In this multi-session class, we’ll look at a range of texts and objects that can inspire stories. Students will also be encouraged to share their own found texts and objects to utilize with the techniques in this workshop. Some of the writing that we’ll consider include Toni Morrison, Jose Saramago, Natalie Angier, Siddartha Mukherjee, Pablo Neruda, Sharon Olds, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others. In addition to the texts, we’ll consider artwork, film, music, and locations in Chicago.
Students may workshop excerpts of 3-5 pages in prose or 1-2 poems per session so every participant gets a far amount of time.
Week One: Beginnings
We’ll begin with an overview of elements present in all genres and how we find inspiration.
Week Two: Poetry
This week we’ll consider a few poems as inspiration for discussion and writing.
Week Three: Fiction
We’ll look closely at excerpts from novels and short stories for discussion and writing.
Week Four: Nonfiction
We’ll look at excerpts from long-form nonfiction writing for discussion and writing.
Week Five: Objects
This week, I will share some objects to kickstart specific ideas and help us craft questions. Please bring a significant or unique object of your choice this week. If it helps, bring more than one.
Week Six: Places
A location functions as more than a setting. To prepare for this week, think of a significant place in Chicago. If it helps, bring photographs or additional information about your chosen place.