Plato argues that human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge. And before staging Kalidasa’s The Recognition of Śākuntalā, the director challenges his actress-lover: “As though in a painting, the entire audience has had their emotion colored through your melody. So now—what shall we perform to sustain the mood?” In this class, we will explore how creating vivid emotional worlds between characters and within storylines can build suspense, sustain drama, and lure the reader deeper in. If you’re currently working on a short story, novel, screenplay, theatrical play, lyrical essay, memoir, or narrative poem which has a unique emotional landscape, come stop by the Ruth Stone House for our next online creative writing workshop led by Rita Banerjee on October 2 and October 10, 2021. Students will read Rita Banerjee’s article, “Emotion and Suspense: The Essence of Rasa Theory” from Poets & Writers Magazine, do in-class writing exercises centering rasa, emotion, and suspense, and share out their work with classmates. Register at the Ruth Stone House. Workshop Fee: $150 for 2 Sessions.
Join the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Virtual Summer Writing Retreat from 10 am – 12 pm EDT on Saturday July 25 and August 1 for Rita Banerjee’s Summer Writing Retreat series “Emotion & Suspense in Theatre, Poetry, and (Non)Fiction.”
Emotion & Suspense in Theatre, Poetry, and (Non)Fiction
Plato argues that human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge. And before staging Kalidasa’s The Recognition of Śākuntalā, the director challenges his actress-lover: “As though in a painting, the entire audience has had their emotion colored through your melody. So now—what shall we perform to sustain the mood?” In this class, we will explore how creating vivid emotional worlds between characters and within storylines can build suspense, sustain drama, and lure the reader deeper in. Whether you’re currently working on a short story, novel, screenplay, theatrical play, lyrical essay, memoir, or narrative poem this class will help you craft a unique emotional landscape
1. Class 1 – Saturday, July 25, 10 am – 12 pm EDT online
Class seminar and writing session on rasa theory.
2. Class 2 – Saturday, August 1, 10 am – 12 pm EDT online
Workshop and sharing of writing featuring students’ rasa theory exercises.
About Rita Banerjee:
Rita Banerjee is the Director of the MFA in Writing & Publishing program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and Creative Executive Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. She’s the author of several books including CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, 2018), the poetry collection Echo in Four Beats (FLP, 2018), which was nominated for the 2019 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize at the Academy of American Poets, the novella “A Night with Kali” in Approaching Footsteps (SPR, 2016), and the poetry chapbook Cracklers at Night (FLP, 2010). She is the co-writer of Burning Down the Louvre (2021), a documentary film about race, intimacy, and tribalism in the United States and in France. Her work also appears in PANK, Nat. Brut., Poets & Writers, Academy of American Poets, Vermont Public Radio, The Nervous Breakdown, Hunger Mountain, and elsewhere.
How to Register:
Students can sign-up individually for each class for $100 per class, or join the whole 2-part series for $200.
To register for class, please send in a short 1-5 page writing sample, 2 professional references, and a cover letter conveying your interest and a short bio of who you are as an author and where you are with you creative writing. This information will help our writing faculty get to know you as a writer and your writing goals.
Writers of all genres (poetry, fiction, nonfiction, screenwriting, and film) are welcome to participate in Rita Banerjee’s online courses.
To join our Virtual Summer Writing Retreat, you will need access to broadband internet and a working video-camera and microphone on your computer. All classes will be taught on either Google Hangouts or Zoom. Invitations to class URLS will be sent out to all registered users before our classes begin, and instructors may share reading materials for class with registered students via Dropbox or Google Drive.
