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Time + Place = Voice : A Short Fiction Workshop
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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.
Dorothy Allison writes in her craft essay “Place” that “place is not just what your feet are crossing to get somewhere. Place is feeling, and feeling is something a character expresses. More, it is something the writer puts on the page—articulates with deliberate purpose.” Time and place, and the character’s attitude toward them, determine the tone, tenor, and texture of a story and the rhythms with which a character or narrator speaks. Their syntax, their diction, their tendency to digress can reveal as much about who they are as rendered description and action.
In this workshop, we will closely read the short stories of contemporary writers, in addition to a few throwbacks who really knew what they were doing, in order to better understand how time, place, and narrative distance determine not only how and why stories get told but what about the language compels us to keep reading.
This class will be divided into two segments, and meet six times over the course of the seven-week period. The first three weeks will be devoted to understanding the story form via close reading, a few brief lectures on craft, and both in-class and out-of-class writing exercises geared toward embodying time and place with peer and instructor feedback. In the final three weeks, there will still be some of this, but the majority of class time will be devoted to carefully and generously workshopping first drafts of short stories and/or novel chapters. Class will not meet on August 4th so that students can prepare submissions for workshop.
All registered students will receive Issue 72 of American Short Fiction, which features Rickey’s short story “Spare the Rod.” This story helped make ASF a finalist for the 2021 Ellies/ASME Award for Fiction.
This Austin Bat Cave adult writing workshop is limited to 12 students.
About the Instructor
Rickey Fayne is a writer from West Tennessee. He has received support for his fiction from the Tin House Writers’ Workshop and the Michener Center for Writers. His work can be found in American Short Fiction and Joyland. He is currently at work on his first novel.