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WSP 145 — Writing the “Modern Love” Essay

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Saturdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 2 days
Date(s): Feb 29—Mar 7
Time: 9:00 am—3:00 pm
Drop Deadline: Feb 22
Unit: 1
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $340
Instructor(s): Melanie Bishop
Limit: 21
Status: Closed
9:00 am—3:00 pm
Feb 29—Mar 7
2 days
Drop By
Feb 22
1 Unit
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Melanie Bishop
Many writers who have had their essay accepted for The New York Times’s “Modern Love” column have said that the experience changed their lives: Agents and publishers were calling, essays were optioned for films, and the experience was oddly more exciting than having a first book published. There are few greater exposures for writers—the Sunday New York Times has 2.6 million readers, and “Modern Love” is one of its most popular columns. In this two-day intensive, we will first discuss and analyze readings from Modern Love: True Stories of Love, Loss, and Redemption, the anthology of “Modern Love” essays collected by column editor Daniel Jones. Students will complete exercises to unearth their own best “Modern Love” material—romantic or familial love—and get feedback on which ideas pique classmates’ interest. You will leave the first class with the beginnings of an essay, which you will develop over the next week. In the second session, we will read and discuss drafts-in-progress. This workshop, open to both new and experienced writers, can help strengthen your skills and confidence in writing short personal essays, regardless of where you ultimately seek to publish. You will leave with a working draft, encouragement, suggestions for revision, how-to-submit info, and an expanded awareness of this thing called love.

Melanie Bishop, Faculty Emeritus, Creative Writing, Prescott College

Melanie Bishop’s “Modern Love” essay “I Would Have Driven Her Anywhere” appeared in The New York Times in 2018. Her novel My So-Called Ruined Life was a finalist for the John Gardner Fiction Book Award. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The Huffington Post, Vela, Glimmer Train, The Georgetown Review, Valley Guide, and elsewhere. After teaching college writing for twenty-two years, Bishop is now an independent writing instructor, editor, and coach.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Daniel Jones, Modern Love: True Stories of Love, Loss, and Redemption (ISBN 978-0-593-13704-8)