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Creative Writing & Literature

WICE has long been a vital center for creative writing and literature study. We offer classes and workshops to hone your writing and editing skills, expand your knowledge of popular authors and genres, and explore Paris past and present through the well-crafted words of French and expat writers. Our focus includes:
  • Writing (prose, poetry, words and images)
  • Literature (French masters, Paris expats, Greek mythology)
  • The Migrant Soul (exploring international life through literature)

You’ll meet like-minded creative writers and readers and be guided and inspired by true lovers of the written word—published authors, journalists, poets, and professors of literature.

Upcoming courses

    • 28 Sep 2019
    • 06 Oct 2019
    • 4 sessions
    • WICE, 10 rue Tiphaine, 75015 Paris: metro La Motte Piquet Grenelle
    • 4

    A thriving market exists for features, including content for websites and blogs. This class begins by defining the important distinction between the feature article and "hard news", and explores how to find viable ideas for articles. We will then cover several aspects of feature-writing, focusing on the vital lead paragraph (hooks, angles, and grabbing  the reader's attention), structure, and narrative techniques that can enrich the article. Finally we examine a range of research resources and ways to market the feature.

    About the Instructor: Alecia McKenzie is an award-winning writer and journalist based in Paris. She holds an MSc from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and worked at The Wall Street Journal/Europe.  She is the founder and editor of the arts-news site SWAN. Alongside writing books, she has written articles for a news agency and international magazines.

    • 11 Oct 2019
    • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • WICE, 10 rue Tiphaine, 75015 Paris: metro La Motte Picquet Grenelle
    • 1

    Jim Harrison deploys humour, humanity and the evocation of the American spirit in an epic that spans three generations of a Nebraska family starting from the end of the nineteenth century - a tale that recounts the strength and fragility of family bonds and existence, happiness and healing.  

    ‘La Route du retour est un pur chef-d'œuvre. Ambitieux, foudroyant.’ L’Express

    ‘A graceful novel...To read this book is to feel the luminosity of nature in one's own being.’  The New York Times

    You may read the book in your language of choice. Discussions are in both French and English. Registrations open Saturday 14 September

    • 19 Oct 2019
    • 3:00 PM
    • 20 Oct 2019
    • 5:00 PM
    • WICE, 10 rue Tiphaine, 75015 Paris: metro La Motte Piquet Grenelle
    • 8
    Travel Journalism for Beginners

    If you’ve dreamed of becoming a travel writer and thought you couldn’t – think again. During this workshop a seasoned professional will share her hard-earned arsenal of tricks with you. You don't have to be an experienced writer. You do need passion, a desire to succeed, decent technique and an understanding of what editors want.

    You will learn to:

    • Transform “rough-draft” travel diaries with attention-grabbing beginnings, streamlined middles, and meaningful endings.
    • Capture details that make a story sparkle and evoke the essence of a destination
    • Bring characters to life through quotes and vivid description
    • Practice travel-writing skills and get personalized feedback on your work
    • Learn how to craft irresistible query emails.
    • Learn how to build an online platform.
    • Learn where to find hundreds of publications that will want to buy your travel stories.
    • How to get your first writing assignment.
     Are you ready for your first lesson on how to become a travel writer?

    About the Instructor: Elaine Lee, editor of the anthology “Go Girl! The Black Woman’s Book of Travel and Adventure", has been published in the New York Times, Essence, O Magazine, Prevention, Black Enterprise, San Francisco Chronicle, Uptown, Heart and Soul, Sunset Magazine. In 2013 she was named “Travel Writer of the Year” award by the African Diaspora World Tourism Association.  She has taught travel writing for VONA/Voices of our Nation Art’s Foundation, Women’s Travel Summit, Nomadness Travel Tribe Annual Conference, U. C. Berkeley, Travel Professionals of Color national conference.

    • 23 Oct 2019
    • 20 Nov 2019
    • 4 sessions
    • WICE, 10 rue Tiphaine, 75015 Paris: metro La Motte Piquet Grenelle
    • 4

    This class explores the basic ingredients of the novel: character, plot, setting, point of view, theme. Over four weeks we will review the core techniques of novel-writing and examine excerpts from established writers to see what works and what doesn't. You will be encouraged to consider how these techniques apply to your own writing. Wherever you are in your writing, the course will help you achieve a new nevel in the long path from idea to print.

