What’s the secret to better writing? William Faulkner may have put it best: “Read, read, read. Read everything!” Many of us started writing in the first place because we were moved or inspired by something we’d read. This four-session class will attempt to recapture a little of that lightning in a bottle. Students will come to each class having read two short stories by writers who include Alice Munro, Edward P. Jones, Lorrie Moore, Stuart Dybek, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Adam Haslett.
By examining the authors’ varied uses of voice, point of view, plot, and humor, students will walk away with a greater sense of contemporary literature, as well as with concrete ways they can sharpen their own writing skills. The final third of each class will be devoted to workshopping students’ work. Participants are encouraged, but not required, to have a piece of writing to share with the class.
The primary aim of this workshop is to help build students into better writers and to remind them that, in spite of the time constraints the digital age is putting on us, Stephen King has it right when he says “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.”