For writers who might not be able to commit to a weekly session this three-hour close-reading seminar is an excellent opportunity to explore themes of both internal and external exile in the work of four master short story writers.
Through close readings of stories by Mavis Gallant, Leila Aboulela, Joseph O’Neill, and William Trevor, we will analyze craft issues such as setting, character development, and the role of dialogue. While exploring these writers’ stories we’ll also discuss exile and its emotional use in fiction, most especially the ways “home” functions in the subconscious and interior lives of many characters.
This 3-hour intensive seminar will be held online Saturday, May 28th from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm UK/Ireland
From Scratch at New York Foundation for the Arts
From Scratch: Going back to basics in order to write better prose is a writing workshop for artists across disciplines. This two-part workshop is designed for artists who are bored of typical art-world jargon, terrified of the oft-dreaded artist’s statement, or just feeling stuck when it comes to writing.
Participants will break out of traditional modes and go back to basics: excavating their own lived experience and reading lives in order to create better, brighter prose. These sessions will be helpful for people doing their own marketing or hoping to write more successful grant applications. Participants will discuss difficulties, insecurities, and fears about so-called “creative” writing and do several short in-class writing exercises.
Carey’s approach involves intensive engagement with literary texts in order to build everyone’s confidence around the written word.
next session: Nov 29th and Dec 2nd
On Writing Home at Irish Writers Centre
This workshop is designed for people writing about their home country while living—or having lived—far from their place of birth or the place they call home.
Participants can be starting or fine-tuning prose projects including memoir, personal essay, or fiction.
Next session begins Monday, March 14th register here
Certain Uses of Twilight: Using accidents to write a better story.
A one-month correspondence course
Birth is so often the end of the narrative arc in what we call “women’s writing.” The turmoil of early adulthood is somehow solved with the arrival of a child. The woman writer grounded, her quest finished.
This course explores the potential of writing about all sorts of other womb experiences (infertility, endometriosis, miscarriage, abortion, stillbirth, hysterectomy).
Over the four weeks of the course we will use the accidental and the ambiguous as a force for creativity, moving beyond more traditional ideas about arc and plot, about beginnings and ends.
Students can present prose pieces between 2000 and 3000 words to be critiqued. These pieces can form part of a larger work of fiction or non-fiction or be stand-alone stories or essays.
Readings include work by Audre Lorde, Annie Ernaux, Adrian Duncan, Sharon Olds, Jhumpa Lahiri, Kate Christensen, Mary Ruefle, and Amit Majmudar.
This is a correspondence course. No Zoom or in-person meetings are involved. Each Monday students will receive an email with readings, instructions for how to read through the material, and writing prompts.
This course begins the first Monday of each month. Each student reads and writes individually at their own pace.
Fee: 150 €
The material generated through your prompts is yours and yours only, but Madeline will edit and comment on your writing sample.
For one-on-one manuscript mentoring, contact Madeline here.
Reviews & Testimonials
Through focused readings of contemporary classics, Madeline Beach Carey’s “On Writing Home” provided me with a structured space to reflect on my own work. I came away from the course feeling inspired and ready to explore new creative ground.
I’ve found this course to be fabulous at stretching me and moving me forward in my own work. Madeline has a deft touch at pushing out all our boundaries and a directed response in her one-to-one feedback. Thank you so much for this unexpected gem of a course.
In a positive and encouraging environment, all contributions on the texts or on other course members’ writing were valued. The material for close reading was wide-ranging, thought-provoking and certainly evidenced the different approaches and styles that may be taken in “writing home.” Madeline’s detailed critiques of my own writing revealed her editorial skills.
“Certain Uses of Twilight” was a joy. I was introduced to new texts, concepts, and friends for our journey together. The Space Between that Madeline created was fertile with spiritual and literary growth.
This was uncharted territory for me, a workshop using “womb experiences” as its motif. It was a very positive experience. Madeline has impressive teacher/facilitator skills and we (the Zoom participants) all gained in empowerment and “care for others.” The short writing exercises were challenging and fruitful.