Gesture Writing: What Writers Can Learn from Artists About Capturing Life on the Page (with Rachel Howard)

Rachel Howard

Rachel Howard




SATURDAY, JUNE 25 | Would you like to get more life in your writing? In this practical workshop based on the hit New York Times Draft column, you’ll learn to think as visual artists do, then use your notebook to “sketch” scenes, chapters, and whole book outlines. Capturing the vibrancy of life on the page means moving your brain out of “information organizing” mode, into an intuitive way of finding subtle organic connections. Artists practice this way of working through “gesture drawing.” Many of the best writers practice this way of working through “sketching” in their notebooks–and I don’t think they could achieve the richness of their writing any other way. If you’ve never worked like this, the results will likely surprise you. If you’re ready to move past rambling “morning pages” and leave lifeless “information processing” behind, this class for writers of fiction and narrative nonfiction will show you a new way.

No drawing experience required!

Rachel Howard is the author of The Lost Night: A Daughter’s Search for the Truth of Her Father’s Murder, which the New York Times described as “enthralling.” Her personal essays and fiction have appeared in Gulf Coast, Zyzzyva, and many other journals. She received her M.F.A. from Warren Wilson College, and later served there as Joan Beebe Teaching Fellow and Interim Director of Undergraduate Creative Writing. She is a part-time artist’s model, and saw her own writing improve tremendously as she absorbed art instruction while posing.


Number of sessions: 1

Time: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Date: Saturday, June 25

Course fee: $88

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