Becoming a Better Writer: Deep Reading – Wednesdays

  • Course Tutor: Michael Duszat
  • When: Wednesdays 19:00-21:00
  • Start date: 22 Apr 2020
  • Where: Prenzlauer Berg
  • Number of Sessions: 7
  • Maximum Participants: 10
  • Cost: €150

Great literature is an immense source of know-how – if you know where to look. Over this seven week evening course in-depth, microscopic explorations of the best writings will allow you to reverse-engineer the means and tricks that writers have used to construct their masterpieces. We’ll look at classic and contemporary authors such as Edgar Allen Poe, Angela Carter, and Toni Morrison. In-class writing exercises will build directly on what you’ve learned and allow you to refine your own style with the same attention to detail. You’ll learn how to create an atmosphere in a few sentences, how to use rhythm and sound to make a point, how to construct an unreliable narrator or a likeable character, how to use montage and rewriting, and how to write parody. Furthermore, you’ll share your work in a friendly, informal and supportive environment and learn tools to make you a better writer.

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MICHAEL DUSZAT holds a Dr. phil. in American Literature from Humboldt University Berlin. He writes collage essays, found poetry, and criticism, both in English and German . He has written about the writing-from-reading techniques of Jorge Luis Borges, Charles Reznikoff, and Eliot Weinberger.

“I looked forward to Deep Reading every week and the time flew by as we examined outstanding prose line by line, word by word. What was this author trying to make us feel, and how was she achieving it? Followed by fun exercises using what we learned and a final voluntary deep dive into our own work. Every session a joy!” – Katy Derbyshire

“I have been using the techniques from class as I do final edits on my
latest two stories, and they are working wonderfully. I am creating
better sentences and making wiser word choices because of the process. I plan on implementing this on all my stories. It’s great!” – David Weinberger

“Deep Reading works like a magnifier: it exposes the meanings, mechanisms and secrets of literature. Michael’s class sharpened my sense for words, my own and others. I learned a lot – and have now got my first short story published. ” – Christian Stein

“The format of these sessions is very interesting as it offers spontaneous and best practice ideas of how to approach writing whatever the style in a semi-structured format. In this session, we looked at some texts by Lydia Davis which are very pithy and dense and we tried to analyse the mechanics and meanings behind the texts in a close reading exercise. Davis is a very unusual writer and Michael is very supportive at introducing readers to new and unknown authors.” – Niamh O’Connell

“I have attended three deep reading sessions by Michael and I am just enthused! I can say without fear of exaggerating that I never had so much fun reading…It was great fun to read and discuss, and to realize what different perspectives and understanding of the text we all had. Time flew and we read, listened to each other, laughed with absolute focus. All in all, the three sessions have already had a big impact on my reading. I have come to remember how much I love reading, I feel the drive to read literature again after years of “not having time”. The experience of going deep into a text has also contributed to a general feeling of slowing down and relaxation. Deep reading is a great mindfulness exercise in which I experience presence and focus, a luxury in times of constant bombarding with information which we can only process superficially. Reading slowly and for pleasure is a different skill that needs practice.” – María Machón