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Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College Offers Four Days of Creative Writing Workshops by Visiting Writers

The Writers Institute

Miami, March 27, 2008 - The annual Writers Institute, presented by the Florida Center for the Literary Arts (FCLA) at Miami Dade College (MDC), has the talent and the topics to help writers improve their craft and market their manuscripts. Workshops run from May 7 - 10.

The Writers Institute, offered at MDC’s Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. Second Avenue features four days of intensive workshops taught by experienced visiting writers from around the world. There will also be a Spanish-language workshop on writing fiction, as well as a teens-only workshop. Some activities, such as daily lunchtime readings and lectures, are free and open to the public. The readings will take place from 12 to 1:30 p.m. in Room 2106. Lunch is included for those registered for at least one Institute workshop.

Writers can also practice the art of 30-second pitching for free before a panel of literary agents and other industry professionals during the “Pitch-o-rama” on Saturday, May 10, from 4 – 6 p.m. Participation is free and open to the public. Workshop attendees may sign up at noon on Saturday. General public may sign up at 3 p.m. Learn more about the courses being offered at this year’s Writers Institute:

Memoir and Other Nonfictions with Nick Flynn
Meets daily:  Wednesday, May 7 - Saturday, May 10, from 9 a.m. - noon
Through the examination of essays, handouts and daily writing exercises, students will regard the writing of non-fiction as a creative process rather than a simple assembly of facts.
About the writer:
Nick Flynn’s memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir and has been translated into ten languages. A Guggenheim Foundation fellowship recipient, Flynn teaches creative writing at the University of Houston.

Writing for the Young Adult Market with Micol Ostow
Meets daily: Wednesday, May 7 - Saturday, May 10, from 9 a.m. - Noon
This class focuses on the process of writing for a young audience, including outlining, plotting, characterization, authenticity of voice, narrative structure, and how to revise. The workshop is limited to 15 students.                                                                    
About the writer: Micol Ostow spent the first eight years of her career as an editor of bestselling teen books, focusing mainly on commercial fiction. She has written and/or ghostwritten more than 25 works for major houses, including Simon and Schuster, Penguin and Scholastic.

The Play’s the Thing — Writing for the Theatre with Che’Rae Adams
Meets daily: Wednesday, May 7 - Saturday, May 10, from 9 a.m. - Noon
This workshop is for writers who want to develop or revise a script and will include in-class exercises, reading and discussing of participants' work. Writers will also learn how best to get their scripts produced.
About the writer: Director Che’Rae Adams has been developing and directing new plays for almost two decades. She is the producing artistic director of the Los Angeles Writer’s Center and has taught acting and writing workshops at the Catholic University and Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Advanced Fiction Writing with Connie May Fowler
Meets daily: Wednesday, May 7 - Saturday, May 10, from 9 a.m. - Noon
An intensive course in exploring participants’ manuscripts, looking for proficiency and weakness, as well as opportunities to achieve greater depth and nuance. 
About the writer: Connie May Fowler is a novelist, memoirist, essayist, and screenwriter. Her most recent work, The Problem with Murmur Lee, was chosen as Redbook’s premier book club selection. She also adapted Before Women had Wings for Oprah Winfrey; the result was an Emmy-winning film. Fowler teaches writing workshops and seminars globally.

Intro to Fiction: From Inspiration to the Page and Beyond with T Cooper and Felicia Luna Lemus
Meets daily: Wednesday, May 7 – Friday, May 9, from 2 - 5 p.m.
Workshop will focus on a variety of writing strategies, including, but not limited to, crafting character, tone, point of view, setting, plot, and dialogue.
About the writers: T Cooper is the author of the bestselling novels, Lipshitz Six—or—Two Angry Blondes and Some of the Parts, and editor of a politically-minded anthology of stories titled A Fictional History of the United States with Huge Chunks Missing. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Times Style Magazine, Poets & Writers, and has been anthologized. Felicia Luna Lemus is the author of the novels Like Son and Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties. Her writing has appeared in numerous anthologies and in Latina and BOMB magazines.

On Revision with Rick Moody
Meets daily: Wednesday, May 7 - Friday, May 9, from 2 - 5 p.m.
This workshop will focus on the necessity of revision in fiction and non-fiction writing, paying particular attention to topic sentences, openings, closings, and the rhythm of paragraphs.
About the writer: Rick Moody is the author of six books of fiction, including The Ice Storm, which was adapted to film, and Garden State, recipient of the Pushcart Editor’s Choice award. The Black Veil: A Memoir with Digressions, won the NAMI/Ken Book Award and the PEN Marth Albrand Prize.

Poems of Praise with Kevin Young
Meets daily: Wednesday, May 7 - Friday, May 9, from 2 - 5 p.m.
In this course students will explore the extraordinary in the everyday, discover meaning and write about daily life, and learn how to describe loss. Participants will also dare to make use of the opposite of praise — writing a poetic curse. 
About the writer: Kevin Young is widely regarded as one of the leading poets of his generation. Young’s poetry and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, New York Times Book Review and the Paris Review.

