Apply now for memoir workshop with James Lasdun

You are invited to apply to the Writers Institute’s Spring 2017 Community Writing Workshop with author James Lasdun.

New York State Writers Institute fellow and award-winning author James Lasdun will conduct a writing workshop on memoir and the personal essay during the spring 2017 semester. Writers interested in creative non-fiction of every kind, from autobiography to reflections on art, nature and other subjects, are encouraged to apply. Sponsored by the NYS Writers Institute, the workshop will take place on the University at Albany’s uptown campus for eight sessions, and is offered for non-credit, free of charge for non-University students. Admission to the workshop is based on the submission of writing samples.

The Memoir and Personal Essay Workshop (starting March 22) will focus on detailed discussion of students’ work, which will be supplemented with readings from authors ranging from Joan Didion to John Jeremiah Sullivan, Eliot Weinberger to Jenny Offil. Participants will be expected to be strongly self-motivated and to submit two to three works of up to twenty pages each over the course of the semester.

Complete information on the workshop and submission guidelines may be obtained by calling the Institute at (518) 442-5620 or by visiting the Institute’s website at:

James Lasdun is a fiction writer, poet and screenwriter. Born and raised in England, Lasdun has received awards and critical praise for his work on both sides of the Atlantic. Critic James Wood has said, “James Lasdun seems to me to be one of the secret gardens of English writing . . . When we read him we know what language is for.”

Lasdun’s newest publications are the psychological thriller The Fall Guy (2016), and the poetry volume Bluestone: New and Selected Poems (2015). The Wall Street Journal called The Fall Guy “Elegant and disturbing… This simple-seeming novel, so graceful in its unfolding, proves dense with psychological detail and sly social observations,” and the New York Times Book Review said “This is exactly what a literary thriller should be: intelligent, careful, swift, unsettling.” J. D. McClatchy described the poems in Bluestone as “…heady with astonishing details and exhilarating language, yet in the core of each is a steel rod of precision and moral depth. … Here is the rare book-essential on every shelf, in every soul.”

Lasdun’s novels include The Horned Man (2002), which was a New York Times Notable Book and an Economist Best Book of the Year, and the political thriller Seven Lies (2005), which was long-listed for the Man-Booker Prize.

Give Me Everything You Have (2013), is a nonfiction account of Lasdun’s experience of being harassed and stalked (electronically) by a former writing student. Publishers Weekly named it a December 2012 “Pick of the Week,” and said, “This subtle, compassionate take on the subject is rife with insights into the current cyberculture’s cult of anonymity, as well as the power, failure, and magic of writing.”

His most recent story collection, It’s Beginning to Hurt, published in 2009, was listed by The Atlantic Monthly as number four of its top five books of 2009.

For additional information contact the Writers Institute online at