Do Not Think, Dream: Fiction & Creative Nonfiction Workshop

Andre Dubus III's picture
Andre Dubus III
Week 3: June 23 to June 28
ORIENTATION: June 23, 6:00-7:30 PM
WORKSHOP: June 24-28, 1-4pm
Discipline: Fiction, Nonfiction/Memoir
Open to All

On-site Housing Not Available
Workshop Description 

If I teach nothing in my writing classes, I teach this: do not outline your novel or novella or short story or essay. Do not think out the plot, the narrative arc, the protagonist’s journey, whatever you want to call it. Instead, try to find the story through an honest excavation of the characters’ total experience of the situation in which they find themselves. Do that, and I promise the story will begin to write itself, with little need for the controlling hand of the godly, intelligent, well-read, and ambitious author. But how, precisely, does one go about this “excavation”? And how, technically speaking, can we ignite a story into “writing itself”? Come to this workshop, and I will seek to demystify those writerly tools and skills that time and time again, if they are sharp enough, and if the writer can summon enough daily faith and nerve, can penetrate the mystery of story itself. This is both a workshop-based and generative class.


Please submit 10-25 pages of work (double-spaced, 12pt font) to by May 23.



Andre Dubus III ‘s books include the New York Times’ bestsellers House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days, and his memoir, Townie. His 2013 novella collection, Dirty Love, was a New York Times “Notable Book” selection, a New York Times “Editors’ Choice”, and a Kirkus “Starred Best Book of 2013”. His new novel, Gone So Long, was just published in the fall of 2018. Mr. Dubus has been a finalist for the National Book Award, and has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, two Pushcart Prizes, and is a recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. His books are published in over twenty-five languages, and he teaches full-time at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Fontaine, a modern dancer, and their three children.