How to Approach a Literary Agent with Taryn Fagerness
Wednesday, May 7, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Demystify the process of getting an agent by learning the dos and don'ts of obtaining literary representation, such as identifying the right agent, getting their attention, and understanding the submission process (including tips on writing great query/cover letters).
About the writer:
Taryn Fagerness is an agent and subrights manager at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency, where she is responsible for selling film, audio, merchandising and foreign rights to more than 35 countries around the world.

Is it Sexy? Crafting Sex Scenes that Move the Plot with Vicki Hendricks
Thursday, May 8, from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Scenes from contemporary fiction will be analyzed to identify specific techniques that create vivid reality, fast pace, and plot complexity. Participants are asked to bring an original sex or suspense scene for discussion. Warning: Scenes containing obscene language, lewd behavior and violence will be read and discussed.
About the writer:
Vicki Hendricks is the author of noir novels Miami Purity, Iguana Love, Voluntary Madness, Sky Blues, and Cruel Poetry.

What’s the Buzz? Getting Your Manuscript Read, Noticed and Talked About! With Diane Higgins
Friday, May 9, from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Learn how to make your manuscript a winner by rewriting and revising so that each page is driven by commanding prose and compelling narrative.  Discover the tools to submit a manuscript that publishers will find irresistible.
About the writer: Diane Higgins is an independent literary agent and a publishing and writing coach. She spent more than 21 years in New York book publishing, in roles ranging from publicity and marketing to senior acquisitions editor for St. Martin’s Press.

From Children/Picture Books to Young AdultElusive Markets and Writing Missteps with Eileen Robinson
Saturday, May 10, from 2 - 4 p.m.
Learn about the little-known niches in children and young adult publishing and how to evade rejection by avoiding critical errors in first pages and first chapters.
About the writer: Eileen Robinson has been in children's publishing for more than 10 years (including executive editor at Scholastic and editorial manager at Harcourt) with a focus on mentoring and publishing newcomers. Working with both published and unpublished authors, agents and publishing houses, Eileen created where she offers writers the tools they need to get published. In addition, Eileen has been an editorial consultant to Wisdom Publications, National Geographic, Santillana USA and others.

How to Write an Irresistible Nonfiction Book Proposal with Rita Rosenkranz
Saurday, May 10, from 2 - 4 p.m.
Learn the process of writing a salable nonfiction proposal, which will help shorten the distance between writing a proposal, finding an agent and publishing successfully.
About writer: Rita Rosenkranz is a former editor with major New York houses and veteran agent specializing in non-fiction titles. In 1990, she founded Rita Rosenkranz Literary Agency and represents health, history, parenting, music, how-to, popular science, business, biography, popular reference, cooking, spirituality and general interest titles.

Write On! Teen Writer’s Workshop
One day: Saturday, May 10 , from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (includes lunch)
Teens can learn how to turn raw materials – such as journals, blogs or photos – into well-crafted short stories, poetry and more in this workshop for teens ages 13-18. 
About the writer: Crissa Jean Chappell, a bronze medal winner of  the 2007 Florida Book Awards, is the author of Total Constant Order, the story of a young teen’s experience with obsessive compulsive disorder.

Writing Fiction Workshop (in Spanish) with Cristina Rivera Garza
Tuesday, May 6 – Friday, May 9, from 6 - 9 p.m.
A workshop that offers the necessary tools to infuse writing with personal experiences. Theory, practice, reading, and re-writing are components of this intensive workshop on creating fiction.
About the writer:
Cristina Rivera Garza, originally from Matamoros, Mexico, won the 1987 Premio Nacional de Cuento. Her book, Nadie Me Verá Llorar, won the 1997 Premio Nacional de Novela. In 2001, La Cresta de Llión earned her the Premio Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. THIS WORKSHOP WILL BE CONDUCTED ENTIRELY IN SPANISH.

Manuscript Consultations
Get feedback from the pros. Literary professionals Diane Higgins, Taryn Fagerness, Eileen Robinson, and Rita Rosenkranz will read participants’ work, and afterwards meet with them during one-on-one, 15-minute consultations. Space is limited. Visit for full submission guidelines and deadlines.

  • One three-day workshop: $200 (includes lunch Wednesday Friday)
  • One four-day workshop: $225 (includes lunch Wednesday Saturday)
  • Any two workshops: $375
  • Daily briefing lectures: $35 each
  • Manuscript consultation: $75
  • The whole enchilada – any two workshops, all daily briefings, plus one manuscript consultation:$500
  • Teens Write On! $85 (includes lunch)

Manuscript consultation fees go toward supporting the programs and initiatives of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College. MDC employees and students enrolled in a degree seeking program receive a discount on all workshops. For more information, please call 305-237-3023.

Registration for the Writers Institute is ongoing, though space is limited. Some events are on a first-come basis and some classes require early submission of manuscripts. For more information on fees and deadlines, call 305-237-3940 or visit the center’s website at

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
ethnicity, pregnancy, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, or genetic information.
Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.