Five Kinds of Wildness: On Young Narrators

with Kimberly King Parsons

Genres: Fiction, Nonfiction, Memoir, Novel, Short Story, Essay


Open to all levels

1 Session

Start Date: March 2, 2024
End Date: March 2, 2024
Day of Week: Saturday
Time: 11:00am - 1:00pm PT
Capacity: 100 seats
Member Price: $99.00
General Price: $110.00

"Sure, children can be boring, intensely boring even—but plenty of adults are boring too, and fewer adults, I’d wager, dazzle as often with their unvarnished insights, unhinged imaginations, and intricate systems of dream logic." —Laura van den Berg

Children can teach us a lot about writing—their curiosity and quiet observation, how they lurk and spy and misunderstand, their dark inquisitiveness and blunt, unnerving honesty. A convincing child narrator is not simply a small adult—they have a fundamentally unique point of view and a position that grants them a particular, if limited, access to the human condition. Whether your aim is to write convincingly from the perspective of a child, or you'd just like to employ more bold, resilient, audacious, and wonderful (as in full of wonder!) techniques in your prose, this 2-hour generative course (suitable for both fiction and nonfiction/memoir writers) will cover various approaches to writing from this unique perspective.


  • "Strays" Mark Richard, Ice at the Bottom of the World
  • Stories in Another Language by Yannick Murphy
  • "Blue, Blue" and "Child" William Tester, Darling
  • A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews
  • "Somewhere Near Sea Level" Dawn Raffel, In the Year of Long Division
  • "My Lucy Friend Who Smells Like Corn" Sandra Cisneros, Woman Hollering Creek
  • We the Animals by Justin Torres


  • This class includes:  
    • Generative Writing: students create new work during class or from assignments.
  • Work outside of class: No writing or reading outside of class.


  • December 4: Scholarship Donation Day 
  • December 5: Member registration opens at 10:30 am PT 
  • December 12: General registration opens at 10:30 am PT 
  • December 18: Last day of Early Bird pricing 
Kimberly King Parsons

Kimberly King Parsons


KIMBERLY KING PARSONS is the author of the debut novel We Were the Universe. She won the 2020 National Magazine Award for Fiction, and her short story collection, Black Light, was longlisted for the National Book Award and the Story Prize. Her fiction has been published in The Paris Review. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her partner and children.

Parsons is the recipient of fellowships from Columbia University, Yaddo, Hermitage Artist Retreat, the Oregon Arts Commission, Regional Arts and Culture Council, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation; her fiction has been published in New York Tyrant, Black Warrior Review, No Tokens, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. Parsons’ collection Black Light was a finalist for the 2020 Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction, the 2020 Texas Institute of Letters Best Work of First Fiction Award, and the 2020 Oregon Book Award.

Born in Lubbock, Texas, Parsons earned a BA in English and an MA in Literary Studies (emphasis on the works of William Faulkner) from the University of Texas at Dallas. She later moved to New York, where she earned an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and served as the editor-in-chief of Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art. Parsons’s book reviews and interviews have appeared in Bookforum, BOMB, Time Out New York, The Millions, and elsewhere. She has been awarded residencies from Yaddo, Hermitage Artist Retreat, Tasajillo Writers Residency, Dairy Hollow, Baltic Writing Residencies, San Ysidro Ranch, the Gullkistan Center for Creativity, the Lillian E. Smith Center, Hypatia-in-the-Woods, and PLAYA. She received the Indiana Review Fiction Prize, placed second in the Joyland Open Border Fiction Prize, and was runner-up in both the Black Warrior Review Fiction Contest and the Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest

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