her work. She has also taught this course in Prague and Copenhagen with Reader founder Victoria Gosling.


Introduction to Creative Writing with Jane Flett – The Morning Sessions

When: Wednesday mornings, 10:30 – 12:30

Where: Selkestraße, Neukölln

Date: March 22nd – May 17th

Course Length: 9 weeks

Maximum Participants: 10

Cost: 170 euros

Is there a story inside you that’s waiting to be told? Jane Flett, a BBC Radio short story author and one of Salt’s Best British poets, will be running a nine-week course for writers who would like to explore their ideas in fiction. Whether you’re writing prose for the first time or just need the motivation of a deadline to finish that story, the workshop will provide a supportive environment to share your writing and discover how to improve it. As well as receiving detailed feedback on your own work, you’ll also gain experience critiquing and editing your fellow writers. The course will include classes on narrative technique, characterisation, dialogue and voice, and writing exercises to get your inspiration flowing.

To book your place email hello@thereaderberlin.com


CREATIVE WRITING 2 with Jane Flett

When: Thursday evenings, 19:00–21:00

Where: Another Country, Riemann Staße, Kreuzberg

Date: March 23rd – May 18th Course Length: 9 weeks

Maximum Participants: 10

Cost: 170 euros (160 euros, non-returning students)

A class for students who have previously taken Jane’s ‘Introduction to Creative Writing’ course or Victoria’s ‘Creative Writing 1’ course. We’ll focus on honing your craft, editing, and advice on seeking publication. This course will feature a heavy workshopping element.

To book your place email hello@thereaderberlin.com


PAST WORKSHOPS 


POETRY with Donna Stonecipher

When: Monday evenings, 19:00–21:00

Where: To be confirmed

Date: January 16–February 27

Course length: 7 weeks

Maximum participants: 10

Cost: 130 euros

A 7-week poetry workshop with award-winning poet Donna Stonecipher, PhD, author of four books of poetry. This class will consist of two components: an exploration of successful poems, and a workshop. In addition to writing weekly exercises given by Donna, participants will submit their own poems on a rotating schedule and receive constructive feedback from everyone in an informal and supportive workshop setting. Writing comes from reading, and as such we will also spend time reading others’ poems together and articulating why and how they work. The workshop is appropriate for writers at all levels of experience, from beginners to professionals.

To book your place please email hello@thereaderberlin.com.

DONNA STONECIPHER is the author of four books of poetry, most recently ‘Model City’, which was published by Shearsman Books, and recently returned from teaching at the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She lives in Berlin.


The Surgery – Workshop with Kate Brown

When: Monday evening 7-9pm.

Date: 13th and 20th February, 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th March, 3rd April.

Where: Charlottenburg/Wilmersdorf

Course Length: 7 weeks

Maximum Participants: 12

Cost: 150 euro

The Surgery is a workshopping group for anyone tackling a novel or short stories. Do you want feedback from an experienced tutor and other writers on a particular aspect of your work? Perhaps you’re struggling with character or structure? Or maybe you have a short story you’re passionate about, but it gets rejected every time you submit. Would you like to look at the different ways you might fix it with a group of others facing similar challenges?

KATE BROWN is a writer and film-maker. Her first novel ‘The Women of Versailles’, set during the reign of Louis XV, will be published by Seren Books in 2017. Her story ‘Making Fists’ won third prize in the Bristol Short Story Prize 2016. Other short fiction has been published widely and short-listed for the Fish Short Story Prize and the Asham Award among others. Kate has good eye for a story, she was fiction editor at UK literary magazine The View From Here. Stories she selected for publication there went on the be published in Salt’s 2013 and 2014 Best British Short Stories anthologies. She is also a mentor for the Womentoring Project. Kate is a graduate of the UK’s National Film and Television School, her films have been shown at festivals and on television worldwide.

If you wish to reserve a spot please email hello@thereaderberlin.com as soon as possible as places are limited and very popular.


The Novel 1 with Kate Brown

When: Tuesday 7-9pm.

Date: 14th and 21st February, 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, March, 4th April.

