This year, the Writers’ Center is piloting three intensive courses that focus on specific forms and genres, giving writers a compact but substantive weekend of enhanced expertise, productivity and community. Registration is now available! Each intensive is $150, and the Cavallaro and Stielstra intensives are also available as part of a weekend vacation package.

JULY 7-8 WEEKEND INTENSIVE

The World at Stake: Writing (or Revising) the First Chapter of Your Young Adult Novel

Cavallaro BrittanyBrittany Cavallaro

In this weekend intensive, we'll discuss what features and strategies YA fiction writers can use to write a strong first chapter of a novel in any genre, from science fiction to contemporary realism. What's the best way to invite readers into your world while also hinting at its complexities? What are good strategies for introducing your characters and their wants and needs? How do you plant the thematic seeds that will grow into a strong story? Writers will complete in-class exercises and begin (or continue) brainstorming and worldbuilding—collectively, individually, and in direct consultation with the instructor. (ages 16+)

July 7-8 / Sa-Su / 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (with breaks) and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (with breaks), subject to adjustment

Ballroom, Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall
Fees: 2 sessions • $150 for course alone • $361* for vacation package • course number 14021

Purchase Course Only

Brittany Cavallaro is a poet, fiction writer, and old school Sherlockian. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the Charlotte Holmes novels, including A Study in Charlotte, The Last of August and The Case for Jamie. She's also the author of the poetry collection Girl-King and is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. 

July 7-8 Weekend Vacation Package
(Click here, then select "Check Availability.")

Rate starting at $361*
Package includes:
Accommodations at the Athenaeum Hotel
Chautauqua Institution gate pass and parking
Writers' Center Weekend Intensive with Brittany Cavallaro
Three-course dinner on Saturday, breakfast and Sunday brunch
*Offer based on availability. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotion or standard discount. Package rates are subject to applicable taxes. Single rates available. Promotional packages are non-refundable.


JULY 14-15 WEEKEND INTENSIVE
Everybody Stand Up: Performance in the Writing Process

Stielstra MeganMegan Stielstra

This hands-on/minds-on weekend intensive explores how performance intersects, informs, and inspires the writing process. Intended for both experienced writers looking to take current drafts to the next level, and beginning writers looking for their most authentic material, we’ll push the pencils aside* to dig into the story, encouraging discovery and examining literary craft in new ways. How does telling a story aloud heighten the writers’ understanding of its movement and structure? How does the presence of an immediate audience affect the rewriting process? And how, above all else, can we have fun while doing so? (ages 18+)
*only momentarily! We’ll pick them back up, I promise!

July 14-15 / Sa-Su / 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (with breaks) and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (with breaks), subject to adjustment

Ballroom, Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall
Fees: 2 sessions • $150 for course alone • $361* for vacation package • course number 14022

Purchase Course Only

Megan Stielstra is the author of three collections: The Wrong Way to Save Your Life, Once I Was Cool, and Everyone Remain Calm. Her work appears in Best American Essays, The New York Times, Guernica and elsewhere. She is currently an artist-in-residence at Northwestern University.

July 14-15 Weekend Vacation Package
(Click here, then select "Check Availability.")

Rate starting at $361*
Package includes:
Accommodations at the Athenaeum Hotel
Chautauqua Institution gate pass and parking
Writers' Center Weekend Intensive with Megan Stielstra
Three-course dinner on Saturday, breakfast and Sunday brunch
*Offer based on availability. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotion or standard discount. Package rates are subject to applicable taxes. Single rates available. Promotional packages are non-refundable.


AUGUST 4-5 WEEKEND INTENSIVE
The Great Leap: Playwriting Page to Stage     

Canady DarrenDarren Canady

Writing vital, lively, unpredictable work for the stage can be a liberating challenge for any writer. Participants in this weekend intensive will take on that challenge by gaining a firm hold of the foundations of dramatic structure and analysis. After working through a Major Dramatic Question and outline for a one-act or full-length play, participants will write major turning point scenes in their scripts. Revisions of these scenes will have the chance to be performed as part of a reading with Chautauqua Theatre Company (CTC), and all participants will attend a CTC rehearsal, talk-back, and playwright panel discussion.

August 4-5 / Sa-Su / 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (with breaks) and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (with breaks), subject to adjustment

Ballroom, Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall
Fees: 2 sessions • $150 • course number 14023

Purchase Course

Darren Canady’s work has been seen at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, the Alliance Theatre, Chicago’s Congo Square Theatre, the BE Company and more. He was a 2006-7 fellow in the Juilliard School's Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program and a participant in the 2010 T.S. Eliot US/UK Exchange. He currently teaches playwriting at the University of Kansas.