Reflection means: bend back. We’re so often told “Show, don’t tell,” but good writing frequently employs telling — the reflective writer tells us what an experience means. So what is the difference between telling something well and telling it poorly? We’ll examine stellar examples of reflection in prose and poetry and we will practice the four artful ways of telling—reflecting wisely—while avoiding over-explanation and other pitfalls.
Heather Sellers, a Florida native, is the author of a popular textbook, The Practice of Creative Writing, as well as Page After Page and Chapter After Chapter. She’s written a children’s book with Amy Young, and three volumes of poetry, numerous chapbooks, a collection of linked short stories titled Georgia Under Water, and a memoir, You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know, featured in O, the Oprah Magazine and an O book-of-the month club pick. Editor’s Choice at the New York Times, her memoir was also featured on NPR, the Today Show, Good Morning America, and The Rachael Ray Show. Her recent essays appear in The New York Times, Reader’s Digest, Real Simple, Good Housekeeping, The Sun, and O, the Oprah Magazine. Her essay “Haywire” was selected for the Best American Essays by Leslie Jamison and “Pedal, Pedal, Pedal,” won a Pushcart Prize in 2018.
She taught for many years at Hope College where she was 2011 H.O.P.E Professor of the Year. Currently she is a faculty member in the undergraduate and the MFA creative writing programs at the University of South Florida, where she was awarded a university teaching award in 2017. Her book, Field Notes from the Flood Zone, is forthcoming from BOA in May 2022.
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