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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 was awarded the Crazyhorse Fiction Prize for his story, “Dog People.” His story “The Return of the Capellmeister” was a finalist for LitMag’s Virginia Woolf Award for Short Fiction. He 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 fiction writing workshops throughout the Bay Area and has taught legal writing to law students at Northwestern and U.C. Berkeley.
- 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