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The Origins of the Original with Visiting Writer Rebecca Makkai

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SOLD OUT
IN PROGRESS
Saturday
Apr 30
-
Apr 30
2:00 - 4:00PM CST
INSTRUCTOR:
Rebecca Makkai
LOCATION:
Online via Zoom
$
68
FOR MEMBERS
$
75
FOR non-MEMBERS
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When we sit down to write, the first words, scenes, characters, conflicts, and settings we come up with are often the least original ones of which we’re capable. Digging past the obvious, the stock (and even the products of the collective unconscious), we might finally arrive at stories that are strikingly new and memorable. In this class we’ll cover some key elements of originality -- specificity, idiosyncrasy, complexity, repetition, and change -- and talk about accessing them both in drafting and revision.

For writing to succeed, it must be both well-executed and original. While originality might seem intuitive, or even a product of the writer’s personality, it’s in fact a skill that can be sharpened. That’s what we’ll be doing.


Rebecca Makkai latest novel, The Great Believers, was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award; it was the winner of the ALA Carnegie Medal, the Stonewall Book Award, the LA Times Book Prize, the Clark Fiction Prize, the Midwest Independent Booksellers Award, and the Chicago Review of Books Award; and it was one of the New York Times' Ten Best Books of 2018. Her other books are the novels The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House, and the collection Music for Wartime -- four stories from which appeared in The Best American Short Stories. Rebecca is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University. She is Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago. Visit her at RebeccaMakkai.com or on twitter@rebeccamakkai.

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