Saturdays March 2 & 9, 12:00PM-3:00PM

$550 ($440 for Paragraph Members)

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Rich Benjamin

Two-Week Short Essay Bootcamp: Commentary Writing in the Age of Disruption

This intensive workshop will advance participants’ skills at commentary and short-essay writing, as well as placing pieces with top, relevant media outlets. 

Given the barrage of contentious news in these turbulent times, there is increasingly stiff competition for what limited space exists in media platforms for commentary. Succeeding has never been so unpredictable and competitive.   Even so, commentary verticles of prominent media outlets remain ideal platforms to advance ideas important to your work, because readership is at an all-time high.

With the proliferation of events and voices in media these days, how do you stake your claim? How do you take your work from idea to research to acceptance by prominent media venues?   This commentary boot camp offers participants a hands-on, practical, tangible lesson in becoming a commentator from a practiced expert regularly commenting in the top outlets, before and after Trump’s inauguration.

Objective:  For participants to hone their skills, brainstorming, developing, writing, pitching, and publishing first-rate commentary. As importantly, the seminar leader will offer participants invaluable insight and firsthand experience leveraging social media and broadcast venues to gain more exposure for their commentary and to grow their personal OR institutional platforms.   We will workshop students’ work hands-on.  Writers of varying levels can benefit from this course; those who are new to the form, as well as those who have a substantial publishing record.

Rich Benjamin’s unique perspective on culture and society appears regularly in public debate, including in The New York TimesThe Los Angeles Times Sunday OpinionThe GuardianThe New Yorker on-line, and The New York Times Sunday Book Review.  He frequently appears on NPR, MSNBC, and CNN.  Rich has taught short-essay and commentary writing for leaders at non-profit institutions, including Demos, the Scholars Strategy Network, as well as at Stanford University.

Rich is the author of Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America, selected as an Editor’s Choice by Booklist and The American Library Association.  His TED Talk based on his commentary and this book has received over 2.5 million views and translation into 25 languages. 

Rich’s literary citizenship includes serving as a Juror for the PEN Center’s John Kenneth Galbraith Book Award for Nonfiction (2017), as well as serving on the Board of Trustees of the Authors Guild, the nation's professional organization for writers, aiding and protecting author's interest in copyright, fair contracts, and free expression since 1912.