(Summer20) Noepe Visiting Workshop: Hala Alyan - Telling Difficult Stories

07/06/2020 11:00 AM - 07/10/2020 12:30 PM ET


Writing Workshop with Hala Alyan
Telling Difficult Stories
Dates: Monday, July 6th - Friday, July 10th
Time: 11:00AM-12:30PM EST
Location: â€‹online via Zoom
Fee: $250
Class Size Limit: 12 students

Telling Difficult Stories
Write straight into the emotional center of things. Write toward vulnerability, Anne Lamott says of storytelling. Annie Dillard takes it even further by saying, Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. Years earlier, Maya Angelou noted, There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. This course will explore the intersection of these three concepts: how to tell the stories we must, as abundantly and generously as we can, with as much truth as they deserve. In this workshop, students will be given writing prompts to write about "difficult" (read: complicated, nuanced, charged) topics, as well as critically read a range of contemporary fiction. We’ll also look to these readings to analyze how narrative pervades everything, to learn to ask better questions about character motivations and plot development, and to explore how fiction can be the perfect, fertile ground to sift through necessary (if thorny) questions.

Bio: Hala Alyan is a Palestinian American writer and clinical psychologist whose work has appeared in The New York TimesGuernia and elsewhere. Her poetry collections have won the Arab American Book Award and the Crab Orchard Series. Her debut novel, SALT HOUSES, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2017, and was the winner of the Arab American Book Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Her newest poetry collection, THE TWENTY-NINTH YEAR, was recently published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which is also publishing her forthcoming novel THE ARSONISTS' CITY.