Work-in-Progress Intensive | Yale Summer Session
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Work-in-Progress Intensive

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Photo by Hannah Parten

This unique ten-day workshop, open to YWW alumni only, is designed for writers working on book-length material: fiction or nonfiction. Taught by YWW faculty member Kirsten Bakis, this cohort of just eight writers will meet and write for ten days next June. (Read: you’re in New Haven for both sessions.)

In Session I, writers will critique 7000 words from their fellow writers’ manuscripts. Exercises and readings will be assigned prior to arrival. Session II will be generative, a mini-retreat if you will, with writers developing new material. The cohort will meet to discuss progress, and strategies to completing confident first drafts.

Interview with Intensive Instructor Kirsten Bakis

A: What type of writer should apply for this workshop?

Anyone who has 7,000 words or more of a draft and a desire to turn that draft into a book. In session I we'll be doing some intense workshopping, digging deep to look at the strengths, the challenges, the potential. Because the group will be relatively small, we'll really have time get to know each other’s projects.

Q: Can you discuss the generative and revision-based aspects of the workshop?

A: While the session I work will be deep, intense, and slow, the session II generative/revision-based work will be more dynamic, exploratory, and just fun. We'll talk about structure and how to take that drafted material and shape it. The generative aspect will involve a lot of short exercises to pop writers out of all the ruts we tend to get in and remind people what they can do when they're just playing and having fun.

Q: What do you find exciting about this new class format?

A: This will be my eighth year teaching at YWW, but this is the first time I'll get to stay with the same small group of writers through both sessions I and II. I've been amazed at how much growth I've seen in the past even in short workshops. I expect that in this longer, more intense workshop, I'll see even more of that. We'll have time to get down to the sentence level, to stand back and look at the structural level, to experiment, and revise. I love seeing people make progress in their projects by rising to challenges and making discoveries.


Important Dates:

  • Program dates: June 1-11, 2019
  • Application Deadline: February 1, 2019
  • Decisions Released: February 15, 2019
  • Payment due to secure your spot: March 1, 2019


Living on campus Living off campus (tuition and meals only)
June 1 - June 11 $4100 $3410


We expect a high amount of interest in this intensive. Writers applying will list alternative workshops on their application in case they are not selected for the intensive. A waiting list will be established.

The application for Yale Writers' Workshop 2019 is now open.