Kinds of Wildness: Writing Childhood
$45.00 – $100.00
This course is part of our 2021 Spectacular Summer Seminar Festival (SSSF) and will be held via Crowdcast. The fees from ABC’s adult writing workshops subsidize our free writing programs for kids, whose work is collected in a yearly anthology, and pay our adult workshop instructors. A limited number of seats in each class are reserved for scholarships, which cover 100% of tuition-fees and are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. All are welcome, and we especially encourage BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ writers to apply.
–Laura van den Berg
Children can teach us a lot about writing—their curiosity and quiet observation, how they lurk and spy and misunderstand, their dark inquisitiveness and blunt, unnerving honesty. A convincing child narrator is not simply a small adult—they have a fundamentally unique point of view, and a position that grants them a specific, if limited, kind of access to the human condition. Young narrators, van den Berg says, “can be at once oblivious to the precise complexities of adult life and hyper-aware, capable of viewing the world with both deep wonder and extreme vigilance…they tend to be more sensitive to atmospheric shifts than duty-bound to logic.”Whether your aim is to write convincingly from the perspective of a child (in either memoir or fiction), or you’d just like to employ more bold, resilient, audacious, and wonderful (as in full of wonder!) techniques in your writing, this seminar will cover five main approaches to writing child narrators.
Texts that will be discussed include: “Strays” by Mark Richard, Ice at the Bottom of the World; “The Slit” and “A Good Father” by Yannick Murphy, Stories in Another Language; “Blue, Blue” and “Child” by William Tester, Darling; A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews; “Somewhere Near Sea Level” by Dawn Raffel, In the Year of Long Division; “My Lucy Friend Who Smells Like Corn” by Sandra Cisneros, Woman Hollering Creek; We the Animals by Justin Torres.
Students who register with the Seminar + Book option will receive a copy of Black Light: Stories, which was longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award and Story Prize.
This Austin Bat Cave adult writing seminar is open to writers of all levels and will be recorded.
About the Instructor
Kimberly King Parsons
Kimberly King Parsons’s debut collection Black Light was longlisted for both the 2019 National Book Award and the Story Prize; it was also a finalist for the 2020 Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction, the Texas Institute of Letters First Fiction Award, and the Oregon Book Award. A recipient of fellowships from Yaddo, the Oregon Arts Commission, Columbia University, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation, Parsons lives in Portland, OR, where she is at work on a novel (forthcoming from Knopf) about Texas, motherhood, and LSD.