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Once Upon a Time in the Twenty-First Century: Unexpected Exercises in Creative Writing (Abridged / Paperback)
Fun and innovative exercises and prompts for creative writing students
Once Upon a Time in the Twenty-First Century: Unexpected Exercises in Creative Writing is a unique creative writing text that will appeal to a wide range of readers and writers—from grade nine through college and beyond. Successful creative writers from numerous genres constructed these exercises, including poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction to one-act plays, song lyrics, genre fiction, travel guides, comics and beyond. The exercises use a broad range of creative approaches, aesthetics, and voices, all with an emphasis on demystifying the writing process and having fun.
Editor Robin Behn has divided the book into three writing sections: Genres and Forms, Sources and Methods, and Style and Subject. In each section, Behn offers a brief introduction which explains how to get started and specific ways to develop one’s writing. Each introduction is followed by extensive exercises that draw on literature from classic to contemporary, as well as other art forms and popular culture. Examples range from Flannery O’Connor and Langston Hughes to Allen Ginsberg and Gertrude Stein, from Jamaica Kincaid and James Joyce to Arlo Guthrie and Harryette Mullen. Integrated within the exercises are apt examples of student writings that have emerged from actual use of the exercises in both the classroom and in writing groups. The book concludes with general advice and direction on how to get published.
Based on years of hands-on experiences in the teaching of creative writing in high schools, colleges, and after-school writing clubs, this volume of exercises offers inestimable value to students and teachers in the traditional classroom, as well as a growing number of homeschoolers, those who are part of a writing club or group, and independent writers and learners of all ages.
About the Author
Robin Behn, is professor of English and teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at The University of Alabama. She is the author of five volumes of poems, Quarry Cross, The Yellow House, Horizon Note, The Red Hour, and Paper Bird, and two chapbooks. She is co-editor of The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises from Poets Who Teach.
“Over the last 20 years of conducting the New England Young Writers’ Conference I’ve had many requests by high school English and writing teachers for a list of creative writing resources for instructing their students. Robin Behn’s volume, Once Upon a Time in the Twenty-First Century: Unexpected Exercises in Creative Writing, now sits at the top of that list. This book is a rich collection of unique and expansive prompts coupled with instruction and technique. Each section gives stimulating guidance, exploring method, genre and form that is creatively motivating. It’s ideal for both the teacher and the middle or high school student interested in creative writing; I’m excited to have this resource at my fingertips.”
—Karla Van Vliet, poet, artist, administrator of the New England Young Writers’ Conference
“Let us arrange the letters of the alphabet to say: this book is terrific. Its adventurous approach to creative writing will entice even the most reluctant writers and offer fresh inspiration to students who already love to write. From crafting sestinas to casting spells, these exercises offer clear steps to creating new written works of art in unique and fun ways. Explode your poem! Use an online translator to say something that’s never been said! Write a story one word at a time with a partner! We know these ideas and the dozens more in this book, along with methods of exploring style and even advice on getting started with publication, will energize and encourage writing students of all ages. We’re thrilled to add this volume to our library.”
— Roxanne Banks Malia and Kimberly O’Connor, Lighthouse Young Writers Program Co-Directors
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