A FICTION STUDIO WORKSHOP:

FROM WHERE WE STAND

[participants ages 18+]

Photo by Richard Horne on Unsplash

I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center. – Kurt Vonnegut, Player Piano

A story is a way to say something that can’t be said any other way, and it takes every word in the story to say what the meaning is. – Flannery O’Connor

Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye. – Dorothy Parker

You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore. – William Faulkner

Novels are such mysterious and amorphous and tender things. – Arundhati Roy

The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as the rightly-timed pause. – Mark Twain

People say satire is dead. It’s not dead: it’s alive and living in the White House. – Robin Williams

Kate Orland Bere, a Canadian writer, poet, and developmental editor, is founder and CIO of OdysseyIndigo.com which launched in the fall of 2023. Author of Freight.

Freight: The complexity of the human condition explored in 13 post-modern, often satiric, parables. 

WHETHER RAW, WHIMSICAL, GOTHIC, GROTESQUE, SURREAL, OR SATIRIC, OR A COMPLEX COMBINATION OF THESE FICTIONAL MODES, KATE ORLAND BERE’S DISTINCTIVE WRITING CAPTURES ELEMENTAL HUMAN QUALITIES, ILLUMINATING VERSIONS OF THE HUMAN CONDITION AT ITS MOST VULNERABLE, VENERABLE, AND VICIOUS. HER STORIES, ESSAYS, AND POEMS ENTER INTO THE CONTEMPORARY CULTURAL NARRATIVES FROM UNUSUAL, OFTEN UNEXPECTED, VANTAGE POINTS.

 Storytelling is an infinite art form; the forms themselves infinite due to the infinite landscape of the human imagination. And if you, as a writer, find that certain story ideas haunt you or refuse to let you go, then it is likely that you are a writer and need to write that particular story. It is the story you need to discover. Strong writers do not write from a position of knowing exactly what a given story will be. Writing the story is discovering the story: sometimes it can be prompted by an image, whether in the imagination, or in nature, or wherever; sometimes it is prompted by a memory or a fantasy; sometimes it is by a title; sometimes by an emotion; or perhaps a story we see in the news, or from a conversation. As with poetry, stories escape from us, sometimes issuing forth like powerful waterfalls, and sometimes, if more difficult, like a persistently dripping tap. But once we have created a working draft of a story from that original idea, image, or memory – then the real crafting begins. 

A painter adds colour, shading, nuance, definition, until the original drawing is altered and transformed into the final art piece. That transformation is what defines what art actually is. It is not the finished piece, although the finished piece remains to remind us of process – but the actual art lies in the process, whereas the final form is the finished story. To become an artist, a storyteller, one must fully immerse oneself in that process of story creation and transformation. This workshop is intended to encourage and induce that transformative process that is art.  

Participation in this workshop will inspire within you originality; you may discover a valuable mentor for your work; it will offer you greater perspective on your writing, and your methods of crafting story; it will allow you to engage your ideas as a writer in a vital forum, both within the workshop and following it online [if there is interest]; it will allow you the opportunity to meet other local writers and perhaps initiate a writer’s and/or reader’s group. 

Bring your story idea, or short story draft, or novel chapter, and this fiction workshop will bring your work to life. You will share your work – and you will grow in confidence as a writer. Bring a story that has deep meaning for you, ideally –  a story that needs to be written, in your view. If you are invested in a story, if it matters that it is written, you will be sure to finish it. 

Fiction Studio Workshop:  From Where We Stand

In-person in St. Marys, ON @ Her Collab Co [adult men and women, 18+ years of age] on Water Street

Questions? Email Kate Orland Bere: kate@odysseyindigo.com