Joan Didion once said, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” Isn’t there a lot of truth in this? Think of a typical day. How much are stories—narrative—part of your daily experience, at home, at work, on the street? This nuts and bolts fiction workshop will focus on the discussion of work already in progress as well as the generation of new work. For me, a good story has got to have some blood in its veins, it’s got to be alive on the page. To this end, we’ll be working on the myriad ways to make our work more vital, more vivid, more essential, oh, and yes, of course, more entertaining. We’ll also be reading and discussing published stories, and a bit of poetry, too. Poets have much to teach us prose writers.
Peter Orner is the author of two novels The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo and Love and Shame and Love and two story collections Esther Stories and Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge, all published by Little, Brown. His latest book, an essay collection/ memoir, Am I Alone Here?: Notes on Reading to Live and Living to Read. Peter’s fiction and non-fiction has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Granta, The Paris Review, McSweeney’s, The Southern Review, Ploughshares and many other publications. Stories have been anthologized in Best American Stories and twice received a Pushcart Prize. Peter has received numerous other awards including California Book Award, the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Writing, the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Lannan Fellowship. In 2017-2018, Peter was a Fulbright U.S. Scholar in Namibia where he taught at the University of Namibia. Peter is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College. He also regularly teaches on the fiction faculty at the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.