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Writing Workshops

Exploring Narrative and Time with Omer Friedlander


2 Sessions

In stock

Saturday & Sunday 11:30 am EDT - 2:30 pm EDT April 27 to April 28, 2024

Online via Zoom

In this two-day intensive, we will explore the idea of time in fiction. What is the difference between scene and summary? How do you make the reader feel as if they are present in the moment of the story? How do you write summary (moving the narrative forward a month, a year, a decade, a century) in a way that is compelling? What if we want to pause time? Or, like Virginia Woolf did in Mrs Dalloway, elongate it? What effect can that have on the reader?

We will ask ourselves: What makes a reader compelled to read on? And what does it have to do with time? In A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, George Saunders writes that a story is a linear-temporal phenomenon. It proceeds and charms us (or doesn’t), one line at a time. Would a reasonable person, reading line four, get enough of a jolt to go on to line five? These are the kinds of questions we will explore in class.

Course Outline
  • Session I: Discussion of Narrative Time (Scene, Summary, Dilation)
  • Session II: Writing Prompts and Craft Tips
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Led by

  • Omer-Friedlander-Author-Photo-Omer-Friedlander-scaled

    Omer Friedlander

    Omer Friedlander

    Omer Friedlander is the author of the short story collection The Man Who Sold Air in the Holy Land, winner of the Association of Jewish Libraries Fiction Award and a finalist for the Wingate Prize. The book was chosen as an American Library Association Sophie Brody Medal Honor Book for outstanding achievement in Jewish Literature and longlisted for the Story Prize. Omer has a BA in English Literature from the University of Cambridge and an MFA from Boston University, where he was supported by the Saul Bellow Fellowship. He was a Starworks Fellow in Fiction at New York University. His collection has been translated into several languages, including Turkish, Dutch, Italian, and Slovak. His writing has been supported by the Bread Loaf Fellowship and Vermont Studio Center Fellowship. He currently lives in New York City and teaches creative writing at Columbia University.