Ends on September 20, 2017

The Tin House Summer Workshop is known for its lectures: brilliant, practical craft talks that hone our writerly chops and make us hungry to work. In this same spirit, Tin House’s Brooklyn outpost is proud to offer Tin House Craft Intensives, a series of master classes led by favorite Tin House writers. Less lecture and more laboratory, the intensives combine close reading, discussion, and in-class writing to offer a potent dose of inspiration and explore what makes writing work when it works. Join us!

  • Classes are held in the Brooklyn Tin House offices at 126 13th Street, Unit 4R, in the Gowanus neighborhood. Each Intensive is capped at seven students. Stay after the class for an optional look around the office and a Q & A with a Tin House editor.
  • Admissions are rolling--and competitive--and fill fast! Apply early to secure a spot. Final deadline is September 20th, 2017. Expect to hear back no later than September 27th.
  • Cost is $125.

Contact Emma Komlos-Hrobsky at emma@tinhouse.com with questions. We look forward to your applications!


Wednesday, October 4th, 7:00-10:00 pm
Obsession is Your Creative Engine with STEVE ALMOND

Most good writing—whether fiction or nonfiction—arises from a writer’s obsessions. In this intensive session, we’ll discuss how to explore our obsessions on the page, without falling pray to self-absorption or sentiment. We’ll look at the work of folks such as Joan Didion, George Saunders, Mary Gordon, and Nick Hornby, then generate some obsessive work in class.  


Sunday, October 8th, 2:00-5:00 pm
Keeping Them on the Barstool: How to Find and Push the Stakes of Your Fiction with KAREN SHEPARD

If fiction is sidling up next to someone at a bar and saying, “Let me tell you a story…,” how do you keep your new friend at the bar on her stool rather than heading off to the restroom?  Let’s spend a few hours together figuring out how to identify and develop the stakes of our fiction.  If your reader is always going to be asking, “Why does this matter?” how do we address that question as writers?  We’ll look at some examples from published work; we’ll do some exercises designed to identify and develop stakes; we’ll remind ourselves that this writing thing we do should always be a matter of life and death.

Sunday, October 29th, 2:00-5:00 pm
Interruptions with CJ HAUSER

Why do we nest stories-within-stories? When should we interrupt our characters’ narratives with stories from the past, other characters’ lives, and the wider world? Can metabolizing the past in story allow a character to re-envision her future? Would you swear a blood oath to never again engage in Overt Freudian Causality? Can interruptions be radical? Be funny? Let’s form a tiny think-tank on interruptions and find out. In this class we’ll study several species of interruption: flashbacks, frames, footnotes, and stories within stories. You’ll take home: work from three exercises engaging you in different kinds of interruption, a manifesto on flashbacks, and a new patience for interrupting friends and relatives.

Optional advance reading (we’ll be looking at passages from these stories in class): Miroslav Penkov’s “East of the West,” ZZ Packer’s “Brownies,” Amy Bloom’s “Love Is Not A Pie,” Tim O’Brien’s “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong.”


Sunday, November 5th, 2:00-5:00 pm
Fiction is Always an Emergency: Shattering the Narrative Glass to Create New Story Structures with AMBER SPARKS

Linear narrative is fine for your Aunt Linda or your Grandma Dorothy. But you want to create stories that claw back, shoot off the page and reflect our fractured, post-modern world, no? Stories that don't travel in a straight line so much as double back, skip ahead, disappear into the distance, then reappear, swearing the whole thing never happened. Stories, in other words, that do something entirely new on the page. So this is the class for you. We'll listen to some hip-hop, do some talking, then do some weird writing exercises that will get you thinking about new ways to look at and deliver narrative in your stories. We'll talk about the best tricks and tips for springboarding excellent non-linear fiction, and brainstorm some of our own. You'll take home: a list of moves for non-linear fiction writing, a short piece of fractured writing that I'm positive you'll want to keep working on, and some further recommended fiction reading and music listening, too. 

Assigned Reading: Before the class, you'll receive a few short non-fiction pieces on messing around with narrative structure. You'll also read “Fable,” by Charles Yu. 



STEVE ALMOND is the author of eight books of fiction and non-fiction, including the New York Times Bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. He teaches writing at Harvard's Nieman Foundation and Wesleyan University. 

KAREN SHEPARD is the author of the novels, An Empire of WomenThe Bad Boy’s Wife, Don’t I Know You?, and The Celestials. Her short fiction has been published in The Atlantic Monthly, Tin House, BombPloughsharesFailbetter, Glimmer TrainMississippi Review, and Southwest Review, among others. Her new book, out this fall, is Kiss Me, Someone.

CJ HAUSER lives in Hamilton, NY and teaches at Colgate University. Hauser's fiction has appeared in Tin House, Narrative Magazine, TriQuarterly, Esquire, Third Coast, SLICE, Hobart, and The Kenyon Review. Her first novel, The From-Aways, is published by William Morrow. She has received McSweeney's Amanda Davis Highwire Fiction Award, the Jaimy Gordon Prize in Fiction, and Narrative's Short Story Prize. Hauser is at work on a new novel about sex, death, and ducks.

AMBER SPARKS is the author of the short story collection The Unfinished World and Other Stories, which has received praise from The New York TimesThe Washington Post, and The Paris Review, among others. She is also the author of a previous short story collection, May We Shed These Human Bodies, as well as the co-author of a hybrid novella with Robert Kloss and illustrator Matt Kish, titled The Desert Places. She’s written numerous short stories, flash fictions and essays, which have been featured in various publications and across the web.