Classes at the Attic

APPS DUE: Dec 17: The Creative Nonfiction (CNF) Studio | Jan 18 - Mar 22

Write what you know you want to know

The Creative Nonfiction (CNF) Studio is based on the idea that inspiration, accountability, and community are essential to every writer’s growth. The CNF Studio meets weekly for multi-month sessions, and its curriculum is designed to help you deepen your writing through a keener understanding of both literary craft and your own voice. The CNF Studio is open to applications from all writers, and members often return for multiple sessions. This creates the Studio’s special experience: a consistent, deep, and supportive study of your writing in the company of other writers. Each weekly session includes a close-reading and discussion of a selected work of creative nonfiction, a roundtable reading of take-home prompts, and in-depth critique of several works-in-progress. Over the course of their time in the CNF Studio, writers can expect to read widely and gain deep insight into their own writing, all the while exploring questions of structure, form, narration, truth, memory, influence, and voice.  The Studio culminates in a celebration at a nearby watering hole. | Maximum 10 students

Learn more about applying to the CNF Studio

Deadline to apply is Dec 17

To Apply: To apply to join the next Creative Nonfiction Studio, please send a writing sample of up to 3,500 words and a 250-word “Statement of Goals."

APPLY NOW

Teacher: 
Time: 
Thursdays, Jan 18 - Mar 22, 6:00 - 8:30pm, 10 weeks
Total Fee: 
Early Registration and Tuition Deadline is seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Registration: $529 (cash/check); $549 (Paypal)

FREE: Consult about Your Writing

Call us. Let us help you with your writing.

You're invited to schedule a free 15-minute conference call consult to describe your writing situation and focus. During the call, we listen to your writing situation and help you out -- sometimes writers will register for an upcoming workshop. Other times, after a consult, writers will initiate a formal Introductory Consult through our Individual Consult Group to find a writing coach selected specifically for your project.

To initiate a Free Consult, e-mail us -- and when you do, please let us know specifically what you're working on and want to discuss. Then we'll get back in touch and begin to talk together about your writing.

Register for a free consult

 

Time: 
By appointment only.
Location: 
Telephone Conference Call
Total Fee: 
Free.

WEEKEND WORKSHOP: Wayne Gregory's Writer's Tool Kit: How to Get Started As A Writer | Jan 13-14

“Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.” ~ Pablo Picasso

You want to write and you think you may have a story to tell, but you’re not sure how to get started. The Writer’s Toolkit is the class for you. In this workshop, you will discover how to transform your ideas from imagination to a cohesive and compelling story that engages readers and keeps them turning the pages for more. You will learn some of the basic conventions for good writing that successful writers use: how to develop plot, how to create compelling characters, how to build dynamic scenes, and how to show rather than tell. You will learn by doing and will take away a wealth of writing tools and resources to keep honing your craft after the workshop is over. Whether you’ve never written anything or you’ve got reams of pages that you’re not sure what to do with, this workshop will be valuable for you. Sign up for A Writer’s Toolkit and learn the strategies you need to get you started as a writer and keep you going.

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Weekend: Jan 13-14, Sat 10am-3pm, 10-3pm, 10 hours
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Early Registration and Tuition Deadline is seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Early Registration: $207 (cash/check); $219 (Paypal). | Late Registration: $222 (cash/check); $234 (PayPal).

WINTER: Attic Writers' League: Time to Write | Jan 15 - Feb 12

“Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.” 
― Mark Twain

Attic Writers' League focuses on three essential elements: imagination, metaphor, and story. Attic Writers' League's brief, affordable workshops meet the needs of the emerging writer. The motto of the Attic Writers' League is “Write another one.” The philosophy allows writers to engage, explore, and immerse yourself in the physical pleasure of writing, knowing that other workshops are available for revision, critique, and further development of original pieces. The workshop emphasizes the importance of the practice of writing regularly, even if this means simply writing a single word, and then another one. Attic Writers' League workshops meet for one hour once a week. Each hour-long session is devoted to a single focus - without the pressure or interference of sustained critical feedback and critique best accomplished in longer workshops. Learn more about Attic Writers' League

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Mondays, Jan 15 - Feb 12, 5:30-7pm, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard | Maximum 12 students
Total Fee: 
Early Registration and Tuition Deadline is seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Early Registration: $95 (cash/check); $99 (PayPal). | Late Registration: $110 (cash/check); $114 (PayPal).

