Reading as a Writer: Analyzing the Short Story


Reading as a Writer: Analyzing the Short Story

Take a look at a set of “linked” short stories by a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and try some fun writing activities.

Meeting Times
  1. Wed, 5/22/2024 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Wed, 5/22/2024


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No Prerequisite, Class

Small Classroom



Too often as writers, we neglect the importance of reading other authors' works (beyond enjoyment, anyway). To "read as a writer" is to read closely, to pause and analyze the craft and techniques the author uses to make their writing "effective" (rather than "good").

In the short-story collections "All Aunt Hagar's Children" and "Lost in the City," Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edward P. Jones explores life in the predominately black neighborhood of Washington, D.C., and the way in which location defines and dictates the characters' experiences. Uniquely, the stories of each book have a counterpart in the other collection (in other words, the stories are "linked" in some way).

We'll discuss two pairs of stories, and dig down to find specific passages that work to bring the story to life. We'll look for ways we might use these same techniques, and come away with ideas and tools to use in our own work.

Class Policies

Ages 14 and up are welcome.

BARN Policies

Instructors or Guides

Warren Read

Warren is the award-winning author of the novels "One Simple Thing," "Ash Falls," and the historical family memoir "The Lyncher In Me." Kirkus Reviews called "Ash Falls" “a: "moody, haunting foray into rural Americana in the mold of Daniel Woodrell and Christian Kiefer.” Warren is active in the Puget Sound Writing Project, a division of the National Writing Project, which helps teachers redefine themselves as writers, thus creating the same opportunities for their students. Warren lives in Kingston with his husband and their three sons.

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