Do you like fiction? Check out these 5 panels at this year’s Winter Wheat!
“On Writing Horror: Avoiding Ghastly Clichés,” with Olivia Zolciak and Tanja Vierrether
Creepy dolls, dark basements, experiments gone wrong, and groups splitting up and encountering their inevitable doom. It’s all been done before, but there’s something about the horror genre that keeps readers craving that visceral fear of the unknown and unexplainable. Therefore, it is important to engage readers in a genre that is constantly reproducing similar motifs. In this workshop, we will discuss common horror fiction clichés and how to work in a space defined by them.
Olivia Zolciak is an MA student in English at BGSU and an assistant editor with Mid-American Review.
Tanja Vierrether is an MA student in German at BGSU and an assistant editor with Mid-American Review.
(this workshop will be held on Friday, November 4th from 3:00-4:15pm. If you’re interested in attending this workshop, select A8 when you register!)
“Death in the Afternoon—at Winter Wheat: Writing Believable Death Scenes,” with Nick Heeb
In this workshop, participants will learn innovative ways to write death scenes in their fiction. Participants will have an opportunity to write their scene depicting the death of a character—remember, the death doesn’t need to be violent, it just needs to be authentic. Please come prepared with a character you’re ready to kill off!
Nick Heeb was born in western South Dakota. He is currently working towards an MFA in fiction at BGSU.
(this workshop will be held on Friday, November 4th from 4:30-5:45pm. If you’re interested in attending this workshop, select B4 when you register!)
“Stories as Jokes/Jokes as Stories,” with Samuel J. Adams
In this workshop, we will examine jokes and stories that follow a punch line/non-sequitur structure. After reading Saki’s exemplary The Open Window, we will review academic theories of jokes and then briefly discuss fictional works that follow this structure, along with some time-honored jokes and acts from comedians who have mastered the art of storytelling. After that, we will generate stories that adhere to this structure, either by fleshing out a joke we already know, or turning a humorous instance from our lives into comedic writing. A few participants will perform their work at the end of class.
Samuel J. Adams was born in Japan and grew up in Northern California. Before entering BGSU’s MFA program in fiction, he taught school in Estonia, wrote for lifestyle magazines, made wine, and managed a vocational program for adults with disabilities. And no, he is not named after the beer.
(this workshop will be held on Saturday, November 5th from 9:30-10:45am. If you’re interested in attending this workshop, select C2 when you register!)
“The Protruding Moment in Fiction,” with Brad Felver
This session will investigate the “protruding moment” in fiction—big, often bizarre, memorable events that tend to stick in the reader’s brain long after finishing reading. We will consider what makes a moment truly protrude: the anatomy of them, their benefits and potential pitfalls, and how to structure stories to best make use of them. Ultimately, we will start sketching out some ideas for protruding moments in our own work.
Brad Felver’s stories have recently appeared in One Story, Colorado Review, Harpur Palate, and Zone 3, among other places. He teaches at BGSU.
(this workshop will be held on Saturday, November 5th from 11:00-12:15pm. If you’re interested in attending this workshop, select D3 when you register!)
“Have Some Backbone: Using Unexpected Structures to Challenge Your Prose,” with Jameelah Lang
As a writer, it’s sometimes easy to fall into expected patterns in your work, depending upon a few reliable tricks for plot, structure, and language; this can lead to a writing rut or prevent your work from making leaps and strides. We will amass new tools for dealing with structure in prose, taking a critical lens to the ways that emerging and experimental writers disrupt structural patterns. We will discuss examples of interesting patterns in text, song, and film, establish some ground rules for how they are used, and practice applying them to our own work in freewrites and writing exercises.
Jameelah Lang is an Assistant Professor of English at Franklin College and holds a PhD in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Houston. Her fiction recently appears in The Kenyon Review and Pleiades. She has received awards from Bread Loaf, Sewanee, VCCA, and Hub City Writers Project.
(this workshop will be held on Saturday, November 5th from 3:00-4:15pm. If you’re interested in attending this workshop, select F6 when you register!)