Wow, what a week. I’m still recovering from a mind-blowing experience at the Tin House Summer Writer’s Workshop. From the incredible faculty (Jonathan Dee, Rachel Kushner, Jess Walter, Sharon Olds, Jericho Brown) to the diverse community of talented writers, I’m at a loss for how to fully express my gratitude for this amazing workshop.
Set on the Harry Potter campus of Reed College in Portland, Oregon, the Tin House Summer Writer’s Workshop is essentially a super cool summer camp for writers serious about craft and the greater conversation of contemporary literature across disciplines. Seven days of manuscript critiques in small workshop groups assigned by genre (novel, short fiction, poetry, non-fiction), faculty craft talks and lectures, nightly readings in a gorgeous natural amphitheater on the river, and… karaoke?
It’s kind of a strange social experiment to bring together over two-hundred writers from across the country and force them to interact like, say, “normal” people. Writers by nature are often not the most social animals, spending most of their time lost in imaginary worlds. So, sure it was awkward at first. But the initial first-day-at-school jitters quickly gave way to a feeling of camaraderie, thanks in part to a steady flow of alcohol at the many happy hours hosted after class. What impressed me most was how the Tin House staff created such an inclusive and collegial atmosphere. It felt like we were all peers, grateful for the experience, grateful for this unique moment in time where we were free to talk about the craft of writing and share our art with each other.
It was an honor to be included in the 2016 class of Tin House Summer Workshop writers. Thank you, Tin House!