Welcome

Writing the Weather

Open the umbrella, slather the sunscreen, and cinch that scarf tighter in this generative, prompt-based workshop inspired by examples of contemporary, genre-defying work. We’ll be reading and writing about the weather—blizzards, heatwaves, hurricanes—all manner of atmospheric disturbance and sensory overload. Tension will be high, your characters and speakers in danger, so don’t be afraid to slip into surrealism and fabulism when needed. We’ll round out the workshop with thoughts about setting, place-based writing, and climate fiction. The forecast shows a 99% chance of juicy storytelling.

Introduction

I’m so happy you’re here. I very much realize that everyone’s circumstances may be a little to a lot different right now, and being “here” means different things to each of us. If your “here” means glancing at materials now and then, that’s okay. If it means drafting a dozen pages of creative writing and responding to every piece fellow writers post, that’s okay, too. There are lots of materials here—probably more than anyone could get through in this short amount of time—but that makes it all the more likely something will resonate. You can make this a Choose Your Own Adventure as you pick and choose what prompts to try. Use this confluence of sources and situation to expand, break, or reshape something. That’s all you have to do. Make a little adjustment to open up some space or possibility that wasn’t there before.

And now, in the wise words of the wonderful writer and BG instructor Len Kuntz, “let’s quickly walk through some of the semantics.”

The Day One materials (texts and prompts) are already, and Day Two materials will post at 12 Noon CST. 

Aim to post one piece a day—any genre, bent, straight, or otherwise! Post prose, poetry, memoir, hybrid—surprise us! Try to keep your piece around 500 words, but more or less is fine. Typically, people post something on Friday, and again on Saturday. Sunday is usually the day for people who’ve been busy and are catching up.

There is an advantage to posting sooner. It gives you more time to relax and take in/post feedback on your peers’ writing. Please provide honest and specific feedback—what you would hope to receive yourself. It doesn’t have to be long. If you’re not sure how to respond, see how your peers are handling the situation. As the instructor, my posts will be a bit longer.
I’m grateful for this opportunity to experience and appreciate a community of people who value creative writing. Let’s vow to make this a respectful and supportive place where we can celebrate creative work and imaginative leaps!