Unlocking Your Story: Forms and Genres, A Mashup 2019

About This Event


Is your work-in-progress begging to break free? Find the form that best fits the story you hope to tell.

Join Newbery winner Kathi Appelt and author/editor Shelley Tanaka for an investigation into the dynamic shape of your story. Explore the important elements that make up a story as well as how these elements shift inside various formats and genres.

What You’ll Learn

In the workshop, we’re going to look hard at the various forms of our stories to see whether or not the form feels organic. Moreover, we’ll challenge each other to test the story in forms that may surprise you. In the process, we’ll take a look at genres, too.

For example, a prose novel might work better as a novel-in-verse, or a poem might want to transform into a picture book, or the truth of nonfiction might need to see itself in a novel.

Who Should Attend

We imagine people arriving at this workshop with a piece or a fragment or an idea and basically thinking, I’ve got something, but I don’t know what it is. And them we would look at form by considering what’s possible (while always open to writers trying the “impossible”) but also through the lens of writer intent. What is drawing you to this piece? What do you want to say? What is this about? Where are the hot spots? What are you trying to do? How does this piece highlight your own writerly strengths?


Genres abound: What’s Out There for Kids and Teens

The Short Story: A Mini-Course

One-to-one critiques

Small group workshopping

Writing exercises

Faculty lectures

From page to screen; film adaptation of a novel

Idea generation

Goal setting

Shelley and Kathi will review up to 10 pages of your work-in-progress and draft alternate formats for you to “play” with while on campus.


Kathi Appelt: The Form Holds the Story


This is a new workshop, so we have no testimonials yet.


Venue Highlights




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