Marlboro College

News Marlboro College Sponsors Writing Workshops at Brattleboro Literary Festival

MARLBORO, VT – (June 6, 2013) – Marlboro College is pleased to announce that it will offer two writing workshops with notable authors, Pam Houston and David Abrams, as a highlight of the Brattleboro Literary Festival. The workshops will take place on Friday, October 4, from 1:00 to 4:45 p.m. at the Marlboro College Center of Graduate and Professional Studies, in Brattleboro, Vermont.

“Over the last couple years these workshops have come to hold a special place for participants in the literary festival,” said Ariel Brooks, director of non-degree programs at Marlboro. “We are delighted to present such celebrated authors this year to share their expertise with the community,”

Colorado writer Pam Houston, author of Contents May Have Shifted (W.W. Norton 2012), will lead a workshop on short forms called “Concision Rocks.” She says she loves “short shorts” because they require the writer to “pay a poet’s attention to language as well as a storyteller’s attention to narrative arc.” Houston says, “You will be amazed at how much you don’t have to tell after all.”

In a concurrent session, Montana fiction writer David Abrams, author of Fobbit (Grove Press 2012), will lead a workshop on sense of place, titled “Take Us There! Making Place Work for Your Story.” Participants will learn how to show the heart of environment without falling prey to overwrought sentiments and empty description. Abrams says, “Whether your story is set in a bungalow or a high-rise, on the sea or the prairie, or perhaps takes place in alternate universe, learn how to craft place to add strength and dimension to your work.”

One of the 2012 participants said, “I have been to other workshops, but this is the first one where I had that ‘ah-ha’ moment. I feel like a door has been opened into a piece of writing that I had set aside out of frustration.”  

“Marlboro College is known for its hands-on learning approach and clear writing program,” added Brooks. “These workshops are a special opportunity to share these educational ideals with a broader audience.”

The fee for either workshop is $75, and space will be limited to 12 students in each class to ensure a quality experience. For more details or to register, go to Participants will also have the opportunity to attend the Brattleboro Literary Festival private author reception for an additional cost (details with registration).

Pam Houston is the director of creative writing at University of California at Davis and teaches in The Pacific University low residency M.F.A. program, as well as at writer’s conferences around the country and the world. In addition to Contents May Have Shifted, she is also the author of two collections of linked short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat, a novel, Sight Hound, and a collection of essays called A Little More About Me, all published by W.W. Norton. Her stories have been selected for volumes of Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, and Best American Short Stories of the Century. She is the winner of the Western States Book Award, the WILLA award for contemporary fiction, and The Evil Companions Literary Award and multiple teaching awards.

David Abrams is the author of Fobbit, a comedy about the Iraq War, which Publishers Weekly called “an instant classic” and named a Top 10 Pick for Literary Fiction in Fall 2012.  It was also a New York Times Notable Book of 2012, an Indie Next pick, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and a Montana Honor Book.  His short stories have appeared in Esquire, Narrative, Salon, Salamander, Connecticut Review, The Greensboro Review, Consequence, and many other publications. He earned a BA in English from the University of Oregon and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.  He retired from active-duty after serving in the U.S. Army for 20 years, a career that took him to Alaska, Texas, Georgia, the Pentagon, and Iraq.

Marlboro College

With locations in the foothills of Vermont’s Green Mountains and downtown Brattleboro, Marlboro College provides independent thinkers with exceptional opportunities to broaden their intellectual horizons, benefit from a small and close-knit learning community, create a strong framework for personal and career fulfillment and make a positive difference in the world. At our undergraduate campus in the town of Marlboro and our Center for Graduate and Professional Studies in Brattleboro, students engage in deep exploration of their interests—and discover new avenues for using their skills to benefit themselves and others—in an atmosphere that emphasizes critical and creative thinking, independence, social justice, sustainability and community.



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