Building the Short Story Collection: Elizabeth Crane, Kanishk Tharoor, Akhil Sharma, and Meredith Kaffel Simonoff
Wisdom abounds on the art of writing short stories, but what about assembling a short story collection? In truth, curating a set of stories that work in concert and stand on their own is as much of an art as the writing itself. How does a short story collection come together? If a story is “finished,” does that qualify its appearance in the book? Do the stories need to be linked? Does it hurt or help to place some pieces in literary magazines? Join four short story writers as they chart their paths to creating their collections. Learn what factors shaped their choices, what they wish they would have known, and how they approached the format in surprising ways.
Moderated by Libby Flores
Teaching Fellow Craft Session: Bennington Writing Seminars
This Will Only Take Minute: When writing short short stories (less than two-thousand words) it is even more critical to grab readers by the collar. What can any writer learn from flash fiction, sudden fiction, or micro-fiction? We will examine the parameters of the form and look at several different approaches to the short short. We'll look specifically at the great flash fiction of Lydia Davis, Ann Beattie, Amy Hempel, and many others to discover what captivates and arrests our attention, and what resonates with a reader long after the last line is read. After discussing these examples the class will be given writing prompts.
April 23, 2017
Panel/ Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
Fiction: Writing Short Stories with Deb Olin Unferth, Rebecca Schiff, Dana Johnson, and Chanelle Benz.
August 7, 2016
A PEN Center USA Craft Session: A Very Short Story with Libby Flores
When writing short short stories (less than two-thousand words) it is even more critical to grab readers by the collar. What can a writer learn from sudden fiction? We will examine the parameters of the form and look at several different approaches of the short short. We will examine the form by looking specifically at the great flash fiction of Lydia Davis, Rick Moody, Stuart Dybek, Amy Hempel, Jamaica Kincaid, and many others to examine what captivates and arrests our attention, and what resonates in a reader long after the last line is read. We will discuss these examples and the class will be given writing prompts. By using these prompts participants will leave with a draft of their own short short story.
All handouts will be provided by the instructor. Students should bring a notebook and a pen.
This program is presented with the support of the City of West Hollywood through its Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission. For more info on WeHo Arts programming please visit www.weho.org/arts or follow via social media @WeHoArts.
Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
Panel: With Friends Like These: Tony Tulathimutte Matt Sumell, and Steve Toltz Moderated by Libby Flores
April 9, 2015
A Few Good Mentors: How to Cultivate a Literary Life with a Mentor
Most aspiring writers dream about having a successful author drop into their lives and recognize their talent. This panel will explore the importance of mentorship by looking at the experience within the MFA structure, nontraditional writing pairings, and nonprofit writing fellowships. We will ask what can be gained in the relationship between the more established writers and emerging writers. Leave with pedagogical approaches to mentoring, how to bring mentorship into your writing life.
Moderator: Libby Flores
Panelists: Tom Grimes, Ethan Rutherford, Jennifer F. Steil and Lilliam Rivera
The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
Moderator: Libby Flores
Panelists: T. Geronimo Johnson, Cynthia Bond, Janet Fitch, and Bridgett M. Davis