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In Andrea’s course, students learn the important elements of storytelling including the situation and the story, a concept developed by author Vivian Gornick. The situation is the thing that happens. The story is what the author has come to say.
Students delve into memory to bring from the specific what is universal. If a memory has lingered, there is probably a story behind it. Each week, students excavate these stories with in-class writing exercises. Prompts include questions about childhood, a single word, scent associations, and sounds.
Each week students discuss and explore aspects of storytelling found in professional writing including voice, details, showing, omitting needless words, point of view, and tense. All writing is read out loud and work-shopped in class.
WHAT STUDENTS ARE SAYING:
When Andrea Askowitz says that she “wants to know more” I know I have written a memorable moment. She infuses humor with a genuine interest in the students’ writing. By the end of a session, her group of writers are a fearless and supportive community. -–Tammy Green
I am addicted to andrea and her class. her teaching style has made me feel comfortable and confident, so i can write freely and without fear. she has not tried to change my voice or my words but instead encouraged me to continue within the “rules” of good writing. now, i hear her voice when i reach for a cliché or a description that should be shown instead of told. the other students in the class have become my close friends.i look forward to class each week. it has become my salvation. –-Allison Langer
“I love Andrea’s memoir writing class and look forward to it every week! She helps writers get out of their own way and creates a safe and fun space where your work can flourish. I don’t know how she does it, but she can laser in and give you the exact feedback to help story jump off the page! She is like the midwife of memoir! –Inessa Freylekhman
I am most impressed at how well Andrea can listen to the reader without losing focus and then remember everything read. –-Bonnie Askowitz
Andrea Askowitz is an outstanding writing teacher. She has a sharp eye for detail, a well-trained ear for the perfect turn of phrase and an uncanny sense of how to make a sentence better…and better…and still better. She also has a very kind heart. –-Jeff Weinstock
Andrea is one of those teachers who literally changes lives. I’m always impressed with the way she figures out how to bring out the best in every student. –Melanie Merriman
Andrea’s writing class provided an atmosphere of collegial support and constructive criticism. She maintained order in a seminar like setting with ten smart participants clamoring to be heard. Her “Hot topic, cool prose” whether original to AA or not, is just one of the memorable phrases I will take with me forever. I think that her emphasis on ”less is more ” is one that I will follow here. She is an excellent teacher. –Nedra Kalish