Playing With Form

Playing With Form

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Gold Star Member

What happens when we step away from the traditional three act structure or linear story and make a big ol' mess of our stories?


For all Gold Star Members

Your Hosts

Timothy J. Jarvis


Tue, 17 September 2024
07:00 pm



How Much

From £20. See all membership options here

One of the most important elements of fiction is a compelling structure or architecture. The most common and obvious shape is an arc or wave moving from equilibrium to disequilibrium and back to equilibrium again. But this is a little tired, and besides has baked into it the idea of a return to stasis.

Different or unusual narrative shapes can bring about transformation, can be forms of resistance.

What might a story patterned on a nautilus shell or the constellations of the night sky look like? What transformations might it bring about?

In this workshop, we’ll play with form and look at radical structures for storytelling. We’ll also explore how this is not just a macro strategy, but how disruptions at the level of the sentence can resist the old staid (and sometimes oppressive) logics of language. 

What We'll Explore

  • Why we might want to challenge the age-old narrative structure of the arc or wave
  • How we can go about doing so
  • What other shapes are out there for our storytelling
  • What happens when we mess with language at the level of the sentence

What You'll Get

A 60 minute interactive webinar with exercises exploring story shape and form

Who You Are

  • A writer who wants to explore new ways of telling stories
  • A writer who wants to explore more about the importance, politics and power of stories
  • A writer who wants to participate in a communal creative project
  • A newbie or oldbie who wants to have some writing fun
  • Anyone! 

About the Writers' HQ Writing as Resistance Festival 

Supported by Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Strathclyde

“A word after a word after a word is power” Margaret Atwood

Join Team WHQ, Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), and a carefully curated team of incredible authors for a month of panels, workshops, write-alongs and events exploring stories, writing and creativity as radical, political and powerful.

During September, we’re taking a deep dive into the rebellious, subversive nature of creativity and what that means for you, an individual writer sitting in front of a laptop wishing things were better, and for all of us, a community of humans existing together in a world where change often feels impossible.

We’re going to wade deep into the transformative possibilities of fiction and how stories can open portals, sow seeds of change, or lob a well-timed literary Molotov in the jaws of the machine. Fuck yeah!

But! The WHQ Writing as Resistance Festival isn’t just about talking, we’re also doing. With a series of free guided workshops, we are challenging all of you to write a brand new story, but one that’s unlike anything you’ve written before. And then we’ll end he month with a mass celebration during which we’ll send all our stories into the world at once.

The Mass Submission Project

Can stories change the world? Absolutely yes. Throughout the month, via a series of free workshops, we’re challenging you to write a story about climate justice that’s unlike anything you’ve written before. And at the end, we’re all going to submit those stories to the same five mainstream publications. Why are we doing this? Part protest, part art, part ritual outsporing of our collective desires and a demand to be heard. We don’t necessarily expect anything to be published (yet! Cooeee future anthology maybe?!), but we are out to make a noise. There is so much more that stories can do. So we’re going to do it.

Full details of the Writing As Resistance Festival can be found here >>

About your host / hosts

Timothy J. Jarvis

Timothy J. Jarvis is a writer with an interest in the antic and the strange. His cult ‘last man’ novel, The Wanderer, was first released in summer 2014 by Perfect Edge Books and republished by Zagava in 2022. Short fiction has appeared in various venues and in 2023 his debut collection, Treatises on Dust, was published by Swan River Press. He is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Anglia Ruskin University.

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