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When we sit down to write, the pressure of inventing something from scratch can feel paralyzing. “The truth is, writers from Shakespeare to Hans Christian Anderson to J.K. Rowling have always been savvy borrowers,” says Nate Klug. “Creativity is not just about inspiration; it’s equally about curiosity and playfulness.”
This daylong workshop will take two parts. In the first, we will look at a few funny and unexpected examples of literary borrowing, in order to learn from the ways that writers of different genres have struck gold in refashioning old material. Then we’ll use a variety of “upcycling prompts,” drawing from newspaper headlines, our favorite TV shows and movies, and a few mystery sources, to generate our own new material.
Students will emerge from the day with several pages of new writing. They'll also come away with a keener eye for the potential sources that are flowing around us, all the time.