Writing the Contemporary Folk or Fairy Tale
with Francesca Lia Block in Culver City

Culver City
One Saturday
1:00 to 5:00 pm
May 11, 2019 

This one-day seminar looks at the way traditional fairy and folk tales can inspire contemporary literature, as well as the differences between the two genres and between the postmodern protagonist and traditional hero or heroine. Using the folk tale research of Vladimir Propp, we will examine the plot elements of the traditional tale and see how they can be applied to contemporary stories. Setting, style, and theme will also be discussed through the work of Angela Carter and Anne Sexton. Students will create and/or revise their own fairy or folk tales (either a contemporary retelling of an existing tale or a story containing certain elements of the original). The overall emphasis of this course will be to use fairy tales as inspiration for writing the short story or novel and as a way to better understand the self.   

This seminar is open to students of all levels. It will be held in Culver City where tea, sparkling water, and light snacks will be served.
Enrollment limit: 8 students
$130 for new students; $120 for returning students

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Francesca Lia Block is the Lifetime Achievement Award-winning author of over thirty acclaimed and widely translated books of fiction, nonfiction, short stories and poetry. She has also written a screenplay for Fox Searchlight and contributed essays, interviews, and reviews to many publications including The Los Angeles Times, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Nylon and Spin. Francesca teaches at Antioch University, Los Angeles and UCLA Extension and recently published a memoir/writing guide The Thorn Necklace: Healing Through Writing and the Creative Process. www.francescaliablock.com.



"In the midst of untangling her own deep-seated vulnerabilities and dreams, the incandescent Francesca Lia Block shares the twelve questions that help shape her words; they will become essential for every writer in search of a light in the literary wilderness." —Jade Chang, author of the New York Times bestseller The Wangs vs. the World

"Francesca Lia Block turns her unique punk-fairie style in a new direction in this fast-paced memoir of hope, disaster, magic, and sheer raw talent, mated with a down-to-earth approach to writing. This double dose of Block, as teacher and writer, is a combination sure to enchant and inform." —Janet Fitch, bestselling author of White Oleander and The Revolution of Marina M.

"The best art begins with the worst pain. In The Thorn Necklace, Francesca Lia Block shepherds us through the process that transforms wounds into words. The transformation's an alchemical one. The prima materia of daily living becomes the base metal of the soul's gold. By turns personal, masterfully intimate, and practical, this book is a must for any writer who aims to get at the heart of all matters: the heart. —Jill Alexander Essbaum, author of the New York Times bestseller Hausfrau

"In this lyrical and haunting meditation on the craft of writing, Block . . .cracks open her psyche and lays it bare in the hopes of inspiring other storytellers-to-be. Wise and inspiring, this is a must-read for artists of all stripes." ―Booklist **starred review**

"The Thorn Necklace is a 'grimoire,' a meditation on turning agony into art, at the same time that it functions as a guide to being creative. Block viscerally shows how she has taken the setbacks of her own life . . . and transformed them into literature that has ultimately inspired and sustained her readers. . . Mesmerizing." ―Los Angeles Review of Books