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PJ Seminar: The Generator & the Editor: Adventures in Merging the Opposing Poles Within Every Writer with Porochista Khakpour

$70.00 · April 24

In this class, we will figure ways to adapt both the generator and the editor approach in writing for our lifestyle and projects, as you can carry this with you to a residency or simply make it work with any desired daily practice.

Start Date

April 24

Day(s) of the Week


Class Times

7:00pm – 9:00pm CT




Zoom (online)




In stock


They say inside every wolf there are two wolves, and you might say the same for every writer. At some point, it became clear to me that within the identity of “writer,” the real struggle was the battle between two equally important entities: generator and editor.

The problem was they didn’t always play well together, especially if tackled at once. The generator is a creative, free-spirited, whimsical, and often undisciplined artist who captures ideas like butterflies in a net, and prances from inspiration point to inspiration point without too much of an endgame in mind. The editor is uptight, all-work-and-no-play, overly critical, fiercely judgmental disciplinarian who can’t help but party-poop while also having a perfect track record for getting the job done. We need the artistic side just as much as we need the technical side but what if I told you the key to balancing both is simply separating them and recognizing their autonomy as essential modes in our craft? If we let the editor’s voice of judgment spoil the fun of the generator we’re risking as much as if we let the generator’s penchant for play derail the revision work the editor lives for.

This is philosophy and practice, and it has become central in helping my students get through first drafts of manuscripts. In this class, we will dive deeply into all this and also figure ways to adapt this for our lifestyle and projects, as you can carry this with you to a residency or simply make it work with any desired daily practice.

About Porochista Khakpour

Porochista Khakpour is the author of the memoir Sick (forthcoming June 2018). Her debut novel Sons and Other Flammable Objects was a New York Times Editor’s Choice, one of the Chicago Tribune’s Fall’s Best, and the 2007 California Book Award winner in the “First Fiction” category. Her second novel The Last Illusion was a 2014 "Best Book of the Year" according to NPR, Kirkus, Buzzfeed, Popmatters, Electric Literature, and many more. Among her many fellowships is a National Endowment for the Arts award. Her nonfiction has appeared in many sections of The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Elle, Slate, Salon, and Bookforum, among many others. Currently, she is guest faculty at VCFA and Stonecoast's MFA programs as well as Contributing Editor at The Evergreen Review. Born in Tehran and raised in the Los Angeles area, she lives in New York City’s Harlem.