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“Big Secret Number One to writing fiction is that you have to make a mess. Many messes,” says instructor Steve Mitchel. “You have to throw truckloads of words down onto the page knowing full well that most of them will end up in the compost.”
In this five-week course, we’ll write in class and out (optionally, of course) without worrying about finished products. We’ll learn several fundamental elements of craft—characterization, dialogue, point of view, setting, and plot—reading stories by Charles Baxter, Alice Munro, Edward P. Jones, and others to guide us. In a supportive environment, we’ll share our work with each other (optionally, of course), discussing what resonates and why.
By the end of the five weeks, we’ll have all the tools we need to create stories. Along the way, we’ll never lose sight of the fact that most great fiction emerges from what Philip Roth calls “months of freewheeling play.”
Steve Mitchel earned a B.A. in political science from Stanford University, a J.D. from Northwestern University and an MFA in fiction writing from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. He’s led writing workshops for adults throughout the Bay Area and tutors 3rd graders in reading and writing at John Muir Elementary in San Francisco. The recipient of the Crazyhorse Fiction Prize for his story “Dog People,” he recently completed his first novel.
- Wednesday, May 9, 7:00pm-9:30pm
- Wednesday, May 16, 7:00pm-9:30pm
- Wednesday, May 23, 7:00pm-9:30pm
- Wednesday, May 30, 7:00pm-9:30pm
- Wednesday, June 6, 7:00pm-9:30pm