"Richard Bausch's community workshop quite literally changed the course of my life. I studied writing as an undergrad at USC, but after five years of post-grad struggle to hold several day jobs while writing novels on the side, I was ready to throw in the metaphorical towel. When I saw that Chapman was offering a free workshop, I applied without any real hope of getting chosen. After that, I enrolled in a postbac program with plans to go to medical school.
But then Richard called.
The semester I spent at Chapman in the community workshop was one of the busiest of my life. I had two jobs, was taking chemistry and physics at a college, and was still trying to write every day. If it weren't for Richard's mentorship and priceless creative wisdom, then I would have put my passions aside in the name of so-called pragmatism. But what could be more pragmatic than working from and with your passion? What good has ever come from giving up? I chose not to enroll in science classes for the next semester, realizing that I was a writer and could not wholeheartedly pursue anything else.
Working with Richard is unlike any other workshop experience. He doesn't try to change writers; he helps them to grow organically into their own voices. After the workshop. I was awarded a fellowship to attend Chapman's MFA program in Creative Writing, and now I pursue writing very nearly full-time. As I said, the course of my life has changed irrevocably and for the better because I sent in that application."
When sitting in a room with Richard, you often forget that you are in the presence of one of America's most accomplished and award winning story tellers. His humility and kindness win out, and he makes you feel as if you are a colleague and not a student. However, his genius not only in the craft, but also in its instruction are never far away. I have not worked, or laughed as hard in any other workshop. I have made a number of dear and lifelong friends, chief among them is Richard himself.
"Mr. Bausch and the group helped me with two pieces of work, a travel essay and a short story. Based on the workshop feedback regarding tonality and the through-line of the piece, I split the travel essay into two separate pieces and sold them both for publication. The short story, revised according to comments of the group and Mr. Bausch, has received interest from a publisher and is in its final stages of completion. I have not been to many other workshops, but this one stood apart for its emphasis on a free flowing discussion in a safe environment. Having this kind of camaraderie and a forum for sharing our work with smart, accomplished writers makes all the difference in the world."
-Richard A. Smith
The submission period for the 2015 writers workshop is now closed.
- Submissions may be from 1-15 pages.
- All submissions must be fiction (nonfiction and other forms will not be considered).
- Submissions need not be complete stories, but should represent what you consider to be a good sample of your fiction writing. All forms of fiction are welcome.
- Manuscripts should be submitted as Microsoft Word documents or as editable PDFs.
- All submissions must include all of the following: the writer's name, mailing address, phone number and email address.
Applicants should live within driving distance of Chapman University, as the weekly classes will be conducted on the Chapman campus.
An acknowledged master of both the novel and short-story form, Richard Bausch has seen his work published in Esquire, Harper’s, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Playboy, GQ, and The Southern Review, among many others, and anthologized in New Stories from the South, The Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Stories, The Pushcart Prize Stories, The Vintage Book of the Contemporary American Short Story, The Granta Book of the American Short Story and more.
He is the author of 11 novels and eight collections of stories, including the novels Rebel Powers, Violence, The Night Season, Hello to the Cannibals, Thanksgiving Night and Peace, and the story collections The Selected Stories of Richard Bausch, Spirits, The Fireman’s Wife, Wives and Lovers and Something Is Out There. His novel The Last Good Time was made into a feature-length motion picture in 1995, directed by Bob Balaban and starring Armin Meuhler-Stahl and Maureen Stapleton. Bausch has won two National Magazine Awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Fund Writer’s Award, the Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story. He is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and since 2002 has been the sole editor of the prestigious Norton Anthology of Short Fiction.
Prior to joining the Chapman faculty, Bausch taught creative writing on the faculties of George Mason University and the University of Memphis, where he also launched highly successful versions of his free Creative Writing Workshop.