“The whole language of writing for me is finding out what you don’t want to know, what you don’t want to find out. But something forces you to anyway.”—James Baldwin
In this 8-week workshop we will mine works by writers such as James Baldwin, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Jhumpa Lahiri, N.K. Jemison, Maxine Hong Kingston and Ottessa Moshfegh for craft elements that we will apply to both generative work, and for revision of existing work, to see if we can discover hidden elements of stories or ideas we’ve been struggling with. We will also discuss particular narrative techniques outside of our readings, and use these to generate new starts both in class and as take-home exercises.
In class, we will workshop stories with an eye to identifying the heart and themes of your story, and how your craft and shaping choices bring these to life. You might be surprised what readers discover that you may not have been conscious of. This approach to workshopping is fruitful and freeing for both beginning and advanced writers because the conversation maintains a focus on the intention of your story. You can choose to workshop existing work, or share some or all of a piece of new work you’ve generated in the earlier weeks of the class—there will be plenty of opportunity for both creation and revision in this class.
Tayyba Maya Kanwal’s work appears in Juxtaprose, Quarterly West and other journals and has been anthologized by The Doctor TJ Eckleburg Review. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and chosen as a finalist in the CRAFT Fiction Contest and longlisted for A Public Space Fellowship. Tayyba is a recipient of the Inprint C. Glenn Cambor Fellowship. She is a Pakistani-American writer pursuing her MFA in Fiction at the University of Houston and is an Assistant Fiction Editor at Gulf Coast Journal. Visit her at mayakanwal.com and on twitter @mayakanwal.