WINTER: Attic Writers' League: Writing for Radio and Podcasts | Jan 15 - Feb 12

“Great stories happen to those who can tell them.” ~ Ira Glass

We're living in a golden age of radio and podcast storytelling. People are hungry for great stories to listen to and new podcasts are popping up everywhere you look. With some basic tools, you too can join the revolution. How hard could it be, right? Just pick up a mic and start talking. Well, not exactly. It's true that a great radio or podcast story may seem natural and off-the-cuff but there's a lot more going on behind the scenes than you might think. This class will explore successful story structures, common pitfalls to avoid and why it's so important to write like you speak. You'll learn about narrative tension, thinking in scenes and different approaches to writing to tape. We'll also analyze some examples of excellent and innovative radio writing from people like Starlee Kine, Jonathan Goldstein, Scott Carrier and Nate DiMeo. What makes a story resonate with the listener? What makes us keep listening? Come find out.

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Mondays, Jan 15 - Feb 12, 7:30-9pm, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Early Registration and Tuition Deadline is seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Early Registration: $95 (cash/check); $99 (PayPal). | Late Registration: $110 (cash/check); $114 (PayPal).

WINTER: Edward Derby's Writing Your Portland Stories Workshop | Jan 15 - Feb 12

Once I was in a cafe in Portland and the woman at the next table and I began chatting and in the course of our conversation she strongly recommend I visit this web site called 'The Rumpus' so I could read this advice column called 'Dear Sugar.' It was so painful not to tell her that in fact I was Sugar, but I didn't.  ~ Cheryl Strayed

This is a workshop especially for recent Portland transplants. Of course, old-timers are welcome too. Portland offers a rich variety of settings for your narratives. You want to write and get to know your city better. In this class, you will be asked to write narrative work set in different Portlands. In the process of workshopping that work, you will learn more about your city and get to know other newcomers while improving your narrative game. We will read and discuss some stories set in Portland. You will be asked to take a trip to observe and take notes in a Portland setting (on your own time), and to research a focused portion of Portland history, so that you can use both as settings for a story. | Maximum 12 students

Register for this workshop

 

Teacher: 
Time: 
Mondays, Jan 15 - Feb 12, 5:30-7:30pm, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Early Registration and Tuition Deadline is seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Early Registration: $207 (cash/check); $219 (Paypal). | Late Registration: $222 (cash/check); $234 (PayPal).

WINTER: Brian Benson's Craft of Creative Nonfiction Workshop | Jan 16 - Feb 13

“Nonfiction is never going to die.” Tom Wolfe

The explosion of creative nonfiction has opened writers to new ways to share your stories and insight. Are you interested in writing memoir or personal essay? Literary journalism or travelogue? In this workshop, you'll learn to craft these and other styles of creative nonfiction. We'll (respectfully) pillage the works of contemporary writers and discuss form and voice, scene and structure, as we explore how to apply literary technique to real-life narratives. You'll get to try your hand at a wide range of creative nonfiction, and you'll receive in-depth feedback on your work in progress so that you can practice a range of paths. Open to writers of all levels. | Maximum: 12 writers

Register for this workshop

 

Teacher: 
Time: 
Tuesdays, 5:30 - 7:30pm, Jan 16 - Feb 13, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Early Registration and Tuition Deadline is seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Early Registration: $207 (cash/check); $219 (Paypal). | Late Registration: $222 (cash/check); $234 (PayPal).

