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Read Like a Writer: Short Fiction

The best way to improve as a writer is to write. The second best way is to read and analyze contemporary literature. Join us for this reader series class where we will take a deep dive into the craft of one short story each month. We’ll unpack character, structure, dialogue, plot, details, theme, tone, cultural context and more using examples from a wide variety of the greatest contemporary fiction writers. We’ll also discuss what we can takeaway and learn for our own writing styles, projects, and processes. Copies of the stories will be provided in advance of each class. Join us for advanced-level craft lessons, writer-centered discussion, and great reading. 

Session 1

Jan 5: “The Paper Menagerie” – Ken Liu
Feb 2: “The Heads of the Colored People: Four Fancy Sketches, Two Chalk Outlines, and No Apology” – Nafissa Thompson-Spires
Mar 2: “Standard Loneliness Package” – Charles Yu
Apr 6: “Light” – Lesley Nneka Arimah

Session 2

May 4: “The Largesse of the Sea Maiden” – Denis Johnson
June 1: “The Metal Bowl” – Miranda July
July 6: “Refresh, Refresh” – Benjamin Percy
Aug 3: “End of the Line” – Aimee Bender

Session 3

Sep 7: “Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom” – Ted Chiang
Oct 5: “The Husband Stitch” – Carmen Maria Machado
Nov 2: “Guidance/The Party” – Jen George
Dec 7: “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves” – Karen Russell

Instructor: Matt Weinkam is a writer, editor, instructor and the executive director of Literary Cleveland. His work has been published in Denver Quarterly, Sonora Review, New South, DIAGRAM, and Electric Literature. He holds an MA in creative writing from Miami University, an MFA in fiction from Northern Michigan University, and he has taught creative writing as far away as Sun Yat-sen University in Zhuhai, China. 

Details: Read Like a Writer: Short Fiction with Matt Weinkam will meet the first Tuesday of each month from 7-8:30pm using Zoom video conferencing. 

Zoom Info: Register for the class and Lit Cleveland will send you an invitiation and instructions on how to attend via Zoom. All you need is a good internet connection and a computer or smartphone with a camera. Not sure if your system is compatible? Just click here. Have any questions about online classes? Email or call associate director Matt Weinkam at mweinkam@litcleveland.org

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