Taylor Swift as Craft: A 6-Week Fiction Workshop, Starts Monday, July 10th, 2023
Class Starts Monday, July 10th, 2023
The class will meet weekly via Zoom (Monday, 6PM EST - 8PM EST).
Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.
Led by Laura Dzubay, who holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Indiana University, where she won the AWP Intro Prize and served as fiction editor for Indiana Review. Her stories and essays are published or forthcoming in Electric Literature, Blue Earth Review, Hobart, Mid-American Review, and the upcoming anthology A Flame Called Indiana: An Anthology of Contemporary Hoosier Writing (IU Press 2023).
Get to know Laura in our Meet the Teaching Artist series.
This 6-week workshop will explore fundamental elements of creative writing (primarily fiction) through the lens of Taylor Swift. The main focus of this class will be generating new writing and sharing it with each other; in each session, we’ll do focused exercises practicing key writing elements like characterization, setting, scene building, perspective, conflict, and physical detail, using song lyrics as guideposts for talking about these concepts.
There will be optional “homework” and lots of tools and exercises you can use to further your writing outside of class, but this is mainly meant to be a fun, low-stress workshop to be taken alongside whatever else you’re doing in life, so there won’t be any required reading or listening outside of what we examine together in class.
One of the things I’m most interested in here is why we love what we love, which is why I think Taylor Swift will be an excellent access point for talking more about our relationships with art, writing, and music—especially since her storytelling is such a big part of her music! What is it about her music and lyrics that so many people worldwide have connected with? What narrative tools does she use, and why are so many people drawn to the ways in which she uses them? What can we learn from the ways in which she seeks out inspiration and from her relationships with criticism and revision? How can we find good balance between personal details and universal themes in our own stories? I’m hoping we can learn some things from her music together, but also very much hoping we can learn some exciting things from each other.
Important note: Swifties of ALL exposure levels and backgrounds are more than welcome in this class! Anytime we discuss a song in detail, we will listen to it together as a group first. This is meant, ideally, to be an invigorating creative space for anyone, and there is absolutely no need to have any particular level of familiarity with Taylor Swift’s music beforehand.
Session 1: I Left My Scarf There, At Your Sister’s House: Physical Detail & Observation
Session 2: Rooting for the Anti-Hero: Characters and the Choices They Make
Session 3: All By Design: Structure, Scene-Building, and the Passage of Time
Session 4: I Got Smarter, I Got Harder in the Nick of Time: Conflict as a Crucible
Session 5: On the Outside Looking In: Voice and Perspective
Session 6: Begin Again: Revision & Honest Conclusions
OPTIONAL COURSE TEXTS:
Optional supplementary readings may include Ursula K. Le Guin's "The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction," and short stories by Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Kristen Arnett, Carmen Maria Machado, and Ling Ma.
"I loved this class. The creative writing topics felt more approachable when looked at through the lens of Taylor Swift songs. I could honestly see expanding this to 7 (maybe even 8 weeks). There was a lot of awesome content!" -Lizz H.
"This was a great class! The thoughtful way Laura was able to weave in Taylor Swift's lyrics and storytelling with novel writing concepts is what I found most valuable." -Jade E.
ONLINE COURSE STRUCTURE:
This class meets weekly via Zoom. Come prepared for a super fun class with live interaction on Zoom each week and plenty of writing, reading, and talking!
- Instructor: Laura Dzubay
- Class Starts Monday, July 10th, 2023
- Class will meet via Zoom on Mondays, 6PM EST - 8PM EST.
Instructor Laura Dzubay holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Indiana University, where she won the AWP Intro Prize and served as fiction editor for Indiana Review. Her stories and essays are published or forthcoming in Electric Literature, Blue Earth Review, Hobart, Mid-American Review, and the upcoming anthology A Flame Called Indiana: An Anthology of Contemporary Hoosier Writing (IU Press 2023).