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Writing the Unthinkable - Dan Chaon, Lynda Barry - <span class="date-display-single">10/20/2013 - 11:00am</span>

Writing the Unthinkable

10/20/2013 - 11:00am

Central Library - Bubbler

This workshop is about a way of creating a sustainable writing practice for anyone at any level who is interested in writing, but has had a hard time figuring out how to do it.


It’s based on using a common but extraordinary sort of memory almost of all of us have; the instant kind that ‘floods’ us when a certain smell or a song triggers a vivid image of certain place-in-time. It’s the kind of memory that is unwilled and vivid, something that feels somehow on-going and plastic, a living place where a story is happening.


We’ll learn an easy method to create the circumstances for these kinds of images to come to us and I’ll show you how to set them down quickly in writing.  We’ll learn the technique using autobiographical memory, and then I’ll show you how to apply it to writing fiction.


For more detailed information about what the workshops is like:



Dan Chaon

About Presenter Dan Chaon


Dan Chaon is the acclaimed author of Among the Missing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and You Remind Me of Me, which was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington PostChicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, The Christian Science Monitor, and Entertainment Weekly, among other publications. Chaon’s fiction has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction, and he was the recipient of the 2006 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Chaon lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and teaches at Oberlin College, where he is the Pauline M. Delaney Professor of Creative Writing.


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Lynda Barry

About Presenter Lynda Barry


Born 1956 on Hiway 14 in Richland Center, Wisconsin, daughter of an Irish/ Norwegian/ meat-cutter and an Irish/Filipina immigrant employed as a hospital housekeeper, Lynda Barry attended The Evergreen State College (Olympia, Washington) during its early experimental period (1974-78). She studied under painter and writing teacher Marilyn Frasca for two years, trying to answer this one question: What is an Image? This question has guided Barry’s work ever since.  In a career spanning nearly 35 years, Barry has authored 17 books, worked as a commentator for NPR, had a regular monthly feature in Esquire, Mother Jones Magazine, Mademoiselle, and on Salon.com. Barry is also a sought-after visiting artist and speaker. She teaches a popular writing workshop called “Writing the Unthinkable” all around the country and is known for her lively teaching style and strong dedication to her students.


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