“Show, Don’t Tell” but also “Less is More”: Using Scene and Summary in Short Story Writing
Most narratives rely on plot to engage readers, and most plots rely on scenes in order to create a solid structure. Scenes can control the pace of a story and introduce character development. However, while scene is very powerful, there is another tool writers can use: summary. Summary can be used in place of scene to accomplish many of the same things, but summary can also be used to influence characters within the story, or the readers themselves.
In this workshop, we will examine several short stories to look for successful examples of using both scene and summary. Writers can bring in their own drafts with the goal of revising them, or will be able to generate drafts. Writers in this workshop will find their own happy mediums between “show, don’t tell,” and “less is more.”
Meet the teaching artist: Specializing in fiction through the NEOMFA program, Bridgid Cassin has worked as writer and editor for Youngstown State University’s New Frontiers research publication while also serving on the staff of the Jenny literary magazine. She has led workshops for Lit Youngstown, Winter Wheat, and the Hoyt Center for the Arts in Newcastle, PA. Bridgid has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and attended the Juniper Summer Writing Institute in 2018. Bridgid previously earned Master’s in English from St. John’s University, and also completed a certificate in Children’s and YA Literature at YSU.
Using Scene and Summary in Short Story Writing. Teens & Adults. All experience levels welcome.Wednesday, August 14, 7-9:00 p.m., St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. Course fee: $15 (pay at workshop). Need-based scholarships are available. Register here: Deadline August 10.
TheFlash Fictionworkshop will focus on experimentation and practice of flash fiction forms as well as the questions—what is flash fiction, how is its power achieved? During this five-week course students will examine and write stories that fall into five flash fiction categories: flash fiction (1000-1500); sudden flash fiction (750 words); microfiction (100 words); the six-word story; and the final class will be on marketing.There will be reading and writing assignments in and outside of class.
Flash Fiction Workshop. Teens & Adults. All experience levels welcome.Tuesdays, March 5-April 2, 7-8:30 p.m., St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. Course fee: $25. Need-based scholarships are available (LitYoungstown@gmail.com). Registration Deadline March 1.
Please bring paper/notebook and pens, or an ipad or laptop to class.
Arya F. Jenkins is a writer/teacher/editor. Her flash fiction has been published in numerous journals and zines such as Anti-Heroin Chic, Black Scat Review, Brilliant Corners, Cider Press Review, The Feminist Wire, Front Porch Review, KYSO Flash, The Matador Review, Metafore Literary Magazine and Mojave Literary Review. Her fiction was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2017 and her fiction and flash fiction garnered three nominations in 2018. She has published two poetry chapbooks and her short story collectionBlue Songs in an Open Keywas published by Fomite Press November 2018.Blue Songs in an Open Keyis available viawww.aryafjenkins.com.
Arya has taught creative writing at Fairfield University and Mahoning County Career and Technical Center. She has worked as an editor for numerous writers, and as a newspaper, magazine and book editor.
Now more than ever, it is vital for writers of the Rust Belt to represent our sense of place with passion and insight. As politicians, commentators and the entertainment elite try to define us for their own purposes, we must observe and project the reality of our communities and the lives we live here. In this workshop, we will discuss techniques for writing about place, with an emphasis on the postindustrial landscape of Northeast Ohio. The session will include a writing exercise; participants should bring a notebook or laptop.
The Hard Way On Purpose: Friday, August 18, 3:00-4:30, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. Course fee: $15. Register here.
Meet the Teaching Artist: David Giffels is the author of The Hard Way on Purpose: Essays and Dispatches From the Rust Belt (Scribner 2014), nominated for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, and the memoir All the Way Home (William Morrow/HarperCollins 2008), winner of the Ohioana Book Award. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic.com, Parade, the Wall Street Journal, Esquire.com, Grantland.com, Redbook, and many other publications. He also was a writer for the MTV series Beavis and Butt-Head. He is an associate professor of English at University of Akron, where he teaches creative nonfiction in the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts Program.
Is there a road you didn’t travel? Thinking about writing the family story? Looking for advice on the nuts and bolts of editing prose? And who told you not to copy, anyway? Get your creative on in one of our spring workshops.
The Hubbard Public Library is taking part in the One Book/One Community project, encouraging library patrons to read bestseller Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam, Jr., the book that inspired the movie October Sky.
Lit Youngstown writers Liz Hill and Karen Schubert will offer a memoir writing workshop for teens and another for adults on Thursday, October 15.
For more information on the book and events at local participating libraries: