Course Descriptions 2016
*Applications are now closed. Any further applications received will be placed on a waiting list.
"Little Stories" -- Bonnie Jo Campbell
In this lively workshop, we will be writing, discussing and reading short fiction, and specifically we'll be brainstorming and creating new fiction during the time we are together. As well as traditional fiction, we'll try to create some modular, nonlinear stories that achieve their power from being collections of smaller pieces juxtaposed: they might be collages, episodes, or lists, or alternative forms. Each of you will be inspired to write a couple of new stories using this new way of thinking about narratives.
“Writing for Social Media: Blogging and Tweets, Interfaces of the Social & Personal” -- Adrianne Kalfopoulou
In this course we will be exploring various styles of writing for social media, and reading a wide range of examples of such, from tweets to better known blogs, to the less known participants in the increasingly busy blogosphere. What, for example, is the language of a high profile literary journal's blog (as opposed to their print journal) or Maria Popova's popular tweets and posts on "Brainpickings"? We will also be asking questions about the nature of language that addresses "twitter" responses, or Facebook status updates, the issue of privacy -- where now is the personal diary? -- and consider constructions of personae and aesthetics as we write our own posts on a range of subjects.
"Novel Writing Workshop" -- Deborah Reed
From start to finish it may take years to complete a novel, but a deeper understanding of narrative structure as well as the skillfully written sentence can help a writer begin. Stories expand and become credible with the help of detail, and immersion in a foreign setting can jump-start our observational skills. This workshop will cover the importance of effective beginnings, structure, rhythm, pacing, and texture, with an emphasis on finding your book through exploring voice, viewpoint, and characterization. Mini-lectures on the art of the novel, intuitive creative process, and conventional vs. non-conventional approaches to novel structure will also be covered. All levels are welcome.
“The Lives of Others: Literary Journalism” -- Nancy Rommelmann
This is what the journalist hears when he or she approaches a story. Everyone’s life, every event, is a door to somewhere. Tell me about your day as a shoe salesman, a UN translator, a manicurist, a seven year-old, as the guy doing some daytime drinking at the dark end of the bar. There is no limit to the lyricism the literary journalist brings to the story. You can write with reverence about a shoplifter, and please do.
In this class, we will learn the techniques of the literary journalist – how to observe heroically (and make up for it when you miss something), how to ask for the interview (especially when you’re scared to) – to find and write stories. We will learn why facts are always the most dynamic building blocks, and how content without construction equals, “huh?” We will see facts-plus-construction go supernova in Joan Didion’s, “Slouching Towards Bethlehem.” And we will use the citizens and city of Freiburg as our classroom.
Students with smartphones are encouraged to download the iTalk app ($1.99 USD).
Participants are asked to arrive in Freiburg by 4:00 pm on Monday, August 1, 2016. A mandatory orientation meeting will take place at 6:00 pm on the 1st. This is to ensure that BFWS participants have a chance to settle into their rooms and get acquainted with Freiburg and the university facilities before classes begin. All classes will be held between August 2 through August 12, 2016. Classes run on a modified schedule on Tuesday, August 2, as participants will be able to go on a guided tour through Freiburg's old town in the morning. There will be a public reading and farewell party on the evening of August 12. Two days of seminars take place at a mountain retreat, exact date and location tba.
Tuition fees are €650 for the first course and €600 for any additional courses. These prices include course fees, a welcome dinner, and a two-day/one-night stay at a mountain retreat in the Black Forest (meals at retreat included). Payment can be made in full or in installments (please inquire if would like to pay in installments). Payment is due by no later than June 1, 2016 and can be paid through Reservix. However, we strongly encourage accepted applicants to pay for tuition as soon as possible since we cannot guarantee reserved spots in the courses for an extended time. A limited number of partial fee reduction scholarships are available. To apply for the program, please click here.