Hurston/Wright Will Host Master Writers’ Workshops in June

Wil Haygood, who has written several critically acclaimed biographies about African-American men, will participate in a master writers’ workshop sponsored by the Hurston/Wright Foundation at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Author Wil Haygood lead a workshop on biography and creative nonfiction.
Author Wil Haygood lead a workshop on biography and creative nonfiction.

The writers’ workshops, which are called “Craft Your Novel or Poem with a Master Teacher,” will discuss fiction, building a novel and poetry from July 18 to 25.

Haygood, who is a distinguished scholar in the department of media, journalism and film at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, will lead a workshop about memoir, biography and creative nonfiction.Haygood has written biographies of politician Adam Clayton Powell, boxer Sugar Ray Robinson and entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. His book “The Butler:  A Witness to History,” the biography of a White House butler, was made into the 2013 Academy-Award nominated film “The Butler.”

Chinelo Okparanta, author of a short-story collection titled “Happiness Like Water,” and “Under the Udala Trees,” will lead the workshop about the essentials fiction, which includes storytelling, character and plot. “Happiness Like Water” won the Lambda Literary Award for fiction. She also is a 2014 O. Henry Prize winner. Her work has appeared in The New York, Grante and the Kenyon Review.

Breena Clark
Breena Clark

Breena Clarke, author of the novel “Angels Make Their Hope Here,” will teach an advanced novel workshop about building the novel. The workshop will examine the requirements of narrative, structure and character-development in a full-length novel. Clarke teaches in the Masters of Fine Arts Program at the University of Southern Maine.

Terrance Hayes, a 2014 MacArthur Genius Award grantee, will teach a workshop about strategies for writing when the only teacher available is a book.In the class, students will explore how inventive imitation can lead to poetic discovery and innovation.

Hayes is author of the 2010 National Book Award winning poetry collection “Lighthead,” which is about how we construct experience.Hurston/Wright, which calls itself the world of black writers, is based in Washington.

For further information about the upcoming workshops, visit the foundation online at!writers-week-2015/cen9


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