Apply for Summer 2017 @ the University of Pennsylvania 


Writer-of-Color exchange work and explore the stories that generate from our often unrepresented narratives. We tighten our craft, our authority and voice, develop our art and define strategies and techniques. We talk about our challenges and our impact on literature and culture.

Travel Writing

Travel Writing invites writers of any genre concerned with (internal) cultural encounters or (external) physical journey to exchange and develop their work. This includes journeys of moving back and forth between language and culture; embarking on roots journeys or road trips; living as an expat or multicultural family member; being a nomad; climbing from working to middle class; our family’s escape/ exile/ emigration/ immigration; leaving home or dropping out of college; setting out on pilgrimages or spiritual quests; going abroad; walking the road to recovery every day.

Essay Writing

Writers are invited to develop meaningful essays that push past rhetoric and polemics. This workshop develops the voice of the essayist and discusses strategies for thoughtful commentary and analysis. Working on every form of essay from the lyric to the editorial, the writers morph their ideas into vital insights.  Reading and writing exchange and evaluation are the center of this workshop.

Speculative Fiction

This workshop, cultivates writers of speculative fiction. Aliens, monsters and magic are welcome. The primary emphasis is literary quality—particularly characterization, story structure, use of details, and point-of-view. Additionally, writers strengthen skills in world-building, fantasy logic, integrating science within their fiction, and other genre-specific issues that emerge over the course of the workshop. 

Political Content in Memoir, Poetry and Prose

Writers of any genre are encouraged to shape their work with an emphasis on translating, witnessing, transforming, nuancing and impacting perceptions—sometimes with the backdrop of a particular political moment; other times by distilling and deconstructing ideals and practices. We exchange our writing and develop voice and authority while working on techniques to elevate the richness and toughness of our form and move toward transcendence.

Genre Writing


This is a workshop for writers who want to embrace the different genres of popular fiction -- from romance, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and more.  Besides developing strategies of characterization, plot, and world-building, we’ll discuss how popular fiction translates our world and addresses issues of political and cultural importance.

Residency – Prose

A residency for prose writers-- fiction or memoir.  Students spend extensive one-on-one time with the instructor.  This is not a traditional workshop.  Students receive readings and material written from the faculty before the class.  This reading covers issues facing writers of color, the writing process, writing techniques, and questions about the student’s own writing.

Residency – Poetry

Poets who take residency participate in group work as well as intensive one-on-one time with the faculty. While this is not a traditional workshop, the writer receives personalized attention and gets the opportunity to generate writer and to exchange with their residency colleagues.  The class direction is determined by the group and guided by the faculty member. Some discussion on voice, technique, quality, style among other topics are explored.


The writers receive guidelines on writing a play with purpose and movement. From formatting to plot development, from dialogue to voice, they practice enlivening the voices of characters and sharpening the elements that animate the play to a reader and to an audience. Collaboration, exchange, and discussion move the writers from inspiration to creation.