Summer Creative Writing Workshops

Our creative writing classes will be offered online this summer.
Meeting times will be worked out among the instructors and students. Join us!


Our unique three-week program offers aspiring, practicing, and experienced creative writers a community in which to create and connect.

All interested students are welcome! You do not need to be a Berkeley student to enroll.

July 6 - 23 and July 26 - August 13, 2021

Program Overview

Classes meet in a mix of synchronous and asynchronous modes during the campus shutdown. This summer we are offering two sessions: Session F (July 6-23, 2021) and Session E (July 26-August 13).

Enroll at summer.berkeley.edu

You can take one or two daily creative writing classes in short fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and drama. You also have the opportunity to participate in a workshop that teaches you to present your work and listen and critique the creative writing of others. And, most of all, you will meet and socialize with like-mided creative writers and faculty.

Berkeley Students: Two 3-week creative writing courses count as one course for the Creative Writing Minor.

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Courses

The following four classes meet Monday through Friday and are worth 2 units.

ColWrit N131, The Craft of Creative Nonfiction

This course in creative writing focuses on the craft of reading and writing creative nonfiction. The course emphasizes an introduction to craft—how creative nonfiction is generated, what its elements are, and how finished pieces work—which students will explore through careful study of models by published writers, and through writing and revising their own short pieces.

ColWrit N132, The Craft of Short Fiction

This two-unit creative writing course on the short story emphasizes an introduction to craft—how short stories are created, what their elements are, and how the finished pieces work—which you will explore through careful study of models by published writers and through writing and revising your own original pieces generated for this class.

ColWrit N133, The Craft of Dramatic Writing

College Writing N133 is a creative writing course offering an introduction to the craft of dramatic writing through the study of works by professional playwrights and through composition and revision of your own playscripts. You will come to understand dramatic writing as an art and as a set of skills; you will receive an introduction to some of the elements involved in the creation of written scripts. Particular emphasis will be given to the work of generating and revising writing and, to a lesser degree, for the screen.

ColWrit 134, The Craft of Poetry

This two-unit creative writing course on poetry & poetics emphasizes an introduction to craft—how poems are created, what their elements are, and how the finished pieces work—which you will explore through careful study of models by published writers, and through writing and revising your own original pieces generated for this class.

ColWrit 135 The Craft of Creative Writing: Workshopping & Performance*

This is a practical and personalized class that will help writers workshop and perform their creative work. Open to multiple genres--fiction, nonfiction, drama, poetry--we will discuss how to ask good questions to and integrate feedback from peers in workshop. We will help you revisit your work and produce a sustainable revision process for yourself. We will discuss how to select your work for public reading and presentation, and we will practice effective performance strategies. Above all, the class will be tailored to support your goals through individual consultation with the instructor.

*Note: ColWrit 135 is worth 1 unit. 

 

Faculty, Summer 2021

Our faculty are experienced instructors of creative writing as well as published authors. For summer 2021, our faculty will include:

Miriam Bird GreenbergMiriam Bird Greenberg

The Craft of Poetry
(Session E: July 26-August 13)

Miriam Bird Greenberg is a poet with a fieldwork-derived practice. The author of In the Volcano’s Mouth, winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, her work has appeared in Granta, Poetry, and the Kenyon Review. She's currently completing a hybrid-genre manuscript about the economic migrants and asylum seekers of Hong Kong's Chungking Mansions, and in the past has written about nomads, hitchhikers, and hobos living on America's margins. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow, she's also held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and the Poetry Foundation.

Simon Han

Simon Han, MFA

The Craft of Creative Writing: Workshopping & Performance 
(Session F: July 6-23)

Simon Han is the author of the novel Nights When Nothing Happened (Riverhead Books, 2020), which was named a Best Book of the Year by TimeThe Washington Post, and Harper’s Bazaar. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The Iowa Review, Guernica, Electric Literature, and the Texas Observer. He’s received awards from the MacDowell Colony, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Tulsa Artist Fellowship, and Vanderbilt University, where he earned his MFA. He has most recently taught at the University of Tulsa and the Sewanee Young Writers’ Conference.

 

Joseph HortonJoseph Horton, MFA

The Craft of Creative Writing: Workshopping & Performance
​(Session E: July 26-August 13)

Joe Horton has an MFA from the University of Michigan. He has written for Ploughshares, and is Playwright in Residence for the Savio(u)r Theatre Company in London, England. During the academic year, he teaches at both UC Davis and UC Berkeley.

 

 

Belinda Kremer, MFA 

The Craft of Poetry 
​(Session F: July 6-23)

Belinda Kremer is a poet who has since 2005 served as the poetry editor of Confrontation: The Literary Magazine, which has published continuously since its inception in 1968. Her work has been published in literary magazines such as Calyx and FENCE, and in her full-length book DECOHERENCE: Poems.

 

Mike Larkin, MFA

The Craft of Short Fiction 
​(Session F: July 6-23)

Michael Larkin's fiction and essays are forthcoming or have appeared in Harvard Review, The Missouri Review, Arroyo Literary Review, and Writing on the Edge, among others. His work has also been nominated for Pushcart Prizes and featured as "Notable" in The Best American Nonrequired Reading series.

 

John Levine, MFA

The Craft of Dramatic Writing
​(Session F: July 6-23)

John Levine’s plays have been workshopped and produced throughout the U.S. —from California to New York, from Texas to Alaska. International productions include Canada, Mexico, India, Australia, the Philippines and the U.K. His work has also been published in a number of anthologies.

 

Kaya Oakes

Kaya Oakes, MFA

The Craft of Creative Nonfiction
​(Session F: July 6-23)

Kaya Oakes teaches is the author of four books, most recently including The Nones Are Alright (Orbis Books: 2015, Religion News Association best books finalist), Radical Reinvention (Counterpoint Press: 2012), and Slanted and Enchanted (Henry Holt: 2009, San Francisco Chronicle Notable Book). Her fifth book, on women who don't fit in, is forthcoming in 2021. Her essays and journalism have appeared in The New Republic, Slate, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Sojourners, On Being, and many other publications. She is also a senior writer at Religion Dispatches, a contributing editor at Killing the Buddha, and a staff writer at America magazine. In 2016, she was among a group of international writers who traveled to the Vatican to study reporting on religion in politically tumultous times. At Berkeley, she was the recipient of an innovation grant and a faculty fellowship from the Mellon Faculty Institute for Undergraduate Research, and a Lecturer Teaching Fellowship. She holds an MFA in creative writing and has done postgraduate work in writing and education at Berkeley. 

 

Matthew J. ParkerMatthew J. Parker, MFA

The Craft of Creative Nonfiction
​(Session E: July 26-August 13)

The Craft of Short Fiction
​(Session E: July 26-August 13)

A born iconoclast, Matthew J. Parker took a hard left at the requisite right angle to reality. Becoming grounded again involved years of yoyoing through the confined spacetime of the American justice system. His first book--Larceny in My Blood--has a subtitle that sums it up nicely: “A memoir of Heroin, Handcuffs, and Higher Education.” Published soon after his graduation from Columbia’s prestigious MFA program, his work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Courier Newsroom, The Baltimore Sun, Guernica, The Rumpus, Blavity, The East Valley Tribune, and Five Points: A Journal of Literature and Art, among others.