In a Word: Jumpstart Your Imagination with Everyday Words


In a Word: Jumpstart Your Imagination with Everyday Words

Examine examples of flash fiction, memoir, and essay and explore how they are inspired by single, everyday words.

Meeting Times
  1. 08/19/2023 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM



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All Levels, Class

Writers' Studio

Fiction, Nonfiction


Read and discuss examples of flash fiction, memoir, and essay inspired by single, everyday words. We will explore the different ways writers use their chosen word as muse - to spark memory, extend metaphor, illuminate concept, create rhythm and meaning through repetition, and more. Using words generated in class, you'll have the opportunity to try out those ideas through writing exercises and come away with one or more drafts of short prose pieces to polish at home.

Examples of published work by Joy Harjo, Julie Marie Wade, Octavio Solis, and others will guide us and provide a range of voices and techniques we can discuss. Some of these techniques will include using your word as the anchor in an extended metaphor, exploring a web of word-associations, and using repetition intentionally.

The class will include reading brief examples together (materials provided in class) and instructor-led group discussion, interspersed with writing exercises. We will use brainstorming, mind mapping, and individual in-class writing to generate ideas. By the end of the workshop, you'll have at least one draft of a prose piece that you can continue to work on and receive one round of instructor feedback (asynchronous). There will be opportunities to share our in-class writing with each other in a supportive environment (optional).


  • Skill level: All levels

Class Policies

  • Ages 14 and up are welcome. 

BARN Policies

Instructors or Guides

Heather Jacobs

Prose writer and musician Heather Jacobs is the founding editor of Big Fiction Magazine and holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in Fifth Wednesday Journal, Spartan, Moss, Fugue, The Lumberyard, and elsewhere. Her work has received support from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, Can Serrat International Art Residency, and Artist Trust. She lives in Seattle with her husband and son.

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