February 16, 2015: Meeting with Susan Jackson Rodgers

Get Out of the Box: Playing With Form in the Short Story
Presented by Susan Jackson Rodgers

Susan RodgersPoets often set themselves the challenge of writing a particular kind of poem, such as a sonnet, villanelle, or sestina. We’ve all had the pleasure of creating haiku: counting syllables guides our word choices, often yielding surprising results. What about fiction writers? How can we write into structure?

In this interactive presentation, Susan will introduce several exciting story forms that can free writers from the “chains of cause and effect,” as Madison Smartt Bell says—the linear design of traditional short stories (conflict, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution).

We will play with exercises that ask us to focus on form rather than content, how you tell your story rather than what your story is about. Participants will leave with beginnings or drafts of a How-To story, a List story, and a Collage story. Whether or not you decide to embrace these structures, by the end of the evening you will have generated more than enough new material for your next short story.

Susan Jackson Rodgers is the author of two collections of short fiction: The Trouble With You Is and Other Stories and Ex-Boyfriend on Aisle 6.  Her fiction has appeared in journals such as New England Review, North American Review, Glimmer Train, Quick Fiction, and Prairie Schooner.  She is a past recipient of two Kansas Arts Commission Fellowships and two Pushcart Prize Special Mentions.  Susan grew up in Connecticut and New York City, and taught for many years at Kansas State University, where she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.  She moved to Oregon in 2008 with her husband and three children, and teaches creative writing and literature at OSU.

Learn more on her website: http://susanjacksonrodgers.com/

Meeting Time

Monday, February 16, 2015, 6:30-8:30 PM

Meeting Place

Dennis Hall at the First Presbyterian Church, 114 SW 8th St., Corvallis, OR 97333.

Meeting Format

  • 6:30-6:45 – Networking
  • 6:45-8:15 – WWotR News and Announcements followed by the Program
  • 8:15-8:30 – Networking and Speaker’s Book Sales