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Writing Short Stories from Setting: Four Weeks, Four Story Starts

Publication Date: March 2024


Dates: April 21, April 28, May 5, May 12

Time: 4-6pm Central, Virtual

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Are you interested in writing short stories that explore setting in new ways? Are you curious about how your creative process might change when “place” is put at the forefront of your brainstorming? Join Black Lawrence Press author and NEA Fellow Gwendolyn Paradice for a four-week, generative workshop meant to jump-start your fiction writing. Each Sunday, we’ll look at short stories and craft essays from writers like Tananarive Due, Benjamin Percy, Anya Deniro, Rebecca Roanhorse, T.C. Tolbert, Claire Vaye Watkins, and others. We’ll discuss their work to help us consider new and exciting ways to use setting, we’ll dedicate time to start drafting our short stories—based on prompts inspired by the authors we read—sharing our new ideas with each other as we close workshop. By the end of our four weeks, you’ll have a list of methods and strategies for employing setting in your writing, numerous writing prompts for generating additional stories, a collection of texts to use as inspiration and models. Most importantly, though, you’ll have the starts of four new short stories to keep you writing!

Gwendolyn Paradice is the author of the short story collection More Enduring for Having Been Broken (Black Lawrence Press, 2021), winner of the 2019 The Hudson Prize, & the co-authored chapbook Carnival Bound (or, please unwrap me) (The Cupboard Pamphlet, 2020). Their work has appeared in Booth, Zone 3, ANMLY, Tin House Online, The Journal of American Folklore, & others. Gwendolyn is a queer, disabled, enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation, & their prose often explores form and personal identity. They are currently an Assistant Professor of English and Philosophy at Murray State University where they direct the Creative Writing Program.