The Art of Observation: Writing Fiction
Facilitator: Silas House
Dates:October 14 – November 8, 2019
Class Size: 10
This will be an advanced course focusing on creative writing for students who possess a genuine interest in learning how to be fiction writers. In this class students will focus in particular on becoming better observers and better readers. Students will be given several prompts that force them to do close observation of the world around them and then translate that into good writing, including exercises in being still, walking, deep reading, and more. Besides writing, students will also read and discuss examples of great fiction together and will also look at examples of other kinds of writing, particularly poetry and music, to act as ekphrases for jumpstarting writing. There will be at least one piece of flash fiction that is workshopped in the class.
Silas House is the New York Times bestselling author of six novels, a book of creative nonfiction, and three plays. His work frequently appears in The New York Times and Salon and has been published in Time, Garden and Gun, Oxford American, Narrative, Newsday, as well as many other magazines and anthologies. House serves on the fiction faculty at the Spalding School of Writing’s MFA in Creative Writing and as the NEH Chair at Berea College. He is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, the recipient of three honorary doctorates, and is the winner of honors such as the Storylines Award from the New York Public Library/NAV Foundation, the EB White Award, the Nautilus Award, and many others. His latest novel, Southernmost, was a long-list finalist for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, was a recommendation of The New York Times Public Library, and appeared on several Best of 2018 lists, including those of The Advocate, Booklist, Paste, Southern Living, Garden and Gun, and others. The book was also awarded the Weatherford Award and the Judy Gaines Young Award. House is a native of Eastern Kentucky and currently lives in Lexington.