Support Porch programming and Nashville's literary community by becoming a member!

The Scent of a Story: Using Olfactory Inspiration to Generate New Writing

Feb 28
Feb 28
7:00 - 9:00 PM CT
Loie Rawding
The Porch House at 2811 Dogwood Pl., Nashville, TN 37204
Cancellation & Refund Policy >

“Scents are the stealth weapons of the senses. They head directly to the emotional parts of the brain, bypassing rationality. The memories they evoke are rich, immersive things, three-dimensional and intimate.” – Erica Bauermeister, author of The Scent Keeper

The Porch has teamed up with local artisans, OSM (Olfactory Sense Memory), to create an immersive workshop that will celebrate the power of scent to instigate our most tender and true writing. We will sample four custom fragrances and respond to them with writing exercises thoughtfully curated to generate exciting new work. We will also discuss this vastly underrepresented sense through the lens of literary works by Carmen Maria Machado, Patrick Suskind, and William Carlos Williams, among others. All genres encouraged. Participants will go home with a discovery kit of all four scents to continue the writing process at home.

Loie Rawding grew up on the coast of Maine, which remains a complex site and source for her writing. Her debut novel, Tight Little Vocal Cords (KERNPUNKT), was a Finalist for the Big Other Book Awards and a Lambda Literary Most Anticipated Book of 2020. Other work has been featured internationally in SAND, The Ekphrastic Review, 3:AM Magazine, The Wanderer, and The Critical Flame, among others. In addition to teaching at The Porch, Loie is a creative mentor, editor, and book reviewer. She lives in East Nashville. Find her at:

What Our Students Say

“Loie was a terrific instructor. She built a strong rapport immediately with her students and led reflective discussions. Her written reviews are thorough and it is clear she puts a significant amount of time into the organization of the class. I was inspired and challenged by her comments and with each session.”

“Loie was wonderful. She treated everyone's work with equal seriousness and insight, fostered a supportive atmosphere among the group, and really motivated us to do our best work. I'll absolutely recommend her classes to others.”

“Loie is so supportive. She forced us all to really dig deep into what story we were all trying to tell in our first drafts. I’m thankful for all the feedback and advice on how to pursue publishing that she was able to offer. I’d love to take another class from her again!”

more classes

Writing Setting: Reaching Deeper into Real and Imaginary Spaces

Lee Conell


Novel Jumpstart

Lucas Schaefer


Point of View and Voice

Katie McDougall