About our Workshops
Three times a year, Inprint offers non-credit Writers Workshops. These workshops are considered Houston’s “Best Place for Aspiring Writers” (Houston Press) and are led by accomplished local authors, including students, alumni, and faculty from the prestigious University of Houston Creative Writing Program.
Workshops are open to individuals of all backgrounds, including those who are exploring creative writing for the first time, as well as aspiring writers who want to prepare work for publication.
Workshops are conducted in various genres, including fiction, memoir, creative journaling, novel, personal essay, poetry, and others. Most workshop sessions meet once a week on a weekday evening at Inprint House, 1520 W. Main. Teachers as Writers Workshops are typically held on Saturdays during the school year. Fall and winter/spring workshops meet for ten weeks, summer workshops run for 8 weeks.
All workshops are modeled on graduate level creative writing courses, and may include short in-class writing assignments to jumpstart the writing process, outside readings of literary masters, and most importantly, time to constructively critique each participant’s own writing, with written comments from the instructor. Workshops are limited in size to maintain an intimate workshop environment. Scroll below to read the workshop policies and procedures and cancellation policy.
The Winter/Spring 2015 Inprint Writers Workshops are underway and all workshops are full. The Summer 2015 workshops will begin in June. Stay tuned for more details.
Winter/Spring 2015 Workshops
This workshop is full
In this fiction workshop we will bask in the glories of story. We will experiment and push past the comfortable and banal into the daring and the particular. The prompts in this class will be varied and fun. Our task will be figuring out how to push at our own boundaries – which is at its essence the problem of telling old stories in new ways, and is the work of all writers. We’ll read and discuss short fiction and poetry from current journals for inspiration. Along the way we will name and examine the unique strengths of your prose, while offering guidance that will help further texturize your work into full, developed pieces.
MIAH ARNOLD is the author of the novel Sweet Land of Bigamy, and of stories appearing in literary journals. Her essay, “You Owe Me,” appeared in Best American Essays 2012. She has received an Inprint Barthelme Prize, an Inprint Diana P. Hobby Prize, and an Established Artists Grant from the Houston Arts Alliance for her work. She received a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Houston, and then worked at a number of colleges and literary organizations in Houston including Writers in the Schools and Inprint. She is working on her second novel.
This workshop is full.
This poetry course emphasizes beginnings. In the belief that a new beginning—a curious word, an odd phrase, a sonorous line—summons the rest of the poem, we will explore multiple ways to begin: stealing lines from poems we like, or trying out their structures; beginning with a place, real or imagined; going for a walk; bouncing off an artwork from the Menil nearby; translating from another language you know—or don’t know. For instance, we might emulate Emily Dickinson and begin writing on scraps of paper—chocolate wrappers, envelopes, HEB receipts—or follow Richard Hugo in writing about an invented town that triggers your imagination, or re-work the “pecha kucha” form of Terrance Hayes, or echo the sensory, rhythmic language of Peruvian poet Yvan Yauri.
To help us extend (and end) the poems we begin, over the ten-week course we will also discuss your work in a structured group format, which will include supportive, written feedback both from the class and myself. Along the way we’ll read some great poets, which will include my suggestions but also yours: class members will take turns bringing in poems they admire, poems that in turn will inspire new beginnings for your poems.
HENK ROSSOUW grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. His poems have appeared in The Boston Review, The Massachusetts Review, and The Paris Review. In 2009 he gave a reading in Times Square as one of the winners of the Poetry Society of America’s Bright Lights Big Verse contest. While a 2005-2006 Sauvé Scholar at McGill University, Henk published a personal essay in The Threepenny Review and a short story in Tin House. He got his MFA in 2011 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Currently, he’s working toward his PhD in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Houston, where he also serves as assistant poetry editor for Gulf Coast. He’s taught creative writing for Putney Student Travel at Amherst College and in Prague.
This workshop is full.
The famous writer Joseph Conrad acknowledges the fundamental commonality between writer and teacher when he says, “My task…is to make you see.” Whether on the page or in the classroom, we are striving for an ability to express our view of the world, and at the same time, enable others to see the world more truly. While the main focus of the course will be on workshopping our own writing, readings and writing exercises will also be used to help challenge and strengthen our perspectives. We will support, critique, and challenge each other’s work so each of us can walk away from this course with a better understanding of our own stories and the stories of others. Both beginning and advanced writers are welcome.
