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Short Story Crash Course

with Neel Patel in Downtown LA

Two Saturdays
1:00 to 4:00 pm
March 16 and 23, 2019


In this two-day seminar, we will address the particular demands and delights of the short story. We will cover elements of fiction writing such as characterization, scene, voice, tense, dialogue, point of view, and creating stakes. During the first class, we will discuss published fiction from a craft perspective and complete writing exercises designed to tackle specific short story techniques. During the second meeting, participants will have the opportunity to workshop a short short story.

This seminar is open to students of all levels. It will be held in Downtown LA where coffee, sparkling water, and light snacks will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$190 for new students; $170 for returning students

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Neel Patel is the author of the short story collection, If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi, a New York Times Editors’ Choice and an NPR Best Book of 2018. His work has appeared in several publications and his book was longlisted for The Aspen Words Literary Prize and optioned for television. He lives in Los Angeles, where he is writing a novel and developing a television series for AMC.


“Refreshing . . . Defiant . . . Consistently surprising . . . Patel’s Indian-American characters aren’t reduced to the status of model minorities or 7-11 owners . . . Where so much fiction about the immigrant family tends to become an exercise in anthropology, a study of inherited customs foisted on a child caught between cultures, Patel’s characters are fundamentally engaged with the world.” The New York Times Book Review

“Surprising, funny . . . Brave . . . A reminder that messiness makes the human experience beautiful.”

“You won’t want to miss . . . Patel turns his lens on Indian-Americans, addressing with depth and care subjects that are often overlooked or made into caricature: helicopter parents, conflicts between spouses, sibling rivalry, racism, sexual orientation, and identity.” Vanity Fair (“Summer Reading: This Season’s Ultimate Fiction List”)

“At turns heartbreaking and uplifting . . . Neel Patel upends stereotypes, especially Indian-American masculinity. He’s at his most remarkable when illuminating the experience of queer men making sense of their sexuality, and allowing themselves to hope for a happy ending with the men they love.” ―BuzzFeed

“The characters in these 11 stories, nearly all of whom are first-generation Indian immigrants, are gay and straight, highly successful and totally lost, meekly traditional and boldly transgressive, but as they navigate a familiar contemporary landscape of suburban malls and social media stalking, they come off as deeply―and compellingly―American.” The Millions (“The Great Book Preview”)