There are stories all around us. Everyday. Perhaps even in places where we don’t see them. At the same time some stories are no longer available to us. The purloined letter, the phone call overheard (as in Dial M for Murder)—email and cell phones have made such literary devices obsolete. Yet in recent years novelists and short story writers have drawn from our contemporary world (as writers always do) to find fresh stories. Rick Moody tweeted a story for Electric Literature and Jennifer Egan’s brilliant A Visit from the Goon Squad includes a 50-page PowerPoint presentation. As Haruki Murakami noted in an essay in The New York Times the literary landscape of the 21st century is not the same as the 20th. He cites two major events, the end of the Cold War and 9/11, as the events that altered the world as we see it. This workshop is geared towards helping you look around yourself and find the stories that might just be in plain sight. While we will workshop the stories you bring us, you will also be sent out in the world to eavesdrop, stand in one place and observe, find a story in your everyday gadgets. In a sense this workshop, beyond critiquing participants’ work, will be a workshop about how to look and where to look for your raw material. And help you turn it into the subject matter of stories.


Writers of all levels are invited to apply for this workshop. To be considered, please submit a sample of your writing (20 pages maximum, double-spaced); as well as a brief (not more than one page) statement of purpose or indication of your goals as a writer and/or what you’d like from this workshop. Send as a single Word document to miles[at]kwls[dot]org with “Morris Workshop Submission” in the subject heading.

About Mary Morris

Mary Morris is the author of 14 books—six novels, including Revenge, three collections of short stories, and four travel memoirs, including most recently The River Queen. Her numerous short stories and travel essays have appeared in such places as The Atlantic, Narrative, The New York Times, and Travel and Leisure. A recipient of the Rome Prize, Morris teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College.

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