Word Factory Masterclass: Eley Williams

Brief Encounter: a masterclass on the art of the glimpse

Fri, 22 July 2022
10:00 – 12:30 BST

About this event

We are delighted to welcome back Eley Williams to the Word Factory to lead this two and a half hour online masterclass.

About this class

Any attempt to define ‘the short story’ requires a consideration of brevity. This might imply that abruptness or concision is central to the reading and writing of short fiction, but some of our most treasured stories are important to us precisely because of the resounding nature of what is experienced or enacted on the page, lingering in our imagination long after the first reading. A story’s apparent ‘suddenness’ might be due to the impact of a specific image or line of dialogue, an economy of language or sense of narrative structure: how is it that one author can illustrate a relationship’s worth of emotion in prose that can be read in under a minute, and another seems able to evoke a complexity of landscape, history or community in a matter of paragraphs? Ali Smith described short stories as ‘consum[ing] you faster’, while William Trevor compared them to ‘the art of the glimpse’. Through discussion of potential overlaps with prose-poetry and flash fiction, featuring guided exercises and close-reading, this masterclass invites us to examine how fiction writers can make the moment momentous, and stage our own brief encounters through text.

About Eley Williams

Eley Williams is the author of a collection of short stories, Attrib. and Other Stories, awarded the Republic of Consciousness Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Her second book, The Liar’s Dictionary, won the 2021 Betty Trask Award and was a Guardian Book of the Year. With stories anthologised in The Penguin Book of the Contemporary British Short Story (Penguin Classics, 2018) and Liberating the Canon (Dostoevsky Wannabe, 2018), Eley’s fiction has also been broadcast on Radio 4 and shortlisted for the National Short Story Award. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

This class will be hosted by Word Factory Director Cathy Galvin. Queries: email hidden; JavaScript is required