Free Writing Workshop to Focus on Nonfiction

Posted: November 15, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Colleen Kearney Rich

Each spring semester for the last seven years, the Creative Writing Program at George Mason has offered a free writing workshop for the community. In 2006, the program shifts to creative nonfiction in a workshop hosted by writer and English Professor Stephen Goodwin.

The 2006 workshop begins on Tuesday, Jan. 24, and runs through May 2. Entry into the 14-week workshop is by manuscript approval, and the deadline for manuscripts is Friday, Dec. 16.

“This is the first Heritage Workshop in nonfiction that we have offered at Mason,” says Goodwin. “I hope that the new focus will extend the reach of these free workshops further into the community.”

Goodwin is the author of two books of nonfiction, “The Greatest Masters” and the forthcoming “Bandon Dreams.” His articles and essays have appeared in publications such as The Washington Post Magazine, Golf, Links, Preservation, Poets and Writers, Country Journal and Fly Fisherman. He has also published three novels: “Kin,” “The Blood of Paradise” and “Breaking Her Fall.” He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ingram Merrill Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Goodwin has been a member of Mason’s writing faculty since 1979, with the exception of two years when he served as director of the Literature Program at the NEA. A cofounder of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, Goodwin has served two terms as its president.

Each member of the workshop will be expected to complete two pieces: a personal essay or memoir and a feature article. The group will also read and discuss work by Frank McCourt and other authors, as well as examine magazines and newspapers, paying close attention to the details of the form. Members of the class will be encouraged to read magazines with an eye toward where they might send their own work.

“Here at Mason, we have a long tradition of offering people a chance to explore and develop their talents along professional lines,” says Goodwin, “and I’m looking forward to meeting a new group of writers.”

The free workshop will meet from 7:30 to 10 p.m. on Mason’s Fairfax Campus each Tuesday during the spring semester. Persons interested in taking the workshop should submit manuscripts to Heritage Workshop, English Department-Mail Stop 3E4, Attn: Danielle Deulen, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030. Manuscripts can be any work of imaginative prose, including fiction. Please do not submit academic essays, Christmas letters, technical writing or any writing done for marketing purposes (though this is sometimes quite imaginative). For more information, contact Deulen in Mason’s English Department at

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