Invite, Beg, Snare, Brag: How to Open Stories and Essays



Have you got what it takes to hook your reader with the first line of your story or essay and keep them reading until the end? Or do you spend too long staring at a blank screen and dreading writing the first sentence, or even the first draft?

This generative workshop will look at different ways to open stories and essays by looking at a range of examples and analyzing them. Using these findings, we will try to create some fresh story and essay openings full of tension and conflict which will compel your audience to read on. Having these tools as part of our writing tool kit should enable us to let go of our inner tensions and feel freer to create great story and essay beginnings.

Writers will leave this workshop with ideas or prompts to help them generate opening lines and paragraphs for flash fiction, short stories, essays and other forms of creative non-fiction. While this workshop will focus on writing prose, these techniques could be applied to creating alluring openings of poems as well. Openings for any form of creative writing must invite, beg, snare, broadcast, brag to catch the busy readers attention. Let’s work together to keep them reading.

Who should take this class? Open to high school students and adults. Beginning  and advanced writers of fiction, nonfiction and poetry are welcome.

When is this class offered? This class is offered for one session on Saturday, November 9 from 10 a.m.-12  p.m. at MatchBOX Coworking Studio in Lafayette. The class costs $32.  

Who is the instructor? Tommy Dean lives in Indiana with his wife and two children. He is the author of a flash fiction chapbook entitled Special Like the People on TV from Redbird Chapbooks. He is the Flash Fiction Section Editor at Craft Literary. He has been previously published in the BULL Magazine, The MacGuffin, The Lascaux Review, Pidgeonholes, Pithead Chapel, and New Flash Fiction Review. His story “You’ve Stopped” was chosen by Dan Chaon to be included in Best Microfiction 2019. It will also be included in Best Small Fiction 2019. “You’ve Stopped” also won the VERA award from Vestal Review. Find him @TommyDeanWriter on Twitter or visit his website