WINTER: David Ciminello's Building Character Fiction Workshop | Jan 16 - Feb 13

“Until a character becomes a personality it cannot be believed. And without personality, a story cannot ring true to the audience.” – Walt Disney

This workshop will concern the people that populate our stories. Through a series of in-workshop prompts, exercises, and take-home assignments participants will create a series of flash pieces (snapshots) that will flesh out the complete life cycle of a character or characters. Significant focus on radically imaginative explorations of form (monologue, biography, autobiography, etc.), point of view, scene, action, and dialogue will help bring our creations to life. Supportive in-workshop sharing and revision will be a strong part of the process. No class on Thanksgiving Day. | Maximum 12 writers

Register for this workshop

Time: 
Thursdays, 8-10pm, Jan 18 - Feb 15, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Early Registration and Tuition Deadline is seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Early Registration: $207 (cash/check); $219 (Paypal). | Late Registration: $222 (cash/check); $234 (PayPal).

WINTER: Ed Skoog's Write to Understand, Not to Explain Poetry Workshop A.M. | Jan 16 - Feb 13

“I do not use language, I cooperate with it.” — Robert Duncan

This course will explore ways to follow poetic language into the imagination and subconscious, without the burdens of explanation and explication. We will allow ourselves to write with passion and sensibility by letting sentences, metaphors, and images unfold, and to make associations, without fretting about earthly matters such as readership, genre, and tradition, to permit ourselves to “be in uncertainties, mysteries, and doubts” as Keats praised in Shakespeare, “without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.” We will read some correspondence between Denise Levertov and Robert Duncan, and look at poems by Emily Dickinson, Josephine Miles and the early Twentieth-Century Portland poet Hazel Hall. | Maximum 12 students

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Tuesdays, 10am-12pm, Jan 16 - Feb 13, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Early Registration and Tuition Deadline is seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Early Registration: $207 (cash/check); $219 (Paypal). | Late Registration: $222 (cash/check); $234 (PayPal).

WINTER: John Morrison's Great Approaches for Revising Your Poetry Workshop | Jan 16 - Feb 13

I think we could do more with style, more assonance, more èlan, more verve, more animal spirits, more fun. These are not solemn matters. ~ Theodore Roethke

 

Sure, we welcome the poem that comes to us whole or nearly so, but what of the poems we must step through various revisions? Those take a special, gentle touch, to listen and see where and how they want to blossom. And if the gentle attention won’t coax the poem along, it’s time for drastic, maybe reckless measures. Let’s explore both approaches with your draft poems. We will deeply read the work of powerful poets and explore generative activities and revision strategies, some light and playful, some ruthless, as we find an inspiration to new and stronger poetry. | Maximum 12 writers

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Tuesdays, Jan 16 - Feb 13, 8-10pm, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Early Registration and Tuition Deadline is seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Early Registration: $207 (cash/check); $219 (Paypal). | Late Registration: $222 (cash/check); $234 (PayPal).

WINTER: Natalie Serber's Short Story Palooka Workshop | Jan 16 - Feb 13

I want to try to capture in writing the mysterious process of a life unfolding and how it feels as it happens. We often imagine that mystery is buried deep inside our lives, but it’s also hidden around us. ~ Tessa Hadley

For five weeks we’ll put our storytelling muscles to work. Reading great stories, writing from prompts, working with stories you may already have. Through peer support and critical discussion you’ll get thoughtful responses to your work with an eye toward making your stories shimmer. | Maximum 12 students

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Tuesdays, Jan 16 - Feb 13, 8-10pm, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Early Registration and Tuition Deadline is seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Early Registration: $207 (cash/check); $219 (Paypal). | Late Registration: $222 (cash/check); $234 (PayPal).

WINTER: Matthew Dickman's Poetry Writing Workshop | Jan 20 - Feb 17

Maybe You Are Not Who You Think You Are: an inquiry beyond "voice"

The American playwright and film director, Bill Gunn, once responded to an accusation that James Dean was copying Marlon Brando's style of acting this way: "Imitating someone is a way of becoming yourself through endorsing yourself" In this class we are going to explore endorsing ourselves beyond what we have come to understand as our own voice or style through discussion, writing exercises, and workshopping. Is it possible that we are more than who we think we are, that we have the capacity to explore uncharted parts of The Self, and that the style in which we write is not part of our character but an illusion we have agreed to accept? | Maximum 12 students

Register for this workshop

 

Teacher: 
Time: 
Saturdays, 10am - 12pm, Jan 20 - Feb 17, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Early Registration and Tuition Deadline is seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Early Registration: $207 (cash/check); $219 (Paypal). | Late Registration: $222 (cash/check); $234 (PayPal).

