Events & Courses

Friday, August 16, 2019

9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Northwestern Summer Writers’ Conference

Move Me: Strategies for Getting Unstuck and Energizing Your Prose
Do you have a backlog of abandoned stories and essays? Have you revised the life out a piece, trying to make it perfect? In this course, we’ll discuss some less common ways of waking up your prose and unlocking narrative energy. Toward this end, we’ll examine thrilling turns in several stories and essays. Some of the strategies we’ll cover include: finding and fanning hotspots; using transitions as transport; modulating register, diction, and rhythm; and making space for rough edges and mischief.

Optional: Bring a few “unworkable” pages from a work-in-progress.

Suitable for all levels of prose writers.

 

February 28, 2019

Off Campus Writers’ Workshop

9:30 AM – 12:00 PM / Winnetka Community House, 620 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka IL

The Magic and Mechanics of Imagery

From Rick Bass’s lyrical descriptions of ice in “The Hermit’s Story” to uncanny fertility dolls in Lesley Nneka Arimah’s “Who Will Greet You at Home,” images, when done well and consciously shaped into a pattern, can make a story unforgettable and mysterious. In this prose session, we’ll explore the mechanics behind the magic, including how to use images to structure your narrative, to transition in time and space, and to modulate setting, pace, and voice. We’ll study the works of several image-driven stories (and poems). We’ll also write our own pieces, attempting to pull something altogether unexpected from our magician’s hats.

Saturday, August 11th

9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

The Magic and Mechanics of Imagery
Northwestern Summer Writers’ Conference

From Rick Bass’s lyrical descriptions of ice in “The Hermit’s Story” to uncanny fertility dolls in Lesley Nneka Arimah’s “Who Will Greet You at Home,” images, when done well and consciously shaped into a pattern, can make a story unforgettable and mysterious. In this prose session, we’ll explore the mechanics behind the magic, including how to use images to structure your narrative, to transition in time and space, and to modulate setting, pace, and voice. We’ll study the works of several image-driven stories (and poems). We’ll also write our own pieces, attempting to pull something altogether unexpected from our magician’s hats.
All levels welcome. Visit conference web site for registration. (Also available for manuscript consultation.)

 

Thursday, May 17th

6:30 – 9 PM

StoryStudio

“Story in a Night” Course @ StoryStudio
4043 N Ravenswood Ave #222, Chicago, IL

In this generative course, you will use a series of prompts to build toward the writing of a single rough draft of a short story.
The evening will begin with some warm-up exercises, and will then build toward longer, successive drafting sessions, with a focus on discovery, mystery, and unexpected combinations of characters and images. The goal of the course is not just to generate new material, but to also generate narrative energy and surprise yourself. You’ll short-circuit your internal editor in order to turn up your imagination.
At the end of the night, you should have several pages of prose to later shape into at least one full story. You will have the opportunity to send this finished story to the instructor for feedback afterward, an offer good up to six months after the date of class.
All levels are welcome.
https://www.storystudiochicago.com/product/story-night-rachel-swearingen/