Workshops

Connected Rooms, Phase II*

Back by popular (read: necessary) demand, this 8-week writing workshop, specifically for SWANA writers, offers a space to hold onto our writing practice and to exercise agency in our storytelling. During this time of repression, silence, and genocide, we will read writing from SWANA poets, fiction, and nonfiction writers, as well as those who blend genres, to find language through a queer and feminist lens and to reinforce our voices. We will reconsider our understanding of literature to center our complex histories and layered temporalities that challenge imposed myths about culture, identity, nationality, etc. Generative prompts each week will encourage the exploration of personal experience in writing while defining, experimenting, and finding new tools for expression. The goal is to build a community to create work that voices complexity and nuance, resists the current violence, and imagines a liberated future. In the final weeks we will workshop short pieces and share resources to support the publication of your new writing. Readings will include work by Arlene Avakian, Randa Jarrar, Zeyn Joukhadar, Naira Kuzmich, Noor Naga, Naomi Shihab Nye, Nadia Owusu, and others TBD. Minimum 8 students, capped at 12 students.

Meets weekly on Zoom, eight Tuesday nights, 7 to 9:30 pm eastern time, June 3 to July 22, 2024.

*This workshop builds from the first Connected Rooms workshop held in the winter of 2021, which provided stand-alone generative writing sessions after the devastation of the first Artsakh War. Students need not to have participated in the first phase of Connected Rooms to take this workshop.

You might be a good fit for this workshop if you are interested in reading more SWANA writers, developing your writing voice, and creating a completed piece with guided writing prompts and feedback. Writers of all genres and levels are welcome.

Suggested cost: $240

No one turned away for lack of funds, sliding scale and payment plans available, and donations of any amount accepted: please inquire with your registration.

Many mainstream literary organizations charge $500 to $700 for similar classes. If you can afford to add on a donation of any amount – $80 to $160 is suggested as a community booster – it will help make it possible for a worthy student who cannot afford to pay the full cost to attend.

To register: please email nancyagabian@gmail.com with a short paragraph or two describing your interest in the class. What do you hope to gain from it?

The Armenian Authors’ Club (Agump / Akumb)

This summer workshop, spanning thirteen weeks from May through July, will be a collaborative, intersectional space for six to eight Armenian (and honorary Armenian*) writers to work on book projects, meeting you wherever you are, from conception to a workable outline. At a time when support for our work and voices may feel limited, as a minority within a minority currently resisting violence and erasure, we will support each other through reading, writing, active listening, and community. An initial meeting will decide our path, including books we will read together to draw inspiration and ideas about structure, followed by outlining sessions and workshop meetings. The final meeting will decide a path moving forward.

  • Week 1: Consider excerpts from Matthew Salesses’s Craft in the Real World and Cathy Park Hong’s essay “Stand Up” to decide craft topics to explore. Decide on three books by Armenian and SWANA authors to read together (see possibilities from the Connected Rooms list above).
  • Weeks 2- 7: Read and discuss the three books and take inspiration from them to work with generative writing prompts, producing new work each week and reporting on our progress.
  • Week 8: Guidance and support for outlining our books
  • Weeks 9-12: Workshopping one or two members’ work each week, ten to twenty double-spaced pages.
  • Week 13: Plans will be made to decide how to continue to get the support you need to complete your project.

Open to writers of all genres. Capped at 8 students. Minimum 6 students to run.

Meets three hours weekly on Zoom, Sunday afternoons 1 to 4 pm eastern time, May 5 – July 28, 2024.

*honorary Armenian – a term an Armenian bestows upon a friend of any background who humbly shows committed love, knowledge, and interest towards Armenia, Armenians, Armenian culture, etc. Also, the term Armenian used here includes all folx with Armenian heritage who feel they aren’t “Armenian enough”, a term borrowed from the wonderful podcast of the same name by Lara Vanian-Green.

You might be a good fit for this workshop if you have a book idea to develop or have been drafting a book but need resources and guidance to continue. Writers of intermediate and advanced level, or who have completed several short pieces, are welcome.

Suggested cost: $650

No one turned away for lack of funds, sliding scale and payment plans available, and donations of any amount accepted: please inquire with your registration.

Many mainstream literary organizations charge $1000 to $1200 for similar classes. If you can afford to add on a donation of any amount – $150 to $325 is suggested as a community booster – it will help make it possible for a worthy student who cannot afford to pay the full cost to be able to attend.

To apply: please email nancyagabian@gmail.com with a couple of paragraphs describing your interest in the class and the project you would like to work on along with a short writing sample of 5 to 10 double-spaced pages of prose or 5 to 10 pages of poetry.