August critical reading is tonight!

Tonight is the night! Come join us for a discussion of Nadine Gordimer’s City Lovers, depicting an interracial relationship in apartheid South Africa.

There are no official questions this week, so give it a second read (or third or forth) and bring your own!

We’ll be meeting tonight at 7pm at the restaurant of the Double Tree Suites Downtown.

Each month, the critical reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend.

The Doubletree Suites Hotel is located at 50 S Front St. Columbus 43215. The first six floors of the building are a parking garage, and the floor above that is marked “Lobby”—that’s where we’ll be. On that floor is a swanky pub/restaurant. You can park either in the aforementioned parking garage or at the meters right outside the building on Front St. If you’re parked in the garage, you don’t need to leave the building, simply find the elevator and take it up to the floor marked “Lobby.” If you’re on the street, go through the sliding doors and the elevators will be on your right.

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August critical reading

The end of summer is quickly approaching. Why not spend a few of these dwindling hours with us discussing complex, compelling literature? This month, the critical reading workshop will be reading Nadine Gordimer’s City Lovers, a story of an interracial love affair in apartheid South Africa. An audio recording of this story can be found here.

We’ll be meeting Wednesday August 16th at 19th at 7pm at the restaurant of the Double Tree Suites Downtown.

Each month, the critical reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend.

The Doubletree Suites Hotel is located at 50 S Front St. Columbus 43215. The first six floors of the building are a parking garage, and the floor above that is marked “Lobby”—that’s where we’ll be. On that floor is a swanky pub/restaurant. You can park either in the aforementioned parking garage or at the meters right outside the building on Front St. If you’re parked in the garage, you don’t need to leave the building, simply find the elevator and take it up to the floor marked “Lobby.” If you’re on the street, go through the sliding doors and the elevators will be on your right.

Check back next week when we’ll be posting discussion questions for you to mull over before the meetup.

Questions? Comments? Got a story you’d love to discuss? Send them to the workshop moderator at nick@columbuscoop.org. See you there!

 

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Critical reading is tonight

Our critical reading workshop happens tonight! We’ll be discussing the merits of Deborah Eisenberg’s Some Other, Better Otto at the Columbus Capital Club at 7PM.

Some questions for you to mull over before the meet up:

  1. This is another story that isn’t really driven by a central plot–what was the driving force behind the story? Did you find that force to be compelling? If you had casually picked up this story, would you have finished it?
  2. Persnickety Otto is arguably one of the driving forces–in what ways is Otto developed? How is he made believable?
  3. This story incorporates a lot of characters. Some might say too many. What little tricks does the narrator use to keep them all straight for the reader? Did you find these to be effective? Do these secondary characters feel real? Or do they feel more like set pieces for Otto to interact with?
  4. In discussions of writing, much is made on the balance between “showing vs. telling”–do you feel like the story manages this balance well?
  5. Would you reread this story again? If so, why? What about it captured you?

That’s it for questions. Bring your thoughts on this piece and your own questions to tonight’s meeting.

Each month, the reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend. The Capital Club is located on the lobby floor of the Doubletree Suites Hotel on South Front Street. Get more details in this ancient blog post.

Check back next week when we’ll be posting discussion questions for you to mull over before the meetup.

Questions? Comments? Got a story you’d love to discuss? Send them to the workshop moderator at nick@columbuscoop.org. See you there!

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July Critical Reading

Do you find yourself contemplating family get togethers with dread? If so, then you’ll likely enjoy discussing Deborah Eisenberg’s Some Other, Better Otto with us at this month’s critical reading workshop. This story can be found in numerous short story collections.

We’ll be meeting July 19th at 7pm at the Capital Club.

Each month, the reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend. The Capital Club is located on the lobby floor of the Doubletree Suites Hotel on South Front Street. Get more details in this ancient blog post.

Check back next week when we’ll be posting discussion questions for you to mull over before the meetup.

Questions? Comments? Got a story you’d love to discuss? Send them to the workshop moderator at nick@columbuscoop.org. See you there!

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Critical reading has arrived!

Critical reading is tomorrow night! (I’m early this week.) Join us to discuss Painted Ocean, Painted Ship by Rebecca Makkai, a story of slain albatrosses, passive racism, and soiled shoes.

Also, my last blog post indicated that this story was about confusion. But I had only given the story a cursory glance before writing the post. It would be better to say that this story is about misperception (see what I did there?).

The story can be read online with a free account at jstor.org.

On to this month’s questions!

  1. This story is divided into two discrete parts—part A, which makes up the bulk of the story, and part B. Part A is built on the strength of the narrator and the reader’s empathy for her. What details make Alex believable? What about her self-destructive rampage? And her obsession with her image? How does the author keep the last two facets of the character from descending into farce?
  2. Part A relies heavily on allusions to other works that most people would not be familiar with—does this story only work for fine arts majors that are intimately familiar with pre-Raphaelite painters and the Lake Poets? How does the author clue us in on these works without bogging us down with too much information?

    (Rime of the Ancient Mariner can be found here and paintings/photos of Jane Morris can be found here.)

  3. The story’s structure very blatantly reflects its theme of misperception (you think that you’re reading a story about one thing, but then find out that you’re actually reading something completely different). How do you feel about this? Is it too “on the nose?” Too “assembled?” Or would you consider it creative and masterful artistry?
  4. Part B of the story isn’t so much a “twist” in the story’s plot as a rewriting of Part A. And Part B is written in such a way as to resist/deflect any critique asserting that the reader isn’t well prepared for Part B (“But where had the signs been? There had been no signs;”). But, regardless, how did part B affect you? Did you find it to be effective? Jarring? Did you feel cheated? Or did it deepen your emotional connection to the story?
  5. Part B pretty blatantly spells out the story’s thesis. How does the author get away with this? Does it add or detract from your immersion into this story?