Where: Charlottenburg/Wilmersdorf

Course Length: 7 weeks

Maximum Participants: 12

Cost: 150 euro

Are you writing a novel and finding it’s turning into a lonely marathon? Do you have an idea, but don’t know where to start? If so, this workshop is just what you need.

Using writing exercises and the discussion of passages from favourite novels, we will look at voice and point of view, how to create believable, interesting characters, and story and plot. We will also explore possibilities for creating a writing habit and finding our paths as writers on the long journey we take when writing a novel.

The latter part of the course will be used to workshop participants’ work in progress, sharing each other’s writing, and giving and receiving feedback. We will also discuss what to do once you have a manuscript you want to send out into the world. How do you go about trying to find a publisher for your novel? And how do you decide whether your work is ready?

Above all, the course provides guidance, food for thought and a supportive environment in which to meet other writers and share your fascination with the storytelling.

KATE BROWN is a writer and film-maker. Her first novel ‘The Women of Versailles’, set during the reign of Louis XV, will be published by Seren Books in 2017. Her story ‘Making Fists’ won third prize in the Bristol Short Story Prize 2016. Other short fiction has been published widely and short-listed for the Fish Short Story Prize and the Asham Award among others. Kate has good eye for a story, she was fiction editor at UK literary magazine The View From Here. Stories she selected for publication there went on the be published in Salt’s 2013 and 2014 Best British Short Stories anthologies. She is also a mentor for the Womentoring Project. Kate is a graduate of the UK’s National Film and Television School, her films have been shown at festivals and on television worldwide.

If you wish to reserve a spot please email hello@thereaderberlin.com as soon as possible as places are limited and very popular.

 

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Writing Retreat *2017*

The Reader Berlin Summer 2017 Writing Retreat

June 22nd – 28th

Pelion, Greece

Booking: Email hello@thereaderberlin.com

Between Athens and Thessaloniki lies the Pelion peninsula. Mountainous, dotted by villages and criss-crossed by old paths, the peninsula is bordered on both sides by sparkling seas, and stony and sandy beaches. In Greek mythology, Pelion is referred to as ‘the pass of gods and heroes’.

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Sounds good, doesn’t it? We think so too – which is why in summer 2017, we’ll be making it our home. From June 22nd to the 28th, join us for a writing retreat in the hilltop village of Pinakates, the aim of which is to get your writing like never before. Providing an inspiring mix of nature, workshops, one-to-one mentoring, solitude and fellowship, the retreat will give you the time, space and motivation you need to make progress with your writing. For you, that may mean kickstarting your writing practice as a beginner, returning to a project that has been gathering dust, or just getting the time to focus fully on your creativity.

We will be taking over a small family-run guesthouse where the plentiful room, shady outdoor spaces and breathtaking views will be ideal for writing. Co-hosted by Reader tutor and Pelion-native Dimitra Didangelou, we’ll not only have a local guide on hand, but an expressive writing expert whose workshops, designed to get you writing without fear of criticism, will form an important part of our programme.

Also on site, Reader founder Victoria Gosling will be providing a series of workshops and one-to-one coaching sessions in which you’ll receive insight, feedback and encouragement. Finally, there will be a range of optional activities, including readings (of your work), yoga, hiking and horse riding as well as excursions to the beach for post-scribble swimming to round out your holiday. You can also get updates and follow our progress on our Facebook event page here.

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PROGRAMME

Day 1 – Thursday June 22nd

Arrival, welcome dinner and drinks

Day 2 – Friday June 23rd

Morning: workshop with Victoria

Afternoon: writing time/individual coaching sessions

Evening: ‘Steps into Nature’ Expressive Writing Workshop at the beach with Dimitra

Day 3 – Saturday June 24th

Morning: writing time/individual coaching sessions

Afternoon: workshop with Victoria

Evening: 6-7pm Open Reading – An opportunity for you to share your work. You’ll receive gentle feedback from the group and take part in a lively discussion based on what we hear.

Day 4 – Sunday June 25th

Morning: ‘Steps into Nature’ Expressive Writing Workshop with Dimitra in the forest

Afternoon: writing time/individual coaching sessions

Evening: Optional activities – we can organize horse-riding, a yoga class or advise on day-trips or local hiking routes

Day 5 – Monday June 26th

Free day: choose whether to focus on your writing or explore Pelion.

