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Wild Inside: More 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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Refunds up to 30 days before event

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Marina Warner wrote that the wonders of folk tale ‘disrupt the apprehensible world in order to open spaces for dreaming alternatives.’ On this course, we will explore different ways of capturing the dreamlike wonder of folk tales to create our own enchanting, and disruptive, fiction.

For as long as they have been told, folk tales have been borrowed and then warped, refashioned or adorned. Over the centuries, from Charles Perrault to Angela Carter to 21st-century authors such as Helen Oyeyemi and Lucy Wood, the symbols and signs of folk tale have passed from writer to writer, even as their meanings, in new hands, have changed.

As readers, we respond to these meanings in deep, personal places where intuition often overtakes the rational. As writers, we want to learn how to harness that power: as well as retelling tales, we might twist them, turn their archetypes inside out, continue where they left off, or pare them back to the bones and start afresh.

These are all techniques we will explore as we look at both original folk tales, and fiction inspired by them – including stories by writers such as Emma Donoghue, Sara Maitland, Sarah Hall, Kirsty Logan, Lucy Wood, Helen Oyeyemi, Michael Cunningham and Jackie Kay.

We will try out these methods for ourselves, using as our inspiration the archetypal character of the crone or witch, the symbolism of beasts and wild animals, the folklore of trees, and the mysteries beyond the ‘happy ever after’.

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.

Note: for those who have attended the previous ‘Folk Tales in New Fiction’ course, this course is an ideal follow-up with all new material. For those who have not attended the original ‘Folk Tales in New Fiction’, it doesn’t matter a jot!

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 www.londonlitlab.co.uk 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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