La Serranía.... Mallorca, Spain


w r i t i n g   b e t w e e n   l i f e    &   f i c t i o n     Pam Houston

October 13 - 20, 2012
My goal as workshop leader is to create an environment where beginning and seasoned writers become excited about taking both stylistic and emotional risks with their work.

We will begin with exercises that will set the theme for the week: the way we take the details from the physical world that resonate for us and translate them into words and paragraphs that will help us access the beautiful and frightening stories we have to tell.

Allowing the physical landscape of a story to stand in and represent our emotional landscapes, I believe, is the most essential craft, the real artistry of fiction.

We will learn to trust the way the physical world gives us the tools (and, incidentally, the courage) to tell our most profound truths, and to write stories that will move our readers by activating not just their minds but their senses.

We will be aiming for stories in which the language is always working in at least two ways at once, where metaphors dance between meanings like beads of water on a too hot grill. We will move from the exercises into students work-in-progress.

Students should bring approximately 20 pages of fiction to be workshopped, as well as something short to read out loud.
They should also read Wild by Cheryl Strayed and Empty Family by Colm Toibin. so that we have a common base of stories as a frame of reference during workshops.

Pam Houston is the award winning author of books including Cowboys Are My Weakness, Waltzing the Cat, A Little More About Me, and Sight Hound.

Her stories have been selected for the Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Awards, the Pushcart Prize, and the Best American Short Stories of the Century. A collection of essays, A Little More About Me, was published by W.W. Norton in the fall of 1999.

Pam teaches in the graduate writing program at: University of California, Davis

For more information about Pam Houston and her work, visit

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apartado 211 - 07460 pollensa, mallorca, spain

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