For those who need a break from the page, we’ll help you make the best of your time, whether than means booking you in for activities or advising on day trips.

Evening 6-7pm Open Reading (for those who make it back in time)

Day 6 – Tuesday June 27th

Morning: Workshop with Victoria
Afternoon: writing time/individual coaching sessions

Farewell dinner at Pinakates taverna

Day 7 – Wednesday June 28th

Departures

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Tutors:

VICTORIA GOSLING is the founder of The Reader Berlin and host of the monthly Sunday Salon series. Offering manuscript assessments, mentoring, expert feedback and guidance, she has consulted on a wide range of publications currently available in print and online. Alongside directing The Reader’s day-to-day activities, she works as a freelance editor, writer and consultant and is a former contributing editor of Berlin Stories for NPR.  In 2012, her novel LETTERS TO G. was selected as one of the winners of the Mslexia Novel Prize.

DIMITRA DIDANGELOU is a psychologist, science journalist and author who aims to help people gain insight and bring balance into their lives through expressive writing. Alongside founding and editing a web-magazine that explores psychology, she is the founder of “Empower your Psyche”, an Institute which offers workshops promoting conscious living. Her training includes Advanced Study in Therapeutic Writing (The Center for Journal Writing in Denver, CO, USA), an MSc in Psychology and the Mass Media, a BA in Psychology and a Certificate in Philosophical Counseling and Psychotherapy. Dimitra is a published novelist and author of many short stories

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Costs and Booking:

The total cost of the retreat is €595 per head and places are limited. However, book before April 1st and we’re offering an early bird discount of €60 which will bring the total cost down to €535. In order to hold your place, a non-refundable deposit of €250 euros is payable via PayPal or bank transfer. The balance of the fees is payable on May 31st. Once paid, fees are non-refundable except in the event of our cancellation, in which case all monies will be returned. If you would like to book or have any questions for us, please write to us at hello@thereaderberlin.com. We will send out further programme details nearer the time, and are more than happy to advise and help you organise your transfers.

Included:

Accommodation is based on two sharing in a twin room. If you would like to have your own room, a single supplement of €200 is payable. You can either book with a friend and we’ll put you in a room together, or we will match you with someone, taking your wishes into account.

Breakfast and lunch (no lunch on Day 5)

Workshops with Dimitra and Victoria – 2-3 hours long (variable, depending on the workshop). All sessions are suitable for complete beginners as well as more experienced writers and will focus on topics such as creative unblocking, characterisation, plot, prose, editing, etc. There will also be informal group discussions around publishing. If you’ve done Reader workshops before and are worried about repeating materials, don’t be: we’ll make sure all workshops will be brand new to you.

Individual coaching sessions with Victoria (two per participant, timetabled to suit you)

Not-Included:

Airfares

Transfers from airport to Pinakates

Evening meals with the exception of the welcome dinner (Pinakates has two tavernas where you can get a meal for between €5-10)

Optional Extras (bookable on site):

Yoga

Horse-riding

Tickets for a ride on Pelion’s famous steam-train

Extra coaching sessions with Dimitra or Victoria

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Getting There:
Flights

Flights go direct from Berlin to either Athens or Thessaloniki and take about 2.5 hours (cheapest round trip at present €70, but these will hike so book, book, book!). We recommend flying to Thessaloniki as it’s a bit closer. However, Athens is a nice place to spend some time, so maybe you’ll come that way.

For Berliners…

Outward Trip

Berlin – Thessaloniki: We suggest the Ryanair flight at 7:30am which or the Easyjet flight at 10:30am (both go from Schönefeld)

Berlin – Athens: We suggest the Ryanair Flight at 12:55pm (also from Schönefeld)

Return Trip

Of course you may want to extend your trip, but if you are heading straight back to Berlin, we recommend..

Thessaloniki – Berlin: Ryanair flight at 6:30pm direct to Schönefeld

Athens – Berlin: 5:20pm Ryanair flight to Schönefeld, or the 9pm Easyjet flight, also to Schönefeld

Transfers

Transfers by public transport from either Athens or Thessaloniki to the nearby town of Volos cost roughly €20 return and take 2.5 hours (Thessaloniki) or 4 hours (Athens). We can provide details when you book with us.

