Workshop #


Writing Your Short Story: Crafting Invention And Memory Work


Shirley Geok-lin Lim

The workshop’s major themes are strategies for invention—e.g., imaging and deep-diving randomness; memory work—i.e., plumbing what you remember and know, what you have seen, what disturbs you; and the formal craft of the short story. Its goals include generating writing as content and as literary stylistics. The time is scheduled in quadrants, with individual, small group and whole workshop activities. The first quarter is composed of introductions and reviewing your strengths and goals. The second quarter will focus on time spent on writing, either beginning a new project or working with an on-going project. The third quarter is workshop-focused: small group sharing, critiquing, revisioning the big picture, and minding/mining the particulars. The last quarter is rewriting the workshop project: reframing, cutting, expanding, refining, and polishing. The closing segment of the workshop is celebrating your work with readings and final assessments on takeaways.



Shirley Geok-lin Lim’s first poetry collection, Crossing the Peninsula, received the British Commonwealth Poetry Prize, first for a woman and Asian. She has published ten poetry collections, most recently The Irreversible Sun, Ars Poetica for the Day, and Do You Live In? Her poetry has been widely anthologized; published in journals like the Hudson Review, Feminist Studies and the Virginia Quarterly; featured on television by Bill Moyers, in Tracey K. Smith’s Slowdown, and set to music as libretto for various scores performed at Oxford University, for example. “Learning to Love America” is regularly performed as part of the NEA Poetry Out Loud Program. Recipient of two American Book awards, the second for Among the White Moon Faces, of the Multiethnic Literatures of the United States Lifetime Achievement Award, Feminist Press Lifetime Achievement Award, and University of California Santa Barbara Faculty Research Lecture Award, she has also published three short story collections; two novels (Joss and Gold and Sister Swing); a children’s novel, Princess Shawl; and The Shirley Lim Collection. Her work has been translated into Chinese, Spanish, French, Bahasa and other languages. Professor Emerita and Research Professor at the University of California Santa Barbara, she served as Chair of Women’s Studies and as Chair Professor of English at University of Hong Kong.