The Art of Fact in Fiction

Did you know that baby giraffes can stand within half a minute of their birth? That NASA estimates one piece of space junk returns to earth each day? That in 1518 there was a month-long plague of dancing, during which several people danced themselves to death? Often the real world presents facts that seem stranger than fiction. In this workshop, we’ll explore how we can use facts in our fictional stories not only to add color to our prose, but also to serve as powerful metaphors that can illuminate certain aspects of our characters, deepen our understanding of the world, and even undermine societal norms. After using magazines and the Internet to find facts that stand out to us, we’ll begin to develop characters and stories that “respond” to these facts in interesting and nuanced ways.

Lee Conell lives, writes, and teaches in Nashville, Tennessee. Her stories and creative nonfiction have appeared or are forthcoming in  Glimmer Train ,  Kenyon Review online ,  The Normal School ,  Guernica ,  American Short Fiction ,  Crazyhorse ,  The New York Times , and elsewhere.  She recently earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Vanderbilt University, where she was the 2014-2015 Fiction Fellow, taught classes in Fiction Writing, coordinated creative writing events in the freshman dormitories, and served as the Nonfiction Editor of the  Nashville Review . She currently is a Writer Mentor for Southern Word, an instructor for Vanderbilt Programs for Talented Youth, and on faculty at the Sewanee Young Writers Conference.

Lee Conell lives, writes, and teaches in Nashville, Tennessee. Her stories and creative nonfiction have appeared or are forthcoming in Glimmer TrainKenyon Review onlineThe Normal SchoolGuernicaAmerican Short FictionCrazyhorseThe New York Times, and elsewhere.  She recently earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Vanderbilt University, where she was the 2014-2015 Fiction Fellow, taught classes in Fiction Writing, coordinated creative writing events in the freshman dormitories, and served as the Nonfiction Editor of the Nashville Review. She currently is a Writer Mentor for Southern Word, an instructor for Vanderbilt Programs for Talented Youth, and on faculty at the Sewanee Young Writers Conference.