To get from Volos to Pinakates takes about 40 minutes. There are 3 buses a day at 6am, 6:30am and 1pm on Monday-Friday (no buses at weekends). However, it only costs 30 euros in a taxi and we will coordinate sharing with your fellow writers to keep costs down.

Please note, Pinakates is a traditional hilltop village. The coast is a twenty-minute drive away.

Useful links:

Our accommodation 

Pictures of Pelion 

Guide to the region 

Getting to the nearby town of Volos 

And finally, watch this video taken from past workshops hosted in the guesthouse by Dimitra to gain an idea of what you can expect from the space, the town and the surrounding areas.

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New January Courses

januarycoursesOur January evening and daytime courses are now up! Beginning the first week of January and running for seven or nine sessions, courses include POETRY, INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING 1 & 2, KICKSTART YOUR IMAGINATION 1 & 2, CREATIVE NON FICTION 1 & 2, and SCRIPTWRITING.

Sign up by emailing hello@thereaderberlin.com

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*New* November Courses

keepwritingAll our late-autumn evening and daytime courses are now online. Beginning the first week of November and each running for seven sessions, courses include SCRIPTWRITING, INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING 1 & 2, KICKSTART YOUR IMAGINATION 1 & 2, and THE NOVEL.

Sign up by emailing hello@thereaderberlin.com

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Forthcoming Evening Courses

Forthcoming Evening Courses

FLASH FICTION * EXPATRIATE WRITERS IN WEIMAR BERLIN * SHORT FORM FICTION AND NON-FICTION * POETRY WORKSHOP

Below are our forthcoming evening courses. We also have a daytime course and a seminar coming up soon, so take a look.

Place on all courses are limited, so email hello@thereaderberlin.com to secure your spot!


*NEW* FLASH FICTION with Kate Brown

When: Tuesday Evenings, 7-9pm

Where: St. George’s Bookshop, Wörther Straße

Dates: Tuesday, 4th November – 16th December

Course Length: 7 sessions

Maximum Participants: 10

Cost: 130 euro

Do you want to tell stories where every word counts? Flash fiction is a concentrated form, focused on extreme brevity, usually under 1000 words. Yet, flash fiction tells stories with a beginning, middle and end. It is often a highly visual form and it connects with a reader’s emotions no less strongly because the stories are made up of few words.

We will explore the form of flash by looking at published stories (writers such as Lydia Davis and Tania Hershman), we will write flash in class, often using prompts as a source of inspiration, and we look at the market for publishing flash.

Kate Brown is Fiction Editor at The View From Here magazine, is a published author of flash fiction and short stories, has been shortlisted for a number of major UK short story awards and works as a screenwriter and director.


*NEW* EXPATRIATE WRITERS IN WEIMAR BERLIN with Ben Robbins

When: Wednesday Evenings, 6.30-8.30pm

Where: Another Country Bookshop, Riemannstrasse

Dates: Wednesday 5th November – 17th December (no session on 12th November)

Course Length: 6 sessions

Maximum Participants: 10

Cost: 100 euro

This 6-week course will explore Weimar Berlin through the literature American and British writers produced about this turbulent and extravagant period in the city’s history. We will read prose, poetry, and memoir by Christopher Isherwood, W.H. Auden, Stephen Spender, and Robert McAlmon. The literature these writers produced about their time in Weimar Berlin expressed conflicting feelings of liberation and foreboding. We will particularly look at how all these authors explored their queer identities, as they reflected on life in the permissive communities of Weimar Berlin and how this contrasted with their experiences in inter-war Britain and the US. We will additionally discuss how these writers used diverse literary techniques and approaches to portray the thrills and fears of life in a foreign culture. You can also use this course as an opportunity to stimulate your own writing about Berlin and as a space to discuss and get feedback on that work. This course is suitable for readers with a general interest in the literature of this period and for writers of all experience levels.

Ben Robbins is a researcher and lecturer specializing in 20th-century Anglophone literature who has taught at universities in the UK and Germany. He received his Masters from Oxford University and his PhD from the Graduate School of North American Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin. He has worked as an editor for arts and fiction publishers based in both London and Berlin.


