Trains! Trains! Trains!

Dillies Pilevsky, English and history instructor

Get on board with short stories featuring trains as one of the “main characters”. As aware readers, we make human connections to the authors, their writings, to each other and ourselves. The hidden depths of these creative stories await you! A Journey by Edith Wharton, Far and the Near by Thomas Wolfe and The Train from Rhodesia by Nadine Gordimer. First story will be emailed. 3 SESSIONS

Tues, Jun 26-Jul 10, 10 am-noon
Freehold Branch Campus
Fee and Code: $59, XHUML 098

Literature 101: The Bible

Brooks Susman, history, philosophy instructor and rabbi emeritus

A continuing examination of the most famous literature of all time. The Bible is as much a source of intriguing stores as religious teachings; it reflects historical situations, human events, and our reactions to these happenings. Its stories are referenced throughout great literature spanning the globe. Whatever your personal background, you will enjoy this discussion of stories and events with an emphasis on literary motifs, relationships, psychology, and as a source for Western values and ideas. No prior bible study necessary. Please bring a Bible to class. 4 SESSIONS

Wed, Aug 22-Sep 12, 10:30 am-12:30 pm
Fee and Code: $85, XPHIL 039

Woman writing next to a laptop


Indulge yourself in a motivating day of creative thought. A chance to learn from accomplished writing and teaching professionals. Novice or pro, all are welcome. The only prerequisite is passion. Light lunch is included. Participants choose morning and afternoon workshops with two featured writers.

Tim O’Mara is best known for his Raymond Donne mysteries about an ex-cop who now teaches in the same Williamsburg, Brooklyn, neighborhood he once policed: Sacrifice Fly (2012), Crooked Numbers (2013), Dead Red (2015), Nasty Cutter (2017), published by Minotaur Books and Severn House. O’Mara’s short story The Tip is featured in the 2016 anthology Unloaded: Crime Writers Writing Without Guns, and his novellas Smoked and Jammed appear in 2016 and 2018 crime trilogies from Down & Out Books. O’Mara taught special education for 30 years in the public middle schools of New York City, where he now teaches adult writers and still lives.

Nancy Bryan is the author of The Blue Lantern, a collection of poems in the making for twelve years. She is adjunct English faculty at Brookdale, has taught creative writing classes and “Artist Way” workshops in the community and for Lifelong Learning at Brookdale. She led the first ever narrative Medicine conference at Brookdale and believes in the therapeutic power of writing your story. Writing, to Nancy, is connection to others and to her self-a lifeline. She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Choice of Morning Presentations: 10 am-noon

Before Page One: Getting Started

What preparation must you go through before you type that first word? Examine the importance of character, plot vs. story, time, setting and finding the “hook” – what you reveal within 20 pages that compels the reader to keep reading. Plus, a give-and take discussion of the age-old question: Why should I care that you’re writing a book? Tim will describe the process he went through before “starting” his first novel, Sacrifice Fly. He’ll also share a list of dos and don’ts when it comes to grabbing the reader by the eyeglasses and not letting them go.

The Truth In Memoir

What makes a voice authentic? How do we “tap” our memories for full blown sensory experiences? How many voices do we have and which one will come to the blank page? These questions and more will be discussed and examined through lecture, writing prompts, poetry and memoir. Explore and dig for fresh material and new ways of seeing your personal experiences.

Choice of Afternoon Sessions: 1-3 pm

The Long Stretch: Maintaining Momentum

Okay, you know who and what you’re going to write about, you know how to get and keep the reader’s attention at the beginning, now how do you keep the reader turning the pages until the last page? Tim will explore how and when to use dialogue, description of setting, point of view, sentence structure, sensory details, and all those other literary devices you slept through in middle school English. Wrap up with publishing business Q&A.

Introduction To Narrative Medicine

Lucille Clifton said, “In every room you enter, someone is going through something unbearable.” Rather than bear it alone, connect with others and yourself through writing exercises, close reading and listening. Discover the common threads of our human experiences. This kind of “narrative medicine” practice can be therapeutic in a safe and supportive environment.

Thurs, Jun 21, 10 am-3 pm
Fee and Code: $79, XWRIT 081