Teju Cole, author of Open City, Blind Spot, Known and Strange Things, and Everyday Is for the Thief, has announced, on his Facebook page, that he will be hosting a free online workshop for writers and photographers in May. Titled “Paragraph/Photograph,” the workshop will hold across three Sundays consecutively, open to intermediate writers and photographers who are essential workers. The application deadline is Wednesday, April 29, at 5pm EST (9pm GMT). For more information, read Teju Cole’s post below. 


Online workshop: May 3, 10, & 17

I’m happy to announce that I’ll be hosting a FREE online workshop for writers and photographers for the next three Sundays.

Paragraph/Photograph will be made up of only ten students: five writers, five photographers. I want to have the opportunity to really focus on helping each student, and for the class to have, over the three weekends, some sense of cohesion and camaraderie. The photographers and writers will be in the same class: I’m a firm believer in learning not only from other arts, but from the critical practices of other arts. Understanding, for instance, how photo critique works, will help you as a writer. And seeing how writers think will change the way you take pictures. The class is called Paragraph/Photograph because our focus is going to be on close analysis of form: what makes a paragraph really work, where the power is in a single photograph.

The workshop is open only to a narrow category of applicant. There are three restrictions. First, you must be working outside the home during this period. By this, I mean those who are being called “essential workers” (though I think it’s fair to acknowledge that all workers at this moment are essential). For this workshop, I’m looking to work with those who are CURRENTLY working as sanitation workers, home health aides, grocers, food service employees, nurses, doctors, delivery workers, and any others in that general set of workers who take risks by working outside the home. Let’s call them “first responders.” If you’re in that group, and you’re also a writer or photographer, I want this to be one gesture of applause, acknowledgment, and appreciation from me to you: to use my experience as a teacher to help you sharpen your art practice.

Second requirement: you must have a computer on which you can have a Zoom meeting, and you must be available for the next three Sundays (May 3, May 10, May 17) between 2 pm and 5 pm EST. Committing to all three sessions is vital.

And, finally, your work should already be at an intermediate level. This isn’t a class for beginners, but for those who have already done some work—and preferably already published something—in their chosen fields.

Applicants welcome from anywhere in the world. Writers should be working in English (fiction/non-fiction only—I’m not yet ready to run a poetry workshop). Photographers can be in any language, but should be able to communicate about their work in English and participate fully in English.

Hope all that is clear. The link to the application is below; applications are due by 5 pm EST this Wednesday. Feel free to share this post with anyone who you think might qualify.

When the final selection is made, it would be my honor, for this period of time, to be your teacher. I’m really looking forward to it. And to all workers everywhere at this moment: thank you for all you do on behalf of others. Thank you.

To apply, click on this link.