Outdoor Fiction Workshop!

Having grown up in California, my tolerance for cold is pretty low. But last week, we had a few days here in New Haven that were something close to downright hot! I’m always thrown into a slight panic when the weather begins to change. It’s easy enough to curl up in a library and write 3000 words about digital film preservation when there’s a blizzard going on outside, but the task becomes exponentially harder once other people are playing spike ball on Cross Campus.

Luckily, you don’t always have to choose! Last week, my class (Advanced Fiction Writing) took our workshop outside. We sat in the Jonathan Edwards College courtyard around one gigantic picnic table. Adv. Fiction is one of my favorite classes–not just this semester, but possibly of all time. Each student writes a short story of up to 25 pages in length. Then, the professor (in this case Prof. Michael Cunningham) and the rest of the class give verbal/written feedback on the story THREE times. This means that your story goes through three revisions, and by the end of the semester, you likely have something that is very close to publishable. 

The JE Courtyard is definitely one of the better places to hold an outdoor class. For one thing, it has picnic tables of appropriate size. For another, the famous JE tulips are in full bloom right now. It was so nice to spend a lovely afternoon outside reading stories!