PROGRAM

Overview

St. Basil College is led by Dn. Nicholas Kotar. Dn. Nicholas is the Associate Dean.

Schedule

  • The next cohort will start in August 2022.

  • The program is about 9 months long, starting with an in-person writers workshop in August. The remaining sessions are on Zoom.

    • September: Paul Kingsnorth​

    • October-November: Dn. Nicholas Kotar

    • January: Jonathan Pageau

    • February-March: Katherine Hyde

    • April-May: Nicole Roccas

Location

Retreat Location: Upstate New York

Retreat Dates (tentative): August 19-24, 2022

 

Courses
 

Kingsnorth "Rewilding Your Words"

Paul Kingsnorth will teach a four-part course focusing on 'rewilding' your writing. With emphasis on stepping out of our often over-civilised selves and reconnecting with the wild world, we will learn to see the world from the perspective of wild things, take our writing out into the landscape and see what we find, think and write mythically, and generally loosen and uncivilise our pens, in search of the wild essence of Creation.

Kotar "Techniques of Fiction Writing"

Tips and tools from the masters of the craft

Unlike what many amateurs think, writing fiction is not all about inspiration or talent. Writing fiction is an artisanal craft. And like all crafts, it is subject to rules and techniques that have been honed, developed, and perfected my masters over centuries. The good thing is that these rules are not proscriptive, but helpful. They provide a frame within which to write your best work, and, used properly, they inspire creativity without squelching it. This course studies the masters of the fiction form and gleans from their writing some of the most enduring tools and techniques for writing powerful, publishable fiction and narrative nonfiction.

Pageau "How To Build A World In Fiction"

Jonathan Pageau, icon carver and symbolic thinker, will teach a mini-course on how to build a world for your fiction using symbolic thinking. All genres, even realistic fiction, have a requirement that many writers don't fully realize. In order to immerse the reader in a novel, that novel must have a fully realized, internally consistent, and intrinsically coherent world in which the characters can live and breathe. This is much more difficult than most people realize, especially considering how many people no longer have a coherent worldview of their own, even in daily life. Jonathan's course will help writers practice their own symbolic thinking, apply it to thorny questions of technical worldbuilding, and ultimately create fully immersive worlds for their readers.

Hyde "Characterization and Self-Editing"

Katherine Bolger Hyde will be teaching a combined course on Characterization and Self-Editing. In the first half of the semester, we’ll look at how to bring your characters to life through action, dialogue, description, introspection, and other characters’ views and reactions. In the second half, we’ll explore the multifaceted process of perfecting your work, including ways to gain objectivity about your manuscript and what to look for at various levels, from macro to micro.

Roccas "The Art and Craft of Soul-Centered Writing: Integrating the spiritual life with one's writing career."

Are professional creative pursuits at odds with a faithful Christian life? What role do one's faith values and rituals support professional writing in genres that may not be explicitly "Christian"? How can we cultivate a writing life that flows from the spiritual core of who we are rather than remains a compartmentalized professional interest? In this 10-12 week course, students will navigate these questions for themselves, aided by a variety of readings, exercises, and discussions. The goal is that students develop for themselves a richer foundation of practices, strategies, and values to help them be and become more faithful and self-aware stewards of their creative vocation moving foward. The course instructor, Nicole M. Roccas, herself an author of multiple books, has worked with other writers and authors to more meaningfully navigate the spiritual and emotional implications of writing for nearly ten years.

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