Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Writing in the Moment: A Writing Workshop

ENGL 412.640
R 5:30-8:10
MCNB 103

As writers, whether aspiring or professional, we often struggle over how to tell our stories most effectively. We focus on techniques--leads, pacing, wording, point of view, action, dialogue and plot--because we want to inspire, if not compel, our readers to stay with us from beginning to end in this dream we're weaving with words. We search for language that that will allow the reader to visualize and experience all the nuances lurking in the details. We revise and polish. Yet more often than not, when a perfect line comes to us, when the shape of an entire novel appears, or when we hear fresh music and poetry and solutions to problems plaguing us, we say, "It sprang out of nowhere." It came "unbidden" as we emptied the garbage, shampooed our hair, walked by the river, danced across the room or settled into sleep. In this workshop, we will tap into that "nowhere" place, that deep inner wellspring of creativity that resides within us all. By using film, literature, meditation, guided visualization, music, and a mindful practice of breathing, we will work to be in the moment and to write out of that moment. Whether writers are composing short stories or personal essays, they will find fresh ways of looking at, seeing, and opening up to their characters and their subjects. Readings will include short stories, poetry and essays. Workshop sessions will include peer responses, in-class exercises and writing.

fulfills requirements