“Stay At Home And Write One Single Essay”

In this pandemic, I have found myself leaning into dangerous nostalgia: folders full of photo dumps, defunct Tumblrs, Venmo transactions. In this three-week workshop, we will use our time in isolation to investigate and introspect on topics and quandaries that home archives present us.

You don’t have to dig into your own archives. Your essay doesn’t have to be about the past. You can be futuristic! You can do whatever. You don’t have to be an essay writer at all. This is an opportunity to try something new! I will be writing about the importance/impermanence of family archives.

Structure

  • Every week, we will read 10-15 pages of work by famous shut-ins and dogged archivists, and bring to the workshopping table about 500 words related to your essay topic. I will send out the readings with a week’s notice; you will send out your words with at least two-days notice.
  • We will meet Tuesday evenings, 7:30-9 PM on Google Hangouts or Zoom (TBD). That is: March 31, April 7, April 14. I will cap the workshop at seven people, who will commit to all three nights.
  • We won’t necessarily workshop each piece, but feedback, edits and reactions can be solicited. This workshop will serve as a place of witness as we are siloed off in thought and movement.
  • This workshop will endeavor to provide safety and discourse, a lateral power dynamic between me the creator of the space and you the inhabiter of it, and an openly-sourced reading list involving writers of varying backgrounds, both famous and otherwise.

About me

I write essays, scripts and other text objects from my usually sunny Ridgewood, Queens apartment. My essays and cultural criticism have been published in Denver Quarterly, The New York Times, Vice and elsewhere. I hold a BA in Psychology and Writing from Wesleyan University, and an MALS (Humanities) from the same. My masters project was called “sun-kissed, screwed up, shaggy bodies” that may give you some idea of what I like to write about. In this workshop, I will be a curriculum-builder, moderator and editor.

To sign up for this course, please email aditinatashakini@gmail.com by March 24, Tuesday, 7 PM. Send a 1-3 sentence description of who you are and what you might like to write about — this can be as general as you want — and the title of the last thing you read. I’ll select the cohort and anyone remaining will go on a notification list for future classes.

This course’s “fee” is pay-what-you-can. In the future, I would teach this course (3 1.5 hour sessions + prep+ editing) for at least $100. 

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