“Novels are above all great fairy tales…literature does not tell the truth but makes it up.”
— Vladimir Nabakov
Witches, wolves, and bad apples feature prominently in stories we associate with childhood. How do borrow from and even overturn the tropes from these stories toward fresh ends? In this generative workshop, we will explore well-known fairy tales and trace their influence on contemporary, multi-genre work that reinvents them. We will also discuss strategies for extracting the themes of these well-known tales and transposing them in our own work. As we identify techniques in poetry and prose by Kim Addonizio, Angela Carter, Neil Gaiman, Lily Hoang, Shirley Jackson, Victor LaValle, Helen Oyeyemi, and Anne Sexton, we will also engage in generative exercises in which we craft our own adaptations. Writers will leave the intensive with drafts of new work as well as additional exercises for carrying over the themes and structures of familiar stories into future writing.
Theodora Ziolkowski is the author of the novella On the Rocks, winner of a 2018 Next Generation Indie Book Award, and the short story chapbook Mother Tongues, winner of The Cupboard’s 2015 contest. Her poetry and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Glimmer Train, Prairie Schooner, Arts & Letters, North American Review, Los Angeles Review, and Short Fiction (England), among other journals, anthologies, and exhibits. A Best New Poets and four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Theodora Ziolkowski holds an MFA from the University of Alabama and is pursuing her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Houston. She teaches creative writing workshops at Inprint, Writespace, and Grackle and Grackle, and recently served as Poetry Editor for Gulf Coast and Fiction Editor for Big Fiction.