Writing for Social Change: Re-Dream a Just World with Anya Achtenberg

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 1:00 PM until Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 3:00 PM

    Sarah Lawrence College
    1 Mead Way
    Bronxville, NY 10708
    United States

    Instructor: Anya Achtenberg
    Length: 5 sessions, $450
    Tuesdays,  1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

    For writers at all levels of experience, across the genres, whether prose or poetry, fiction or nonfiction.


    Writing for Social Change: Re-Dream a Just World,begins with an exploration of the profound connection that the act and art of writing have to the work of increasing social justice. We will find in our passion for justice a powerful engine to drive our writing; to reveal, to witness, to commemorate, and to explore language, character and story. But potent as well in freeing and deepening our writing is our work to re-examine the craft and concepts of good writing, whether poetry or prose, fiction or nonfiction, by grounding the craft in its political and historical context. The work of association, for instance, of revealing the connections between things that seem not to be connected, is basic to both the poetic and the political. The readings for this course bring forward an understanding of the craft and issues of creative writing, as well as offer examples of prose and poetry, fiction and nonfiction, that bring together extraordinary craft with concerns for social and economic justice. The reading selections are, by the nature of this course, far-reaching, multicultural and interdisciplinary, and support and inspire much participant writing.


    Through a series of writing explorations, and with the inspiration of authors who have grappled with how writing makes an impact on the world, the work we do together offers ideas for and practice in ways of using writing for social change. These workshops support us in coming to voice, which is an intrinsic part of the process of overthrowing personal, group and societal censors and tyrants to recover what has been silenced and to empower each speaker. It goes much further, examining some of what is at the heart of writing that can break the social silences, recover people’s history, reveal connections among all things and beings, and re-dream a just world.


    Anya Achtenberg is an award-winning writer whose publications include the novel, Blue Earth; novella, The Stories of Devil-Girl; and poetry collections, The Stone of Language, and I Know What the Small Girl Knew. Her work has received prizes and distinctions from, among others, Southern Poetry Review; Another Chicago MagazineCoppola's Zoetrope: All-Story; New Letters; and the Minnesota State Arts Board. Recent poetry and prose has been published in Tupelo Quarterly; Malpais Review; Gargoyle; Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion; Hinchas de poesia, Poet Lore; Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art; and,in the anthology, How Dare We! Write: a multicultural creative writing discourse, an essay focused on mixed and out-of-category identity, in relation to the deconstruction and expansion of the instruction to “write from a sense of place”. History Artist, a novel Anya has almost completed,treats a mixed-race Cambodian woman living in Boston, born at the moment the U.S. bombing of Cambodia began, and the intersecting stories of those around her. Anya has just finished poetry chapbook, Advice to Travelers. Her nonfiction work includes articles on creative writing, and creative nonfiction on Cuba. (She organizes arts-focused and multicultural journeys to Cuba.)Anya teaches creative writing workshops around the U.S., and online around the world; conducts intensive critique groups in-person and online; and consults with writers individually. For more information, see her new website under construction, www.thedisobedientwriter.com, or her previous website, www.anyaachtenberg.com, both including short articles on craft.

    Writing Institute Registration Process:

    Step 1 - Registration Information: Complete this registration form in full.

    Step 2 - Payment: Once you click submit on this form, a new page will appear in your browser with a payment link. Click on the payment link, complete the required information, and submit your payment. 

    Payment is required for your registration to be confirmed. If we don’t receive your payment within 48 hours of submission of this form, your registration will automatically be cancelled. You will have to complete the form again if you wish to register for the class.

    Step 3 - Confirmation: Once we receive your payment, your registration will be finalized and confirmed with an email. Please keep this email for your records.  Details about room assignment, parking, and any other information relevant to the course will be emailed to registered students the week before classes begin.

    If you have questions about the registration process, please call us at 914-395-2205 or email cce@sarahlawrence.edu.

    Registration is no longer available because the registration deadline has passed.