On Friday, November 16, Darien Hsu Gee hosted Under the (Micro)scope: Amplifying Our Truth by Writing Micro Narratives!
A note from Darien: Micro narratives are short, intense bursts of lyric storytelling and evocative writing, usually 300 words or less. You can use micro narratives in a number of ways: as a caption to a photograph or piece of artwork, as back story for a character you’re struggling with, gathered into a collection of poems or essays, or simply a single piece of distilled writing that captures a pivotal moment in your life. Learning how to write micro will help you discern what’s most essential in a piece of writing, and what feels most urgent or relevant to you. It’s also easy to write micro on the go, to help you establish a daily writing practice, and to easily build a small body of work.
I just want to say how honored I am to be a part of the Girls Write Now mission, celebrating and uplifting the voices of young women writers of color in the creative arts. I cannot think of a more necessary mission at this time in our history as a country. We need the stories and perspectives of these future decision-makers and leaders. I’m grateful to be a part of this tremendous mission. – Darien Hsu Gee, Salon Host
What would be the first line of a poem or essay about your family history or your artistic lineage? Once you have your first line, finish your poem, or aim to write your essay in 300 words or less. Title the piece when you are done. We’ll write for about 10 minutes.
If you wrote a poem, take a few minutes to revise it into an essay (300 words or less). If you wrote a micro essay, take a few minutes to revise it into a poem. Which version do you like better?
Prompt #3: Takeaway Exercise
The final step is to revise the piece back into its original form. Compare the versions and choose the one you like best. If you haven’t already, be sure to give it a title, even if it’s just a working title.
You don’t want to look at the first exercise you wrote, but take the second exercise and decide what you’d need to do to put it back in the same original form you wrote, poetry or essay/prose poetry. You can then compare what you originally wrote to the revised version and see what changed, what remained.
Compare all versions and choose the one you like best. If you haven’t already, be sure to give it a title, even if it’s just a working title. Let it sit; writing about difficult things can be hard. But we can do hard things!
- Submit your 100-word story to be published! Darien shared that a friend of hers is collaborating with Grant Faulkner, founder of 100-word story to put together an anthology called Small Bright Things and is looking for teen writers to submit their work. If you wrote something that you like, submit it to her!
- 30 Days of Flash Workbook and Resources by Darien Hsu Gee
Darien Hsu Gee is the author of five novels published by Penguin Random House that have been translated into 11 languages. She won the 2019 Poetry Society of America’s Chapbook Fellowship award for Other Small Histories and the 2015 Hawaiʻi Book Publishers’ Ka Palapala Poʻokela Award of Excellence for Writing the Hawaiʻi Memoir. She is the recipient of a Sustainable Arts Foundation grant and a Vermont Studio Center fellowship. Gee holds a B.A. from Rice University and an M.F.A. from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. Her most recent book, Allegiance, is a collection of micro essays about family, motherhood, and growing up Chinese American. She lives with her family on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi.
Our Friday Night Salons are a space for our community to learn from and write with incredible authors, poets, journalists and novelists. This event is free and open to the public because of generous viewers like you who power Girls Write Now’s cutting-edge programs. If you are able to pay, your tax-deductible donation will help make more events like this possible. Thank you!