The West Windsor Arts Center is offering a one-day workshop on writing the personal essay with novelist and essayist Sung J. Woo on Sunday, April 17, 1-3:30 p.m. Cost for the workshop is $20/$15 West Windsor Arts Council members. Following the workshop, Woo will give a free public reading from 4-4:45 p.m., answer audience questions and sign copies of his book. Light refreshments provided by Roots Asian Cuisine will be served during the reading. Spaces are limited; pre-register at www.westwindsorarts.org. For writers at all levels of experience: adults, college students and juniors/seniors in high school welcome. West Windsor Arts Center, 952 Alexander Road, Princeton Junction, NJ 08550 www.westwindsorarts.org | 609.716.1931
Sung J. Woo has published two novels: Love Love (2015) and Everything Asian (2009), which won the 2010 Asian Pacific American Librarians Association Literature Award (Youth category). His short stories and personal essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, PEN/Guernica, and KoreAm Journal. A graduate of Cornell University with an MFA from New York University, Woo lives in Washington Township, N.J. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Woo came to the U.S. with his family when he was 10 years old.
The theme for the workshop is “Home is Where,” and is tied to an upcoming exhibit at the arts center, July 10, 2016-September 11. In their essay workshop participants will be encouraged to express joy, pain, passion or feelings of isolation relating to the theme. Participants will have time to write followed by an opportunity to read their draft and receive feedback. Participants should bring a pen and a notebook or paper.
“While many share the mantra of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, ‘There’s no place like home,’ capturing the essence of what home means on the written page can be daunting and elusive,” says West Windsor Arts Council President and Literary Arts Committee Chair Elane Gutterman. “Through examples and instruction, our featured author will help participants dig through life cycle transitions, personal and situational challenges, tragedies and upheavals in order to find pivotal remnants of places, objects, people, feelings, sounds, sights and foods. Our workshop leader inspires with his witty, irreverent style, mining experiences within his immigrant family to convey the tragicomedies of struggling immigrants both from the perspective of parents trying so hard to survive and keep old country ways and children gripped by a new country, eager to shed differences.”
Following the workshop, participants will be invited to submit revised personal essays by May 17 to be judged by a former language arts teacher from West Windsor Plainsboro High School South. Selected entries will be read at a future WWAC event.