2023 Summer Workshops
As writers, we often fall back on certain familiar tics and habits. How do we push our work beyond the cliché or the ordinary so that our writing jumps off the page? How do we produce the kind of writing that sweats, breathes, shivers? In this workshop we will concentrate on disrupting our patterns and tropes; we will torque our prose by making unexpected decisions on the page, by trying out new techniques and maneuvers. We will read a variety of stories that all somehow break the traditional “rules” of writing—Ben Marcus, NoViolet Bulawayo, Lydia Davis, Karen Russell, Joy Williams—and we’ll engage in a range of exercises meant to pop us out of normal routines. Every participant will get a chance to have their writing workshopped twice during the week.
Please bring 11 copies of a story you’re working on (10 pages, double spaced) to our first class meeting. Novel excerpts are also acceptable but as much as possible they should be able to stand on their own.
Reif Larsen is the author of the novels I Am Radar and The Selected Works Of T.S. Spivet, which was a New York Times Bestseller and adapted for the screen by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amélie). He has a children’s book, Uma Wimple Charts Her House, coming out in May. Larsen’s essays and fiction have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, GQ, Tin House, McSweeney’s, Travel & Leisure, one story, The Millions, and The Believer. He recently founded The Future of Small Cities Institute.