2 Sessions via Zoom
Out of stock
Saturday & Sunday 2:00 pm EST - 4:15 pm EST November 21 to November 22, 2020
This workshop has reached its capacity. To join the waitlist, please email Thierry Kehou at email@example.com.
In this class, we will explore ways to write experiences of grief, particularly our own. How does distance from a painful event affect the way we tell a story? How does fictionalizing a close experience of grief affect the way it is received and how we write it? Which structures are best to hold what we have to say?
We will explore concepts of sentimentality and reader resistance. We’ll consider how sound, sentence structure, and story building can all be used to communicate feeling. Together we will read very short selections from a variety of genres by writers who, by making themselves vulnerable, can make us feel seen, and we will share, when comfortable, sections of our own writing with each other. Finally, we will explore what happens after we tell our stories. What does it mean to complete a story about pain that might not be finished for us?
- Introduction to the class and each other
- The idea of grief as a “crossing over”
- An exercise: Letters to ourselves before a moment of grief
- Fictionalizing a true grief experience—how is it written differently?
- Considering other “containers” for grief
- Ways into writing grief
- And now that you’re here: the sound of grief with some short examples.
- Honoring your way of expressing grief
- Fictionalizing a true grief experience—how is it received differently?
- On sentimentality and reader resistance
- An exercise: How we fear our work will be received
- Where are you taking me? Sentence building and story building
- Ways out of writing grief and tools for the journey
- Goodbyes and ways to stay connected
Capacity: 20 students
This workshop will take place online via Zoom. Participants will receive instructions for access prior to the first session.
Diane Zinna is originally from Long Island, New York. She received her MFA from the University of Florida and taught creative writing for ten years. She was formerly the executive co-director at AWP, the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, which hosts the largest literary conference in North America each year. In 2014, Diane created the Writer to Writer Mentorship Program, helping to match more than six hundred writers over twelve seasons. Her debut novel, The All-Night Sun, was recently longlisted for The Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. Diane lives in Fairfax, Virginia, with her husband and daughter.
By Diane Zinna
The All-Night Sun
By Diane Zinna
Published by Random House
Lauren Cress teaches writing at a small college outside of Washington, DC. In the classroom, she is poised, smart, and kind, well liked by her students and colleagues. But in her personal life, Lauren is troubled and isolated, still grappling with the sudden death of her parents ten years earlier. She seems to exist at a remove from everyone around her until a new student joins her class: charming, magnetic Siri, who appears to be everything Lauren wishes she could be. They fall headlong into an all-consuming friendship that makes Lauren feel as though she is reclaiming her lost adolescence.
When Siri invites her on a trip home to Sweden for the summer, Lauren impulsively accepts, intrigued by how Siri describes it: green, fresh, and new, everything just thawing out. But once there, Lauren finds herself drawn to Siri’s enigmatic, brooding brother, Magnus. Siri is resentful, and Lauren starts to see a new side of her friend: selfish, reckless, self-destructive, even cruel. On their last night together, Lauren accompanies Siri and her friends on a seaside camping trip to celebrate Midsommar’s Eve, a night when no one sleeps, boundaries blur, and under the light of the unsetting sun, things take a dark turn.
Ultimately, Lauren must acknowledge the truth of what happened with Siri and come to terms with her own tragic past in this gorgeously written, deeply felt debut about the transformative relationships that often come to us when things feel darkest.
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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