Story Openings: Beyond “Once Upon a Time”
Intermediate | Story openings have a big job—they entice your reader to continue reading. But what’s the best way to get their attention? Dialogue? Flashforward? A knock-down argument? In this workshop, you will write your own story opening from a prompt. Then, you will revamp it—again and again—creating different effects each time. We will examine various story openings across genres to understand how different styles can change a piece. You will see how your reimagined intros can alter tone, point of view, pace, and more.
Tina Tocco is a Pushcart Prize nominee. As a writer for both children and adults, her work has appeared in kiddie magazines, such as Highlights, Cricket, Humpty Dumpty, AppleSeeds, and Odyssey, and in literary journals, including New Ohio Review, River Styx, Sou’wester, Roanoke Review, Potomac Review, Portland Review, and Italian Americana. Her children’s poetry collection, The Hungry Snowman and Other Poems, was released by Kelsay Books in 2019; her grown-up work was selected for The Best Small Fictions 2019 (Sonder Press, 2019), Best Nonfiction Food (Woodhall Press, 2020), and other anthologies. A recipient of multiple awards, Tina was a runner-up for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrator’s Work-in-Progress Grant and a finalist in CALYX’s Flash Fiction Contest. She earned her MFA in creative writing from Manhattanville College, where she was editor-in-chief of Inkwell. Tina has taught for GrubStreet, Hudson Valley Writers Center, Arts Escape, Kids Short Story Connection, and other organizations.