Register Now for “Depth: Using Water in Fiction”

Date: 9 April
Location: Portsmouth, United Kingdom, at Portsmouth Guildhall
Faculty: Conor Patrick
Tuition: £5; registration available at bottom of page.
Contact: or

‘One day in Eden County, in the remote marsh and swamplands to the south, a man named Walter Stuart was stopped in the rain by a sheriff’s deputy along a country road.’ ~Joyce Carol Oates, “Upon the Sweeping Flood”

‘But just as great Odysseus thrashed things out, Poseidon god of the earthquake launched a colossal wave, terrible, murderous, arching over him, pounding down on him, hard as a windstorm blasting piles of dry parched chaff, scattering flying husks—so the long planks of his boat were scattered far and wide.’
~Homer, “The Odyssey”

In many stories, throughout history, water plays a significant role. Perhaps it is not too much to say that the story of humanity itself is inextricable from the story of water; it is our most valuable asset, progenitor of life on Earth, foundation of our human biology, hub of all civilization—and, conversely, it can be an insidious antagonist—a tsunami, a mudslide, a flooder of crops or drowner of children. It is no surprise, then, that water runs through our stories much in the same way it runs through our lives.

In this one-day workshop, we will immerse ourselves in the theme of water, drawing inspiration from and exploring the mechanics of great short fiction through the work of authors such as Gabriel García Márquez and Miranda July. We will explore water in fiction as vehicle of character and setting, use it in exercises based on our own experiences, and let it grow discussions, all aimed at helping writers produce a thousand-word short story. Whether we are writing short stories, novels, novellas, poetry, or plays for the stage or screen, we will ask ourselves what role water can play in our work and teach ourselves how to find inspiration in everyday existence.


10 am-1 pm:
First classs session

1 pm-2 pm

2 pm-5 pm:
Second class session

mr ahrensFaculty:

Conor Patrick is an American writer living in England. His stories have appeared in journals in the United States and the United Kingdom; in 2013, his debut collection, Goodbye Crocodile, was published by The London Magazine. He lives on the south coast.


Register here:

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