5 Mondays, July 11 – Aug 8, 7-9:30pm Berkeley
$215 members/$245 others
“The only way, I think, to learn to write short stories is to write them, and then to try to discover what you have done.”
–Flannery O’Connor, “Writing Short Stories”
“Whether we know it or not, most of us have a well-developed, intuitive sense of how to tell a story,” says instructor David Hill. “Whenever we begin a conversation with, ‘You won’t believe what happened today,’ or, ‘Promise you won’t tell anyone this,’ what follows is most likely a story, and often a pretty good one. But when we sit down to write, we don’t know where to begin. Our knowledge of how to tell a story floats right out of our heads.”
In this workshop students will discover the writer within themselves, developing their understanding of the craft through the practice of writing. We will focus on the fundamentals of fiction: plot, setting, and character development. In addition to reading and lively discussion of brief essays on craft and exemplary works of fiction, students will engage in a variety of writing exercises designed to deepen their understanding of how fiction works.
Writers of all levels are welcome, both beginners and those who want to brush up on the fundamentals.
David William Hill served as assistant editor for two oral history books: Underground America: Narratives of Undocumented Lives (McSweeney’s, 2008) and Invisible Hands: Voices from the Global Economy (McSweeney’s, 2014). He currently serves on the editorial staff of Chicago Quarterly Review. His fiction has appeared in [PANK], Chicago Quarterly Review, Hobart, J Journal: New Writing on Justice, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, and Cimarron Review, among others, and he was a finalist for both a Glimmer Train prize and the Montana Prize in Fiction. He holds an MFA from San Francisco State University and has taught creative writing at San Francisco State, Academy of Art University, and City University of Hong Kong.