Week # 1 Muck workshop

Hello, Muck: The Dirty Realism Workshop student(s)!


Paul Luikart here. I’ll be the teacher of this course and I’m happy to be working with you.

Dirty realism is fiction that is low-down, to the ground. Rough characters. Rough circumstances. High, high stakes.


Lesson 1 is a two-parter.

Part 1 is that I’d like to know your favorite dirty realism writers. Raymond Carver? Nelson Algren? Then tell me, in a paragraph, why his/her work resonates with you. What do you admire about his/her work and why?

Part 2 is that I’d like you to design 10 characters and pair them with 1o situations. Light and quick and hardly any thinking involved in this one. I’m looking only for a sentence or two for each. So, for example, you might say, “Don, a homeless man, finds a one hundred dollar bill on the sidewalk.” Or, “Stacy, a life-long junk addict, meets her son, whom she gave up for adoption twenty years ago.”


Please feel free to contact me with questions. You should be able to see my contact info, but in case not: pluikart@gmail.com. 773.715.7628.

Lesson #1 is due by 6PM on Sunday, August 9th.

Please also send me the story or piece of story that you are working on now, that you’d like feedback and critique on. Looking forward to taking a look at it!






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