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The Loft's Virtual Wordsmith

All Conference Read: Megha Majumdar's A Burning

Debut best-selling novelist Megha Majumdar will discuss the writing choices she made in A Burning. This is an amazing way to learn about process and writing choices from an author of one of the biggest books of the year. We encourage all attendees to come to this session having read A Burning, and bring your questions for her during the Q&A period. Moderated by Allison Wyss.

October 2, 2020, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. CST, Crowdcast (Register for link and instructions)

Strange Bodies in Art and Writing Tour

November 11, 2019, 1-3pm at the Minneapolis Institute of Art

In this tour of the MIA, we'll look at works that portray bodies in unusual ways, focusing not on each piece as art , but on how it makes us rethink the human body and its relation to self and identity. We'll examine what society considers "normal" and what it deems "monstrous," breaking down and questioning those categories--and creating art in response to it. We'll end at the cafe with writing prompts inspired by our discussion. Volunteers will have the opportunity to share a bit of their new art-and-the-body-inspired writing.

Bring your own body and brain, as well as something to write on and with.

The event is free, but space is limited, and registration is required.

Allison Wyss is a fiscal year 2019 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

The Loft's Wordsmith

All Conference Read: Tea Obreht's Inland

All conference attendees are encouraged to read Tea Obreht's new novel Inland--and then come to this session to hear the author discuss the book! With Allison Wyss as moderator, we'll explore some of the key craft decisions, revisions, processes, and challenges that went into writing Inland. Come prepared with your own ideas and questions. There will be plenty of time to hear from this master of craft!

November 3, 2019, 1:45-2:45pm at The MacNamara Alumni Center, Minneapolis

In Medias Res: Hook a Reader, Tell a Story

A common piece of writing advice--so ubiquitous it has become cliche--is to begin at the very last moment before resolution, when characters are dealing with an extreme, though obscured, crisis (death, fire, gunshot) and then move back in time to tell the story that leads to that moment. How can this technique hook the reader? How can it intensify and complicate both plot and characters? And when is it just a bad gimmick, standing in for actual suspense in the forward-momentum of the narrative? This session will explore when to use the technique as well as how to use it, and will include exercises, tips, and sample texts.

November 3, 2019, 11:15-12:15pm at The MacNamara Alumni Center, Minneapolis

Fairy Tales for Grownups

So much new writing retells or subverts fairy tales and myths, but why? What is it about these warnings, morals, and stories that seem as potent and important as ever? Join us as Carter Meland, Sequoia Nagamatsu, and Allison Wyss read 5 minutes of their work, then come together to discuss the roles of traditional and modern fairy tales for storytellers.

November 14, 2018 at 7 PM - 8:30 PM at Open Book, Minneapolis

Staying True: Honesty in Your Subject Matter
The Loft Pitch Conference, March 2018, Minneapolis

Jambo! Loft Class Sampler
March 2018, Minneapolis

Minneapolis Storytelling Workshop Literary Happy Hour and Reading
January 2018, Minneapolis

An evening with Bette Adriaanse, Nicholas Butler, and Allison Wyss
January 2016, Minneapolis

Teaching Artist Reading
December 2014, Minneapolis

Writ Loud
September 2014, Minneapolis

© 2015-21 Allison Wyss. Image courtesy of Stacia Yeapanis.