Finding and Forming Your Material with Olivia Parkes (Mar. 19)

Do you want your work to get weirder and wilder, experiment with form, or find new ways to
break through creative blocks? In this one-day generative fiction workshop you will experiment with form and find new ways to break through creative blocks. Master story writer, Olivia Parkes will guide you in developing a personal trove of idiosyncratic material and a set of strategies for shaping it that invites the surprising or strange.

Through a combination of short readings, writing, and brainstorming exercises, participants will find flexible ways of engaging people, place, and power dynamics. We will discover and discuss masters of escalation, absurdity, or ekphrasis including Donald Barthelme, Lydia Davis, and Anne Carson, and practice responding to alternate forms like the voicemail or triptych.

You’ll leave the workshop with a combination of original story prompts and short completed flash pieces – seeds you can sow now and grow through the spring of 2022.

Writers of all levels are welcome!


Register here


Olivia Parkes is a British-American writer and artist based in Berlin. Her short stories have appeared in Tin House, Electric Literature, American Short Fiction, Zyzzyva, and The Masters Review, among other publications. She received her MFA in Fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2021 and is the recipient of fellowships from the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Dorothea Konwiarz Stiftung, and the Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa, Berlin.

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