The Onion. Last Lap. The Gathering. The Bear at the Door. Stories often come in “shapes”-reliable structures that organize the action, details, characters, and therefore the drama. In Making Shapely Fiction, the writer Jerome Stern identifies the workings of various shapes that one often finds in narrative writing–and he gives them nifty names. You can see these shapes in operation in stories of different sizes and genres (from novels to short fiction, from tv to film), and it’s quite likely that you’ve already put them to use in your own writing. In this course, we will use narrative shapes not just to structure story material but also to find it, generate it, and revise it. We will focus on literary microfiction (flash fiction), but you’re welcome to use shape-sense to experiment with other short forms (prose poems, micro essays). Knowing the shapes of narrative can help you tune up your writing at every level, from overall structure down to individual sentence. Some familiarity with the craft of fiction writing, as well as some workshopping experience, is recommended.
Meeting schedule for in-person workshops: mandatory keynote speaker event and kickoff workshop Monday, 7/11/22, 6-9 pm.
Individual workshop sessions will be held thrice-weekly: Tue and Thu, 6-9 pm, and Sat, 1-4 pm.
Students are also expected to attend a minimum of 7.5 hours of the joint, public programming, inclusive of the final open mic on Sunday, July 31, 1-4 pm.