More info at cambridgewritersworkshop.org
The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Paris Writing Retreat will take place from July 17-22, 2019. Situated in heart of Paris’ Montparnasse neighborhood, amongst the fresh and popular open air markets and charming boutiques, the hotel stay is full of Parisian charm and our classes will take place in a beautiful Moroccan themed room that opens to a courtyard that can also be used by our writers. Retreat activities will include craft of writing seminars and creative writing workshops, literary tours of Paris. If you’re serious about writing and want to soak in some exquisite French culture this summer, join our retreat in Paris! The faculty includes award-winning writers Kazim Ali, Rita Banerjee, and Diana Norma Szokolyai. Genres include poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. If you’d like to join us in Paris, France, please apply online at cww.submittable.com by June 15, 2019. More info: cww.nyc
The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Spring in New Orleans Writing Retreat will take place from March 17-22, 2019. Known for its Spanish and French architecture, live jazz, cajun food, and street festivals, New Orleans offers an inspirational and one-of-a-kind environment for creative writers. During the retreat, we will be staying in the lovely Algiers Point neighborhood, just a short ferry ride away from the Historic French Quarter. The faculty includes award-winning writers & playwrights: Stephen Aubrey, Carly Dwyer, Rita Banerjee, and Diana Norma Szokolyai. All genres welcome. Genres include playwriting, nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. This year, we will also be exploring writing for live action roleplay (LARP) theater with an expert. If you’d like to join us in New Orleans, please apply online at cww.submittable.com by February 5, 2019. More info: cww.nyc
On Saturday June 2, 2018, the Grolier Poetry Book Shop, the oldest poetry bookstore in the United States, will be celebrating its 90th Anniversary in Cambridge, MA. In order to celebrate 90 years of literary and intellectual activity, the Grolier will be hosting The Grolier Poetry Festival, featuring street performances, writing workshops, literary readings, food, and books in Harvard Square. The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is delighted to be featured at the Grolier Poetry Festival on June 2 in Harvard Square. Join us for our featured readings, performances, and CREDO Workshop! The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop’s new anthology CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos & Sourcebook for Creative Writing (eds. Rita Banerjee & Diana Norma Szokolyai, May 15, 2018) can be pre-ordered form C&R Press here! Information about our events and writers are posted below:
Location: Outside Plympton St,
Between Mass Ave & Bow Street
Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA
Diana Norma Szokolyai is author of Parallel Sparrows (honorable mention for Best Poetry Book, 2014 Paris Book Festival), Roses in the Snow (first runnerup, Best Poetry Book, 2009 DIY Book Festival), and a feminist rewriting of a classic fairytale for Brooklyn Art Library’s The Fiction Project, entitled Beneath the Surface: Blue Beard, Remixed. Szokolyai’s poetry and prose has been published in MER VOX Quarterly, VIDA Review, Quail Bell Magazine, The Boston Globe, Luna Luna Magazine, Up the Staircase Quarterly, and has been anthologized in Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, Teachers as Writers & elsewhere. Her edited volume is CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos & Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, 2018). She’s founding Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. Szokolyai is author of Introduction, and the essay “What’s At Stake?” in CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).
Kathleen Spivack’s novel Unspeakable Things was released by Knopf in early 2016. Her previous book, the memoir With Robert Lowell and His Circle: Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Elizabeth Bishop, Stanley Kunitz and Others was published by the University Press of New England in 2012. Her chapbook, A History of Yearning, won the Sows Ear International Poetry Chapbook Prize in 2010, and she recently received the Allen Ginsberg, Erika Mumford, and Paumanok awards for her poetry. Her book won the New England Book Festival and London Book Festival Prizes. Published in over 400 magazines and anthologies, Kathleen’s work has been translated into French. She has held grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; Massachusetts Artists Foundation; Bunting Institute; Howard Foundation; Massachusetts Council for the Arts and Humanities; is a Discovery winner and has been at Yaddo, MacDowell, Ragdale, Karolyi, and the American Academy in Rome. In Boston and Paris she directs the Advanced Writing Workshop, an intensive training program for professional writers. She has taught at conferences in Paris, Aspen, Santa Fe, Burgundy, Skidmore, and on the high seas, (Holland American Line). Spivak is the author of the Craft of Writing essays, “The Writing Exercise: A Recipe” and “Words As Inspiration” in CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).
Kevin McLellan is the author of Ornitheology (The Word Works, 2018), Hemispheres (Fact-Simile Editions, 2018), [box] (Letter [r] Press, 2016), Tributary (Barrow Street, 2015), and Round Trip (Seven Kitchens, 2010). He won the 2015 Third Coast Poetry Prize and Gival Press’ 2016 Oscar Wilde Award, and his poems appear in numerous literary journals. Kevin lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. McLellan’s essay, “Attributes: A Prompt,” can be found in the Exercises section of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).
The Weehawken Writers & Artists Studio is delighted to host a creative writing workshop on Literary Manifestos & What’s at Stake Workshop!
CREDO. I believe. No other statement is so full of intent and subversion and power. A Credo is a call to arms. It is a declaration. A Credo is the act of an individual pushing back against society, against established stigmas, taboos, values, and norms. A Credo provokes. It desires change. A Credo is an artist or community challenging dogma, and putting oneself on the front line. A Credo is art at risk. A Credo can be a marker of revolution. A Credo, is thus, the most calculating and simple form of a manifesto. In this creative writing workshop, writers will get a chance to create their own literary manifestos and discuss what’s at stake in their own writing, art, and craft. We will read literary manifestos and poetry from writers such as Allen Ginsberg, Sunil Gangopadhyay, Amiri Baraka, and Bianca Stone, and will explore how writers and readers become more invested in a work of writing, its performance, and its narrative by raising the stakes.