MARY S. DAWSON taught American Literature, Creative Writing, and Advanced Creative Writing at Episcopal High School. In 2008, she earned an MFA in creative writing from Bennington College. She is currently working on a collection of short stories and her first novel, Remembering What’s Forgotten.
This workshop is full.
The personal essay is a uniquely playful and liberating literary form. It’s fun, but it’s not easy. More craft and conscious shaping is involved than people realize. We’ll read and discuss essays from Phillip Lopate’s Art of the Personal Essay and other examples of the form. We’ll do in-class exercises designed to help writers cultivate the ability to follow and record the undulations of their own thinking. Working in stages, we’ll each produce on substantial essay, offering one another constructive criticism and encouragement along the way.
EMILY FOX GORDON is the author of two memoirs, Mockingbird Years: A Life In and Out of Therapy and Are You Happy: A Childhood Remembered. Her first novel, It Will Come to Me, was published in 2009, and a collection of her personal essays, Book of Days, in 2010.
This workshop is full.
In this course, we will look at essays from Best American Essays 2014 and discuss how they handle narrative and scene, how they create an arc, what role “persuasion” plays, how to get the reader’s attention and empathy, etc. During the first four weeks, we will consider ideas, make a few starts, and write pitches. In the final six weeks, each writer will workshop one essay. Each week, we will do a writing exercise. The goal of the course is to have a working idea of how a personal essay functions when we live in a world of “topics” and information.
MATTHEW SALESSES is the author of a novel, I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying, a novella, The Last Repatriate, and two chapbooks, Our Island of Epidemics and We Will Take What We Can Get. He has been published in The New York Times, NPR, Glimmer Train, The Rumpus, American Short Fiction, West Branch, Witness, and elsewhere. He is the fiction editor and a contributing writer at The Good Men Project and a PhD candidate at the UH Creative Writing Program.
This workshop is full.
Robert Pinsky notes: “Any moment, any person’s idea at any one moment, any artifact, if you could understand it well enough, would be a portal into the whole rest of the universe.” In this course, we will explore how we might find the universal in the specific, and how, then, to best articulate those moments such that our audience identifies with them. Also, we will look to a variety of published work for examples of successful ways of achieving this process, as well as the fundamentals of prose writing. The essay, perhaps more so than any other genre, is a malleable, adaptable form. We will examine how many forms of creative nonfiction, whether reportorial or lyric, can shine the light of intrigue on personal subjects.
AUSTIN TREMBLAY was born and raised in North Carolina. He is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Houston. Before graduate school, he worked as an actor and playwright. Austin’s writing has been featured in Gulf Coast, Smartish Pace, cream city review, Bateau, and other journals. He edits the literary journal Owl Eye Review.
This workshop is full.
Finding opportunities to workshop novels-in-progress (and finding fellow writers willing to read them) can be a challenge. The process of writing and revising long-form fiction is a lengthy and arduous one, and getting feedback on such a project in its entirety is abundantly necessary. This course, which will meet every other week, is designed for writers who’ve completed at least one draft of a novel project (literary fiction only) prior to the start of the course. Participants will read one student manuscript for each class and discuss it at length, with the goal of assessing the structure and other craft elements of the draft and providing the writer with a list of potential changes (both major and minor) to try in the next several revisions. Suggested readings will include articles, interviews and craft books by published authors on the topics of novel drafting and revision, as well as published novels to look to for guidance and inspiration. We’ll share tips, tools and resources for the writing process, and seek connections for long-term writer/reader relationships among our number. This workshop will be limited to nine participants.
ELIZABETH WINSTON is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and earned an MFA from the UH Creative Writing Program, where she was a teaching fellow, an Assistant Fiction Editor at Gulf Coast, and the Graduate Advisor for Glass Mountain and Boldface, UH’s national conference for emerging writers. She teaches creative writing at the University of Houston and for Writers in the Schools. A former journalist and editor, she is currently at work on a novel.
This workshop is full.
