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 short 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, who is currently completing a Creative Writing PhD on folk tales in new short fiction. Her own book of folk tale-inspired stories will be published by Bloomsbury in early 2018. You can read her award-winning stories online here and here.
Course fee: £99 early bird bookings. £129 full fee.
Date and time: 20th May 2017, 10am-4pm (please arrive 15 mins early)
Location: Clapton Laundry, London, E5 8DJ – a luxurious, inspiring space in East London, where lunch will also be provided. For more info, look here.
Places are limited to 12. To reserve yours, or for more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find out more about London Lit Lab here.