“Imagery” is the term we use to define description that appeals to the senses—and the visual image is often the first go-to when we’re setting a scene or introducing a character. Sounds and voices, music and silences often come secondarily—and this kind of imagery can foreshadow or introduce change, disruption, and/or instability. Sounds and silences help us as writers describe movement, whether physical, intellectual, or emotional. But how can we describe sounds and silences in ways that affect the reader? In this workshop, we will analyze examples of atmospheric sounds, voices, music, and different qualities of silence; consider how sounds and silences can serve as inspiration; and develop strategies for encapsulating sounds and silences in our writing.
Bio: Jennifer Solheim is a fiction writer and literary critic whose first book, The Performance of Listening in Postcolonial Francophone Culture, was published by Liverpool University Press in 2018. Her short stories have appeared in the Bellevue Literary Review, Confrontation, and The Pinch, and received Honorable Mentions from Glimmer Train. She teaches literature, film, and writing at the University of Illinois—Chicago, and is working on a novel about an indie rock band in family therapy as a BookEnds fellow at Stony Brook Southampton. Jennifer has a PhD in French from the University of Michigan and an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars.
Jennifer will accept manuscripts for critique. Please see the manuscript guidelines on our website: ocww.info.