Flannery O’Connor once said about her own writing, “My subject in fiction is the action of grace in a territory held largely by the devil.” In writing our own stories, we will negotiate this space between beauty and mischief as we determine what it is exactly that we like about a given writer’s work, and how we can lift what we like and incorporate it into our own writing.
The stories we read in this course will be models and guides, but the primary focus will be on developing our own sense of craft, on learning how to make “the right choice” in the middle of a story or a sentence, and on investigating the various approaches we have at our disposal—retrospective narration and narrative distance, limited vs. omniscient point of view, dialogue, authorial intrusions, humor, etc. My hope is that by working together we build a constructive and creative environment that encourages risk-taking, ambition, and self-discovery.
GIUSEPPE TAURINO is the assistant director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston. He is also a contributing editor for American Short Fiction, and previously served as the manager of capacity building initiatives for the Houston Arts Alliance, executive director of Badgerdog Literary Publishing in Austin, Texas, and a writer-in-residence with Writers in the Schools (WITS) Houston. Giuseppe has been awarded an Inprint Donald Barthelme Fellowship in Fiction and scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. His stories have appeared in Epoch, New South, The Potomac Review, Word Riot and elsewhere.
This workshop is full.
William Carlos Williams once wrote that “it is difficult/to get the news from poetry/yet men die miserably every day/for lack/of what is found there.” As teachers and writers, locating and describing the lessons and wisdom that don’t register as ‘news’ but instruct more deeply how to live is a crucial part of our project, as well as a significant motivator. But how do we deliver these lessons without being pedantic or didactic? And how do we even find these lessons in the first place?
While this class won’t focus too much on the profession of teaching, it will deal with one of its fundamental principles: how to communicate with a minimum of static and misinterpretation. So, we’ll be doing a lot of talking: about contemporary poems, craft essays, each other’s poems and revisions, and why it is we write. With a particular focus on the relationship of form to content and poetical-rhetorical strategies, this class will aim for discovering and writing about the profound within the quotidian, the wonder inside the banal, the breadth within the shallows.
CONOR BRACKEN’S work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bodega, Harpur Palate, Heavy Feather Review, Lungfull, Mudfish, and elsewhere. He has received fellowships from the Squaw Valley writer’s conference and Inprint and was a finalist in the Mudfish Poetry Contest in 2013. Originally from Virginia, he’s taught English in France, tested software in Argentina, and is pursuing his MFA at the University of Houston, where he is a poetry editor for Gulf Coast.
Policies and Procedures
Registration is only available online through Inprint’s website. Snail mail or registration by phone is not an option.
If the workshop you would like to register for is full at the time you try to register, please sign up for the waiting list. An Inprint staff member will notify you by email if a space opens up in the workshop.
You must be at least 21 years of age to register for a workshop.
When registering for a workshop, Instant Seats (which we use for registration) will ask you for an email address and password. If you have taken an Inprint workshop in the past and remember your password, you can input it at that time. If you do not remember your password, we recommend that you sign in as a new customer and put in a new password even if your email is the same.
You will receive a confirmation email from an Inprint staff member once your registration is complete.
Registration is open until the workshop is filled or until class begins.
If a workshop is accidentally oversubscribed (due to a technical error), Inprint reserves the right to cancel the registration and will provide a full refund and notification to the participant within 48 hours.
All workshops are modeled on graduate level creative writing courses, and may include short in-class writing exercises and outside reading assignments. Participants are expected to read and write comments about each other’s written pieces. In addition to time spent on one’s own writing, the workshop may take up to two hours of work per week. Prior creative writing experience is not needed unless otherwise specified.
If you are blind or visually impaired and need assistance registering for an Inprint Writers Workshop or Teachers-As-Writers Workshop please contact the Inprint office before registration opens by calling 713-521-2026.
Inprint workshops offer participants a nurturing environment conducive to developing writing skills. The success of the workshops is in part dependent on the mutual support of the participants. Inprint reserves the right to refuse enrollment to any individual.
To cancel your registration and receive a partial refund, you must speak to an Inprint staff member by calling 713-521-2026 at least TEN working days prior to the beginning of the workshop. Please note that a $150 cancellation fee will be deducted from the amount you are reimbursed. NO refunds will be given after the 10-day deadline for cancellation. For those registered for a Teachers-As-Writers Workshop, the $45 registration fee is nonrefundable.