What kind of stories do you want to tell, and what is the best way of telling them? Open to writers of all levels, this seven-week workshop will allow you to experiment with and develop your own writing, with an eye to generating stories that are efficient, loaded, and urgent. In the first half of the course, we’ll read and discuss short fiction by authors like Joy Williams, George Saunders, Octavia Butler, and Lydia Davis, and apply what we learn in exercises that develop different approaches to storytelling, helping us ask and answer that elusive question: What makes a story a story?
In the second half of the course, each student will submit their own work for discussion and receive feedback from the group. Expect an open and supportive environment in which to explore your interests and obsessions, generate new material, and give and receive feedback on work in progress. Each student will have the opportunity to formally workshop their own writing once, though we will also informally share from the short, spontaneous work generated in the first half of the class.
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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