In this course, we will write a series of short personal essays using a range of approaches in style, structure and point of view. Whether it is a story you’ve told many times, one you’ve wanted to tell, or one you don’t think you can tell, this course will offer you ways in and around your particular story. We will ask ourselves why we tell the stories we tell; what we might gain from telling the same story from different perspectives; and how our own telling might alter the past, allowing it to become deeper and richer. Often it is in the reconstruction of our lives that we are able to collapse time, interrogate the fiction of memory, and come to terms with the chaos and confusion of the past. We will write a lot in this workshop, using a variety of narrative methods and strategies to discover new ways of telling our truth(s). We will end the week with a workshop of our favorite pieces.
Suzanne Scanlon is the author of the novel Promising Young Women (2013) as well as Her 37th Year, An Index, which was chosen by Allan Gurganus for The Iowa Review fiction prize. Her fiction has appeared in many journals, including Bomb Magazine, The Iowa Review, The American Scholar, and DIAGRAM, and she writes about theater for the Chicago Reader and Time Out Chicago. She is a professor of creative writing at Columbia College Chicago, and was recently a Visiting Writer in Roosevelt University’s M.F.A. program.