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Lamplighter Writing Institute Workshops

In 2022, the Lamplighter Writing Institute will offer two-week, online and in-person (on-campus) options. Students will select from the following genres.

Regardless of the genre, you will complete daily exercises, study model texts, have one-on-one meetings with your instructor, participate in critical response groups, and complete one or more polished pieces that you’ll have the opportunity to publish in our journal, Lamplighter.

The fiction workshops will include several genre- and theme-based titles, such as crime fiction, horror, science fiction, and flash fiction. In each, you’ll find a supportive writing community, and each day, you’ll practice technique, study both the fundamentals and nuances of the craft, and be asked to look within yourself to find your authentic voice. You’ll write scenes and create characters, and produce one or more polished stories for Lamplighter.

This workshop explores the role of the media in culture and society, looks at the various forms of media today — from print, to Twitter, to podcasts — and introduces you to the fundamentals as well as the nuances of journalism. If you’re curious about something and you’re willing to ask a few questions about it, then you’re ready to be a reporter. You’ll interview, produce, edit, and revise, and finish the workshop with a feature story.

Narrative Nonfiction
This workshop explores the world of narrative nonfiction and will include several theme-based options, such as Creative Nonfiction; The Art and Craft of the Personal Essay; The Braided Essay: Combining Life and Art; and Environmental Writing. In each, fundamentals of essay writing will be stressed. You’ll be asked to practice descriptive writing, adding supporting details, making a clear and compelling argument, and writing in your authentic voice. All aspects of the writing process will be stressed, and you’ll finish with at least one polished piece for Lamplighter.

Play/Screenwriting: Stories for the Stage and Screen
Ever had an idea and thought, “This would make a great play!” Ever watched Netflix and said, “How do I make something like that?” This two-week screenwriting and playwriting workshop will introduce you to the basics of script creation for each medium. You’ll look at the differences between the stage and screen. You’ll explore where and how script ideas start. Each day, you’ll add a new component of the process — from storyboarding and developing characters to writing dialogue, setting tone, and formatting work to fit an industry standard. Enter the world of dramatic writing on your own terms and investigate the stories that interest you, all the while connecting with other artists. The course will culminate in table readings of your brand new work by actors and fellow writers. 

Poetry: The Art and Craft 
“Poetry,” wrote Lawrence Ferlinghetti, NMH ’37, “is eternal graffiti written in the heart of everyone.” In this two-week workshop, you’ll dive into poetry and see all it has to offer. You’ll explore the written word and the music of language in ways that will excite you. You’ll learn the craft of making poems. Discussions will cover the elements of poetry, its many forms, and how to express your voice using poetic techniques. Count on fun activities that help you write y