2019 Workshop Dates: July 14-19

Minnowbrook Conference Center (see on map)

Special Topics Workshops are facilitated by Syracuse University faculty and are open to secondary educators for discipline-specific professional development experience. Certified SUPA instructors have the added option of enrolling in these workshops for SU graduate credit at a significantly reduced tuition rate.

The Advanced English workshops address current topics within the fields of literary, cultural, composition, and rhetorical studies—to communicate enhanced content knowledge and classroom pedagogy—as well as topics of broader significance for teachers in the arts and sciences, e.g., research strategies across the curriculum.

Workshop participants have the opportunity to enroll in one or two workshops during the five-day retreat. Syllabi, required textbook lists, and any course readers for the workshops will be sent to participants upon receipt of the registration form.

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2019 Workshops

ENG 600: Digital Research as Creative Play for Writing and Teaching (Patrick Williams)

The collision of texts, sound, images, databases, and other digital media in which we swim provide a myriad of opportunities to combine, compare, create, question, and remix as a part of our composition process. In this course, we will theorize those opportunities and bring our ideas into playful practice. We will grapple with the ways working digitally invokes the analog, and consider how analog modes can complicate our digital practices (and vice versa). With a dual emphasis on making use of resources in the classroom as well as in our own writing, we will approach research and composition problems through sounds, maps, zines, memes, finding opportunities to begin, revise, transform and understand through media interactions. Along the way, we will focus on how exploration and production across different media can stimulate and guide composition and research while provoking information literacy. Having equipped themselves with a variety of tools and strategies for addressing multimodal approaches to research and writing, at the conclusion of the course, participants will create either a lesson plan or develop new creative work that incorporates these ideas.

ENG-600:Flash Nonfiction Workshop (Ivy Kleinbart)

Flash nonfiction is a subgenre of creative nonfiction characterized by narrative compression and distillation of prose. It requires writers to grapple with ethical and artistic questions of which truths to tell and how best to tell them in condensed or abbreviated form. This course aims to deepen participants’ understanding of the tools and techniques of narrative compression so you can better utilize them in the classroom and in your own writing practice. We’ll discuss and experiment with compression at the level of scene and narrative construction, dialogue, description, diction, and syntax. We’ll also consider larger structural questions, such as framing, pacing, voice, and point of view. Our sessions together will center on three major focal points in the study of flash nonfiction:

  1. Reading and analyzing a range of contemporary flash nonfiction pieces and essays on the craft of creative nonfiction.
  2. Practice in the craft of composing flash nonfiction, including brainstorming, conducting research, and experimenting with the tools and conventions of the genre with the aim of developing a portfolio of flash nonfiction work.
  3. Workshopping and revision.

Participants at all levels are welcome; no prior experience with creative nonfiction is necessary.

2019 Faculty

Patrick Williams is librarian for literature, rhetoric, and digital humanities in the Syracuse University Libraries. He studies past, present, and future technologies of reading and writing. Patrick holds a BA in English from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an MS and PhD in information studies from The University of Texas at Austin. His writing appears in The Bennington ReviewPoet-Librarians in the Library of BabelThe Critical Library Pedagogy HandbookThe Journal of Academic Librarianship, The Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science, Heavy Feather Review, Posit, and elsewhere.


Ivy Kleinbart has taught academic writing and creative nonfiction at Syracuse University since 2005. She co-leads the Syracuse Veterans’ Writing Group and serves as a Faculty Liaison for SU’s Project Advance.  She co-edited The Weight of My Armor: Creative Nonfiction and Poetry by the Syracuse Veterans’ Writing Group. Her poems have appeared in such places as Collateral, Cactus Heart, Stone Canoe, Bateau, and Notell Motel.

About Minnowbrook

Syracuse University’s Minnowbrook Conference Center is an enchanting facility built in the rustic elegance of the Adirondack “Great Camp” tradition.

Room accommodations are spacious and comfortable. They will be designated single occupancy, unless registration numbers require room sharing. All meals will be provided by the kitchen staff at Minnowbrook, as will snacks throughout the day. Meals are gourmet quality and participants are guaranteed to never go hungry!

