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Off Campus Writers' Workshop - OCWW

Abby Geni - Writing the Short Story Collection

  • May 30, 2024
  • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
  • ONSITE - 620 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka, IL /REMOTE

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What makes a strong, cohesive short story collection? Many writers feel confident in their individual stories but question how to bring them together into something greater. How do you find a central theme to build the collection around? Which should come first: the finished stories or the idea that unites them? How can you be sure that your stories are interacting with one another in compelling and resonant ways? Are your stories too different from one another—or not different enough? Award-winning author Abby Geni will share her insights about the daunting task of creating a collection that is more than the sum of its parts. We will discuss the process of writing stories that balance and complement one another. We will talk about how to order your stories, how to make sure they build on one another, how to determine which are the strongest and weakest, how to revise each piece with the larger whole in mind, and how to know when your collection is complete.

Abby Geni is the author of The Wildlands, The Lightkeepers, The Last Animal, and a forthcoming short story collection, The Body Farm, which will be published in the spring of 2024. Her books have been translated into seven languages and have won the Barnes & Noble Discover Award and the Chicago Review of Books Awards, among other honors. Her short stories have won first place in the Glimmer Train Fiction Open and the Chautauqua Contest and have been published or are forthcoming in numerous journals, including The Missouri Review, Epoch, Ninth Letter, and New Stories from the Midwest. Geni is a faculty member at StoryStudio Chicago and frequently serves as Visiting Associate Professor of Fiction at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.

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