Upcoming classes: Fiction
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 | “Flat” writing hands off lifeless information in a two-dimensional exchange between reader and writer. Three-dimensional writing places the reader in a charged space of heightened experience, renewed perspective, and active meaning-making. How is that three-dimensionality created, and what do you do when you find your language stuck in 2-D? This combination lecture and workshop for writers of fiction and literary nonfiction examines specific strategies for three-dimensionality drawn from contemporary writers like Sheila Heti, Jo Ann Beard, and Maggie Nelson, and classics by Marguerite Duras and Bruno Schulz. We will try out new techniques and tricks—but ultimately what you will achieve is a shift in consciousness that will help make your writing spacious and transporting.→ READ MORE
WEDNESDAYS, OCTOBER 3 —NOVEMBER 14 | Often considered one of the most difficult forms to master, the short story is a balancing act of brevity and depth. In this craft workshop, we will read great short stories from authors like James Baldwin, Alice Munro and Carmen Maria Machado that have particular strength in character, plot, setting, and emotional resonance and use these stories to discuss the craft of short story writing. We will workshop your stories with these masters in mind. The best way to develop your craft is to imitate the masters.
Jenny Bitner‘s short stories have appeared in Best American Nonrequired Reading, PANK, The Mississippi Review, The Sun and The Fabulist.→ READ MORE
THURSDAYS, OCTOBER 4 —NOVEMBER 15 | How do we grab the attention of our readers and pull them into our stories? By imbuing our pages with a raw humanity that elicits a deep emotional response in them. A finely crafted opening will keep the reader turning pages, curious about the fate of our characters or subject matter.
Your first pages set the stage for the rest of your book. What works? Masterful storytelling. Strong characters. Artful language. Tension. Drama. A clear sense of theme and direction. A mystery. Elements that keep readers hooked, eager to know more.→ READ MORE
WEEKENDS, OCTOBER 13-14 & 20-21 | Are you a seeker with existential experiences and questions to phrase or interpret? Have you had a spiritual experience that has moved or changed you? Do you want to write a story about your transformation through a significant emotional event? In this workshop, you’ll get that chance! You’ll unveil, identify, and select the important steps of your journey that you wish to write about.
In this workshop, I will provide an overview of methods used to write about the spiritual journey. This will include memoir, travel writing, personal essay, letter, creative nonfiction, fiction, and short story.→ READ MORE
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13 & 14 | Great short stories don’t happen by magic. The best authors work tirelessly to build the scaffolding of their plots, laying groundwork so well hidden, readers simply forget about the man behind the curtain. Short Fiction in Motion is a workshop intensive on getting to know the wizard behind your own writing. We’ll use visual representations to decipher the form of your plot, building new structures and amplifying old ones within your draft.
In advance of this weekend intensive, all students will submit a story of their own, no longer than 5,000 words.→ READ MORE
TUESDAYS, OCTOBER 23—NOVEMBER 20 | One of the most difficult narrative issues in fiction writing is how to emotionally move your readers. Often, what we writers render on the page are concepts of drama meant to profoundly affect the reader, but it does not. In this five-week process class we will dissect the intricate concepts of how emotions are developed in fiction, and master how to recognize and apply narrative craft that develop dramatic emotions in ways that can move our readers. These skills will be developed through in-class writing exercises and assignments, focusing on interior monologue, characters’ perceptions, creating motivations, and more.→ READ MORE