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You write something down and it’s awkward, trivial, artificial, approximate. But with effort . . . you can get it to open up, and expose what’s lurking there beyond the clumsy thing you first put down. —Deborah Eisenberg
“What makes a story compelling?” asks instructor Andy Touhy. “More importantly, what are the ways to make it compelling? In this online workshop, we’ll begin to really think about how to tell a good tale (short story or novel).
"Opening lines matter, as does point of view, as does the difference between what a character wants and what a character gets (the conflict that creates plot), as does engaging dialogue, and artful prose style, and images that fire the imagination. We’ll explore all the basic elements of craft—with an eye toward creating narratives that stick with readers long after the reading.”
Though the class may mix in readings for discussion and exercises, workshopping (sharing and critiquing of two drafts per writer) will be the primary focus. “We’ll grow as readers and listeners,” says Andy, “by approaching one another’s work as if it were our own, testing choices and material, and identifying strengths and weaknesses, so that the best of our hearts and minds make the page.” Andy will also give generous written feedback to each participant.
About The Writing Salon's Remote Classes
Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, The Writing Salon is running all classes in a remote learning format. You will be able to participate in live class meetings via Zoom videoconference. To attend classes, you'll need a phone, tablet or computer and access to the internet. You can participate in the class from wherever you'd like, whether on your living room couch or in your office. Before your class meets, you'll receive an email from The Writing Salon with more information about Zoom and your remote class. If you have any questions about remote learning, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andy Touhy, a recipient of the San Francisco Browning Society’s Dramatic Monologue Award and Fourteen Hills’ Bambi Holmes Fiction Prize, is also a nominee for inclusion in Best New American Voices. In 2016 his story manuscript, The Secret of Mayo, was named the finalist for BOA Editions’ Short Fiction Prize. Work from the collection has appeared in journals such as Conjunctions, New England Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, New American Writing, New Orleans Review, Colorado Review, Eleven Eleven, and The Collagist. He holds graduate degrees in literature and creative writing and has taught at SFSU, Academy of Art, and Ohio University. He lives in Oakland with his wife and child.
- Live Zoom Meeting: Sunday, November 01, 10:30am-1:00pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Sunday, November 08, 10:30am-1:00pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Sunday, November 15, 10:30am-1:00pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Sunday, November 22, 10:30am-1:00pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Sunday, December 06, 10:30am-1:00pm
Andy Touhy is clever and bright and kind. The "Honing Your Fiction" class offered everything a fiction writing workshop should: instruction in fine points of rising action, sentence variety, point of view, both from Andy himself and with advice from articles by the experts: George Saunders, Richard Bausch, and Janet Burroway. And then there was a lot of workshopping of stories ... one short, one long or more if you had them. Andy was available, generous and even-handed in his feedback and his help.
I felt Andy was one of the most approachable writing teachers I've ever had, not pretentious at all, and that helped set the tone for the class. I felt like all the participants were inspired and treated each person with respect when doing workshopping. Andy gave each person's writing equal attention and interest.