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The official website of Gint Aras, Finalist 2016 CWA Book Award


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Writing Workshop with Gint Aras

Gint Aras is leading a writing workshop this spring, 2017, in Oak Park’s famous Arts District. The workshop is open to writers of any level, aged 16 or older, and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis, maxing out at 8 students.

Classes begin on April 7th and meet weekly each Friday night thereafter, from 6:30-8:30 PM, at the Upstairs Apartment and Lounge (see photos below) above The Buzz Cafe in Oak Park, IL. The Buzz is only steps from the Austin Blue Line Station, easily accessible via the Eisenhower Expressway.

The course focuses on craft. However, Gint will lead students though strategies for pitching writing, identifying markets, maintaining an internet presence, and he’ll share knowledge of Chicago’s growing, exciting independent publishing and book-selling community. The final meeting on May 26th will feature a reading at a public venue in Chicago. Expect surprise guests!

To register for the course, click here and send him a message, including your name. You must have a PayPal account to register.

Details:

Prose Writing Workshop, with Gint Aras

Friday nights, 6:30-8:30, from April 7-May 26

Upstairs Apartment and Lounge, Buzz Cafe

905 S. Lombard, Oak Park, IL

Open to writers of any level, aged 16 or older

Registration ends after 8 students have registered 

Cost: $420

Gint Aras is the critically acclaimed author of The Fugue (Tortoise, 2016), finalist for the 2016 Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Award. The novel was called “magisterial” by the Chicago Tribune and a “masterpiece of literary fiction” by Centered on Books. His other prose and translations have appeared in the St. Petersburg  Review, Quarterly West, Antique Children, Criminal Class Review, Curbside Splendor, ReImagine, STIR Journal, Heavy Feather Review, and he is a former contributing and section editor at The Good Men Project. Aras earned an MFA from Columbia University in the City of New York, and a BA in English and American Literature from the University of Illinois.

Portrait

Photo by Tauras Bublys Photography

***

Discussions will take place in this wonderful room.

Buzz room 1

And also at this wonderful table

Buzz room 2


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Take my prose writing workshop

I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be teaching a prose writing workshop over eight weeks this spring. The class is open to writers of any level, aged 16 or older, and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis, maxing out at 8 students.

Classes begin on April 7th and meet weekly each Friday night thereafter, from 6:30-8:30 PM, at the Upstairs Apartment and Lounge (see photos below) above The Buzz Cafe in Oak Park, IL. The Buzz is only steps from the Austin Blue Line Station, easily accessible via the Eisenhower Expressway.

The course will focus on the craft of prose. However, we’ll spend time talking about other elements, including pitching our writing, identifying markets for our work, maintaining an internet presence, and I’ll share knowledge of Chicago’s growing, exciting independent publishing and book-selling community. We’ll work on reading our work aloud, and our final meeting, May 26th, will feature a reading at a public venue.

Details:

Prose Writing Workshop, with Gint Aras

Friday nights, 6:30-8:30, from April 7-May 26

Upstairs Apartment and Lounge, Buzz Cafe

905 S. Lombard, Oak Park, IL

Open to writers of any level, aged 16 or older

Registration ends after 8 students have registered 

Cost: $420

To register, send me an email message. I’ll direct you to my PayPal account. Once you have paid, you’ll be registered.

Buzz room 1

Buzz room 2

What kind of a writing teacher am I?

Writing is an intimate experience with the self. It’s a process that reveals emotions and ideas that can at times seem daunting. That process of self-exploration is vital to learning to know and develop our own voices. Writing is, in a way, a lesson in feeling comfortable with discomfort, then judging what we’d like to reveal and how to go about it. It requires sober encouragement and tactful critique in about equal measure.

I believe we’re at our best when we write the thing we’d really like to be reading. That’s not an original idea; plenty of writers speak to this point. The best writers read constantly, and they use the texts they read as lessons in craft. I very often give students texts that can help them see a lesson in action.

There are practical ends to writing that have to do with technique. We do often think about the audience we’re trying to reach or what idea we’re trying to provoke. I have experience writing for newspapers, magazines, literary journals, and I’ve written two novels. The state of mind we enter when we’re writing a novel is obviously different from the one we inhabit when we’re penning a report. Both states, however, demand attention. You can expect me to teach attention to the idea and the word, and the tension between them. My mantra is that we write one word at a time. That is, essentially, the closest thing to a rule students should expect from me.

 


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An open letter to the Chicago and Regional Transit Authorities

Hey, CTA and RTA. My transit card, which I have linked to my bank account, has been suspended. Seeing that your vendor has, for reasons no one can explain (I have contacted the people three times), made it impossible for me to use my card to board a bus or train on either Pace or CTA, I’d like to offer you a list of places that are currently more easily accessible than your transit system:

1.) Raúl Castro’s ass

2.) North Korea

3.) The Sixth Plane of Hell

4.) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s scrotum

5.) The distant future

6.) Black holes

Here are some actions that are easier to accomplish than it is for me to pay for transit in Chicago:

1.) Auto-fellatio

2.) The construction of a perpetual motion machine

3.) Colliding an immovable force with an unstoppable object (you read that right).

4.) Losing myself in a closet

5.) Producing the philosopher’s stone

6.) Teaching a contemporary college student how to use possessive pronouns

There is currently only one (1) city in the world that is refusing to collect payment from me for transit. That city is not in Poland. No, it is not in Lithuania. It is also not in Ukraine or Costa Rica or Mexico. You can bet your last board-member-on-the-take that it is not anywhere in Cuba, where they frisk you for cash just as you get off the plane. Only one (1) city in the world has set up a transit payment system that not only refuses to collect payment but also takes no interest in answering the questions of a man who contacts the vendor several times to ask, “How can I pay for transit?”

My suggestion? If you need help learning how to collect payment from riders, visit any city anywhere in the world that has a bus system. In the meantime, check this out:

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Photo by Marc Levin.