Each five-day workshop is taught by an experienced, published writer-in-residence in a small group setting. All workshops will be hosted on Chautauqua's new Online Classroom

As workshop descriptions are announced, each will clarify which of these models that workshop will employ:

  1. Generative Workshops: Offered occasionally, these workshops focus on in-class craft analysis, discussion and exercises, as well as (time-permitting) take-home prompts; ideal for writers at any level of experience looking for ways to invigorate or initiate their writing practices. $135. Enrollment capped at 12.
  2. Flexible Workshops: The most frequently-offered option, these workshops first consider work by participants who arrive on Monday with relevant drafts, then workshop participants who've generated work during the week, all in the context of regular craft analysis and discussion. $135. Enrollment capped at 12.
  3. Advanced Workshops: Offered once each season in both poetry and prose, these workshops focus on careful reading and response for everyone's submitted manuscripts, in the context of craft analysis and sometimes alternative revision strategies; ideal for dedicated and experienced writers hoping to make significant headway on their latest drafts; application required. $170. Enrollment capped at 8.

Week 1

Week 1 

Writing Prose Poetry

June 28–July 2 / 8:30–10:30 a.m. 

Miltner Robert WritersCenterRobert Miltner
Course Description:
Poetry is most easily identified by literate readers as the genre that is not written in prose; whether formal sonnets or free verse, poetry is a form of writing visually unique unto itself. Yet even before the current era of hybridity, recognizable written poetry was being viewed as separate and divided from the other literary genres. In 1869, French poet Charles Baudelaire dreamed of “the miracle of a form of poetic prose, musical but without rhythm and rhyme, both supple and staccato enough to adapt itself to the lyrical movements of our reveries” which resulted in the “little poems in prose” that make up his book Paris Spleen. Prose poetry is a hybrid genre driven by the energy produced at the co-present intersection of prose and poetry, utilizing the best of what prose and poetry offer. Imagine writing fiction or nonfiction that sings and leaps like poetry, or writing poetry shaped by the syntax and sophisticated style of prose. Imagine paragraphs where prose and poetry tango together on the page. Learn how prose poetry can offer experiment, expand content, and explore sentence level play and performance. In the workshop we’ll look at examples of prose poetry from master practitioners (such as Russell Edson, Lydia Davis, Nin Andrews), and discuss them in terms of how prose poems fabricated, and what challenges and excitement are created. Then, following some prompts, we’ll write our own prose poems to share and discuss.  Flexible (ages 18+)

Bio: Robert Miltner’s books of prose poetry are Hotel Utopia (New Rivers Press) and Orpheus & Echo (Etruscan Press); his prose poetry chapbooks include Against the Simple (Kent State University Press) and Eurydice Rising (Red Berry Editions); his collection of short fiction is And Your Bird Can Sing (Bottom Dog Press); and his collection of creative nonfiction is Ohio Apertures (Cornerstone Press). A professor emeritus at Kent State University and the NEOMFA in Creative Writing, Miltner is recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for Poetry, an Ohio Arts Council Fellowship at Vermont Studio Center, and a writing residency at The Wassaic Project. He edits The Raymond Carver Review.

Author's Website

Writing the Literary Snapshot

June 28–July 2 / 1:15–3:15 p.m. 

Livingston Sonja WritersCenterSonja Livingston
Course Description:
Our stories have the rare power to explore and connect us beyond the obvious divides of race, class, gender, religion and geography. Whether you’re working on a memoir, family history or a series of personal essays, the challenge often lies in translating the riches and struggles of real life into an actionable and manageable writing project. This generative workshop harnesses the low-pressure and intuitive process of writing short vivid pieces of scene and memory (or “snapshots”) as a means of jumpstarting your creative project and writing practice, no matter your level of experience. Together we’ll discuss sample memoir snapshots, respond to interactive writing prompts, and develop a manageable writing plan to carry beyond the workshop. Flexible (ages 18+)

Bio: Sonja Livingston's latest book, The Virgin of Prince Street, uses an unexpected return to her childhood church to explore changes in the larger Church and in personal concepts of devotion. Richard Rohr praised the work for “infusing nuance and generosity into an increasingly polarized religious landscape.” Sonja’s first book, Ghostbread, a memoir of childhood poverty, has been widely adopted for classroom use. Her nonfiction has won an AWP Book Prize, a New York Arts Fellowship, an Iowa Review Prize, a VanderMey Nonfiction Award, and an Arts & Letters Essay Prize. Sonja is an associate professor of creative writing at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Author's Website