Novella Workshop Spring 2017!


Next semester, I am eager and excited to teach a novella workshop at Spelman College. On a rotating basis, the Craft of Fiction Workshop focuses on short stories and novellas. This enables creative writing students to experience writing fiction in short forms (from microfiction to dispatch), long form (30-pages), and novellas, which due to time constraints commonly max at 75 pages. While most students have taken many creative writing courses prior enrolling (some take the course a second time as an audit to write a novella after writing short stories), shepherding creative writers through the novella is no easy task for me. Directly, it’s difficult for an experienced novelist to write a novel, and the novella is a more complex form. Further, these students are still learning about dramaturgy, figurative language, and literary threading. Committing to doing that while writing 75 pages is a lot to ask. Still, practice remains the best teacher. Those who complete the novellas through the editorial phase (I commonly leave time at the end of the semester for editing), are rewarded with a jewel few humans achieve in their lifetime. For many, this will be their first and last book. And, maybe it’s not something they’d ever want to share with another person. But, as I always say when we close the last workshop, “You did it this time, so you know you can do it again!”

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