How we represent our selves in short stories will be the focus of this workshop. We won’t be writing autobiographical short stories as such, but “autofictions” and “autobiografictions.” The critic Max Saunders sees the “autobiograficiton” as the relationship “between fiction and a self’s autobiography” while “autofiction” is the relationship between “fiction and a self.” Think of it this way: Some stories cast the self as a trickster looking in a funhouse mirror while in others the self has written him or herself into a witness protection program of sorts, disguised but still essentially the same person. We’ll be dealing with both in this workshop, exploring autobiography fictionally (an outer story that didn’t happen, drawn around an inner journey that did) and we’ll also be writing selves that are fictional, using our real names.
Robin Hemley has published 12 books of fiction and nonfiction (including four collections of short stories), and his works have won many awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship; three Pushcart Prizes, two in fiction and one in nonfiction; The Nelson Algren Award for the Short Story from The Chicago Tribune; The Story Magazine Humor Prize; The George Garrett Award for Fiction; The Independent Press Book Award; the Editor’s Choice Award from The American Library Association, and others. His stories have been widely anthologized in such publications as The Best American Fantasy, the Sudden Fiction series from Norton, Writing Fiction, the Pushcart Prize Anthology, The Southern Review, Ploughshares, The Iowa Review, and heard on National Public Radio’s “Selected Shorts.” He is a graduate of The Iowa Writers’ Workshop and former director of The Nonfiction Writing Program at The University of Iowa. His work has been widely published in The U.S., the U.K, Australia, Singapore, China, The Philippines, Hong Kong, Canada, Japan and Germany. Hemley is currently the Director of the Writing Program and Writers’ Centre at Yale-NUS College in Singapore, where he is also Writer-in-Residence and Professor of Humanities.