From Inspiration to Published Work: The Craft of Storytelling in Fiction with Stefan Merrill Block (Sold Out)
6 Sessions via Zoom
Out of stock
Once a week Wednesdays, 6:30 pm EDT - 8:30 pm EDT October 14 to November 18, 2020
This workshop has reached its capacity. To join the waitlist, please email Thierry Kehou at email@example.com.
How do you put your ideas to work in the service of a great story? How do you make the reader care deeply for the fate of your characters? How do you give meaningful narrative shape to the messiness of what inspires you to write? This workshop will provide an encouraging and constructive atmosphere to explore the questions that are central to any fiction writer’s process, especially at the start of a writing career.
Author Stefan Merrill Block will open each session with a discussion on the craft of the unputdownable story: ways to raise a story’s stakes, ways to keep a plot compelling, and ways to craft indelible characters and settings. Writers will also dissect published stories and discuss how to apply learned lessons about characterization, premise, voice, pacing and structure to their own work. For at least half of each meeting, Block will lead a group workshop of participants’ writing, offering useful criticism and fresh ideas for breaking through barriers and playing to strengths. Additionally, in the final meeting, Block will lead a discussion on the business of getting published. This workshop will include a few short writing exercises, but writers should come to the workshop with some pages to share: a short story, a fragment of a novel, even an outline will do. This workshop is intended for any writer struggling to give shape to the stories they feel compelled to tell.
Capacity: 10 students
This workshop will take place online via Zoom. Participants will receive instructions for access prior to the first session.
Stefan Merrill Block
Stefan Merrill Block
Stefan Merrill Block grew up in Plano, Texas. His first book, The Story of Forgetting, was an international bestseller and the winner of Best First Fiction at the Rome International Festival of Literature, The Ovid Prize from the Romanian Writer’s Union, the 2008 Merck Serono Literature Prize and the 2009 Fiction Award from The Writers’ League of Texas. The Story of Forgetting was also a finalist for the debut fiction awards from IndieBound, Salon du Livre and The Center for Fiction. Following the publication of his second novel, The Storm at the Door, Stefan was awarded The University of Texas Dobie-Paisano Fellowship, as well as residencies at The Santa Maddalena Foundation and Castello Malaspina di Fosdinovo in Italy. Stefan’s stories and essays have appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker Page-Turner, the Guardian, NPR’s Radiolab, GRANTA, the Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. Stefan’s third novel, Oliver Loving, was released in 2018 by Macmillan/Flatiron Books, and is being developed for television by Participant Media. He lives in Brooklyn.
By Stefan Merrill Block
By Stefan Merrill Block
Published by Flatiron Books
A family in crisis, a town torn apart, and the boy who holds the secret has been cocooned in a coma for ten years.
One warm, West Texas November night, a shy boy named Oliver Loving joins his classmates at Bliss County Day School’s annual dance, hoping for a glimpse of the object of his unrequited affections, an enigmatic Junior named Rebekkah Sterling. But as the music plays, a troubled young man sneaks in through the school’s back door. The dire choices this man makes that evening—and the unspoken story he carries—will tear the town of Bliss, Texas apart.
Nearly ten years later, Oliver Loving still lies wordless and paralyzed at Crockett State Assisted Care Facility, the fate of his mind unclear. Orbiting the stillpoint of Oliver’s hospital bed is a family transformed: Oliver’s mother, Eve, who keeps desperate vigil; Oliver’s brother, Charlie, who has fled for New York City only to discover he cannot escape the gravity of his shattered family; Oliver’s father, Jed, who tries to erase his memories with bourbon. And then there is Rebekkah Sterling, Oliver’s teenage love, who left Texas long ago and still refuses to speak about her own part in that tragic night.
When a new medical test promises a key to unlock Oliver’s trapped mind, the town’s unanswered questions resurface with new urgency, as Oliver’s doctors and his family fight for a way for Oliver to finally communicate—and so also to tell the truth of what really happened that fateful night.
A moving meditation on the transformative power of grief and love, a slyly affectionate look at the idiosyncrasies of family, and an emotionally-charged page-turner, Stefan Merrill Block’s Oliver Loving is an extraordinarily original novel that ventures into the unknowable and returns with the most fundamental truths.
About this series
We strive to make our classes the most inviting and rewarding available, offering an intimate environment to study with award-winning, world-class writers. Each class is specially designed by the instructor, so whether you’re a fledgling writer or an MFA graduate polishing your novel, you’ll find a perfect fit here.
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