8-Week Introduction to Fiction Workshop, starts July 20, 2020
Class Starts July 20, 2020
*If social distancing measures are still in place due to COVID-19, classes will meet via Zoom.
So maybe you’ve started a few stories but they’re in a drawer and now are beckoning you. Or maybe you’ve never written a story before, but something you’ve read has moved you to respond and create something of your own. Or, maybe you’ve been carrying an idea for a story in your imagination for some time and are unsure of how to begin or of what form it might take.
This class, Introduction to Fiction Writing, will help you move from story potential to a story on the page. While many elements comprise the craft and art of fiction writing, we’ll focus in this class primarily on two: narrative momentum—what propels the characters’ actions or choices—and voice. Momentum and voice are the essential, fundamental elements of compelling storytelling, and to help set the bar for your own work and expand your sense of the possible, we’ll study a range of published stories as models. We’ll supplement our reading of stories with enlightening essays on craft. Students will have the opportunity to present their work twice for class workshop and critique. Each submitted manuscript will received typed, formal feedback from both the instructor and classmates. Participation in every area of the class is essential.
NOTE: Students are required to buy Making Shapely Fiction, by Jerome Stern. The assigned fiction will include a range of writers, such as Tobias Wolff, Amy Hempel, Thom Jones, and Joyce Carol Oates. Stories and craft essays will be distributed, either in class or through email scans—no purchase necessary.
Class size limited to 8 writers
Meets Mondays 7:00PM to 9:30PM / March 30, 2020 to May 18, 2020
Class will meet in instructor’s home in North Dallas (address distributed to admitted students).
Contact us HERE if you have questions about this class.
Instructor Eden Elieff, a native Chicagoan who’s wrapping up her fourteenth year in Texas (Dallas and Houston), has published fiction and nonfiction in various journals and The Mississippi Review, the Crab Orchard Review, Mid-American Review, Quarter After Eight, Chautauqua LiteraryJournal,where her essay was a contest finalist, Sycamore Review,which nominated her essay for a Pushcart Prize. Her work was a finalist at a New Millenniums Writing contest in 2017. She’s also published essays in the Dallas Morning News and the online magazine Role Reboot, and has upcoming work in Minerva Rising. Eden Elieff holds an MFA from the Writing Seminars of Bennington College, a Diploma from Trinity College, Dublin, where she received the distinction of First Class Honors, a Bachelor of Music from DePaul University, and an AB from the University of Chicago, where she graduated with Honors in English. In addition to Writing Workshops Dallas, Eden these days teaches at the Creative Arts Center in Dallas. Her teaching experience is extensive: She’s also conducted her own private workshop, taught at several college prep schools throughout the country, at Rice University, and middle schools in Texas. She also plays the oboe and would love to form a woodwind quintet or actually any ensemble—contact at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to dust off your instrument and make some music.
“This fiction workshop exceeded my expectations! It was an amazing learning experience. Eden exposed me to new writers that I had never read before which really opened my eyes to new ways of thinking about my own writing. I feel like Eden raised the bar on what I should expect from myself and my writing. She used really great examples of specific writing to drive home how elevating your entire writing process can truly make you a better writer. I feel like I am walking away from this class with new skills to practice and a new way of looking at how I read.”
“There are lots of good writing teachers; Eden Elieff is one of the great ones. She’s not just a published writer & extremely knowledgeable about the entire field. She’s also a great instructor. She focuses on supporting you & your writing goals and makes you do the work. From provoking you to counseling you to giving you actionable ideas, Eden will help you get to where you should go. Whatever writing subject she teaches - take her course!”
“I took the introduction to Fiction class with Eden Elieff and she really opened my eyes to really great literature that I didn’t know was out there. The class became a tight knit group and we were sad to see it end. I learned so much from not only the readings, but from others in class as well. I feel like there’s so much more to learn. Thank you Writing workshops and Eden!!”
“I would highly recommend taking Eden Elieff’s 8-Week Fiction workshop. She promotes and encourages thinking, reading and writing to higher levels.”
“I attended a workshop last weekend with Eden Elieff. There were 5 of us so we enjoyed a lot of reading and discussion, and were able to move at whatever pace we felt comfortable with, though Eden kept saying, "I have so much more I want to cover!" So much great writing, so little time! As a group we chose not to spend too much time writing but to focus on reading and sharing great writing. For me this was perfect; one of my goals this yeas is to read more excellent writing, as it is one of the best ways to improve your own writing. I really enjoyed Eden and the group. I'm sure I could have stayed at least a few more hours.”
"Yesterday filled me with joy. What was I doing? I was in Eden Elieff's Fiction or Memoir Class. Her energy and enthusiasm were contagious. Her materials (excerpts from esteemed texts, both memoir and fiction) were eye-opening. Her writing exercises were invigorating. The entire three hours transported me back to my beloved MFA days and reminded me of why I am a writer. (Bonus: She has her MFA from Bennington!) Through the examination of the passages, I was able to further paw my way out of my pile of confusion over what I am writing and I feel I am closer now to what I must pursue: an autobiographical novel, which I had no idea existed. Or rather, was classified as such. I highly HIGHLY recommend her as a teacher. I look forward to more classes with Eden!"
“Eden's teaching has quickly turned my decades of writing insecurity into a deep well of creative confidence. Her engaging class guides both the novice and experienced writer through highly acclaimed written works meant to enhance and broaden their own writing throughout her courses. Reading, writing and critiquing is enlightening and creatively freeing. Thanks, Eden. Your Writing Workshops Dallas classes have had a great influence on my writing!”
“Eden loves teaching, loves preparing for class (she makes LOTS of handouts), loves discussing what makes good writing, and is simply 'doing what she loves best' with her students. The textbooks for both of the Memoir/Fiction classes that I took were excellent, giving examples of both memoir and short stories, as well as defining the unique characteristic of each genre and where they overlap. Eden's handouts were writings by authors she admires and often personally knows, allowing her to explain why or how these authors chose to write in one genre or another, and how/why they may have decided what to include and what to leave out. Occasionally some students didn't like the stories or the characters within, and Eden always replied, "If you want to learn to write, your job is to become a better reader: expose yourself to writings you'd not normally choose, and examine the styles and details that make the characters likeable or not, so that you'll learn how to do it yourself!" Five of us students took Eden's first Fiction/Memoir class this summer, desperate to tell our stories, whether to analyze them, to preserve our memories, or to re-create the lives we've lived. We made progress, but when the 8-week class was over, we decided it wasn't time to quit yet. So all of us signed up again, wanting to continue with the camaraderie and trust Eden's classes provided. The second 8-weeks were worth it! We became ever more confident, our writing was growing alive with detail, and we understood at last what those readings were all about! Eden always made sure that the discussion of each student's manuscript was aimed at clarifying what we thought worked well, what we felt the 'aim' of the writing was, whether this aim was achieved, and then how to better achieve it. And, by the end of the 2nd eight weeks, it was great fun to see the employment of all the tools Eden had taught us and the amazing improvement in each other's writings and in our own.”