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One person is attending Fiction Workshop
When we read good stories they tend to endure in our hearts as touchstones that enrich our understanding of the world. We’ve all had the experience of reading something we like and wondering how the author developed such a breathtaking idea, with such compelling characters, and brought it to fruition. Those of us who admire good writing, and aspire to it ourselves, naturally wish to develop those skills. But without feedback from others it’s hard to escape the echo chamber and get a fresh perspective on our work.
A fiction workshop is an excellent way to broaden and enrich that perspective. Whether you’re planning to apply to MFA programs, preparing submissions for agents or publications, or just writing for your own pleasure, a workshop gives you a chance to focus on short stories or novels-in-progress while receiving insightful responses from other participants and from the instructor.
In this course, each student will have one or two stories workshopped with an eye toward constructive critique, including an evaluation of each story’s strengths and weaknesses. Students may also revise their work, with the understanding that first drafts are only a starting point in the process. Instructor Cary Groner will more generally address aspects of craft as prompted by each week’s submissions, and will also suggest occasional readings of essays or short stories to individual students based on his assessment of their needs.
“Fiction writing engages our hearts, challenges our minds, and helps us connect with our own inner lives and those of our readers,” says Cary. “It’s also an excellent way to have fun. The workshop will create a common ground for participants to discover more about their interests as writers, to mentor each other, to laugh a lot, and to improve at this most ineffable of crafts.”
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1- Thursday, May 11 | 7:00pm-9:30pm
2- Thursday, May 18 | 7:00pm-9:30pm
3- Thursday, May 25 | 7:00pm-9:30pm
4- Thursday, June 1 | 7:00pm-9:30pm
5- Thursday, June 8 | 7:00pm-9:30pm
In class, Cary is a calm, kind, intelligent – I’ll go ahead and say wise – presence. He gives excellent feedback, and his praise is meaningful because he is unafraid to tell student writers when a piece of work isn’t there yet (better, he can explain why). He’s drily funny. It’s telling that a couple students in our group were taking the class for a second time.
Cary’s class was an amazing opportunity for me – and would be for anyone who’s serious about learning the craft of writing. He creates thoughtful lessons that dig deep into concepts like characterization, dialogue and point of view. He also assigns published stories that demonstrate different approaches to craft issues. I learned a lot from the broad range of writers we read, from Chekhov to contemporary Pakistani fiction. And most importantly, Cary’s a great critic! He gives insightful feedback that gets to the heart of students’ writing. He doesn’t hijack stories or tell you what to write – he helps you figure out how to realize your own goals for each piece. He also guides class discussions carefully to encourage students to give each other respectful and useful critiques.
Cary Groner brought an infectious spirit of professionalism and hard work to this class which helped bring out an impressive set of short stories from the students. His sophisticated leadership in discussions of the essays on writing and of the published stories which he selected for his class, and of the stories written by the students in this class, developed awareness of fine points of diction, point of view, dialog, tone and conflict.