A deep-sea ghost shark is filmed for the first time. A dad mows the lawn calmly as a tornado whirls in the distance. A moldy sandwich that looks like Mickey Mouse is selling for 30 thousand dollars. A truck carrying dough overflows after heat makes the dough rise. We live in a weird world. In this class, we will focus on starting stories that write toward strangeness, stories that may make the bizarre seem normal and that may make the normal seem bizarre. In writing the weird, we'll discuss how strong images, sensory details, and characterization can be used to create stories that are not just strange, but emotionally resonant.
Lee Conell is the author of a novel, The Party Upstairs (Penguin Press), which received the Wallant Award. She’s also the author of the story collection Subcortical (John Hopkins Press), which received The Story Prize's Spotlight Award. Currently she is a Mandel institute Cultural Leadership fellow. She is also the recipient of fellowships and residencies from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Japan-US Creative Artist Fellowship, the Tennessee Arts Commission, Millay Arts, Willapa Bay AiR, and Yaddo. Her stories and essays have appeared in ZYZZYVA, Kenyon Review, Oxford American, Glimmer Train, Guernica, American Short Fiction online, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Paris Review Daily, and her work has won the Chicago Tribune's Nelson Algren Award and been shortlisted in Best American Short Stories and the Pushcart Prize anthology.
"I had a marvelous time with Lee! She created a warm, welcoming environment suitable to all levels of writers."
"Lee is a great instructor who makes sure all participants have an opportunity to contribute!"