Fiction

Upcoming classes: Fiction


Jenny Bitner

 

 

 

WEDNESDAYS, SEPTEMBER 13 — OCTOBER 18  |  This course is designed for students who have taken one of my classes, or who have experience in fiction writing workshops and want to develop their work further. Your work will be discussed in a writing workshop, and you will be expected to read and give feedback on other students’ work. There will be discussion of craft issues as they pertain to your writing.

Jenny Bitner’s short stories and articles have been published in Best American Nonrequired Reading, PANK, The Sun, Mississippi Review, The Fabulist, Writing That Risks, and Fence magazine.

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Lindsey Crittenden

Lindsey Crittenden

 

 

SATURDAY & SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 & 17, and SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23  |  “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.”

This three-day course explores the implications of this statement (attributed to Pablo Picasso) for anyone interested in fiction writing. (And no, we’re not talking about plagiarism or advocating criminal activity.) As writers, we are shaped by what we read. We are also influenced by what literary critic Harold Bloom called “the anxiety of influence” — the sure knowledge that someone, somewhere, has said it before and probably better. So how can we step aside from the anxiety of all those masterful stories we love (or envy) and have fun with outside models?

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Start where you are.

 

 

 

WEDNESDAYS, SEPTEMBER 20—OCTOBER 25  |  Looking to get serious about writing, but not sure where to start? Have a great story to tell, and wondering what form it should take – fiction or memoir, poem or news feature? This six-week course introduces the demands and opportunities of various elements of creative writing and journalism as well as the myriad ways one genre can inform another.

We will explore fiction writing, memoir, poetry, news writing, feature writing, and personal essays. Class sessions will be led by experienced writers with extensive and varied backgrounds in professional writing.  Each week will feature discussion, focused readings, and writing exercises in a supportive and encouraging environment.

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Yukari Iwatani Kane

 

 

 

TUESDAYS, SEPTEMBER 26—OCTOBER 24 | Whether you’re a journalist, non-fiction writer or a novelist, the interview is one of the most important reporting tools for a writer to obtain information, understand perspectives beyond your own and add dynamism and authenticity to your articles and stories.

In this class, Yukari Kane will share her strategies and tips for getting even the most recalcitrant interviewees to open up. You will hone your interview skills as she takes you through each step in the process from asking and prepping for an interview to conducting the interview and following up.

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Thaisa Frank

 

 

 

WEDNESDAYS, SEPTEMBER 27—NOVEMBER 11  |  Have you ever come back from a workshop with so many ideas you don’t know how to think about your story? Work and re-worked a character that didn’t belong in the first place? This is often because we often draw heavily from the contents of the first draft without having the concepts that give us distance.

This course gives you the concepts that will help you think about the structure and stages of your drafts. Among them: (1) The difference between plot and narrative arc; (2) When to break or keep unities of time, place and action; (3) Pacing: how to connect the dots and use the dark horse of time; (4) When to use a scene or exposition; (5) Subtext and the use of imagery; (6) Getting a feel of where something is missing; (7) Returning to original voice in revision.

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Junse Kim

 

 

 

SUNDAYS, OCTOBER 1—29  | 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.

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Jenny Bitner

 

 

 

MONDAYS, OCTOBER 2 —NOVEMBER 13  |  1984, Fahrenheit 451, Children of Men, and The Handmaid’s Tale—some of the most powerful literature of resistance to evil has been dystopian writing. What skills do writers use to create an alternative world that is compelling in itself but also speaks to the problems of our own world? In this writing workshop, we will read and analyze selections from dystopian short stories and novels and write our own dark tales. There will be weekly writing assignments and approximately 20 pages of reading a week.

Jenny Bitner’s short stories and articles have been published in Best American Nonrequired Reading, PANK, The Sun, Mississippi Review, The Fabulist, Writing That Risks, and Fence magazine.

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Joshua Mohr

 

 

 

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7 | Every writer has had the terrifying experience of reading their own work and wondering why a total stranger would be interested. Often, the missing element to successfully lure a reader into your work is plot. Maybe you’ve created a riveting character, yet if nothing is happening on the page, if the protagonist isn’t under any duress, a reader’s attention will wander.

In this seminar, we will examine ways to pace and structure your plot points to extract every drop of excitement from them. We will also do some in-class writing to share with the group.

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Lindsey Crittenden

Lindsey Crittenden

 

 

SATURDAYS, OCTOBER 14—NOVEMBER 11  |  Short stories start with instability—sometimes explicit, sometimes subtle—and they end with resolution, which doesn’t always (or even usually) mean happily ever after. Simple enough, but far from easy.

In this class, we’ll spend five weeks building stories from this foundation. We’ll celebrate the trouble at the heart of good short fiction. We’ll look at ways to get characters in and out of (or deeper into) hot water. We’ll look closely at short stories that achieve unity of purpose, precision of craft, and an emotional wallop. From James Joyce’s “Araby” to Aimee Bender’s “The Rememberer,” we’ll examine not only how each story builds from the first word to the last but how tightly the structure depends upon – and enhances – our understanding of character.

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Cheryl Ossola

 

 

 

SATURDAYS, NOVEMBER 4 & 11  |  Point of view is one of the most essential aspects of imaginative writing. Perspective is everything in narration, but writers sometimes choose a narrator without understanding the implications of the choice they’ve made. In the first class, we’ll talk about POV options—the use of first, second, or third person as well as the manipulation of narrative distance and its impact on characterization across the genres of fiction, creative nonfiction, and even poetry. We’ll identify common POV “violations” and look at published examples, and we’ll respond to some writing prompts in class to experiment with POV.

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