Course Catalog

Dazzle the Reader: Why “Show, Don’t Tell” is a Crock

“Show, don’t tell” is a well-worn cornerstone of creative writing workshops, a slogan cited like scripture. It also might be the single most destructive piece of advice aspiring writers ever receive. In this freewheeling session, participants will look at concrete examples of how the “show, don’t tell” mantra often wreaks havoc on writers’ storytelling by creating confusion, sapping their prose of suspense, and causing them to write disjointed scenes. In short, how “show, don’t tell” leaves readers bewildered rather than dazzled. The workshop will offer a much more useful creed: Tell the reader just enough to feel what they’re being shown. Participants will also complete writing exercises in class to bring the lessons home.

Due to COVID-19, all classes will take place online-either through Zoom or through Wet Ink, our asynchronous learning platform-through Spring quarter 2021.

All times are listed in Pacific Time.

Instructor: Steve Almond

Class Type: 1 Session

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Start Date: 10/08/2018

Days of the Week: Monday

Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm PDT

Minimum Class Size: 5

Maximum Class Size: 16

$99.00 Member Price:
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$110.00 General Price:

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Steve Almond

Steve Almond is the author of ten books of fiction and non-fiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His forthcoming book is William Stoner and the Battle for the Inner Life. Steve's short stories have appeared in the Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize anthologies. His essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine and elsewhere. For many years, he hosted the Dear Sugars podcast with Cheryl Strayed.

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