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Writing Workshops

Writing About Hunger: Incorporating Food Writing Into Fiction with María Alejandra Barrios Vélez


4 Sessions

In stock

Once a week Wednesdays, 6:30 pm EDT - 8:30 pm EDT March 27 to April 17, 2024

Online via Zoom

A cake batter mixed in with tears that has the power to make everyone nostalgic for a lost love. A beer and a fried fish in a Japanese pub after running into someone from your past. A dish of carbonara Pasta after making love. These are some of the scenes in literature that have the power to transform the mundane into something memorable and extraordinary. Everyone eats, and our characters do, too: they have desires, fears, thoughts, and urges regarding their appetite. This class will delve into how we can incorporate food into our fiction and how we can do it in a natural way that provides complexity to our character’s worlds. This class is open to writers of all levels and is adapted for novels and short stories. Each week, we’ll start by reading examples of food scenes and passages in literature, discussing lessons that focus on different aspects of food writing, and doing writing exercises that students can share if they wish to do so.

Course Outline
  • Session I: Desire and the senses- A journey through food and the senses and how to incorporate descriptive and texture into your fiction.
  • Session II: Scenes and cooking- This week will focus on creating vibrant and complex scenes about cooking and eating.
  • Session III: Culture and cooking dynamics (family and tradition)- Food is never just food. This week will focus on food dynamics and how they tell a bigger story about the characters and the world around them.
  • Session IV: Multimedia- Food scenes from movies and art to inspire our writing. An experimental class where we’ll try our hand at food writing from different lenses inspired by clips from film and art.
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Led by

  • photo_Maria Alejandra Barrios Velez (c) Andrew Thomas 2023 - Maria Alejandra Barrios Large

    María Alejandra Barrios Vélez

    María Alejandra Barrios Vélez

    María Alejandra Barrios Vélez is a writer born in Barranquilla, Colombia. She was the 2020 SmokeLong Flash Fiction Fellow, and her stories have been published in Shenandoah Literary, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, El Malpensante, Fractured Lit, SmokeLong Quarterly, The Offing, and more. Her work has been supported by organizations such as Vermont Studio Center, Kweli, Caldera Arts, and the New Orleans Writers’ Residency.

    Her debut novel, The Waves Take You Home, will be published March 19, 2024.

    Photo Credit: Andrew Thomas