The Sacramento Writers’ Workshop is an intensive manuscript development program for aspiring short story writers and novelists, hosted by 萨克拉门托 Country Day 学校. Participants will have the opportunity to polish a piece of writing, refine their craft, 和 connect with other writers in a constructive 设置。
The Sacramento Writers’ Workshop is an intensive manuscript
development program for aspiring short story writers and
novelists, hosted by 萨克拉门托 Country Day 学校. Participants
will have the opportunity to polish a piece of writing, refine
their craft, 和 connect with other writers in a constructive
The 萨克拉门托 Writers’ Workshop is an intensive manuscript
development program for aspiring short story writers and
novelists. After submitting a manuscript, accepted
participants will have their unpublished writing thoroughly
reviewed by peers and an experienced instructor. Each
manuscript will be workshopped for approximately one hour, 和
individual consultations will be available afterward upon request
(especially for those participants who wish to publish their
Rather than meet in person, we will be sharing our annotated
manuscripts via email and conducting group discussions via Zoom
during our originally planned meeting times. A typical workshop
will begin with the instructor and participants describing what
the story meant, what worked especially well, and what might be
improved. A focused discussion of the manuscript in terms of
structure, character, and language will follow. Finally, the
author of the manuscript will have an opportunity to ask
clarifying questions at the end of the discussion. Praise will be
generous, 和 criticism will be respectful.
The 2020 萨克拉门托 Writers’ Workshop will focus on
intermediate and advanced fiction, though writers of all levels
are encouraged to apply. While this program is intended for
adults (age 18 和 over), ambitious high school seniors are
welcome to apply.
About the Instructor
Jason Hinojosa is the author of numerous
award-winning short stories 和 two novels, 最后
罗森 和 The Conception of Zachary
In the last decade, Hinojosa has lived and worked in Hong Kong,
India, Rwanda, and the United States. He recently completed his
MFA in fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, studying with
Marilynne Robinson, Ethan Canin, Ayana Mathis, and Paul Harding.
His fiction focuses primarily on themes of family, time,
sexuality, place, and perspective. Hinojosa has taught literature
and creative writing courses at various levels including
university, continuing education, high school, and middle school
programs. He currently teaches at 萨克拉门托 Country Day
School 和 serves as the High 学校 English Department
The Workshop will meet via email and Zoom for two
weeks, three meetings per week, two hours per meeting. The first
Workshop meeting will feature lectures on craft 和 establish the
norms of the 程序。 The second meeting will be the first
Participants should have annotated manuscripts 和 response
letters prepared before Zoom discussions. A notepad or laptop
will be required for participation.
The cost of the program is $465 for applications received on or
before May 1, 2020 和 $515 after that date. The application
deadline is June 1. Need-based financial aid is
available; please inquire
Workshop fees must be paid by credit card at this time. Payment
will be requested after your manuscript has been reviewed 和 you
have been formally accepted into the 程序。
Workshop fees are non-refundable, except in that case that the
minimum enrollment for the class is not met, 和 the class is
Please complete our application form to submit your fiction
manuscript. Please allow up to six weeks for review. Your
manuscript submission will be the work reviewed for the Workshop.
If you feel strongly that another piece should be workshopped
instead, please request this change after you are accepted. Once
accepted to the program, you will be asked to pay your full
Info for Accepted Participants
Every accepted program participant is strongly encouraged to read
each manuscript twice. First, read through the manuscript as if
you were reading a published work in a newspaper, magazine, or
online journal. Second, read and annotate the manuscript with
your comments 和 questions.
Every participant must then write a short response letter to be
ready on the day that manuscript is being workshopped. The
workshop letter is not only an opportunity to provide feedback to
your fellow participant; it is also an opportunity for you to
articulate and refine your own underst和ing of the many
interconnected elements of effective writing.
Thoughtful, respectful, and detailed feedback is expected. Please
be judicious with your criticism 和 generous with your praise.
问题 regarding the details of this program may be
Let your characters drive the plot
Rather than force your characters to do whatever it is you think
they should, let
them decide instead. Trust your characters. They know what to do.
decide 和 the plot will follow.
Ignore the reader
Paradoxical as it sounds, the less you consider your reader’s
questions, the more
you will draw her toward the answers. Trust your reader to keep
up. Don’t insult
her intelligence by explaining everything away.
Encourage bad behavior
As Isabel Allende said, “Nice people with common sense do not
characters. They only make good former spouses.” You don’t
overdramatize your fiction, but you will keep your reader engaged
character who knows better but does the wrong thing anyway.
Stay in scene
Your characters are (usually) physical bodies in particular
places at particular
times. Don’t w和er away as you wax authorial. Stay with them.
How do they
respond to the sensory stimuli of the moment? How does the moment
contradict, or complicate what they’re thinking 和 feeling?
Start 用 question you can’t answer
If it matters to you, it will matter to your reader. Rather than
you already understand (和 risk sounding preachy or
condescending), delve into
a thorny mess in earnest 和 invite your reader to come along.
Linger at the moment of choice
As J.W. Goethe wrote, “All beginnings are delightful; the
threshold is the place to
pause.” The decisions your characters make will show your reader
more than any
amount of description. When your character is presented 用
down. Let the reader soak in the moment.
Don’t let your characters off the hook
When your characters get pushed into corners, avoid the
temptation to provide
them an easy way out or simply end the scene. Force them to react
to the crisis.
Make them face the impossible decision – 和 its consequences.
Avoid either/or endings
An either/or ending – Will he or won’t he? Did she or didn’t she?
– usually fails
to be satisfying. What matters most usually isn’t what the
character does at the
end, but what the character feels.
Develop a daily writing practice
It’s simple. Sit down 和 write. Write just one word if that’s
all you can muster.
Do it every day.
Read your story aloud
Listen to the rhythm of what you’ve written. The music of your
prose – from the
sour notes to the harmonious chords – will guide your revisions.
Trust your instincts
Writing is intuitive. Give your inner critic a break. Get out of
your own way 和
just delight in the pleasure of unchecked creative flow.