Rittenhouse Writers: Reflections on a Fiction Workshop

Paul Dry Books
Free sample

James Rahn has led the Rittenhouse Writers' Group since he founded it in 1988, making it one of America's longest-running independent fiction workshops. Hundreds of writers and would-be writers have sought out the group for its remarkable level of instruction and collaboration. Rittenhouse Writers is Rahn's memoir of the workshop and how his own evolution as both a teacher and a writer—and as a son, husband, and (somewhat reluctant) father—has been intertwined with the establishment and growth of the RWG. In addition, Rahn includes ten short stories written by current and former members of the workshop.

Rahn graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and earned an MFA at Columbia. He then began to imagine a future that included more than just writing, one that would also tap his aspiration to offer other writers support and motivation, tough but gentle—his self-described "Iron Fist in the Velvet Glove" approach. After all, as he says more than once, "Writing is hard."

Over the years, James Rahn has witnessed every imaginable writing-group scenario, from awkward flirtations to suicide scares, catty critiques, near fistfights, and of course the satisfaction of watching someone's writing soar. With insight gained through years of observation and participation, and a discerning eye for amusing detail, he takes us along for the journey. Rahn's struggle to perfect his role as instructor runs throughout the narrative, as does his effort to balance that role with the friendships he forms in the group, and to keep up with his own writing while still giving the group the attention it needs to flourish. Through his eyes, we catch the spark of the workshop's spirit and get to meet various spirits who have invigorated Rittenhouse Writers' Group.

Rahn cuts back and forth, reflecting, not only on the workshop, but also on his days as a high school dropout in Atlantic City, dead-end jobs and hopeless moves, the difficulty of his mother's decline and death, and his own unexpected plunge into parenthood—when, at age 51, he and his wife took on the responsibility of raising her two young nieces.

His memoir serves, in a way, as an introduction to the short stories that follow; and the stories—as surprising and varied as the writers Rahn describes working with—stand as a fitting coda to Rahn's tale and offer another window onto his life's work.

"James Rahn, Jersey boy and Philadelphia treasure, has written a moving and insightful book about what happens when you create something vibrant and necessary and stick around for the long haul, whether it's teaching, writing, friendships, or love. The answers aren't always simple, and Rahn explores them with the same gusto, honesty, wry humor, and generosity of spirit he brings to his fiction and his famous workshops. This book is a powerful reminder of the importance of community and mentorship in the making of literature."—Sam Lipsyte

The 10 short stories included in Rittenhouse Writers:

"On Fire" by Gwen Florio

"Mother—6/7 Months" by Romnesh Lamba

"Moon Penitent" by Diane McKinney-Whetstone

"The Last Confession" by Tom Teti

"Ivory Is Wrong About Me" by Caren Litvin

"The Conference Rat" by Samantha Gillison

"Dropping a Line into the Murky Chop" by Saral Waldorf

"What She Missed" by Lisa Paparone

"Kingdom of the Sun" by Alice Schell

"The Letters of Hon. Crawford G. Bolton III" by Daniel R. Biddle

Read more

About the author

James Rahn has published stories in many literary magazines, taught for fifteen years at the University of Pennsylvania, and has an MFA in Writing from Columbia University. His first novel,Bloodnight, was published in 2012.

Read more
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Paul Dry Books
Read more
Published on
Apr 14, 2016
Read more
Pages
255
Read more
ISBN
9781589881129
Read more
Features
Read more
Language
English
Read more
Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Language Arts & Disciplines / Composition & Creative Writing
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
With more than three-quarters of a million copies sold since its first publication, The Craft of Research has helped generations of researchers at every level—from first-year undergraduates to advanced graduate students to research reporters in business and government—learn how to conduct effective and meaningful research. Conceived by seasoned researchers and educators Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams, this fundamental work explains how to find and evaluate sources, anticipate and respond to reader reservations, and integrate these pieces into an argument that stands up to reader critique.

The fourth edition has been thoroughly but respectfully revised by Joseph Bizup and William T. FitzGerald. It retains the original five-part structure, as well as the sound advice of earlier editions, but reflects the way research and writing are taught and practiced today. Its chapters on finding and engaging sources now incorporate recent developments in library and Internet research, emphasizing new techniques made possible by online databases and search engines. Bizup and FitzGerald provide fresh examples and standardized terminology to clarify concepts like argument, warrant, and problem.

Following the same guiding principle as earlier editions—that the skills of doing and reporting research are not just for elite students but for everyone—this new edition retains the accessible voice and direct approach that have made The Craft of Research a leader in the field of research reference. With updated examples and information on evaluation and using contemporary sources, this beloved classic is ready for the next generation of researchers.
©2018 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.