2016 Workshop Description

Short Stories

Instructor: Lori Ostlund

For me, writing stories often comes down to two big questions. First, how do we inform and move our reader? Second, how do we keep our reader engaged (locally, at the level of the word, the sentence, and the paragraph) while working toward the big picture—what the story is about? Over the course of three days, we will discuss the language of fiction writing, especially as it relates to short stories, and build on participants' pre-existing knowledge of story structures and components, including character, voice, POV, style, dialogue, plot, setting, and scene. Some information will be delivered in mini-lecture format while other discussions will occur organically, as part of the workshop process. As time allows, we will also address revision.

Interactive discussion of manuscripts will be the primary focus of the class, and my hope is that the workshops will provide you with the opportunity to learn about your own work by receiving feedback from others. Feedback will focus on both what is working and what is not, with an eye toward revision. This class will also provide you with the language and tools to be a better critic, which will also make you a better writer.