Through Others We Find Our Own: Amplifying Voice in Fiction
Ask many beginning writers what they struggle with and you’ll no doubt get a wide range of responses—getting started, finishing, writing dialogue, world-building, and so on—but invariably “finding my voice” is at the top of everyone’s list. So what do we mean by finding our voice? Well, usually what people mean is that they’re searching for their style, that trademark something that makes their work memorable and identifiable, that element that sets it apart from everything else. And while writing and writing often is the only non-negotiable criteria for achieving this, often the best path to discovering your voice as a writer is learning to create distinctive voices in your work—that is, generating stories and poems that crackle with life. This will be our aim during this six-week course. Through a combination of lecture, discussion, and practice, you will learn different ways through which “voice” can be achieved. You will learn that it isn’t just how someone says something but what they say that contributes to the voice of a particular piece of writing. You will learn how setting details and point-of-view can influence voice and how the very structure of our sentences can speak volumes about character and circumstance. By the end of our time together, you will walk away with not only a completed piece of fiction, to which I will have provided detailed feedback, but also the tools with which to identify and amplify the voices contained in your future work.
Amplifying Voice in Fiction: Saturdays, November 4 to December 6, 10-11:30, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. Course fee: $25. Register here. Please register by November 1.
Meet the Teaching Artist: William R. Soldan holds a BA in English Literature from YSU and is a graduate of the NEOMFA program. His writing appears or is forthcoming in publications such as New World Writing, Jellyfish Review, Kentucky Review, Thuglit, The Literary Hatchet, (b)OINK, The Best American Mystery Stories 2017, and many others.
Would you like some gentle feedback on new work you’ve written?
The Lit Youngstown Writers Circle will meet at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave., Thursday October 19 from 5:30-7:00.
Bring 5 copies of one poem or story excerpt, maximum 5 pages. (If you’d like to critique longer writing projects, let us know.)
Thank you to our presenters, participants, hosts, volunteers and funders for a truly enjoyable and memorable day. Plans are already underway for next year’s Festival, September 22, 2018. Hope you can make it.
We’ll be kicking up our heels at Opera Western Reserve’s Highland Fling on Friday, October 13, at the Soap Gallery, downtown Youngstown.
In anticipation of this year’s production of Lucia di Lammermoor, the Highland Fling will feature Scottish-inspired appetizers, Scotch tasting, bagpipes and arias, and poetry. YSU English Professor Corey Andrews will read from Robert Burns, and Lit Youngstown’s Karen Schubert will read contemporary Scottish poetry.
Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door. Purchase tickets online at operawesternreserve.com or soapgalleryyo.com, or by phone at 330-480-0693.
Food for Thought, our monthly book discussion, will take up Robert Olmstead’s historical novel, The Coldest Night.
Olmstead, recipient of NEA and Guggenheim fellowships, was a visiting writer to Lit Youngstown’s first Fall Literary Festival on September 30.
During his craft talk, he spoke about the ways people in the past were different from us, and ways they were the same, shaped by technology, opportunity and external events.
The Coldest Night is the last of the Coal Black Horse Trilogy, and follows a young man from the rural West to the Korean War. Read a New York Times review here.
We will meet at Cultivate Co-op Cafe, 901 Elm St., at our new day and time: Wednesday, October 11 at 6:00. If you would like to order dinner, please arrive well before the kitchen closes at 6:00.
Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Join us.
So much congratulations to four poets whose poems were selected to be letterpressed into broadsides by The Cranky Pressman.
“Working the Long Shift” by Craig Paulenich
“Train, Loud, Lonesome, Leaving Without Me” by Dianne Borsenik
“Spooning” by Caitlyn Ryan
“Nylon” by Kerry Trautman
The broadsides will be exhibited at the Words Made Visible monthlong gallery show at The Soap Gallery in downtown Youngstown for the month of February. The opening will be Saturday, February 3.
These poems were selected in a blind judging by Nicole Robinson, Steve Reese and Jennifer Cline. Thank you to our judges, to the Ohio writers who sent hundreds of poems and short prose for our project, and to the Ohio Arts Council for the encouragement and funding.