The Power of Literary Constraints: Unleash Truer (& Harder) Truths

JEANNINE OUELLETTE is the author of the memoir The Part That Burns (Split/Lip Press, 2021), the children’s book Mama Moon, and several educational titles. Her stories and essays have appeared widely, and her work has been supported with fellowships from Millay Colony for the Arts and Brush Creek Foundation. She is the recipient of a Margarita Donnelly Prize, Curt Johnson Fiction Award, Proximity Essay Award, Masters Review Emerging Writer’s Award, two recent Pushcart nominations, as well as awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Medill School of Journalism. Her work has been praised by Joyce Carol Oates as “simply beautiful, precisely imagined, poetically structured, compelling, and vivid.”

July 17, 2022 | Online via Zoom

12pm Pacific | 1pm Mountain |2pm Central | 3pm Eastern

We all want to grab and hold our readers’ attention, which requires bringing our words to life on the page. But writing about painful and traumatic experiences in a way that engages, transforms, and inspires readers (and you, the writer!) is especially challenging. Luckily, entering into the material through an unexpected “side door” can make all the difference. Prompts and constraints in the style of the French surrealists and the renowned Oulipo (“workshop of potential literature”) can breathe life into your writing and unleash your fierce original voice.

Plus, these methods are playful and fun. You’ll find yourself asking, in wonder and delight, “where did that come from?!” The literary devices and approaches we’ll cover in this session are universally effective for producing more startling, vivid, and original imagery no matter your topic, and they’re especially useful for anyone writing about trauma.

Registration is now closed.

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