New Workshop! “Vertical Moments in Fiction” with Logan Hoffman Smith

Vertical Moments in Fiction with Logan Hoffman Smith –
Virtual Workshop, Jan. 18, 2024

What: Generative Writing Workshop: Vertical Moments in Fiction
Who: Midwest Writing Center + Logan Hoffman Smith
When: Thursday, January 18, 2024 from 6pm – 8pm
Where: Online // Zoom
Cost: $20 members / $30 nonmembers

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The Midwest Writing Center is proud to announce our first workshop of 2024: Vertical Moments in Fiction with Logan Hoffman Smith.

Workshop description:

“Every calligrapher, every artist, starts the same way, he said. They set out to create art. But this intentionality is what makes the art become work rather than art. What you must practice is creating art without a destination or plan in mind, relying only on your discipline and training and good spirit. This is a stage few calligraphers will ever reach. This is what following your heart looks like.” — Jenny Tinghui Zhang (Four Treasures of the Sky)

Why do we, as writers, write? Some would argue that we write to entertain or share information and they would be partially correct. I, however, would argue that writing requires a raw, often troubling truth to transcend into art and that this truth carries a tenor one can hear. This tenor that comes with following one’s heart in writing is one that texturizes both the sonic and spacial elements of a narrative—it provides an expansive feeling that allows the story to resonate more fully within both writer and reader.

In his essay, “Pieces of Elsewhere: The Horizontal and the Vertical in Character and Fiction” Kevin Brockmeier argues that “in order for characters to seem fully human, human in a way that reaches beyond the page somehow, and which readers will experience as a reverberation of their own humanity, those characters must possess not only a horizontal life but a vertical life—which is to say not only the social and sensory ties that are the basic plane upon which fiction ordinarily takes place but also some upward connection, however fleeting or momentary, to the profound, the sacred, or the mysterious, in whatever manner it might reveal or suggest itself to them.”

In this workshop, we will examine the ways truth and trouble can be reflected through voice, sound, and vertical moments. We’ll look to short stories and essays by writers including Sequoia Nagamatsu, Kevin Brockmeier, Z.Z. Packer, and Jenny Zhang to foreground our conversations about verticality and truth in art. My hope is for writers to come out of our time together with a stronger understanding of what animates their own work, as well as for participants to have made headway on new stories.

Register now using the PayPal link below:

Registration – "Vertical Moments in Fiction" Virtual Workshop

Instructor bio:

Logan Hoffman-Smith is a queer Chinese American Adoptee and a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Their writing has been supported by The Atlantic Center for the Arts, Kundiman, Lambda Literary, and We Need Diverse Books, and has appeared or is forthcoming in Electric Literature, The Normal School, and the Longleaf Review. In their free time, they enjoy bouldering and picking up unknown neighborhood cats.

This workshop is made possible thanks to the support of the Illinois Arts Council Agency