Folk Tales in New Fiction

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Keynes Library

Birkbeck School of Arts

43 Gordon Square

London

WC1H 0PD

United Kingdom

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Sara Maitland wrote that folk tales speak deeply to us because they are ‘filled with the reverberations of everyone’s dreams’. On this course, we will explore the different ways in which we can harness the strange power of folk tales in our writing.

Folk tales have long been borrowed by writers, from Charles Perrault’s first ‘literary fairy tales’ in Mother Goose, to Angela Carter’s subversive and riotous remixes in The Bloody Chamber, to Lucy Wood’s Cornish folklore-infused Diving Belles.

Such writers have engaged with folk tales in myriad ways, from full-blown rewrites, to weaving in recognisable characters and symbols, to using tales as jumping off points for completely new work.

As well as exploring folk tales themselves, we’ll look at a range of published fiction that demonstrates this range of approaches. This might include stories from writers such as Angela Carter, Marina Warner, Sara Maitland, Donald Barthelme, Joyce Carol Oates, Kirsty Logan, Lucy Wood and more.

We will try out these methods for ourselves, using folk tales, themes, characters and objects in writing exercises throughout the day.

If you have a favourite folk tale, or folk-tale inspired short story or novel, please feel free to bring it along to discuss.

This course is aimed at new or established writers, who are either already experimenting with using folk tales in their writing, or who would like to learn about this approach for the first time.

This one-day workshop will be led by London Lit Lab’s Zoe Gilbert, an author, creative writing teacher and mentor specialising in short fiction. Her stories have been published in anthologies and journals around the world, and have won prizes including the Costa Short Story Award. She is currently completing a PhD on folk tales in new short fiction. Her folk tale-inspired novel, Folk, was published by Bloomsbury in 2018. You can read her award-winning stories online here and here.

The Keynes Library is an elegant, spacious room in Bloomsbury, in a house which is now the Birkbeck School of Arts. It was formerly the living room of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell.

Places are limited to 15. For more information please visit http://www.londonlitlab.co.uk/?page_id=330 or email us at info@londonlitlab.co.uk.


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Date and Time

Location

Keynes Library

Birkbeck School of Arts

43 Gordon Square

London

WC1H 0PD

United Kingdom

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 30 days before event

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