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In an interview on Salon.com, Grace Paley—finalist for both the Pulitzer and the National Book Award—told A.M. Homes that every single time she sat down to write, she thought, "How come I thought I could write? How am I gonna do this? How am I gonna write this ****ing story?"
"The way to write," says instructor Jenny Pritchett, "is to put pencil to paper and start moving the pencil. Plot development, character development, language, and revision are crucial to writing well. But we're not talking about writing well—we're talking about writing, period. We're talking about writing yourself out of the rut of not writing.
"For five weeks, we will practice freewriting out the thoughts that blockade us, and opening ourselves to creative possibilities we've been sublimating, postponing or that we have simply been blind to. Each week we will respond to writing prompts and exercises, some simple and some multilayered, and examine the bejeweled sludge that emerges.
"This is a generative class that will switch things up enough that ideas will start coming like cluster bombs, and we will celebrate the oddities and epiphanies that shake out. We will shuck the idea of perfection and precision, focusing instead on the inherent joy of creativity and discovery. We will take inspiration from ourselves and each other, and seek to remain present in our cocoons of creativity and discovery. We'll fling literary mud at the page—not only because it's fun, but because it yields riches. You'll learn to think differently about language, perspective and voice, by reading examples from flash fiction, novels, stories, and poetry. The class will also incorporate art forms including music, art, and video, as well as found objects—anything to get us going.
"Although you will share a couple of your exercises during each class (if you desire), this is specifically not a workshop, and feedback is minimal. We're focusing our attention away from the internal—and external—editor and looking inward toward our writing practice."
Jenny Pritchett has taught creative writing classes since 2006 and writes the popular blog Jenny True: An Excruciatingly Personal Mommy Blog. In 2021 she published You Look Tired: An Excruciatingly Honest Guide to New Parenthood (Hachette). Her debut story collection, At or Near the Surface (Fourteen Hills Press), won the 2008 Michael Rubin Book Award, and she has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and published in Guernica, Salon, Southwest Review, Northwest Review, Boulevard, Best of the Web 2008 (Dzanc Books), and elsewhere. She holds a degree in magazine journalism from Northwestern University and an MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University. The former managing editor of Fourteen Hills, she has taught or lectured at SFSU, UC Berkeley, California College of the Arts, Ex’pression College for Digital Arts, and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
- Saturday, February 24, 10:30am-1:00pm
- Saturday, March 3, 10:30am-1:00pm
- Saturday, March 10, 10:30am-1:00pm
- Saturday, March 17, 10:30am-1:00pm
- Saturday, March 24, 10:30am-1:00pm
Jenny is a rare talent, capable of providing for the students’ wide range of needs, from giving positive feedback and support, remembering the tiniest details of her student’s writing, to elucidating some very abstract concepts.