Sundays, April 21-June 23 (9 weeks, skip 5/26) 7-9:30 pm
$365 members/$395 others San Francisco
Testimonials for Andy
Note: If you have already taken this class once (or more than once, as many people do) and would now like to move on to something else, check out Andy’s 6-month “Fiction Continuation” workshop.
“What makes a story compelling?” asks Andy Touhy. “More importantly, what are the ways to make a story compelling? Both questions should be in our hearts when sitting down to write, and on our minds when returning with fresh eyes to revise. But how do we get ‘voice’ into our blood and onto the page and then into the bloodstream of the reader? How do we give our narrators and characters the sound only they can make—the yarp needed to get their word out over the roofs of the world?”
In this workshop, we’ll examine this elusive element in storytelling, and really begin to think about and understand nuts-and-bolts techniques for writing urgent tales. Opening lines matter (they present rather than represent a world, and serve as the storehouse of the story’s personality, metabolism, and shape), as does narrative stance (the narrator’s emotional proximity to the event), as does point of view and tense and syntax and those choice bits of dialogue we use to put flesh on our characters and stories in general. Naturally, we’ll continue to explore and deepen our knowledge of all craft elements—structure, plot, setting, scene, conflict, theme, etc.—with an eye toward creating narratives that stick with readers long after the reading.
Weekly meetings will take the form of workshop (showing and critiquing work), lively conversation, lectures, generative exercises, and discussion of those stories each of us simply cannot live without, all in service of honing your approach to making fiction that has got to be read. Andy will also give generous feedback to each participant.
A word about Andy’s approach: “I’m craft obsessed, fancy myself a prose stylist, and always seek the happy marriage of story and linguistic event through inspiration (lust) and revision (tough love).”
Andy Touhy is the recipient of the San Francisco Browning Society’s Dramatic Monologue Award and Fourteen Hills’ Bambi Holmes Fiction Prize. He is a nominee for inclusion in Best New American Voices, and his chapbook, “Designs for a Magician’s Top Hat,” was named a finalist for the 2009 Black River Chapbook Competition. His stories have appeared in Conjunctions, New American Writing, New Orleans Review, Colorado Review, Eleven Eleven, Fast Forward Press, The Collagist, and other journals. He holds an MA (English literature) from Ohio University and an MFA in creative writing (fiction) from San Francisco State University.