Begins Wednesday, June 15th, 2022
Class will meet weekly via Zoom on Wednesdays, 8:00PM EST - 10:00PM EST.
Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.
Led by Emme Lund, author of The Boy with a Bird in His Chest (Atria Books, 2022) and recipient of an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship in Fiction. Her work has appeared in Electric Literature, TIME Magazine, The Rumpus, Romper, the Portland Mercury, and Autostraddle, among many others.
Writing setting often gets sidelined in favor of character development and plot, but certain stories can only happen in certain places. By naming specific details in a setting, the writer can root the reader in time and place, ensuring that each detail becomes more vivid and thus, the story more real.
Writing a place vividly can be the difference between writing a story that feels bland and writing a story readers won’t soon forget.
Over the course of four weeks, we will explore place and setting in writing, learning how to capture the sights, smells, sounds, and feelings of our world, exploring everything from grassy meadows to paved cities. We will learn specific research techniques for capturing moments in the past in places we can no longer visit as well as well techniques for catching details in the spaces we inhabit.
Both at-home and in-class generative writing prompts centered around place will be provided throughout the course. If desired, students can hand in one page of prose (centered around setting) at the beginning and again at the end of the course for instructor feedback.
This is a discussion-based class and short reading materials will be assigned between each class.
Session One: We will discuss the basics of writing place. We will look at specific examples of setting in fiction and non-fiction to learn how other authors have made place real on the page. What are the details we need to capture to make it real for the reader? How do we know what to include and when?
Session Two: In this class, we take a close look at the difference between writing from memory and writing from experience. How does memory fail us? How can we stretch our memory to gather more details? When we are researching a location, how can we notice the small details unique to that specific place?
Session Three: We will look at specific research techniques for gathering information across time and space. Want to write about 1952 Albany, NY? What kind of clothes did they wear? What was the local wildlife and flora like at the time? Techniques will include interview tactics and using the local library to gather information.
Session Four: In the final class, we will discuss how to bring it all together, including how to write characters who embody the place we are capturing. We will also discuss how our characters mark the world we are creating and how, when we blend that on the page, our writing sings with vividness.
- To come to understand the deep importance of rooting readers in place
- Real world tips and tools for capturing place in our writing, including research techniques, attention to detail in our everyday lives, and how to interview someone who was there
- Writing prompts for deepening our understanding of place
Instructor: Emme Lund
Class Starts June 15th, 2022
Course is fully ONLINE and will meet weekly via Zoom on Wednesdays from 8:00PM EST - 10:00PM EST.
Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.
Instructor Emme Lund is an author living and writing in Portland, OR. She has an MFA from Mills College. Her work has appeared in Electric Literature, TIME Magazine, The Rumpus, Romper, the Portland Mercury, and Autostraddle, among many other venues. In 2016, Quiet Lightning Books published a limited run of her book, The Sacred Text of Rosa Who is Great, complete with art by Stella Peach, about which Andrew Sean Greer wrote, “I have been looking for this book for years! Against every modern trend: a brilliant, old-world, handmade piece of magic.” In 2019, she was awarded an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship in Fiction. The Boy with a Bird in His Chest (Atria Books, 2022) is her first novel.