2023 Morning Intensive Faculty: Fiction


These fiction writing workshops are offered in-person only from 9am-11:30am PT



Brandon Hobson

Writing About Private Lives

What compels us to read about the lives of others? Why do we feel the urge to write about our own lives? In this workshop we will read and write fiction that examines different approaches to writing about ourselves, other people, and the events that shape our lives.

 Dr. Brandon Hobson is a 2022 Guggenheim Fellow. He received his Ph.D from Oklahoma State University. His novel, Where The Dead Sit Talking, was a finalist for the National Book Award, winner of the Reading The West Award, and longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award, among other distinctions. His short stories have won a Pushcart Prize and have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, McSweeney’s, Conjunctions, Noon, and elsewhere. He teaches Creative Writing at New Mexico State University and at the Institute of American Indian Arts, and he is the Editor In Chief of Puerto Del Sol. He is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation Tribe of Oklahoma. 

This workshop is offered in-person only and runs from 9am-11:30am PT

Ravi Howard

Visionary Text

Through the study of images and patterns, we will consider what it means to be a visual storyteller. Texts such as Susan Sontag’s anthology of images and grammar of seeing and Toni Morrison’s process of moving from picture to meaning to text will also be a guide. Other lessons in photography will come from Teju Cole, Eudora Welty, Dawoud Bey, Carrie Mae Weems, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and others. The goal of the workshop is to find the language that best fits each writer’s visual intentions. What should we see? What is the relationship between the visual story and the interior? Through our readings, writing assignments, and conversations, we will examine how single images are developed and combined to create a complete narrative.

Ravi Howard is the author of two novels, Like, Trees, Walking and Driving the King (HarperCollins). In addition to being selected as a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, Like, Trees, Walking won the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. Howard has received fellowships and awards from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, the Hurston-Wright Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.His short fiction has appeared in Salon, Massachusetts Review, Silent Beaches, Untold Stories, Saw Palm, and Alabama Noir. His essays have appeared in The New York Times, Atlanta, and Gravy, and he has recorded commentary and fiction for NPR’s All Things Considered and Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s Thacker Mountain Radio. He has taught creative writing with the Hurston-Wright Foundation, Callaloo, Kimbilio, Minnesota Northwoods, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He is currently an assistant professor in the creative writing program at Florida State University. 

This workshop is offered in-person only and runs from 9am-11:30am PT

Sam Ligon

Flash Fiction Intensive

In the anthology Sudden Fiction, Robert Kelly refers to short-short fiction as “the insidious, sudden, alarming, stabbing, tantalizing, annihilating form… neither poetic prose nor prosy verse, but the energy and clarity typical of prose coincident in the scope and rhythm of the poem.” In the same anthology, Joyce Carol Oates writes that, “Very short fictions are nearly always experimental, exquisitely calibrated, reminiscent of Frost’s definition of a poem—a structure of words that consumes itself as it unfolds, like ice melting on a stove.” Very short fictions tend to rely on surprise, a hard turn at the end. They’re often elliptical or fragmented, shaped by tone and shadow. In this workshop, we’ll be exploring compression and limitation, evocation and implication, formal constraint and what might arise from line pressure and narrative restriction. We’ll  immerse ourselves in a fever of flash fiction reading and writing, composing and workshopping three short-short stories—an intensive in the annihilating form.

Sam Ligon’s most recent novel — Miller Cane: A True & Exact History — was serialized for a year in Spokane’s weekly newspaper, The Inlander, as well as on Spokane Public Radio. The author of four previous books of fiction, including Wonderland and Safe in Heaven Dead , Ligon is also co-editor, with Kate Lebo, of Pie & Whiskey: Writers Under the Influence of Butter & Booze. His stories and essays have appeared in The Georgia ReviewNew England ReviewPrairie SchoonerGettysburg Review, and elsewhere. He teaches creative writing at Eastern Washington University in Spokane and serves as EWU’s Faculty Legislative Liaison in Olympia.