Join Jane Alison in a hyper-generative writing workshop exploring narrative forms, playing with style, words, and spaces, and leaving with a collection of surprising new writing projects.

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Guided by Jane Alison, in this hyper-generative workshop we’ll experiment and play with narrative: with style, words, spaces, shapes; with meaning and its absence; with finding or inventing truth in the things we call “stories.” What if you write a story without using a crucial letter? What if you tell a story backward? Or not tell a story at all but instead only comment upon “it”? What if visual images tell a story other than the one told by the accompanying words? What if words are allowed to crawl all over the page? And so on! Mornings we’ll run through exercises that range from frolicsome to deeply exploratory, and read short texts for inspiration; afternoons you’ll work alone to deepen or expand what you started. By the end of the week you should have a small collection of surprising new projects.

For writers of any ilk and experience, interested in writing at any point along the spectrum from “fiction” to “non.”

Works by Jane Alison

Meander, Spiral, Explode cover - By Jane Alison
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019 | A Poets & Writers Best Books for Writers.

“[A] boundlessly inventive look at narrative form… filled with clarity and wit, underlain with formidable erudition.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Alison’s close readings can be exhilarating. One of her more seductive ideas is the notion of ‘correlations between kinds of stories and certain patterns.’” . . . The fecundity of Alison’s writing is of a piece with her larger mission: to turn narrative theory into a supersaturated mindfuck of hedonistic extravaganza. It is a special kind of literary criticism.” —Katy Waldman, The New Yorker

“Alison’s book is like a cold shower to ward off the standard narrative arc and rewire our mental circuitry to see the patterns of nature in the structure of novels. . . . A playful and exciting book that opens up all sorts of new possibilities for narrative.” —Sarah Boon, Chicago Review of Books

“Doctors don’t imitate Galen. Why should writers follow Aristotle? Jane Alison in her fresh, original book about narrative is our new Aristotle.” Edmund White, author of The Unpunished Vice: A Life of Reading

Jane Alison Books, 2023

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Instructor: Jane Alison

Jane Alison is the author of four novels—The Love-Artist, The Marriage of the Sea, Natives and Exotics, and Nine Island. She has published a memoir, The Sisters Antipodes, about growing up in a family in which Australian-diplomat parents traded partners with a pair of U.S. diplomats; and Change Me, translations of Ovid’s stories of sexual transformation. Her most recent book, on the craft and theory of writing, is Meander, Spiral, Explode: Design and Pattern in Narrative. A new novel, Villa E—about the collision of architects Eileen Gray and Le Corbusier—will appear in summer 2024. She teaches creative writing at the University of Virginia and divides her time between Charlottesville and the Hudson Valley, with her partner, architect Edward Tuck.