CLA Writers Workshops are open to individuals of all backgrounds--including those who are exploring creative writing for the first time--as well as aspiring writers who want to prepare their work for publication. Workshops are modeled on graduate-level creative writing courses, and may include short in-class writing assignments to jumpstart the writing process, as well as work outside of class that will entail reading the work of select published writers, critiquing the work of other workshop participants, and writing a piece to be workshopped by the class. Each participant will receive written comments from the instructor. Workshops are led by accomplished local authors, including students and alumni of the San Jose State University Creative Writing Program.
For more details, click here to read the workshop policies and procedures and the cancellation policy.
The World is the Story: A Fiction Workshop on Dynamic Place
Starting November 10
Running 6 weeks
Instructor: Katie M. Flynn, author of
“World building” is a term often associated with speculative fiction, but as Amitav Ghosh says, “The world of fact is outrunning the world of fiction.” How do we write fiction during times of tremendous flux? In this generative workshop, we’ll explore approaches to writing into uncertainty and building the dynamic world your story needs, with its own rules.
Each week, we’ll study samples of dynamic world building in the form of short stories and novel excerpts from writers such as Lauren Groff, Mohsin Hamid, Amy Hempel, Raven Leilani, Lauren Oyler, George Saunders, and Charles Yu. We’ll read closely with an eye toward how place works in tandem with other craft elements to achieve this effect. Through in-class and at-home writing exercises, participants will test out various strategies for building dynamic worlds. In the second half of the workshop, we’ll shift our focus to writing process: how to explore and expand these newly written pieces into short stories or novel openings, before revising them. Participants will receive constructive feedback on their polished story or novel opening from the instructor, including guidance on publication and other next steps. This class is geared toward writers of literary and speculative fiction alike.
About the Instructor
Katie M. Flynn’s first novel, The Companions, came out in March 2020; it explores life during a prolonged quarantine and a tech company’s answer to loneliness. Her short stories have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Tin House, and many other publications. Katie has been awarded Colorado Review’s Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction and the Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing. She holds an MFA from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Geography from UCLA. Her interlinked collection of short stories, Island Rule, is forthcoming from Scout Press (2022).