Monday, August 13, 2007

Money for Nothing; Great Class for Free

The Jenny McKean Moore workshop is one of the best things to know about in the DC literary community. Every year, George Washington University hosts a free, semester-long workshop open to all (though acceptance is competitive). Genres alternate—this year it’s poetry—as do teachers, who are usually active writers who have been hired specifically to teach these classes.

I was pleased to take part in the program way back when, in a workshop with writer Carole Maso. She was a good, challenging teacher, who focused on exercises in class and experimentation. And other people I’ve known who have participated have generally had excellent experiences.

So, top-notch instruction for free! What are you waiting for? Here are the application guidelines and official announcement:

Jenny McKean Moore Workshop
Thursdays, 7- 9 p.m., Sep. 13 - Dec. 6, 2007
Led by Ryan G. Van Cleave

Come take part in a free semester-long creative writing workshop! You do not need any academic qualifications or publications to apply. Beginning and/or intermediate writers might find this weekly workshop the most beneficial, though anyone with a genuine interest in improving their own poetry would be most welcome. The class will focus on reading poetry by established writers, as well as provide roundtable critiques of work submitted by class members. There are no fees to participate, but you will be responsible for making enough copies of your writing for all ten participants. Students at Consortium schools (including GWU) are not eligible, nor are those who have already participated in a Jenny McKean Moore Free Community Workshop.

To apply, please submit:
-brief biographical statement (please include contact information)
-statement of interest, outlining your writing history & your motivations for taking this course
-8 to 12 pages of your best original poetry
-SASE if you would like writing samples returned--optional.

APPLICATIONS must be received by SEPTEMBER 3. ACCEPTANCES will be sent by September 11.

Mail to:
Poetry Workshop
Department of English
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street, NW (Suite 760)
Washington, DC 20052

RYAN G. VAN CLEAVE is the author of five poetry collections, including Imagine the Dawn: The Civil War Sonnets and The Magical Breasts of Britney Spears. He also edited two creative writing textbooks and co-edited four poetry anthologies, including Like Thunder: Poets Respond to Violence in America. For more information, please visit:

The George Washington University is an equal opportunity institution.


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.