Special Evening Session 6:30-8:30 PM
All writers borrow a little. But when writers take too much, the resulting work can sometimes feel stale, even false. After all, as the writer Katherine Mansfield said, stories ought to “speak to the secret self we all have.” In this session, we’ll explore how to tap into this strange, secret self, how to harvest our own creativity and originality and steer clear of cliché, even as we’re awash in a sea of culture and media. We’ll study published work, considering how these authors push past the mundane and the expected, choosing details that surprise readers. We’ll conclude with exercises to help unlock the potential strangeness in our own writing.
Ben Hoffman's fiction has won the Chicago Tribune's Nelson Algren Award and Zoetrope's Short Fiction Contest. His work also appears in Granta, The Missouri Review, The Southern Review and other journals. The recipient of a Carol Houck Smith Fellowship from the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, he teaches creative writing at the University of Chicago and StoryStudio Chicago.
6-6:30 Registration and Socializing
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