How to Write Fairy Tales & Use Folklore 4-Week Online Workshop, Starts Monday, June 19th, 2023
Begins Monday, June 19th, 2023
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Led by Cristina Slattery, a writer whose work has been published widely, including in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Cristina holds graduate degrees from Middlebury College's Bread Loaf School of English and Fordham University's Graduate School of Education and has extensively researched and studied fairy tales and folklore in their varying forms.
This generative writing course is focused on Fairy Tales and Folklore, and we'll explore these ancient forms in depth and work to incorporate elements from oral traditions into your fiction. This class can be used as a starting point for a new project or to enhance an existing work-in-progress.
So, how can we better understand fairy tales and folklore and use both in our fiction? What can we learn from the fairy tale re-tellings that have become so popular in recent years both in fiction and film?
Maria Tatar, an author, professor, and expert on fairy tales, writes that “fairy tales…work their magic as they evolve, giving us both story and history.” Tatar explains that, for example, “Snow White can be found in nearly every place that stories are told, and she rarely has white skin.”
What are fairy tales though? Tatar writes that “death in childbirth, maternal malice, and child abandonment: it’s all part of the daily rhythm in the fairy tale universe.” She adds that “fairy tales do more than offer simple solutions to complex problems. They not only activate our sense of curiosity about what’s next but also lead us to think big about questions fundamental to the human condition.”
This course will allow writers to gain a clearer sense of the ancient fairy tale form and also analyze a fairy tale and one retelling in depth. Writing exercises will focus on elements that make fairy tales unique and also explore how to use folklore in fiction.
Another scholar, Claude Lecouteux, writes that “in addition to the scholarly mythology that was passed down by the ancient mythographers, there also exists an entire network of constantly evolving representations and folk beliefs. From this, an image emerges of a distinctive world in which elemental and supernatural beings are no longer denizens of a distant pantheon, but live in close proximity to humans – in the forests and mountains, beneath the stones, and so forth.”
- The writer will gain a deeper knowledge of the fairy tale form and the role of folklore in fiction.
- He or she will have analyzed one fairy tale and a retelling in detail and explored how to use elements that comprise the fairy tale form and/or aspects of folklore in his or her fiction.
- Playful exploration and experiment with fairy tale elements through generative writing exercises
- Supportive workshop and individually-provided instructor feedback on your work
ONLINE COURSE STRUCTURE:
Wet Ink, our dedicated online classroom, was designed specifically for writing classes. It is a private, easy to use, and highly interactive online platform. Learn more about it from this class demo.
The class is entirely asynchronous which means that there are no set meeting times and students work to their own schedules. Participants will be from different time zones, which allows for a wonderful diversity of voices. In addition to ongoing discussions, all craft materials, lectures, reading assignments, and writing prompts will be available in the Wet Ink classroom. Students will also post work and provide and receive feedback within the online environment.
Instructor: Cristina Slattery
Class size limited to 12 writers
Workshop starts Monday, June 19th, 2023
Course is fully ONLINE; students can work according to their own schedule within weekly deadlines. Once you have enrolled the instructor will send you a link to our online classroom, provided via Wet Ink.
Instructor Cristina Slattery has published a variety of non-fiction articles in magazines and on websites ranging from The New York Times to the Wall Street Journal. She is currently finalizing a fantasy novel for kids 10-12 and planning to send it out to agents soon. Her novel takes place in a world based on Central Europe in the Middle Ages and she has researched the fairy tales and folklore of different areas of Europe as part of the process of creating the novel. Cristina has an undergraduate degree with honors in her field from Harvard University and graduate degrees from Middlebury College's Bread Loaf School of English and Fordham University's Graduate School of Education. She has taught English at the high school and middle school levels in both the U.S. and in Spain.