In this workshop, we will take Raymond Carver’s advice as our point of departure (“Get in, get out. Don’t linger. Go on.”) and explore the virtues of writing short stories, short exercises, and other short forms, and the downside of “lingering” in fiction. We will operate as a traditional workshop, where we will discuss and critique work brought from home, but we will also complete several in-class exercises and prompts that will challenge us to move on to the next story: no dilly-dallying, no lollygagging, no planning things out in advance, no waiting around so long that our doubts have time to get the best of us, the way those doubts always do. We will also discuss the importance of having several short “read aloud” pieces in your repertoire, why it’s helpful to think of your story as an “exercise,” and why you should take every opportunity to present your work to an audience. Required: participants will bring copies of an original short story of 12-20 pages in length. This class welcomes fiction writers at all levels: beginning, intermediate, or advanced.
Anthony Varallo is the author of This Day in History, winner of the John Simmons Short Fiction Award; Out Loud, winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize; Think of Me and I’ll Know (Northwestern University Press/TriQuarterly Books); and Everyone Was There, winner of the 2016 Elixir Press Fiction Prize, forthcoming in 2017 from Elixir Press. Currently he is an associate professor of English at the College of Charleston, where he is the fiction editor of Crazyhorse.