May critical reading is tonight!

Tonight is the night! Join us at 7PM at the Capital Club for a discussion of A Tiny Feast by Chris Adrian.

Questions to ponder beforehand:

  1. This story juxtaposes the fantastic and the tragic. How are the two worlds blended? What details on either side of the coin make this believable? What does this accomplish in the reader?
  2. The main characters are utterly unrealistic yet relatable–what details give them depth? Which bits of dialogue in particular help build the characters?
  3. The boy at the center of the story is kept mostly silent–what does this accomplish?
  4. How does the author shape or present grief in a way that keeps the story from veering into melodrama? How does the sentence structure “package” the grief?

That’s it for questions. Bring your thoughts on this piece and your own questions to tonight’s meeting.

Each month, the reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend. The Capital Club is located on the lobby floor of the Doubletree Suites Hotel on South Front Street. Get more details in this ancient blog post.

Check back next week when we’ll be posting discussion questions for you to mull over before the meetup.

Questions? Comments? Got a story you’d love to discuss? Send them to the workshop moderator at nick@ohiowriters.org. See you there!

May Critical Reading

Do you believe in fairies? Do you? If you do, clap your hands and join us for the May critical reading discussion, where we’ll be reading A Tiny Feast by Chris Adrian, a tale of fairies and leukemia. The full text of this story can be found here.

This month’s discussion will take place May 24th at 7:00 PM at the Columbus Capital Club.

Each month, the reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend. The Capital Club is located on the lobby floor of the Doubletree Suites Hotel on South Front Street. Get more details in this ancient blog post.

Check back next week when we’ll be posting discussion questions for you to mull over before the meetup.

Questions? Comments? Got a story you’d love to discuss? Send them to the workshop moderator at nick@ohiowriters.org. See you there!

Critical Reading is Tonight!

Join us tonight for a discussion of Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber. The meeting will take place at the Capital Club at 7 PM.

Here are a few questions for you to chew over before the meeting:

  1. The author attempts to use the narrative voice to help construct the setting–did you find any phrases, sentence structures, or vocabulary to be particularly Victorian? Where there any instances where the author failed in this attempt? Any instances where she broke the Victorian voice for something more modern?
  2. This is, ostensibly, a thriller or work of suspense–how did the pacing work for you? How did you feel about the placement of the details/instances that were used to bring out about the rising tension?
  3. The author spends a lot of space in this story constructing a certain tension between the male gaze and female lust–how did you feel about these passages? Were they artfully constructed? Did they convey the author’s intent?
  4. The works of Debussy are a recurring theme in this story. If you have time, listen to Debussy’s Nuages (which translates to clouds). You can find a recording of the piece here. Do you find the story to be reminiscent of this piece of music?
  5. How did you feel about the ending? This short story was first published in 1979–do you thing that this ending would have “passed muster” if it were submitted for publishing now?

That’s it for questions. Bring your thoughts on this piece and your own questions about it to tonight’s meeting.

Each month, the reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend. The Capital Club is located on the lobby floor of the Doubletree Suites Hotel on South Front Street. Get more details in this ancient blog post.

Check back next week when we’ll be posting discussion questions for you to mull over before the meetup.

Questions? Comments? Got a story you’d love to discuss? Send them to the workshop moderator at nick@ohiowriters.org. See you there!

April Critical Reading Workshop

April is the cruelest month (according to T.S. Eliot), so for this month’s critical reading discussion we’ll be reading Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber–a modern retelling of the French folktale of the notoriously cruel Bluebeard.  The full text of this story can be found here.

This month’s discussion will be held Wednesday April 19 at 7 pm.

Each month, the reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend. The Capital Club is located on the lobby floor of the Doubletree Suites Hotel on South Front Street. Get more details in this ancient blog post.

Check back next week when we’ll be posting discussion questions for you to mull over before the meetup.

Questions? Comments? Got a story you’d love to discuss? Send them to the workshop moderator at nick@ohiowriters.org. See you there!

March Critical Reading Workshop

Spring is just around the corner and so is the March Critical Reading Workshop! Join us at the Capital Club on March 15th at 7pm to discuss Michael Chabon’s Werewolves in Their Youth. This story can be found online here and by searching for “Werewolves in Their Youth Full Text.”

Each month, the reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend. The Capital Club is located on the lobby floor of the Doubletree Suites Hotel on South Front Street. Get more details in this ancient blog post.

Check back next week when we’ll be posting discussion questions for you to mull over before the meetup.

Questions? Comments? Got a story you’d love to discuss? Send them to the workshop moderator at heather@ohiowriters.org. See you there!

Folk and Fiction Lineup For March 19th

Our next Folk & Fiction event is set for Sunday, March 19th from 3:00-5:00pm at Java Central Cafe in Westerville (20 S. State St.). Be sure to mark your calendars and come support the CCC and our creative talent, which for the next event is:

Tonja Matney Reynolds (author) – Tonja hails from southwest Ohio and is writing a historical novel set in an Appalachian coal town in the 1930s. Her short fiction has been included in Best of Ohio Short Stories: Volume II, Streetlight Magazine and has been accepted for publication in The Bookends Review. She can be followed at tonjasmusings.blogspot.com.

Darren Demarree (poet) – Darren C. Demaree is the author of six poetry collections, most recently “Many Full Hands Applauding Inelegantly (2016, 8th House Publishing).  He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry.  He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.

