Writing the Other: Fiction
Facilitator: Rose Skelton
Dates: August 19- September 13, 2019
Class Size: 10
How do we portray the condition of being an outsider in fiction? This class considers different forms of otherness—such as gender, sexuality, race, class — and how these identities stand strong within a variety of groups, from a family to a nation to a story. Experiences of isolation, estrangement, and creative individuality create characters who suffer and thrive in unique ways. How do we represent these characters with compassion, empathy, and respect, allowing the reader to enter points of view different than their own? In this workshop, we will learn from the writings of Akwaeke Emezi, James Baldwin, NoViolet Bulawayo, Ron Rash, Nina McConigley, and Alan Warner, as we together produce new writing exploring gradations of outsiderness and otherness: from marginalization and exile in a community, to the otherness within one’s own self, and beyond, to forging a life no longer beholden to borders.
Rose Skelton is currently working on Homescar, a collection of linked short stories set on an island in Scotland which won the Larry Levis Fellowship for Fiction in 2018. Two of those stories have been published in Four Way Review and Waxwing Magazine, where she is now also the Fiction Editor. She has an MFA from Warren Wilson College and was previously a freelance journalist in west Africa, writing for the New York Times, the BBC, the Guardian, the Sunday Times, and others. She trains African journalists in investigative reporting, lives on an island in Scotland, and is a volunteer member of the Tobermory Lifeboat crew, which rescues people at sea.