This workshop will focus on the short story. Participants are expected to have written at least a couple of short stories and to have some understanding of fictional terms and the rhetoric of fiction. 

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Time: eight Wednesdays, 20:00 to 22:00

Duration: 10 March - 28 April, 2021

Location: Online via Zoom

Description

Open to intermediate writers.

Limited to 12 participants.

This workshop will focus on the short story. Participants are expected to have written at least a couple of short stories and to have some understanding of fictional terms and the rhetoric of fiction. If the term rhetoric of fiction puzzles you, I suggest you read Wayne Booth’s The Rhetoric of Fiction. Another helpful but different text is John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction.

Based on my practice, fiction comes out of the need to employ the imagination to mask or unmask reality in order to understand it better.   

The actual writing stimulus differs with each writer. But once in its thrall, the writer’s imagination takes over. The focus of this workshop will be on understanding and applying the tools of fiction to craft your first drafts. We’ll examine plot, character, point of view, narration, setting, tone, voice, diction, and theme in order to understand how they enhance or alter the fictional work.

I often think of the finished work as a cake, but a cake that can be re-baked. As we master the craft of fiction, we employ these tools, usually with diminished rigour, from the beginning. My hope is that at the end of the workshop, you will have improved what you have already written and have new pieces to work on.


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Workshop leader

Credit: Blaine Adams
Nigel Thomas is a retired professor of United States literature. He has published dozens of essays in literary journals and anthologies as well as eleven books that include five novels and three collections of short stories. His novel Spirits in the Dark was nominated for the QSPELL Hugh MacLennan Fiction Award; No Safeguards, another novel, was nominated for QWF’s Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction.  His new novel, Easily Fooled, will be published in 2021. He is the founder and English-language coordinator of Lectures Logos Readings.

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