*NEW* SHORT FORM FICTION AND NON-FICTION with Adrian Duncan

When: Thursday Evenings, 7-9pm

Where: Shakespeare & Sons, Prenzlauerberg

Dates: Thursday 6th November – 18th December

Course Length: 7 sessions

Maximum Participants: 10

Cost: 130 euro

This is a seven week course where, for the first four weeks we look at a series of great short stories, we will discuss what is great about them, and the many ways in which they work. The second half of the course will be spent looking at a series of personal essays, Woolf, Orwell, Didion, among others.

In addition to writing weekly exercises given by Adrian, participants will submit their own work (fiction and non-fiction) on a rotating schedule and receive constructive feedback from everyone in an informal and supportive workshop setting. The workshop is appropriate for writers at all levels of experience, from beginners to professionals.

Adrian Duncan is an Irish writer based in Berlin. His short form fiction and non-fiction has been published in The Dublin Review, The Irish Times, and The South Circular. He writes art criticism for Sculpture (U.S.), Enclave Review (IRL) among others. He has co-edited Paper Visual Art Journal since 2009, and will work on the editorial of the upcoming Texte zur Kunst. He has guest lectured and guest tutored at National College of Art and Design, Dublin, and University College Dublin School of Architecture. He has tutored on Greg Baxter’s Someblindalleys creative writing classes, Dublin. Adrian also works as a visual artist; his most recent project took place in July of this year at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. He studied and worked as a structural engineer in the U.K. and Ireland before returning to study, in 2009, for an MA in contemporary art theory.


POETRY WORKSHOP with Donna Stonecipher

When: Monday Evenings, 7-9pm

Where: Saint George’s Bookshop, Prenzlauerberg

Course Length: 7 weeks

Dates: November 3rd – December 15th

Cost: €120

Maximum Participants: 10

A 7-week poetry workshop with award-winning poet Donna Stonecipher, PhD, author of four books of poetry. This class will consist of two components: an exploration of poetic form, and a workshop. In addition to writing weekly exercises given by Donna, participants will submit their own poems on a rotating schedule and receive constructive feedback from everyone in an informal and supportive workshop setting. Writing comes from reading, so we will also spend time reading others’ poems together and articulating why and how they work. The workshop is appropriate for writers at all levels of experience, from beginners to professionals.


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Forthcoming Daytime Courses

Forthcoming Daytime Courses

Below are the details for our forthcoming daytime course KICK-START YOUR IMAGINATION. We also have evening courses and a seminar coming up soon, so take a look.

Place on all courses are limited, so email hello@thereaderberlin.com to secure your spot!


KICK-START YOUR IMAGINATION with Clare Wigfall

When: Tuesday mornings (11:30am–13:30pm)

Where: Prenzlauerberg, close to Kollwitzplatz, address upon sign up!

Start date: Tuesday, 4th November – 16th December

Course Length: 7 sessions

Maximum Participants: 10

Cost: 130 euro

We’re delighted to announce that Faber author and BBC National Short Story Award winner Clare Wigfall is returning to offer a 7-week Writing Workshop designed to get your creative juices flowing and help you to generate a body of new work. Under Clare’s gentle guidance, each structured workshop will provide prompts and exercises to make the writing process simple and allow you to develop your craft. You’ll be amazed at what you can produce. You’ll also be introduced to inspirational and thought-provoking writing by established authors and have a chance to hone your critical skills through group discussion of the texts. This course will work you hard and provide challenges, but it also promises lots of fun and laughter, as well as much stimulation and encouragement from the others in the group.

A graduate of the prestigious UEA Masters Programme, Clare has been teaching creative writing for nearly a decade and has taught workshops all over Europe, including for the Arvon Foundation and the BBC. Suitable for advanced writers to total beginners, this special workshop series guarantees to inspire. It also offers an unbeatable opportunity to work with an author described as “an assured literary conjuror” (The Guardian) and the author of tales “sorrowful, disturbing and darkly beautiful” (London Review of Books).

This course is not recommended for writers who took Clare’s May-July 2014 class. Something new will be offered for these students in the New Year!

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