Our new anthology in stock! Reckoning: Tennessee Writers on 2020
Order here>

Story Starter

Jan 5
Jan 5
6:00 - 7:30PM CST
Katie McDougall
Online via Zoom
Cancellation & Refund Policy >

In this (free!) ninety-minute crash course in fiction writing, eligible to first-timers to Porch workshops, we’ll romp with the stuff of story. By engaging in a guided, extended writing exercise, we’ll put into play the basic ingredients of fiction—characters, plot/conflict, setting, and aboutness. We’ll build something from nothing, and in the end, walk away with both the beginnings of a draft and a heightened sensibility for story.

Katie McDougall, also a native Nashvillian, first took Fiction Writing as a senior at Colorado College, where she earned her BA in English, and in the twenty-plus years since, she has been writing stories, crafting novels, scribbling in journals, and teaching, reading, selling, breathing literature. She earned her MFA in Fiction Writing at Colorado State University, and her short stories have appeared in BarcelonaReview.com and in Storyglossia.com. Katie’s writing awards have included a four-week writing residency at the Kimmel•Harding•Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska, Association of Writers and Poet Intro. Journals Award Nomination for Colorado State University, and the Paul Gillette Writing Contest Finalist. She is currently in the process of finding a home for her second novel, Lady of the Lake.

Katie has over fifteen years experience as a teacher of literature and creative writing. Since leaving the traditional classroom, she has worked as the Master Teacher in Residence at The Island School in the Bahamas, as an outdoor educator, as a freelance writer, a tutor, and a proud bookseller at Nashville’s fabulous Parnassus Books. Additionally, she has coordinated writing workshops, ranging from the annual one-day Nashville Young Writers Workshop to the week-long Sense of Place Workshop with Richard Bausch at Cape Eleuthera, Bahamas. She has also been a guest teacher of Fiction Writing at the Ah Haa School of Arts in Telluride, Colorado. She is delighted to be a founder of The Porch, through which she hopes to give a little something back to her beloved hometown.

What Our Students Say

"The guided walk through the 21 story starter questions in Story Basics was worth the price of admission in itself, but I really found the entire session quite helpful. I will definitely be taking more Porch classes. What a great resource for Nashville."

"Katie McDougall is a fantastic teacher who is passionate about the subject herself. She gives you all the tools you need as a beginner in fiction writing, with the comfortability of allowing for flexibility and creativity in your own work."

"I was looking for writing techniques I could walk away with, and Story Basics delivered. It was a comfortable, creative, positive space. Excellent!"

more classes

Draft Chat — December 13


Picture It: Vision-Boarding and Intention-Setting

Ciona Rouse


Personal Essay Jumpstart

Susannah Felts