Writers’ Workshops aim to inspire, hone storytelling skills

Published on May 26, 2021

Jason Hensel’s recent workshop, “How to Write Satire,” offers aspiring writers a pathway to identify a topic, refine it and then try to get their work published.  

But what is satire? Hensel defines satire a deeper way for readers to better understand humanity and society, often heightening a current topic to a level of absurdity for intentional effect. Satire is a comedy of outrage and emotion, which does not necessarily have to be funny but often is.

Having a fresh and relevant topic is the heart of satire, he said, and recent events can be a fertile field from which to harvest a bounty of ideas.

 “I can’t express this strongly enough, you need to read the news,” Hensel said. “Be up to date with what’s going on in the world – pop culture, politics, science, religion, everything.”  

A key to writing sharp satire is pinpointing an issue that you are passionately angry about. “Look for the stories that create a major reaction in yourself,” he said.

Watch his entire presentation here.

The Fort Worth Public Library offers quarterly writing workshops as well as author presentations in its growing role as the literary hub of Fort Worth. The presentations serve to inform, entertain and inspire avid readers and writers.

“Being the literary hub for the city isn’t just providing access to books and reading material,” said Senior Librarian Jennifer Demas. “It’s also providing our residents with a destination for interesting and varied programs and classes that feature the making of literature.”

Launched in November 2020, the writing workshops have included two presentations on Elements of Fiction. A presentation by Dr. Sanderia Faye presented the six elements of fiction (character, plot, point of view, setting, style and theme) and can be seen here.  Another session with Sebastian Hasani Paramo focuses on how to edit work to make it better and may be viewed here.

The next writing workshop is being planned for August and is designed to share recipes for cooking up compelling food stories. The final installment of the series in 2021 will mark a full year of the program in November and will focus on writing about our fears.

Ultimately, everyone is bound to find something to pique their interests.

“We bring a variety of authors and writers to the library to talk about their work and how to become a better writer,” Demas said. “Because we want the residents of Fort Worth to find that writing style, book, or author that speaks to them.”


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