The first chapter of a novel or the beginning of a short story is an invitation from writer to reader to embark on a journey together. In this four-week generative writing class, we’ll dissect novel, chapter, and story starts to uncover the implicit agreement between writer and reader, characters and story, place and plot that informs the beginning of all compelling stories. Then, we’ll apply what we’ve noticed to our own work using writing prompts and exercises to craft first sentences and first paragraphs that will invite and inspire continued reading.
Note: No class on 11/22.
Sheree L. Greer is a text-based artist and educator living in Tampa, Florida. In 2014, she founded The Kitchen Table Literary Arts Center to showcase and support the work of Black women and women of color writers and is the author of two novels, Let the Lover Be and A Return to Arms, a short story collection, Once and Future Lovers, and a student writing guide, Stop Writing Wack Essays. Her work has been published in First Bloom Anthology, LezTalk Anthology, VerySmartBrothas, Autostraddle, The Windy City Times, Bleed Literary Journal, and the Windy City Queer Anthology: Dispatches from the Third Coast. Sheree has received a Union League of Chicago Civic Arts Foundation award, earned her MFA at Columbia College Chicago, and is a VONA/VOICES alum, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice grantee, Yaddo fellow, and Ragdale Artist House Rubin Fellow. Her essay, "Bars" published in Fourth Genre Magazine, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and notably named in Best American Essays 2019, and her latest essay, "None of this is Bullshit" was published at The Rumpus and featured in "Memoir Mondays."
Throughout this difficult year, I've been interacting in online group settings often. Sometimes when the video ends and I close my computer, I feel more alone than ever. But with this class, my experience was different. Every week, class would end and I would still feel connected. And throughout the week leading up to class, I didn't feel alone in my writing. I felt like there were ten or so other students and our amazing teacher, Sheree, cheering me on and waiting for us to gather again in community. It was safe and sacred. That safety was 100% created by the tone Sheree set for our time together.
Now that Sheree found a way to “unblock” my case of writer’s block, I am writing more, feel energized and can trust myself to let it all out creatively. Wow, what a gift! Thank you to Sheree!!
Sheree is so knowledgeable and one of the most supportive and encouraging teachers I have ever encountered. It was a joy to be a part of her class and I will be looking out for future classes she is offering.