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Creative Writing Seminar with Ilana Blumberg

Parts of the Whole: From Sentence to Paragraph to Story

with prize-winning author & teacher,


Thursday, July 4


Katamon, Jerusalem

All our stories are made up of language: of sentences and paragraphs. So what makes a story powerful and memorable when we read it?

This workshop will slow down to focus on crafting our prose in ways that make our ideas and feelings memorable, evocative, powerful. Have no fear! Most first drafts cannot achieve this. So we will investigate the process in which we can refine our language, as we go.

Looking closely at very different examples of inspiring prose, we will consider together how to build strong sentences, how to calibrate the force of a set of sentences that make up a paragraph, how to find the right rhythms for the stories we are telling, the right images, the right balance between everyday language and high language. At the same time, we will, as always, be thinking about the whole: the stories we want to tell, and perhaps even need to tell.

Texts may include sections from Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid; The Last of Her Kind, by Sigrid Nunez; and the stories of Katherine Anne Porter.

Register here:

Ilana Blumberg is the author of Open Your Hand: Teaching as a Jew, Teaching as an American(Rutgers Press, 2018) and the Sami Rohr Prize-winning memoir, Houses of Study: A Jewish Woman Among Books. She directs the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar-Ilan University where she is a senior lecturer in English literature. She is widely published in Victorian studies and has won teaching awards from the University of Pennsylvania and Michigan State University.

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