The Science of Writing a Short Story 6-Week Zoom Class, Starts Wednesday, September 27th, 2023
Class Starts Wednesday, September 27th, 2023
The class will meet weekly via Zoom (Wednesdays, 8:00PM ET - 10:00PM ET).
Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.
Led by Zeynep Özakat, who was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. Her writing has appeared in Glimmer Train Stories, where she won the Fiction Open Contest, in Black Warrior Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and Gulf Coast Online. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University, where she received The Shirley Jackson Prize in Fiction, The Leonard Brown Prize in Poetry, and a Graduate Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Work.
We'll dissect and analyze how "craft" works in the short stories we read to apply those same craft elements to our own. It is a course meant for writers/creatives who are also analytical thinkers.
Could I teach you what story to tell? No, but I could help you tell the story that you want to tell.
In this creative writing workshop, we will focus on some of the craft elements it takes to write a short story, such as POV, tone, setting, time, structure, etc., so we can help you write your story. This is a workshop for writers of all levels and all stylistic inclinations. Let's think of this writing class like we would an engineering class (but with more magical elements, maybe even a talking animal or two...).
We'll try to identify the problems that come up in storytelling and discuss the best techniques to solve them. Through our generative writing prompts, we might even design and conduct an experiment or two.
Even though creative writing is not "formulaic", we’ll close-read stories to see how writers have been successfully able to craft theirs. Through readings of short stories by Ottessa Moshfegh, Ling Ma, ZZ Packer, Senaa Ahmed, Kirstin Valdez Quade, Mariana Enríquez, and more, as well as your fellow classmates' work, we will discuss craft elements such as voice, dialogue, plot, pacing, character, beginnings and endings, and sharpen our writing skill sets.
At the end of six weeks, writers will leave this class with a deeper understanding of how to read like a writer and be able to edit their own work more confidently.
Week 1: What Do We Mean by Craft?
Week 2: Sentences & Paragraphs
Week 3: Information & Omission
Week 4: Dialogue & Voice
Week 5: Structure
Week 6: Endings
- Students will learn to read like a writer.
- Students will develop a keener editorial eye for their own work.
- Students will be able to practice certain craft elements we've talked about in class through generative writing exercises.
SELECTED COURSE TEXTS:
- Matthew Salesses, Craft in the Real World “What is Craft? 25 Thoughts”
- “Los Angeles”, Ling Ma
- “Let’s Play Dead”, Senaa Ahmed
- Selected writing by Joy Williams
- & more
PRAISE FOR ZEYNEP:
"The hallmark of Zeynep Özakat's writing is the deep empathy with which she creates her characters; from the lead characters to the minor ones—all of them are created with such specificity that exemplifies the care she brings to the enterprise of storytelling. That, along with Özakat's ability to skillfully navigate time in fiction, write crisp dialogue, and strike a balance between the humorous and the melancholic, makes her prose intelligent, moving, and exciting. This is a great opportunity to learn from an excellent storyteller." -Shastri Akella, author of “The Sea Elephants”
"Zeynep’s passion and commitment to helping writers tell their stories is absolutely unmatched. She possesses the spirit, skill, and sheer electricity that we need so desperately injected into the world again. "-Mina Hamedi, agent at Janklow & Nesbit
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: Zeynep Özakat
- Class Starts Wednesday, September 27th, 2023
- The class will meet via Zoom on Wednesdays, 8PM ET - 10PM ET
Instructor Zeynep Özakat was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. Her writing has appeared in Glimmer Train Stories, where she won the Fiction Open Contest, in Black Warrior Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and Gulf Coast Online. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University, where she received The Shirley Jackson Prize in Fiction, The Leonard Brown Prize in Poetry, and a Graduate Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Work. She has received scholarships and support from The Disquiet Conference in Lisbon, The Bread Loaf Environmental Writing Conference, The Juniper Summer Writing Institute, and The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where she was a 2021-2022 Writing Fellow.