Why I Teach

Yup…I like teaching

Next week, Shelli Cornelison and I begin our fourth collaboration as teachers of our six-week short fiction workshop. Writers will share and revise as many stories as we can possibly read and critique during that time. Each time we teach, Shelli and I put a lot of effort into planning and promoting. Each time, I ask myself: Why do I teach?

For the collaboration…I love the collective reading of a work and the shared exploration of what works, what’s confusing and what blows our minds.

For the community…Sharing something we’ve written is a vulnerable move and one I don’t take lightly because, at the end of the six weeks, if we’ve treated each other with respect and kindness and rigor, we have formed a community and community is something that humans create which makes the world a better place.

For the articulation…When I teach I have to be able to articulate what’s working (or not) in a story and that articulation makes me a better writer when I come to the blank page.

For the knowledge…Every writer and their story teaches me something about myself, about writing, about story.

For the generosity of spirit…Let’s face it, sitting in a room, creating story can be pretty selfish and self-serving. Teaching kicks me out of that room and that’s a good thing.

For the money…We don’t get rich as teachers but every little bit helps. Every. Little. Bit.

For the joy… Is there a better feeling when someone nails a story and it is accepted for publication? Possibly. But I love the small celebrations of a perfect sentence, a beautiful scene, an indelible story.

If you would like to join us, the class begins on April 11 and runs for six consecutive Wednesdays, 7-10pm at Austin Creative Alliance, 81 San Marcos St. $285.

For more information: Click Here.

If you would like to attend, please send an email to heartofshortfiction@gmail.com