About the Instructor:
Rita Banerjee is the editor of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018) and the author of the poetry collection Echo in Four Beats (Finishing Line Press, March 2018), the novella “A Night with Kali” in Approaching Footsteps (Spider Road Press, 2016), and the poetry chapbook Cracklers at Night (Finishing Line Press, 2010). She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and her writing appears in the Academy of American Poets, Poets & Writers, Nat. Brut., The Rumpus, Painted Bride Quarterly, Mass Poetry, Hyphen Magazine, Los Angeles Review of Books, Electric Literature, VIDA, Objet d’Art, KBOO Radio’s APA Compass, and elsewhere. She is the Executive Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. She is the judge for the 2017 Minerva Rising “Dare to Speak” Poetry Chapbook Contest, and she is currently working on a novel, a book on South Asian literary modernisms, and a collection of lyric essays on race, sex, politics, and everything cool.
International Write-a-Novel Month 2017 Writing Workshops
Sunday November 5, 12, 19, and December 3, 2017 * 14:00 – 17:00
Location: Café Clara, Isabellastraße 8, 80798 München
Join creative writing instructor Rita Banerjee for International Write a Novel Month 2017! These workshops are for writers who are developing or working to complete a book-length manuscript. For our first workshop, writers are encouraged to bring in project proposals. Ideas for a book-length manuscript will be reviewed in class. We will also review texts that blur the line between fact and fiction and that can serve as a launching pad for building longer narratives. During subsequent workshop sessions, writers will work and receive feedback on their manuscripts. Light readings on writing craft and narrative structure will also be provided. Participation in all four workshops is recommended, but not required. To register, send an email to John by November 3, 2017 at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Workshop Fee: €35.
Workshop Fee: €35 for each Sunday
To register, send an email to email@example.com
Rita Banerjee is the editor of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, March 2018) and the author of the poetry collection Echo in Four Beats (Finishing Line Press, February 2018), a finalist for the Red Hen Press Benjamin Saltman Award, Three Mile Harbor Poetry Prize, and Aquarius Press/Willow Books Literature Award; the novella “A Night with Kali” in Approaching Footsteps (Spider Road Press, 2016); and the poetry chapbook Cracklers at Night (Finishing Line Press, 2010). She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington. Her writing appears in Poets & Writers, Painted Bride Quarterly, Mass Poetry, Los Angeles Review of Books, Electric Literature, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Riot Grrrl Magazine, The Fiction Project, Objet d’Art, and elsewhere. She is the Executive Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop and teaches on modernism, art house film, and South Asian literary theory and aesthetics at the Institute for Indology and Tibetology at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in Germany. She is currently working on a novel, a book on South Asian literary modernisms, and a collection of lyric essays.
Femme fatales, gumshoe detectives, star-crossed lovers, wicked stepmothers, wise fools, empathetic anti-heroes: dynamic and archetypal characters can be key to making a good story or lyrical piece tick and pulling in the reader deeper into your creative work. In this workshop, we will discuss how dynamic and archetypal characters can help structure stories, propel narratives forwards, and how each character’s desire provides interesting ethical dilemmas and emotional spectrums to narratives and verse. We will learn about the building blocks of creating strong, unforgettable characters, discuss the connection between desire and plot, and learn how playing with persona can help liberate nonfictional stories and lyrical poems. So if you’re currently working on a short story, novel, screenplay, theatre play, lyrical essay, memoir, or poem which has a strong and unique character at is heart, come stop by the Munich Readery on Saturday July 22 for our next creative writing workshop led by Rita Banerjee. To register, send an email to John by July 15, 2017 at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Workshop Fee: €35.
While Allen Ginsberg and the Beats touted the philosophy of “First Thought, Best Thought,” and the merits of spontaneous writing, in this workshop, we’ll explore the role that revision plays in landing the perfect publication deal. We’ll take a look at what it takes to pitch to literary journals, and get that poem, short story, memoir, essay, or play published. We’ll discuss why writers should network, and when writers should look for literary agents, and we will demystify elements of the publishing and creative writing industry at large. In addition, we’ll have some fun with our writing and revisions as well! So if you’re currently working on a short story, novel, screenplay, theatre play, lyrical essay, memoir, or poem which you’d like to revise and published, come stop by the Munich Readery on Sunday July 9 for our next creative writing workshop led by Rita Banerjee. To register, send an email to John by July 2, 2017 at: email@example.com. Workshop Fee: €35.
“Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover and the poet
Are of imagination all compact:
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,
That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt:
The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.”
~ Theseus, Act V, Scene 1
On Friday June 23 at 6 pm, Rita Banerjee will be teaching a creative writing workshop for Munich Creative Writers inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. For more information on upcoming Munich Creative Writers workshops and meetings, please visit their website here.