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.
“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 fictional narrative (short story or novel) is constructed, and made better.
"Opening lines matter, as does point of view choice, as does the gap 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 several basic elements of craft—with an eye toward creating a visceral experience that sticks with readers long after the reading.”
Though the class may mix in short readings for discussion and writing exercises, workshopping (the sharing and critique of participant work) will be the primary focus. All writers will have two opportunities to show pieces to the group. These may be short stories or flash fiction or novel chapters or excerpts. Maximum word count per submission is 3,000.
“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 writing selves make the page.” Andy will also give generous written feedback to each participant.
*To ensure both an intimate classroom environment and that each student receives ample workshopping time, enrollment for this course is capped at nine participants.
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: Thursday, August 12, 6:30pm-9:00pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Thursday, August 19, 6:30pm-9:00pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Thursday, August 26, 6:30pm-9:00pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Thursday, September 02, 6:30pm-9:00pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Thursday, September 09, 6:30pm-9:00pm
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.