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Writing Workshops

Writing How People Talk: Composing Fiction in Nonstandard English with Maisy Card


6 Online Sessions

In stock

Once a week Wednesdays, 6:00 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT July 13 to August 17, 2022

Online via Zoom

In her 2007 anthology, Rotten English, Professor Dohra Ahmad collects works of literature written solely in various forms of nonstandard English. According to Ahmad, what connects the writers in the collection, “is their choice of composing in linguistic codes that are primarily spoken rather than written, and also ones that have generally been perceived as having a lower status than Standard English.” The goal of this six-week workshop is to center the work of writers who compose fiction primarily in nonstandard English–be it in patois, slang, Spanglish, or any other creolized form. How do we juggle writing for multiple audiences–those familiar with the language and those wholly unfamiliar? What craft traditions can we look to for guidance or inspiration? We’ll read selections from Rotten English by writers such as Earl Lovelace, Louise Bennett, Peter Carey, Zora Neale Hurston, Irvine Welsh, James Baldwin, R. Zamora Linmark, and Gabriel Okara. Each participant will also have the opportunity to receive feedback on a work in progress (up to 25 pages).

Capacity: 12


Led by

  • Headshot credit Tehsuan Glover - Maisy Card

    Maisy Card

    Maisy Card

    Maisy Card is the author of the novel These Ghosts are Family, which won an American Book Award, the 2021 OCM Bocas Prize in fiction and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel, The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. Her writing has appeared in the Paris Review Daily, AGNI, the New York Times, Guernica, and other publications. She lives in Newark, NJ.