    About the Instructor: Gretel Furner is one of our most popular instructors. She grew up in England and was educated at Oxford University. She obtained a PhD in the modern novel at the University of the Saarland, Germany. Gretel has been Associate Professor at George Washington University, and instructor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.  She lives between London and Paris, and since 2003 has been an instructor at WICE in French Literature and History, the Migrant Soul series and Creative Writing.

    • 07 Nov 2019
    • 19 Dec 2019
    • 6 sessions
    • WICE, 10 rue Tiphaine, 75015 Paris: metro La Motte Piquet Grenelle
    • 5

    A poet needs both something to write about and skill in writing. We will focus on these two themes so important in strong poetry - mastering elements of craft and finding inspiration. Each week we will do some writing in class and a homework task will be set so that we can share what we've written the following week. Teaching will cover how to write stronger poetry and where to find sources of inspiration.  

    All levels of experience welcome.

    About the Instructor: David Barnes is a British poet who has run a weekly writers' workshop at Shakespeare & Company and an open mike poetry night every Monday (SpokenWord Paris) for a decade. He is the Editor in Chief of The  Bastille, the literary magazine of SpokenWord Paris. His poetry has been published in a number of magazines. He was the co-editor of Strangers in Paris - New Writing Inspired by the City of Light (2011, Tightrope Books) which included work by such writers as Alice Notley, Jorie Graham and John Berger. He has previously taught classes for WICE in short fiction, travel writing and turning life into fiction.

    • 15 Nov 2019
    • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • WICE, 10 rue Tiphaine, 75015 Paris: metro La Motte Picquet Grenelle
    • 12

    Born in Rwanda, Scholastique Mukasonga moved to France in 1992, two years before the genocide in her home country.  Her lavishly-praised debut novel, Notre-Dame du Nil, uses the context of an all-girls lycée near the source of the Nile to portray preconceptions and attitudes in 1970s Rwanda.  

    Parents send their daughters to the school hoping they will be moulded into respectable citizens and to escape the dangers of the outside world. Yet the lycée itself is a microcosm of the country’s own  mounting racial tensions and violence; behind its closed doors unfolds friendship, curiosity, fear, deceit, prejudice, and persecution. 

    Notre-Dame du Nil was awarded the 2012 Prix Renaudot, the 2012 Prix Ahmadou Kourouma, the 2013 Prix Océans and in 2014 was named a Best Book by Publisher’s Weekly.

    ‘[Mukasonga] helps readers without experience of the setting become immersed at once, feeling out the tribal tensions without being overburdened with exposition.  This is a moving, nuanced portrait of fear and survival.’ Publishers Weekly

    ‘D'une écriture âpre et tendue, Notre-Dame du Nil dépeint une société qui chemine inexorablement vers l'horreur .... Poignant et implacable.’  Le Monde

    You may read the book in your language of choice. Discussions are in both French and English. Registrations open Saturday 12 October.

    Photo Credit: Scholastique Mukasonga

    • 13 Dec 2019
    • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • WICE, 10 rue Tiphaine, 75015 Paris: metro La Motte Picquet Grenelle
    • 12

    Published seven years before the French Revolution, Pierre Choderlos de Laclos' Les Liaisons dangereuses is often lauded as the ultimate epistolary novel.  This disturbing and damning portrayal of moral and emotional depravity in the ancien régime is told through a criss-cross of letters between members of the nobility.  It earned de Laclos a place as one of the most subtle and skilful writers of his era, as well as a ban in France from 1815 until 1875, while the Vatican placed it on its Index Librorum Prohibitorum until 1966. 

    Today, the themes of egotism, manipulation, superiority, score-settling and the struggle for power resonate as powerfully as nearly two and a half centuries ago.  The novel found a broader public in 1988 with Christopher Hampton's acclaimed movie adaption, which won three Oscars.

    '[Les Liaisons dangereuses] implicates a whole society so founded on falsehood that a single act of emotional truth is tantamount to an act of subversion.’  The New York Review of Books 

    On peut désormais tout savoir des Liaisons sans avoir lu le roman.  Mais on peut aussi le lire : après tout, c’est l’un des plus grands livres qui soient.’ Catriona Seth.

    You may read the book in your language of choice. Discussions are in both French and English. Registration opens Saturday 16 November.

10 rue Tiphaine, 75015 Paris, France
01 45 66 75 50  |  wice@wice-paris.org

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