The Writer's Studio: Emergency! Writing Vital Drama

Mon November 28th 2022, 6:00 - 7:30pm
Event Sponsor
Hume Center for Writing and Speaking, Stanford Storytelling Project, Creative Writing Program

Hannah Olinger

On November 28, please join us for Emergency! Writing Vital Drama, a Writer's Studio workshop hosted by Shannon Pufahl.

The very word “emergency” derives from the phenomenon of emergence, the experience of an object or concept or circumstance becoming suddenly visible. As we know from our recent, contemporary emergencies, dramatic or dangerous events can reveal great forces such as inequality, kindness, community, and anxiety. In fiction, emergencies are often much smaller in scale – a fight with a friend, a death, a divorce – but they, too, reveal and make visible things about character, relationships, and truths. In this workshop, we’ll practice writing scenes of great drama or conflict as a way of surfacing elements of character and theme. In particular, we’ll study setting and physical gesture as techniques that heighten drama and produce feelings of fear or anxiety in readers, in the service of emerging truths.

Shannon Pufahl is a Jones Lecturer in the Creative Writing Program and the author of the novel On Swift Horses. She is a former Stegner Fellow in Fiction. She grew up in rural Kansas. For many years she worked as a freelance music writer and bartender. Her essays, on topics ranging from eighteenth-century America to her childhood, have appeared in The Threepenny Review, The Paris Review, and elsewhere.