Posted by Hannah McSorley, GD Fiction Reader for 7.1
At the beginning of this semester I decided I was going to do things that I was scared to do—and number one on that list: write a creative nonfiction essay about being born without some of the muscles in my left leg.
This is not a new topic for me. In fact, most of my early childhood writing attempts took on this topic. Despite my numerous attempts to use writing, specifically fiction, as a tool to understand and communicate my experience, I always ended up abandoning what I’d written. This time I decided that nonfiction was the way to approach this material. I determined that I would see my essay through to a final draft, even if I decided not to share it. Continue reading
Posted by Emily Sterns, GD Public Relations Manager for 6.2
In the editing and production workshop in which Gandy Dancer is created, we’ve been working on making prototypes or mini literary journals, we’ve been calling Dandy Gancer. This group project got us thinking about the many decisions that go into creating a literary journal. Each group got a slush pile which contained fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and visual art. They were then tasked with creating a journal complete with a cover, masthead, table of contents, and a letter to the readers or mission statement. Continue reading
Posted by Giovanni Madonna, GD Fiction Reader for 5.1
Non-fiction has always been something of a gray zone for me because of how different it is from fiction. I’ve always loved the freedom that fiction allows, so when I entered into a non-fiction workshop this semester I was more than a bit intimidated. It was like having a smart phone and then suddenly having it taken away and replaced with one of those paper-thin flip phones that could do little more than call your parents. I started to wonder what I could write about, what would stick out, or be worth putting down. It took some time for me to realize I was asking the wrong questions. With nonfiction, it’s not a matter of finding the flashiest or most shocking events (though a good narrative could exist in those too), but about being willing and able to present yourself, your true self, to an unknown audience. And at the center of this necessary honesty is voice, the way the narrator sounds on the page and ultimately the unique personal lens that they present the essay through. Continue reading