Writers' Forum is a hybrid class/reading series. Every other week, we hold a reading and Q&A session in Engineering 307. We bring you some of the most interesting and active literary figures working today in New York and beyond. On our off weeks, we prepare for the next week's reading with a discussion group in Engineering 307. Here, a smaller group of students will have a conversation led by either Gina or Shelly about the next reader's work. You will think about questions to ask the reader. And you will begin to plan the introduction which will be given the following week at the start of the reading.

In Writer's Forum, attendance and participation are key.

READINGS: You are required to attend every reading. There will be a sign-in roster which will require your signature. You should arrive by 12:20 pm, if possible, and the reading will start at 12:30 pm. If you arrive after the reading starts, you will be considered absent. Prepare for each reading by making yourself familiar with the bio and work that we have linked to on the Writer's Forum website and blog: Of course, you are encouraged to go more deeply into your study of each reader, find and read books, read interviews, and think about questions you may want to ask. (Reading attendance is 42% of your grade.)

DISCUSSION GROUPS: You are required to sign up for and attend one discussion group. You are responsible for remembering which group you signed up for on the first day of class. Be sure you have picked a writer you're interested in and a date that will work for you; you cannot change your discussion group. If you miss your discussion group, you can’t join a later one.

It is your responsibility to read, research, and obtain work by your chosen author well ahead of the scheduled discussion group. Explore the range of the author's work, read as much as you can, collect reviews, interviews, statements, and other materials. You must read more than what is linked to on the Writer's Forum website. A lack of adequate preparation for the discussion group will be reflected in your final grade.

Together the group is responsible for reading all of its chosen author's available work prior to the discussion group class period. An individual student's reading load for a discussion group will vary according to genre—a book of poems, a novel, a memoir, a collection of short stories or articles, or a play. The most effective approach in the case of authors with multiple books or a wide range of articles is to email or meet briefly with your group a full two weeks in advance, such as directly after a reading, to delegate responsibilities. It is your responsibility to decide as a group who among you will read what, and to make sure all areas of the author's work are represented. Discussion groups meet in Engineering 307 at 12:30 pm.

At the end of the discussion group, we will make a plan for the writing of the introduction speech for next week's reading. You are encouraged to volunteer to work on the introduction. (Discussion group attendance and participation is 38% of your grade.)

Introductions: A concise, well-crafted introduction is expected: generally speaking, one paragraph should cover biography (books, personal and professional background, awards); the other should contextualize the writer's work in a deeper way, discussing its themes, style, language, and relationship to tradition. Select emblematic quotes from the author; let your peers know how this writer excels and what compels you about his or her writing.

Please email your introduction to the teachers on the day and time given to you by the teacher who led your discussion group. This way we can edit or suggest changes if they are needed.

RESPONSES: After the discussion group, you are required to write a response articulating your thoughts on the author, and email it to Gina, Shelly and the student(s) who have volunteered to write the introduction. The volunteer(s) will then be able to cull from everybody's responses. These responses are due by 6:00 pm on the Friday before the author’s reading unless other instructions are given. Emailing your response late will affect your grade. Please email responses in the body of the email, not as attachments. If you do not receive a confirmation email from your teacher that your response was received, we did not get it. (Response is 20% of your grade.)

Note that if you miss your discussion group, you cannot write a response; thus, missing a discussion group amounts to forfeiting 58% of your grade.