Recreational facilities—including a game room, workout equipment, tennis court, canoes, kayaks, paddleboats, and rowboats—are available for participants, and of course, the Adirondacks themselves offer great opportunities for hiking and other outdoor sports.

2019 Workshop Fees & Tuition

Participants have several registration options for the Special Topics workshops. Most register for one workshop only. Graduate credit is optional, and this specially reduced tuition rate ($210 for 3 credit hours) is available only to SUPA certified instructors. See directions on the Minnowbrook registration form for submitting the Graduate Credit Registration form.

The fee structure for the workshop- only option—which includes room and board, use of the Minnowbrook facilities and workshop fees, is $1,380 

(If you are interested in taking both workshops, please contact Sean Conrey at smconrey@syr.edu)

Please note that in the event of low enrollment, individual workshops may be canceled.*


To register for the Special Topics workshops, complete the application form and return it with your deposit ($75 for one workshop) by June 28, 2019 to:

Syracuse University Project Advance
400 Ostrom Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-3250

Download Registration Form


What do past Minnowbrook participants say about their experience?

“I can’t think of any situation where you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in not only a subject, but a place, that allows for the leisure to contemplate the world without distractions—a serenity that is very different from the hectic world of teaching in the high school in particular. This is the perfect time to lose yourself and do something that you love. Talking about books, talking about art, with people who have the same passion, the same interests, and so much experience to exchange.”

“During my free time, I spent a lot of time on the dock just listening to the water and reading for chunks of time. That’s one of the lures of Minnowbrook: time to think. And to read and to be uninterrupted. And to talk to people who are from all over, finding out what’s going on at other places.”

“Each of the years I’ve attended, I’ve come home with something I’ve been able to use directly in my classes and in my instruction. I’m getting materials and points of view that I didn’t have. The marriage of people from the high schools and Syracuse University in this particular program, which we’ve come to call an intellectual community, has the distinct advantage of giving us an opportunity to generalize our knowledge, to find out what things are like in other places, and to see what works in other places. It’s so refreshing: you come home and you have thought deeply about a variety of subjects and discussed them with a variety of very intelligent and very articulate and very well-read and informed people, and how can that be bad? It’s just a totally good time.”

“Well, first of all, the setting is so gorgeous. And you just feel at peace and relaxed. It becomes a very intense experience, because when you’re with a group of people and you’re in class with them for so many hours of the day, and then you sit down and have lunch with them, and you sit down at dinner with them, and you have breakfast with them, and you talk, continually, and the issues that come up in the class get hashed out again and again, new things get brought up over meals, and it’s just a very stimulating, and totally involving experience. And you come back very invigorated and with new ideas and ready to try new things.”

“The intellectual stimulation that you get here is incomparable. I mean you go to the faculty room and everybody complains about problems with the day-to-day routine, and you don’t get to discuss ideas at all or techniques that you would use in the classroom. Here, we talk about all kinds of things that we can try and that we’ve tried before that worked. It’s just a constant exchange of new ideas. It’s a totally new networking that is not normal in a high school room. Everybody here is just on an automatic cycle of exchange of ideas. And that’s what happens here all the time. Not just in a group meeting but while we’re on a hike up to Castle Rock or while we’re at dinner or after dinner.”

“This has some of the same benefits as any sort of camp provides. People get to come away. They get a retreat. And they come together with other people who are interested in the same issues, the same topic, the same inquiry, and they get to live, eat, breathe, and do this for however many hours of a day, so it’s a very short experience, but it’s a very intense experience. And the benefit comes not just from the content delivery, but from the kind of all-inclusive interaction. So there’s this constant flow of discussion, from one course to another, to issues in my school, to how am I going to do this unit of my course, and there’s this sort of seamless interaction for whatever period of time and that’s just remarkable. So you can call it camp but it’s a much more intense sort of professional interaction than any other venue I can imagine.”

“What brings me here? The opportunity to gain credit working with the Syracuse University program and the idea of it being concentrated in one week; other courses that I take are spread out over several months or they take up weekends and don’t feel as though they have the same continuity as they do here.”