2 Sessions via Zoom
Saturday & Sunday 2:00 pm EST - 4:15 pm EST February 20 to February 21, 2021
In this workshop, we’ll explore ways of re-entering our stories, as well as strategies to expand characters and scenes.
- Exploring the Origin Stories of Our Characters:
- “Foundational Wound”
- Timeline of major events
- Infusing Joy
- Incorporating moments/patterns of happiness
- Optimizing Space and Objects
- Taking stock of physical space and objects
- Quick-fire Starts
- Tools to instantly create or re-enter scenes when writer’s block hits
This workshop will take place online via Zoom. Participants will receive instructions for access prior to the first session.
Sahar Mustafah is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, an inheritance she explores in her fiction. Her first novel The Beauty of Your Face (W.W. Norton, 2020) was named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, a Los Angeles Times United We Read selection, and one of Marie Claire magazine’s 2020 Best Fiction by Women, and a Great Group Reads for National Reading Group Month. It was longlisted for The Center for Fiction 2020 First Novel Prize, and is currently a finalist for Chicago Writers Association Best Book of the Year award and the Chicago Review of Books award. Her short story collection Code of the West was the winner of the 2016 Willow Books Fiction Award. Her stories have earned a Distinguished Story citation from Best American Short Stories 2016, First Place in Fiction from the Guild Literary Complex of Chicago, and three Pushcart Prize nominations, among other honors. Mustafah earned her MFA from Columbia College Chicago where she was the recipient of the David Friedman Award for Best Fiction. She writes and teaches outside of Chicago.
By Sahar Mustafah
The Beauty of Your Face
By Sahar Mustafah
Published by WW Norton
A uniquely American story told in powerful, evocative prose, The Beauty of Your Face navigates a country growing ever more divided. Afaf Rahman, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, is the principal of Nurrideen School for Girls, a Muslim school in the Chicago suburbs. One morning, a shooter—radicalized by the online alt-right—attacks the school.
As Afaf listens to his terrifying progress, we are swept back through her memories: the bigotry she faced as a child, her mother’s dreams of returning to Palestine, and the devastating disappearance of her older sister that tore her family apart. Still, there is the sweetness of the music from her father’s oud, and the hope and community Afaf finally finds in Islam.
The Beauty of Your Face is a profound and poignant exploration of one woman’s life in a nation at odds with its ideals, an emotionally rich novel that encourages us to reflect on our shared humanity. If others take the time to really see us, to look into our face, they will find something indelibly familiar, something achingly beautiful gazing back.
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.
Plotting the Perfect Crime (Story) with Jonathan Santlofer (Sold Out)$150
Wednesday - Friday 2:00 pm EST - 4:00 pm EST January 27 to January 29, 2021
Inside Criminal Minds: Crafting Psychological Suspense with Alison Gaylin$150
Friday - Sunday 2:00 pm EST - 4:00 pm EST January 29 to January 31, 2021
Writing Sex in Fiction with Regina M. Porter$395
Once a week Wednesdays, 6:00 pm EST - 8:00 pm EST February 3 to March 10, 2021
Building Page-Turning Thrill Rides for Readers with Duane Swierczynski$150
Thursday - Saturday 3:00 pm EST - 5:00 pm EST February 4 to February 6, 2021
From Family Lore to Narrative Fiction with Maisy Card (Sold Out)$395
Once a week Tuesdays, 6:30 pm EST - 8:30 pm EST February 9 to March 16, 2021
Dialogue: Letting Your Characters Do More of the Work with De’Shawn Charles Winslow$495
Once a week Wednesdays, 6:30 pm EST - 8:30 pm EST February 10 to March 31, 2021
Users and Suckers and Steady Bad Luckers: Writing Complex Characters with William Boyle (Sold Out)$150
Friday - Sunday 2:00 pm EST - 4:00 pm EST February 12 to February 14, 2021
Members Only: The LiterariansFree
Wednesday, 12:30 pm EST - 2:00 pm EST February 17, 2021
How to Write Character-Driven Plot with Lauren Wilkinson (Sold Out)$150
Once a week Thursdays, 6:00 pm EST - 8:00 pm EST February 18 to March 4, 2021
What’s Italian? A Journey through 20th Century Italy with Antonio Romani
6 Sessions via Zoom Tuesdays, 6:00 pm EST - 7:30 pm EST February 23 to May 4, 2021
Reading the Other Americas with Kaiama L. Glover
4 Sessions via Zoom Wednesdays, 7:00 pm EST - 8:30 pm EST February 24 to May 26, 2021
The Art of Fiction Writing with Diane Zinna$495
Once a week Saturdays, 10:00 am EST - 12:00 pm EST February 27 to April 17, 2021
Criminal Justice in Fiction with Jennifer Baker
5 Sessions via Zoom Sundays, 1:00 pm EST - 2:30 pm EST February 28 to June 27, 2021
Elena Ferrante: The Early Works with Rebecca Falkoff
4 Sessions via Zoom Mondays, 7:00 pm EST - 8:30 pm EST March 1 to May 24, 2021
The Savage Detectives: Roberto Bolaño’s Rambunctious Road Trip with Samuel Rutter
6 Sessions via Zoom Wednesdays, 7:00 pm EST - 8:30 pm EST March 3 to June 9, 2021