Jon Morgan (songwriter) – A finalist in the Columbus Songwriters Association 2016 showcase, Jon believes there’s no difference between a good book and a good song – both can take you somewhere, teach you something, and leave you holding onto something worth remembering. With a background in English and Writing, Jon’s music is genuine and the stories he tells through song are wide-ranging and powerful.

Victoria Meadows (songwriter) – Tonja hails from southwest Ohio and is writing a historical novel set in an Appalachian coal town in the 1930s. Her short fiction has been included in Best of Ohio Short Stories: Volume II, Streetlight Magazine and has been accepted for publication in The Bookends Review. She can be followed at tonjasmusings.blogspot.com.

You couldn’t ask for a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon. See you there!

Murakami Reading Workshop Tonight!

Hope you all had a mushy Valentine’s Day, but it’s time to get cerebral again. Join us tonight at 7 p.m. at the Capital Club for our critical reading workshop. We’re reading Haruki Murakami’s The Kangaroo Communique. You may rightly ask how we’ve made it this far into our workshop without reading Murakami. I can only say I’m sorry.

Below are some discussion questions to think about while you read. If you don’t have time to read the story (It’s really short, but you’re really busy!) no worries. Come anyway and bask in Murakami’s beautiful prose. He will never disappoint you.

Hope to see you tonight. This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend. See you at 7.

Questions? Comments? Contact the workshop moderator at heather@ohiowriters.org

The Kangaroo Communique Discussion Questions

  1. This story doesn’t have a central plot–what’s offered instead and how does the author keep the reader engaged?
  2. One of the things that the story offers in lieu of a plot is narrative twists and tangents–which was the most effective to you and why?
  3. This could easily have been like the sort of thing you write in high school to show how smart you are. What elevates it?
  4. “Aspiring to incompleteness” seems like a phrase that deconstructs itself, or, at the least, is recursive–how does the story reflect this?
  5. The story’s second character (the complainer) is filtered absolutely through the narrator–did you feel that the complainer was well developed? If so, how is this accomplished? How does the author make the complainer a part of the story, even though she is not present?
  6. One of the story’s “twists” is that you discover that it’s being narrated on tape–how did that impact your perception of the story and the narrative voice? What did this add to the story and what effect does the timing of this revelation have?

Reading Workshop February 15th

Did you miss us? We missed you! The reading workshop is back. Join us next Wednesday, February 15th at 7 p.m. at the Capital Club downtown. We’re reading Haruki Murakami’s The Kangaroo Communiqueand talking about how to construct great short fiction.

Each month, the reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ. Then join us on February 15 at 7 p.m. at the Capital Club downtown.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend. The Capital Club is located on the lobby floor of the Doubletree Suites Hotel on South Front Street. Get more details in this ancient blog post.

Questions? Comments? Got a story you’d love to discuss? Send them to the workshop moderator at heather@ohiowriters.org. See you there!

No Reading Workshop in November or December

Fellow readers,

There will be no reading workshop in November or December. This should give you plenty of time to finish that short story and get it submitted to the writing workshop with time left over for brining, roasting, thanksgiving, wassailing, gift-giving, etc.

If you have suggestions for stories you’d like to read or topics you’d like to cover in future critical reading workshops, send your suggestions to heather@ohiowriters.org.

We hope to see you in the new year!

 

Reading Workshop Discussion Questions: Creative Nonfiction

It’s decorative gourd season! Time to curl up next to the woodstove, grab your pumpkin spice latte, and write that brilliant essay you’ve been dreaming about all year. Before you begin, you’ll want to join us this Wednesday, October 12 for our critical reading workshop. We’re reading Joan Didion’s classic essay “Goodbye to All That” and talking about strategies for writing great creative nonfiction: memoir, personal essay, and more.

“Goodbye to All That” begins:

“It is easy to see the beginnings of things, and harder to see the ends. I can remember now, with a clarity that makes the nerves in the back of my neck constrict, when New York began for me, but I cannot lay my finger upon the moment it ended, can never cut through the ambiguities and the second starts and broken resolves to the exact place on the page where the heroine is no longer as optimistic as she once was.”

Hooked? Me too. You can read “Goodbye to All That” many places online, or grab your copy of Slouching Towards Bethlehem or the anthology named after this essay: Goodbye to All That: Writer’s on Loving and Leaving New York.

Below are some discussion questions to get you started. Then join us Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Capital Club downtown. Get directions here.

As always, this event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ, or contact the workshop moderator (heather@ohiowriters.org) with questions or comments. See you there!

 

“Goodbye to All That” Discussion Questions

  1. The thing that separates creative nonfiction (CNF) from journalism is its use of storytelling elements. CNF uses character, setting, dialogue, imagery, and theme. “Goodbye to All That” also follows a classic plot structure with conflict, rising action, climax and resolution. Pinpoint these elements and mark them as you read. How does “GtAT” follow the rules of fiction? How does it break the rules?
  2. “GtAT” is a memoir in which Didion explores a part of her true past. This creates two versions of Didion on the page: the author who is writing the essay, and the past version of the author who lives and acts within the story. How do these two separate characters relate to each other? How does the Joan Didion who narrates the story change our view of her past self?
  3. On the first read, Didion appears to be “telling” rather than “showing” in much of this essay. It can be hard to identify a single scene as she moves seamlessly from scene to reflection and back again. This is Didion’s signature style, but it breaks the supposedly inviolable rule, “Show Don’t Tell.” How does she get away with it? Try to pinpoint those transitions where Didion moves from telling to showing.