Longfellow Writing Camp and a Reading Tonight

As I blogged a few months ago, I’m the fiction instructor at this week’s Longfellow Writing Camp. I finished my second day of instruction today, and it’s been a real blast so far. Class sizes are around 10 students, all of them high school aged. I’ve been impressed with how dedicated they are to improving and learning. They’ve been a talkative group.

I’ve had each group for three hours, and I’ll say that trying to get through an overview of fiction in three hours is . . . daunting. There’s a ton of material to cover, and I feel like I’m doing it with a fire hose. Part of me feels like it might be better just to focus on a couple of principles. Another part wants me to just blurt out all the stuff I can think of on the hope that different pieces of it will stick with different people, depending on what they need.

Either way, it seems like they’ve been having a good time so far. A ton of them really want to write fantasy, so I’ve had plenty to say about that. The trick has been keeping things broad enough for a larger audience. Next class period, we’ll be workshopping most of the time, so it should be a different approach then, that will be more tailored to each student. Should be fun.

And tonight, I’ll be doing a public reading as part of the camp. I’ve been thinking about what I want to read, and after talking to my students today, I think I’ll go with the first chapter of UTOPIA, most likely. They were all much more interested in hearing something they couldn’t hear anywhere else than they were with having me read something they could buy. Fair enough.

Though I do wonder how the writing will play out, narrated. The voice in that piece is so . . . unique. There’s a chance I chicken out and just do chapter one of MURDER CASTLE, instead.

We shall see.

In any case, if you’re in the area tonight at 7pm and want to come by the Emery Arts Center, please do!


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