Our first Writing & Mentoring Program workshop of the 2015-16 program year focused on Dystopian Flash Fiction. We defined dystopia and practiced flash writing techniques by adapting longer stories into flash fiction stories, then used Twitter’s 140-character limit to create Twitterature, or a story told in a series of tweets.
Our AM craft talk speaker was publisher, sci-fi novelist, and co-founder of SheWrites.com Kamy Wicoff. Kamy shared where she finds inspiration, reflected on her writing process, and read from her recent sci-fi novel, Wishful Thinking. Award-winning dystopian flash fiction writer and novelist Helen Phillips was our PM craft talk speaker. Helen told the story of how she got started writing, shared writing techniques, and read from her dystopian flash fiction collection, And Yet They Were Happy.
Pairs came away from this workshop with a new knowledge of Twitterature, how to write flash fiction, and how to brainstorm and create dystopian elements of worlds that are different from ours.
FROM THE WORKSHOP
- Katherine Ortiz, We Were Shells
“Cities were barren, abandoned shells of a prosperity that no longer existed. We were barren, abandoned shells that lived with only the purpose of survival. I wasn’t a shell amongst the ruins. I wasn’t another breathing corpse without a flame flickering in my chest. My body as afire with hope of a new world in this junk yard…“
- Diane Botnick, The Mutable Hour
“She was pouring the cream into the mug and watching its delicate doily weave and sink into the depths of her morning coffee, when it came to her: a mutable hour. She’d been working on the problem since her freshman year. Wasting precious time running every algorithm she could think of with no results, and here she’d been staring at the solution the whole time. Two and half minutes harvested and redistributed into one, and voila, the 24-hour-day turned to 25! How had no one thought of it before? Minutes were the pennies of the time bank, who would miss a few here and there. And had any advancement been won without sacrifice?…”
ON THE BLOG
“Teaching the workshop was one of the best experiences I’ve had with Girls Write Now. The girls quickly saw the power of dystopian fiction to critique the social issues presented by the world they live in, and even to inspire change. Their comments and their words were thoughtful, provocative and inspiring.” — Kamy Wicoff
- Check out the experience Kathleen Schiener and her mentor Laura Cardona had at the Dystopian Flash Fiction Workshop!
- To get a peek at craft talk speaker Helen Phillips and her own powerful journey, which she shared with our girls, please see this piece written through the lens of Mentor Alum and WMP Curriculum Committee Member, Kate Schmier!