7. Clark Blaise - Workshop: “The North American Style in Short Story Writing”

(This is purely descriptive, not proscriptive). Every culture has its own imperatives, its "sense of self" and ways of creating believable characters, incorporating drama, conflict, interiority, guilt, pride, the use of the past. What constitute "resolution" in the American story? What is the role of society, religion, politics, history? What about humor or satire? Who is the imagined audience—does the writer serve the audience or him/herself? This workshop will show writers how to address these topics, which are germane to the nature of the characters, the story, the plot, the style, and the language in putting together a successful short story. The “North American Style” is just an example; this will address a style of writing that is appropriate for any culture.

clark blaise

Clark Blaise is a Canadian-American author of twenty books, and co-editor of seven more; ten of them story collections, three of them novels, and seven non-fiction works ranging through literary criticism, travel, memoir, biography, investigative journalism and most recently The Cruelest Gift (2016), a medical-memoir of his family's struggle with inherited diseases. He served as Director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, and founded the graduate writing program at Concordia University in Montreal, now Canada's largest. He has taught at McGill and Concordia, Columbia, Skidmore, Emory, Cal-Berkeley, Iowa, NYU and Sarah Lawrence. He holds three honorary degrees (Denison University, his alma mater, McGill and Concordia), and has lectured in thirty countries. He is an officer in the Order of Canada, and holds a lifetime achievement award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.