LIVE! Spring 2024 class catalog now online! 🌷

An Occasion For the Telling

with Jonathan Escoffery

Genres: Fiction

In Person

Intermediate

1 Session

Start Date: April 15, 2023
End Date: April 15, 2023
Day of Week: Saturday
Time: 10:00am - 1:00pm PT
Capacity: 20 seats
Member Price: $135.00
General Price: $150.00

Energetic prose and unforgettable characters are often said to be the bedrock of literary fiction. Fully fleshed-out characters have implied histories and futures that never make it onto the page, so what dictates where and when a character's problems and desires become worthy of dramatization? In this generative intensive, we'll use prompts to create story-worthy characters and explore how elements such as suspense and tension-building can help us determine the contours of the worlds we create.

Registration dates:

March 13: Scholarship Donation Day (Learn more.)

March 14: Member registration opens

March 21: General registration opens

Jonathan Escoffery

Jonathan Escoffery

Jonathan Escoffery is the author of If I Survive You, a debut collection of linked stories forthcoming in September 2022 from MCDxFSG, as well as the forthcoming novel, Play Stone Kill Bird. Both books will be published in the UK and Commonwealth by 4th Estate Books, in Canada by McClelland and Stewart, and will be published in translation in France by Albin Michel and in Germany by Piper Verlag.

Escoffery is the winner of The Paris Review’s 2020 Plimpton Prize for Fiction and is the recipient of a 2020 National Endowment for the Arts (Prose) Literature Fellowship. His story “Under the Ackee Tree” was among the trio that won the Paris Review the 2020 ASME Award for Fiction from the American Society of Magazine Editors, and was subsequently included in The Best American Magazine Writing 2020. His most recent stories have appeared in The Paris Review, Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, Zyzzyva and American Short Fiction.

 Escoffery has taught creative writing and seminars on the writer’s life at Stanford University, the University of Minnesota, the Center for Fiction, Tin House, Writers in Progress, and at GrubStreet in Boston, where, as former staff, he founded the Boston Writers of Color Group, which currently has more than 2,000 members. He has received support and honors from Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, Aspen Words, Kimbilio Fiction, the Anderson Center, and elsewhere. 

 For Writers of the World, Jonathan reflected on his love of the short story form: “I first fell in love with story’s ability to transport, to expand the borders of my reality. I recall crouching beneath my parents’ kitchen counter as a child, losing Sunday afternoons reading. That words printed between book covers could take me to far off worlds, on journeys that left me forever changed, was, to me, nothing short of magic. I also sensed perfection in the economy of these world-altering journeys; their being beautifully bound to fit in my palms. Later, I came to understand that great literature does not simply transport, but that it also helps me understand myself, and that—at its best—it helps me to better articulate my experiences and helps me further understand those of others.”

 He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota’s Creative Writing MFA Program (Fiction) and attends the University of Southern California’s Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature Program as a Provost Fellow. He is a 2021-2023 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.

Most classes are offered at a general and member tuition rates based on instruction hours, with Hugo House members receiving a 10% discount on classes fewer than six sessions.

Early bird discounts are available during the first two weeks of registration and apply to both general and member tuition rates.

To help provide financial accessibility to our class offerings, some classes each quarter are offered with a sliding-scale tuition model, allowing students to pay what they can for the class. For these classes, tuition increments starting at $5 and going up to 125% of the standard pricing will be listed on the page.

Hugo House will only process refund requests that are submitted 5 business days or more before the class start date. To request a refund, log in to your account, go to “My Account,” select the “Orders” tab on the left-hand side, click the appropriate order, and request a refund for your specific class. Administrative fees apply. Please see our full refund policy here.

Class sessions may be recorded if a session falls on a holiday, or if a student has access needs. Class recordings are not guaranteed.

We do not tolerate racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist, transphobic or any other oppressive behaviors, regardless of who commits them. Please check out our full community guidelines by clicking here. If an instance of community guidelines are violated and not resolved within the classroom, students may let us know by filling out the student incident report.

Classes may be cancelled if less than the minimum number of students are enrolled within ten days before the class start date. If Hugo House needs to cancel a class for any reason, students can choose between receiving a full credit toward future classes or full refund.

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