WINTER: Wayne Gregory's So, You Wanna Be A Writer? Workshop | Jan 20 - Feb 17

“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” ~ E. L. Doctorow

You have a thousand stories inside your head. You dabble on the page but rarely if ever finish anything, much less share with others. “Is my work good enough?” you wonder.  “Do I have something original and interesting to say? What makes me think I can be a writer?”  The biggest obstacle for emerging writers is not lack of time nor lack of skill nor lack of things to write about. It’s a lack of self-confidence. This workshop is designed for those who want to be writers, but are not sure they can be.  It provides a safe space for you to explore your interest in writing within a community of others who are on the same journey of exploration that you are. You will have an opportunity to share your writing and receive feedback that will help you identify your creative strengths and build on them. If you have work to share, bring it. If you haven’t written anything, bring an open mind to the possibilities that the class may open for you. Learn about the craft and, in the process, discover what it is about you that makes your stories worth telling and makes you the only writer who can tell them. | Maximum 12 students

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Saturdays, 10am - 12pm, Jan 20 - Feb 17, 5 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Early Registration and Tuition Deadline is seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Early Registration: $207 (cash/check); $219 (Paypal). | Late Registration: $222 (cash/check); $234 (PayPal).

WINTER: Emily Whitman's Conveying Emotion Workshop for Writers of Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult Fiction | Feb 6 - Mar 13

“I am a former child, and I haven't forgotten a thing.” ~ Ursula Nordstrom 

A reader falls into a book by seeing through a character's eyes, and that means feeling what the character is feeling But how many times can a character's heart pound in his chest, or a shiver run down her spine? In this workshop we'll explore fresh, effective ways of expressing emotion. Each week we'll focus on a method or two, including physical signs, using the surrounding scene, metaphor, dialogue tricks and tools, and naming emotions outright. We'll do exercises in class, making discoveries and breaking through barriers. Then you'll go home and use the techniques on your work-in-progress (or a new piece inspired by your explorations). By the end of the workshop you'll have a big toolbox to use in conveying emotion, practice in putting the tools to use, and a stronger work-in-progress. For writers at all levels. | Maximum 12 students

Register for this workshop

 

Time: 
Tuesdays, Feb 6 - Mar 13, 5:30 - 7:30pm, 6 weeks
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Early Registration: $248 (cash/check); $255 (Paypal). | Late Registration: $263 (cash/check); $272 (PayPal).

WEEKEND WORKSHOP: Ed Skoog's Poetry Writing Workshop | Feb 24-25

In this two-day workshop we will read, discuss, and write poems revolving around the concept, via the critic Shoshona Felman, that "the poet is one who knows more than he or she realizes, always delivering that excess into the social field disruptively and in ways that renew dialogue and thought, spurring the activity of knowing onward, bringing it to life," and the somewhat aligned idea, from critic Allen Grossman, that poetry is "speech of last resort." The instructor's hope is that these are encouraging ideas for those poets who are interested in challenging themselves to new approaches and habits of writing and discovering. What is happening when you begin to write a poem? What is it to be called to speech? Please bring a draft of a poem in progress for group critique; be prepared to drafts several new poems as well.

Register for this workshop

Teacher: 
Time: 
Weekend: Feb 24-25 | Saturday 12:30-5:30pm | Sunday 12:30-5:30pm | 10 hours
Location: 
Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, 4232 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Total Fee: 
Early Registration and Tuition Deadline is seven (7) days prior to the start of the workshop. | Early Registration: $207 (cash/check); $219 (Paypal). | Late Registration: $222 (cash/check); $234 (PayPal).