Blue Stoop
A hub for literary Philly

Classes

Food Writing: A Framework for Understanding the World
Jan
28
to Mar 18

Food Writing: A Framework for Understanding the World

Today, food is a major theme of American culture, and in recent years writing on food topics has become a significant literary genre unto itself. But what is food writing anyway? For writers, food is a frame you can use to explore almost any subject that interests you. Food can be a very humanizing way into tough subjects like politics, religion, gender, and identity. Food can provide inspiration for moving personal essays, entertaining humor pieces, or education about health and how to cook. Thinking broadly about food writing can result in fresh works that go beyond the common food writing tropes. In this workshop, we’ll look at several major categories of food writing and advance skills through a combination of instruction, readings, writing assignments, class discussions, and group writing workshops. We'll look at different ways to share your food writing with the world, from blogs to writing for major publications.

Joy Manning is the editor of Edible Philly, and the co-host of the Local Mouthful podcast. Her writing has appeared in the Best Food writing book series and has served as Philadelphia Magazine’s restaurant critic. She is the author of Stuff Every Cook Should KnowAlmost Meatless, and the recipe editor for Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking. She lives in South Philadelphia with her husband. You can read many of her articles here

Mondays 6-9pm. 6-12 students, A Novel Idea Bookstore, 1726 East Passyunk Ave

$400 (Financial aid is available)

To apply, send an email to info@bluestoop.org with a short summary of your writing experience and a sample of 2-4 pages of poetry or prose (corresponding to genre you’re applying in). To apply for financial aid, please also fill out this form

Deadline to apply: December 17, 11:59pm

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Writing and Revising Fiction: Bringing Your Work to its Final Form
Jan
29
to Mar 19

Writing and Revising Fiction: Bringing Your Work to its Final Form

This workshop will focus on writing and revising fiction for submission and publication. In this class, we will develop complex characters, build fully realized worlds, construct solid plot structures, generate conflict and tension.

We will learn revision techniques that: 

-locate and home in on the story's intent (theme)
-hone the voice that makes our stories distinctive
-prioritize compelling, suspenseful, and precise language
-streamline the writing and editing process.

In addition to strengthening our craft, we will read and analyze short fiction by authors like James Baldwin, R.O. Kwon, Yiyun Li, Edna O’Brien, Mark Richard, George Saunders, and more. This course will feature intensive group workshops (in which we share our works-in-progress and offer insights on how we might revise our works) and individualized written feedback from your instructor. It is open to writers at all levels, from those with a single short story draft they want to improve to advanced practitioners who are querying agents or submitting their work to journals and magazines. 

Elysha Chang received an MFA from Columbia University; her work has appeared in/received prizes from GQ, The Rumpus, The Center For Fiction, FENCE, Bodega Mag, and others. She teaches at Villanova University and at the Kelly Writers House at UPenn and lives in South Philadelphia. Her work can be found at: elyshachang.com

Tuesdays 6-9pm. 6-12 students, A Novel Idea Bookstore, 1726 East Passyunk Ave

$400 (Financial aid is available)

To apply, send an email to info@bluestoop.org with a short summary of your writing experience and a sample of 2-4 pages of poetry or prose (corresponding to genre you’re applying in). To apply for financial aid, please also fill out this form

Deadline to apply: December 17, 11:59pm

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Introduction to Contemporary Poetry: Philadelphia Style
Jan
30
to Mar 20

Introduction to Contemporary Poetry: Philadelphia Style

Philadelphia is a great city for poetry. This general introduction to poetry course will be a guided tour through the work of some fantastic and foundational Philadelphia poets. Along with this work, we will read essays by poets about what a poem can do, and examine a variety of approaches to reading and writing poetry. Starting with broad ideas like sound, image, and the space of the page, we will learn to think about your work through a variety of lenses and gain familiarity with some more specific terms of art as well. We will try writing through a variety of generative constraints grounded in our readings, share work, and provide supportive and constructive feedback. This course is designed to help you get in touch with, discover, or deepen your creative practice.

Levi Bentley has an MFA in poetry from Temple University, and has worked with Copper Canyon Press and Ugly Duckling Press. They organize a craft conversation series with Ted Reese called Housework. Their work had been released from a variety of small presses and little magazines including Gina Meyer's Lamehouse Press, Apiary, Bedfellows, BlazeVOX, Fact-Simile, Gigantic Sequins, Painted Bride Quarterly, Stillwater Review, and The Wanderer.

Wednesdays 6-9pm. 6-12 students, A Novel Idea Bookstore, 1726 East Passyunk Ave

$400 (Financial aid is available)

To apply, send an email to info@bluestoop.org with a short summary of your writing experience and a sample of 2-4 pages of poetry or prose (corresponding to genre you’re applying in). To apply for financial aid, please also fill out this form

Deadline to apply: December 17, 11:59pm

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