Elements of Style: A Fiction Workshop
While we are generally taught to think about the large-scale properties of stories—character, scene, description, plot—the most fundamental aspect of fiction, style, often gets short shrift. How do we decide how we want to tell our story and what language suits our purposes best? How do we discover and refine a natural sensibility and voice? This workshop attempts to isolate and hold up for examination those granular stylistic choices that make fiction hum. Drawing examples from your writing and published works, we will develop strategies that allow you to return to your own work with fresh eyes and new tools. The class will combine workshopping, exercises, outside reading, and craft lectures to help make ideas as concrete as possible and translate theory into practice.
Please email a piece of writing that you would like us to workshop – a short story or novel excerpt: 5 pages minimum/20 pages max, double-spaced, 12-point font – to Dawn Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org by May 28.
Greg Jackson is the author of Prodigals: Stories, a collection hailed by the New York Times as “so bold and perceptive that it delivers a contact high.” He was honored by the National Book Foundation as one of 2016’s “5 Under 35” and chosen by Granta magazine for its decennial list of Best Young American Novelists. His work has been published in The New Yorker, Granta, Virginia Quarterly Review, and VICE. He is currently working on a novel, The Dimensions of a Cave (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), and teaching at Columbia University and Catapult.