Virtual Workshops by James Lang

James Lang

James M. Lang is a former Professor of English and the founding Director of the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption University in Worcester, MA. He is the author of six books, the most recent of which are Distracted: Why Students Can’t Focus and What You Can Do About It (Basic Books, 2020), Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2016), and Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty (Harvard University Press, 2013). Lang writes a monthly column on teaching and learning for The Chronicle of Higher Education; his work has been appearing in the Chronicle since 1999. His book reviews and public scholarship on higher education have appeared in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines, including The Conversation, Time, the Boston Globe, and Chicago Tribune. He edits a series of books on teaching and learning in higher education for West Virginia University Press. He has conducted workshops and webinars for faculty at more than two hundred colleges or universities in the US and abroad, and consulted for the United Nations on the development of teaching materials in ethics and integrity for college faculty.

You can select from the following virtual workshops:

His 90-minute virtual workshops delivered via Zoom include up to 150 TAA memberships that provide your faculty with access to TAA's extensive writing and publishing resources. These memberships are available to faculty whether or not they participate in the virtual event.

TAA manages event registration, providing you with a registration link to share with your faculty, and workshop participation information in their confirmation emails. E-mail templates are provided to host institutions to promote the event. Institutions must have an expectation of at least 15 participants per workshop or retreat.

Institution Fee: $1,000

To schedule a workshop, please contact [email protected]

Choose from three workshops:

Writing Like a Teacher: Expanding the Audiences for Your Research 

Are the faculty at your institution engaged in research that deserves to find a wider audience? Are you an academic or teacher that would like to cross over the border between writing for your disciplinary peers and writing for more public audiences? This interactive workshop argues that the way to establish these goals is to draw upon our hard-won wisdom as teachers to create effective learning experiences for readers. This approach draws lessons from Jim Lang’s work as a book series acquisition editor, his multiple books aimed at general academic audiences, and his dozens of published magazine and newspaper essays. Participants will learn about the power of questions to drive writing projects, the use of evidence in public writing, and the importance of developing a unique writing voice. 

Queries, Proposals, and Agents: The Mechanics of Submitting to Trade Book Publishers 

This workshop will cover the logistics of submitting nonfiction book proposals to trade publishers: major commercial presses, university presses with trade lines, and independent or smaller publishers. We’ll walk through the mechanics of queries and book proposals, with plenty of opportunities for questions from participants. But we’ll also go beyond the basic advice that can be found online for submitting book proposals to publishers and review some smart strategies for getting work into the hands of editors. Finally, we’ll consider a common question for aspiring trade book authors: Do I need an agent? Whether participants have completed their manuscripts or are still working with the germ of an idea, they should leave this webinar armed with the tools they need to find the right publisher for their work. 

Writing Accessible Prose: Attention Tools on the Page 

Calls for accessible writing from academics or experts tend to focus on reducing sentence complexity or reducing jargon. These are good ideas, but they are just starting points. In this workshop we will first consider how successful nonfiction authors expand their evidence base, stepping outside of their disciplinary evidence traditions to appeal to a wider audience of readers. They engage readers with stories, examples, literary techniques, and more. Then we will dig deeper into the attention tools of writing by analyzing a small number of writing techniques we can use to create an engaging reading experience and keep readers focused on our key ideas.