Tess Round Logo

When: 2024 TBD — in-person on the Brown campus in Providence, RI and virtual (zoom).

Who: The TESS course is designed for scholars of all disciplines and levels of writing experience. To participate, you do need a project or manuscript in development, a project that seeks to find a broad audience, and a project tied to environmental themes–fiction or nonfiction only. Our application contains the details of what we seek.

What: TESS courses include specialized classes focused on the craft of writing; group discussions; in-class exercises; one-on-one manuscript review and critique with instructors; in-depth readings; and guest talks from visiting writers, book and magazine editors, and literary agents. The schedule will go live later this year, drawn from our growing list of contributors and supporters. Our syllabus has a general structure, but specific readings, guests, and other content are tailored to the projects and writers we accept.

The goal? While we can’t teach you how to write, we promise we can teach you how to write better. Participants will leave with new skills and awareness related to

  1. Key tenets of literary storytelling, such as: scenes, imagery, language, transition, metaphor, voice, tone, rhythm, character, plot.
  2. How to incorporate and narrate evidence from a range of disciplines.
  3. The importance of point-of-view, framing, and structure.
  4. Concrete techniques for writing about beings human and otherwise.
  5. The use of memory and imagination, and how to integrate them with technical or scientific data.
  6. Tools for building emotional resonance, from love and hope to ferocity, anger, and confusion.
  7. A basic sense of non-academic publishing & how to navigate it.

Costs: TUITION IS FREE for both virtual and in-person courses, thanks to support from Brown University. For in-person participants, we may have small grants available to help offset housing and transit costs. We are working to expand our financial aid possibilities in future years!

TESS is committed to holding a diverse, inclusive, and equitable space, where all participants——whatever their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education or disability——feel valued and respected. In addition to bringing diverse instructors, visitors, and participants to the course, accepted writers will receive instructions on how to help us arrange reasonable disability & other accommodations for your time with us.