Good stories start from vague ideas, character sketches, images, seemingly random thoughts, odd bits of language and rhythm. But how to put these into motion to get a story started—and moving forward? This new year, commit to getting that story idea out of your head and onto the page. “Liftoff” is a 4-week intensive writing workshop geared toward helping you make something happen.
Each week will feature a series of writing prompts designed to help you “grow” your draft—perhaps in ways you hadn’t anticipated. We’ll discuss ways of clarifying story ideas, deepening characters, making setting vivid and essential, and sustaining scenes. We will look at some examples from successful stories as models, but the focus is on you: there will be a constant conversation about your work and continual feedback throughout. In the final week, we’ll all comment on the drafts in progress and talk about possibilities.
What this workshop is not about: perfection. What it is about: experimentation. Ready to get out of your comfort zone? All levels welcome. Come with a rough draft, an idea that’s been knocking around, or nothing but the willingness to take some chances.
Anne Sanow is the author of the story collection Triple Time, winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize and the PEN New England Award for Fiction. Twice a fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center, her awards include the Nelson Algren Award for Short Fiction from the Chicago Tribune and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She currently lives and writes in New Orleans.