Writing Essays about Life, Culture, and What Matters to You with David Masello

Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 10:00 AM until 03:00 PM

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

Instructor: David Masello
Length: 1 session, $200

There are many other ways to respond to and write about the world around us, be it an opinion piece, a critique of art, paintings sculpture, dance, drama, books, movies, architecture, poetry, film, or an expository piece about life and culture.
In this day-long class, I reveal ways that you can write essays and be recognized for doing so by being published and paid. Over the course of this day, be prepared to try out various forms of writing about art and culture, and life, even those you may not have ever considered before. You will come away with the beginnings of many publishable pieces. We will begin by addressing feature writing for magazines, newspapers, websites, books, anthologies, and other venues where the written word still prevails. Feature writing requires reporting, interviews, and personal responses to the subject matter. This is the broadest and most comprehensive way to write all that the world around us offers. As the longtime editor of a magazine, I know these subjects well.
Another hour will be spent looking at the personal essay as a way to respond. Here the writer creates a response to a work of art from a personal standpoint. In some ways, this is what might be known as an ekphrastic response, referencing the Greek word, “art from art.” There is a long tradition of the ekphrasitc poem, and we will explore this briefly, too. Personal essays about art and culture are among the most publishable and sought-after of pieces.
Another portion of the class will look at venues apart from print and digital where art writing can be exploited—at live essay reading series’ (e.g.read650.com), by leading groups on focused art-related tours, presenting talks at cultural venues, even writing short plays and monologues. When you develop an expertise in a particular area of writing, you can share it in print, digitally, and as a kind of performance. 

Finally, we will emphasize every writer’s need to be creative. What do we do with our accumulated essays. Do they become a book, a film, a series of lectures/talks, a stage play, individual articles, a novel, a short story? Where does a writer about life and culture find his/her topics? When does what you write become its own work of art? You will leave this class having written in ways you may not have yet imagined.  

DAVID MASELLO is a writer and editor based in New York. He is executive editor of Milieu, a national print magazine about design and architecture. He has held senior editor positions at several publications, including Town & Country, Art & Antiques, Travel & Leisure, and Departures. He has published numerous essays in leading journals and anthologies, including the New York Times and Best American Essays. He is a widely published poet and author of two books about art and architecture. He lectures at universities about journalism and the arts. He has had aert-related plays produced and performed by the Chelsea Repertory Theatre, Artistic New Directions Theatre Company, Manhattan Repertory Theatre, Jewish Women’s Theatre of Los Angeles, National Arts Club, Big Apple Theatre Festival and Fresh Fruit Theatre Festival. He has written several essays for read650.com, a live reading series based in New York City, all of which have been filmed.

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 writinginstitute@sarahlawrence.edu.

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