Jennifer Solheim - Shake Up your Thinking with the Tools of Oulipo: Generate New Work or Reenvision Character, Scene, Plot and More in Works-in Progress

  • December 14, 2017
  • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Winnetka Community House, 620 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka, IL


Registration is closed

Jennifer Solheim  

Shake Up your Thinking with the Tools of Oulipo: Generate New Work or Re-envision Character, Scene, Plot and More in Works-in Progress

Oulipo writers imposed constraints on their writing to challenge themselves and open new possibilities in their work. Major figures in the movement included Italo Calvino and Georges Perec (whose novel A Void was written without use of the letter e).

Working with Oulipo practices can free us from our current literary conventions and be more inventive stylistically and in terms of narrative. These practices can also help shake up our ways of thinking about literary elements like plot, imagery, character, time, and place.

In this workshop, we will begin with a history of the Oulipo movement and look at some examples of successful Oulipian works.  We will then turn to writing with constraints, generate and read aloud new works, and discuss how constraints can help generate characters and settings as well as work through writer’s block. You will come away with new writing practices and an understanding of a writing movement that is still vibrant today, in which we can all participate as writers. Manuscripts for critique will be accepted. Please see manuscript guidelines for details. 

Jennifer Solheim holds a PhD in French from the University of Michigan and is an MFA candidate in fiction writing at the Bennington Writing Seminars. She has taught at University of Illinois—Chicago, Université de Paris VII, StoryStudio Chicago, and is the creative writing instructor at Academia Institute in Oak Park, Illinois. Jennifer is a Contributing Editor at Fiction Writers Review, and has been published in Akashic Books’ Mondays are Murder series, Conclave: A Journal of Character, Confrontation, Inside Higher Ed, and Poets & Writers. Her novel manuscript Another Paris was a semi-finalist for the 2013 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Award (Novel Category), and her current novel-in-progress, now entitled The Interruptions, was a semin-finalist in the 2015 James Jones First Novel Fellowship. You can learn more about her work at

9-9:30 AM registration and socializing
9:30-12 PM program

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