First Impressions: Compelling Beginnings in Fiction & Creative Nonfiction (with Simon Han) - ONLINE
It can be daunting to face the blank page. From the first sentence we dream up, what choices are we making, consciously or unconsciously, to establish a tone, a point of view, a voice, a shape? What promises are we making? What questions are we raising? To engage with a piece of writing is a commitment, so how does a writer earn their reader’s commitment? We will discuss how fiction and nonfiction writers such as Toni Morrison, Louise Erdrich, Jenny Zhang, James Baldwin, and Jia Tolentino create memorable beginnings through innovative turns of phrase, surprising syntax, selective details, and more. We will explore the myriad ways that literature can “begin,” which will hopefully open new windows for participants as they think about their own work. Participants are also invited, though not required, to bring in the first page of a work-in-progress to share with the class and/or use for a revision exercise. Participants will also be provided a handout with other exercises to try out on their own time.
WHEN: Saturday, March 20th (?)
WHERE: Online, via Zoom
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
SMON HAN is the author of Nights When Nothing Happened (Riverhead Books). His stories and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, The Texas Observer, Guernica, The Iowa Review, Electric Literature, and LitHub. He has received scholarships and fellowships from MacDowell, the Tulsa Artist Fellowship, Bread Loaf, the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and Vanderbilt University, where he received his MFA. Born in Tianjin, China, he lives in Carrollton, TX.
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