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Writing the Addict: A Multi-Genre Workshop in the Representation of Addiction

In this six-week online course, participants consider the ways that addiction has been written about in poetry, memoir, and fiction, then borrow premises and strategies to launch their own work. The first week looks at a number of angles on addiction. Weeks two through five trace an arc: early experiences, deeper involvement, bottoming out, getting out. We’ll see instances of tolerance, withdrawal, relapse, craving. We’ll look at a few examples that deal specifically with various steps of Twelve-Step recovery. In each section, participants will be asked to write their own accounts, based on the craft or the content (or both) of the samples under consideration. The sixth and final week will look at methods of revision, consolidation, and publication. Workshop critique guidelines will establish methods of manuscript analysis. Each participant will receive at least one extensive analysis from the instructor. By the end of the sessions, participants will have an overview of addiction as it’s appeared in prose and poetry, along with several drafts-in-progress (of prose or poetry), one or more of which might lead completed, publishable work. [Models for course work will derive from some of the following sources: Ann Marlowe, D. Watkins, Kim Addonizio, Solomon Jones, Mary Gaitskill, Robert Bingham, Emily Carter, Raymond Carver, Jeet Thayil, others.]

DATES Oct 6 – Nov 17: six online sessions

COST Early Bird $215 – now thru 9/15

General $245 – 9/15 on




Tim Tomlinson is co-founder of New York Writers Workshop, co-author of its popular text, The Portable MFA in Creative Writing, and author of the poetry collections Yolanda: An Oral History in Verse, and Requiem for the Tree Fort I Set on Fire. His collection of short fiction, This Is Not Happening to You, appears in Fall 2017. His work has been published in Australia, China, Singapore, the Philippines, and in many venues in the US, including the anthologies Long Island Noir (Akashic Books), and the Brooklyn Poets Anthology (Brooklyn Arts Press). He’s offered workshops and given talks at many international locations, recently including Guangzhou and Shanghai, China, Adelaide, Australia, and at the Philippines Consulate in New York City. He’s a certified yoga instructor, an avid scuba diver, and his past addresses include extended residencies in Shanghai, Manila, London, Florence, New Orleans, Boston, Miami, Andros Island, Bahamas, Manhattan, and Brooklyn, where he currently lives with his wife. He’s a member of Asia Pacific Writers & Translators. He teaches writing workshops and hybrid seminars on addiction in NYU’s Global Liberal Studies program.

Earlier Event: October 5
READING at Red Room