That’s it for questions. Bring your thoughts on this piece and your own questions to tonight’s meeting.

Each month, the reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend. The Capital Club is located on the lobby floor of the Doubletree Suites Hotel on South Front Street. Get more details in this ancient blog post.

Check back next week when we’ll be posting discussion questions for you to mull over before the meetup.

Questions? Comments? Got a story you’d love to discuss? Send them to the workshop moderator at nick@columbuscoop.org. See you there!

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June critical reading

As always, the critical reading group will be getting together to discuss/inspect/dissect/pick apart an amazing short story. This month we will be reading Painted Ocean, Painted Ship by Rebecca Makkai. This story can be found in either the Best American Short Stories Anthology, V. 10 or online here at jstor by signing up for a free account.

We’ll be meeting Wed. June 21st at 7 pm at the Columbus Capital Club.

Each month, the reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend. The Capital Club is located on the lobby floor of the Doubletree Suites Hotel on South Front Street. Get more details in this ancient blog post.

Check back next week when we’ll be posting discussion questions for you to mull over before the meetup.

Questions? Comments? Got a story you’d love to discuss? Send them to the workshop moderator at nick@columbuscoop.org. See you there!

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May critical reading is tonight!

Tonight is the night! Join us at 7PM at the Capital Club for a discussion of A Tiny Feast by Chris Adrian.

Questions to ponder beforehand:

  1. This story juxtaposes the fantastic and the tragic. How are the two worlds blended? What details on either side of the coin make this believable? What does this accomplish in the reader?
  2. The main characters are utterly unrealistic yet relatable–what details give them depth? Which bits of dialogue in particular help build the characters?
  3. The boy at the center of the story is kept mostly silent–what does this accomplish?
  4. How does the author shape or present grief in a way that keeps the story from veering into melodrama? How does the sentence structure “package” the grief?

That’s it for questions. Bring your thoughts on this piece and your own questions to tonight’s meeting.

Each month, the reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend. The Capital Club is located on the lobby floor of the Doubletree Suites Hotel on South Front Street. Get more details in this ancient blog post.

Check back next week when we’ll be posting discussion questions for you to mull over before the meetup.

Questions? Comments? Got a story you’d love to discuss? Send them to the workshop moderator at nick@columbuscoop.org. See you there!

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May Critical Reading

Do you believe in fairies? Do you? If you do, clap your hands and join us for the May critical reading discussion, where we’ll be reading A Tiny Feast by Chris Adrian, a tale of fairies and leukemia. The full text of this story can be found here.

This month’s discussion will take place May 24th at 7:00 PM at the Columbus Capital Club.

Each month, the reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend. The Capital Club is located on the lobby floor of the Doubletree Suites Hotel on South Front Street. Get more details in this ancient blog post.

Check back next week when we’ll be posting discussion questions for you to mull over before the meetup.

Questions? Comments? Got a story you’d love to discuss? Send them to the workshop moderator at nick@columbuscoop.org. See you there!

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Critical Reading is Tonight!

Join us tonight for a discussion of Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber. The meeting will take place at the Capital Club at 7 PM.

Here are a few questions for you to chew over before the meeting:

  1. The author attempts to use the narrative voice to help construct the setting–did you find any phrases, sentence structures, or vocabulary to be particularly Victorian? Where there any instances where the author failed in this attempt? Any instances where she broke the Victorian voice for something more modern?
  2. This is, ostensibly, a thriller or work of suspense–how did the pacing work for you? How did you feel about the placement of the details/instances that were used to bring out about the rising tension?
  3. The author spends a lot of space in this story constructing a certain tension between the male gaze and female lust–how did you feel about these passages? Were they artfully constructed? Did they convey the author’s intent?
  4. The works of Debussy are a recurring theme in this story. If you have time, listen to Debussy’s Nuages (which translates to clouds). You can find a recording of the piece here. Do you find the story to be reminiscent of this piece of music?
  5. How did you feel about the ending? This short story was first published in 1979–do you thing that this ending would have “passed muster” if it were submitted for publishing now?

That’s it for questions. Bring your thoughts on this piece and your own questions about it to tonight’s meeting.

Each month, the reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend. The Capital Club is located on the lobby floor of the Doubletree Suites Hotel on South Front Street. Get more details in this ancient blog post.

Check back next week when we’ll be posting discussion questions for you to mull over before the meetup.

Questions? Comments? Got a story you’d love to discuss? Send them to the workshop moderator at nick@columbuscoop.org. See you there!

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April Critical Reading Workshop

April is the cruelest month (according to T.S. Eliot), so for this month’s critical reading discussion we’ll be reading Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber–a modern retelling of the French folktale of the notoriously cruel Bluebeard.  The full text of this story can be found here.

This month’s discussion will be held Wednesday April 19 at 7 pm.

Each month, the reading workshop meets to read the work of a published author from a writer’s perspective, breaking down what makes the story work and why. It’s one of the best ways you can improve as a writer. Never been to a workshop? Check out our FAQ.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend. The Capital Club is located on the lobby floor of the Doubletree Suites Hotel on South Front Street. Get more details in this ancient blog post.

Check back next week when we’ll be posting discussion questions for you to mull over before the meetup.

Questions? Comments? Got a story you’d love to discuss? Send them to the workshop moderator at nick@columbuscoop.org. See you there!

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