“Great novels are above all great fairy tales,” Vladimir Nabokov once lectured. Fairy tales are embedded into our psyches and, almost universally, follow a clear framework. How can writers work such formulaic structure to our advantage? What can we mine from these age-old stories and their rich lessons in conflict, high-stakes obstacles, compelling character desires, and creative ways out of adversity?
In this generative three-hour session, we’ll borrow structural elements from traditional tales. Through writing prompts and exercises, we’ll play with these blueprints and push our imaginations into the realm of endless possibility. The focus of this class is not on fairy tale retellings, but rather how we can work with and against the flatter aspects of the form to round out our own narratives. Whether you’re in search of a new idea or sculpting in-progress material, we’ll experiment with the devices that first taught us how to tell stories.
Come prepared to talk about your favorite fairy tale.
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Lara Hughes grew up in a small town outside of Frankfurt, Germany. She holds an MFA in Fiction from Vanderbilt University where she also served as an undergraduate instructor in creative writing and Nonfiction Editor for the Nashville Review. Her work has received honorable mention from Glimmer Train and been supported by the New York State Summer Writers Institute. She is currently at work on a collection of stories.
Lara is new to The Porch. Welcome!