Classy Talk with Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum | Fall 2014

Posted Tue, 9/02/2014 - 9:20pm by  |  Category:

lunstrum.jpgWhat is the title of your class? (please link your class from the website)

Story Intensive: Assembling and Polishing Toward a Collection

What’s one thing you hope your students will take away from the class?

A solid start on a polished collection of short fiction (and maybe even a fully finished collection, ready to submit to contests and agents).

What sorts of writers will you be reading/assigning in class? Why?

We’re going to take a close look at two very different but equally stellar collections of short fiction: Andrea Barrett’s Ship Fever and Junot Diaz’s Drown. Ship Fever is a great example of a cohesive collection of wildly varied stories, while Drown is a great example of a linked collection of stories centered on the same characters. Reading these side-by-side will allow us to consider the possibilities for structuring and organizing our own collections.

Can your students connect with you on social media? If so, how?

Here’s my website.

I’m also on Facebook.

Are any of your works online and available to the public?

Yes! Here’s a link to a couple of short stories I published in Willow Springs. If you want to check out a bit more of my work, here’s a link to a short essay I wrote for Cold Mountain Review.

What’s your teaching philosophy?

Writing is a practice. The only way to develop as a writer is to write, to read, to revise, to write again, and so that’s what we do in my classes. The wonderful benefit of joining a writing class is that one gets to undertake that practice with the support and encouragement of an engaged (and sympathetic) group of fellow writers.

What advice do you have about getting into the habit of writing regularly?

The periods of greatest productivity for me have been those during which I’ve devoted a set amount of time to writing each day, and have then been committed to that devotion no matter what.

What are you working on right now? Where did the idea come from?

I’m finishing up the draft of what was originally intended to be a short story, but eventually turned into a novel.

What’s your favorite word in the English vocabulary?

Grace. I figure I need a lot of it.

Let’s talk writing inspiration—what’s the No. 1 thing that drives you to write?

Reading. When I’m reading something truly good, the first thing I want to do when I put the book down is get to my computer and start writing myself.