MFA Writing presentation

Internship 

The BFA Writing Program offers a two-semester course designed to prepare undergraduates for a life in writing. The first semester, “Introduction to the Professional Workplace,” combines an overview of various writing-related fields with practical preparation (resumes, cover letters, interviews) for applying to internships. Professionals in the field (editors, agents, writers, producers, journalists, educators) and program alumni visit the class for presentations and Q&As. Students spend the spring semester working at their internships while meeting regularly in small groups with their instructor to discuss and critique their experiences, encouraging students to take responsibility for their futures as writers who will also be workers. BFA students each participate in an internship or apprenticeship experience that is designed and honed under the guidance of the internship coordinator to ensure that it constitutes a meaningful experience for the student and escapes common pitfalls of traditional internships. 

The Art of Teaching Writing: Saturday Writing School

The Art of Teaching Writing is an opportunity for Pratt Writing students to switch seats in the classroom, and gain experience as teachers in charge of their very own creative writing course. Students in this course will develop curriculum for, and teach, 10 creative writing classes to a group of students aged 8-13, culminating in a public reading and class publication.  Pratt Institute has a longstanding tradition of community engagement, and since 1897 Pratt Institute's Saturday Art School has been serving the local community through a broad range of classes for children and teens. Creative Writing is a relatively new offering within the framework of Saturday Art School, and has proved very popular with young people eager to develop their voice as fiction writers, poets, zine artists, memoirists and essayists. Pratt students meet each week with the instructor for a one hour preparation and pedagogy discussion, then teach a two-hour class, followed by another hour of reflections on the day's class, and observations from the instructor on the student's progress as teachers. The special emphasis in this course is to help Pratt students to develop a teaching practice that fuels, and is fueled by, their creative practice: it is designed for students who are thinking about how to combine a teaching practice with a creative practice in the course of their career. On a practical level, the class serves as a valuable resume builder, and past students have gone on to teach in summer writing camps and after school programs while still undergraduates. For others, the experience of teaching a creative writing course helps students to deepen and integrate the learning they are doing in the role of students in the creative writing classroom. 

Fieldwork

Fieldwork is the component of the MFA curriculum for which students instigate projects—often in collaboration with educational initiatives, community and activist organizations—that bring them “into the field,” allowing them to explore political commitments that fall outside the scope of their writing practices and/or to extend and deepen the direct impact of their work in the world. Students begin thinking about their fieldwork projects in the summer between their first and second years, spend the fall semester of their second years solidifying and beginning their projects, and complete them in the spring. "Dispatches" (documentation in an appropriate form for each student) are shared at graduation time with the MFA and BFA communities and beyond. 

Writers’ Practicum

Approximately twice a semester, an intra-departmental (BFA and MFA) colloquium is held, in which speakers from within and without the Pratt Writing community are brought in to host roundtable discussions to address a specific challenge or opportunity that writers tend to face as they enter (or try to improve their status in) the workforce. 

One-Day Intensives  

These all-day, non-credit-bearing optional workshops introduce students to potential avenues for developing a professional life in writing, with a focus on hands-on practice and skill-building. 

Writers' Practicum poster

Freelance & Pitching Workshop w/ Dianca London Potts

​Wednesday, November 14, 2018, 5:30-7:30 PM
424 Classon Avenue, Brooklyn

This workshop will give you a brief yet immersive guide to freelancing. We'll cover how to craft a pitch, correspondence etiquette with editors, negotiating your fee, and promoting your work as well as the importance of authenticity, techniques for combating imposter syndrome, and how to cope with envy and writer's block. By the end of this workshop, you'll be prepared to land your next byline and begin your freelance career. Refreshments will be provided.

Documentary Production for Writers Workshop w/ SADIA SHEPARD

Tuesday, March 5, 2019, 5:30-8 PM
​424 Classon Avenue, Brooklyn

This workshop is an immersive introduction to the documentary producing process, in which we will learn how to create compelling stories where real people are the protagonists and the narratives are informed by real life. Through a close study and analysis of best practices for documentary film/video/audio projects we will explore the idea generation and casting process, the power and possibilities of the interview, how to create/obtain permissions and release forms, and how to build and maintain collaborative relationships with the protagonists of your projects. By the end of this workshop you’ll be prepared to begin working with real people and their stories.

Sadia Shepard is a writer and documentary filmmaker. The author of the memoir The Girl from Foreign (Penguin Press) Shepard’s debut short story “Foreign-Returned” appeared in The New Yorker in January 2018. Shepard’s writing appears in The Washington PostThe New York Times and Guernica, among other publications. Her credits as a film producer include The September Issue (A&E Films), winner of the Excellence in Cinematography Award at the Sundance Film Festival and The Education of Mohammad Hussein (HBO), International Documentary Association Award nominee. The Other Half of Tomorrow, her series of short documentaries about women working for social change in Pakistan, was the Opening Night Selection at the Margaret Mead Film Festival. She is the recipient of the Kundiman Fellowship for Asian American Writers, a Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, The Helen Gray Cone Fellowship in English at Hunter College and the Dorothy and Granville Hicks Residency in Literature at Yaddo. She is Visiting Assistant Professor in the College of Film and the Moving Image at Wesleyan University.

Teaching Outside The Academy with Maria Baker

March 22, 2019, 12-3:15 PM
​424 Classon Avenue, Brooklyn

How can you share your writing (and writing-adjacent) skills with people outside of academia? What are ways of being a writer and a teacher in your various communities? In this workshop, we'll look at the possibilities for writers to partner with existing organizations and at ways to independently start and facilitate writing workshops. 
We will talk about: 
how to plan your own workshop and then get it off the ground,  
how to format and structure workshop sessions, 
how to keep the room balanced and supportive,
how to construct/find writing prompts for participants, 
how to give and incorporate feedback, 
and ways to publish and/or perform with your group.
We'll also collaborate on a small sample workshop session.

Maria Baker is a performer, writer, and translator. As a guest and teaching artist, she has worked with Manhattan Theatre Club, The NY Times Summer School, and dieMonopol theater in Austria. She facilitates an ongoing writing workshop for Brooklyn senior citizens, with whom she published the anthology We Live Here in 2017. With a team of Pratt faculty and students, Maria is currently working on a follow-up oral histories project, As Told. She is a graduate of the Writing MFA program at Pratt Institute, where she now teaches a PIC. She also works as a Writing Consultant for Columbia University.

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Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts: Grant-writing for Writers 

​Tuesday, April 9, 2019, 5:30-8 PM 
424 Classon Avenue, Brooklyn

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