Emma Marie Jones is a Melbourne-based poet, writer and editor with an interest in experimental form and the critical spaces between bodies and identities. She tweets at @emmacones and blogs at emmamariejones.com.
A decade ago, Frank Warren founded PostSecret, a mail art project encouraging strangers to scribble secrets on a postcard, mailed in, scanned, and shared with the world. In the years since, startups and artists have played with the relationship between public sharing and anonymity. Where are we (whoever we are!) now?
In this participatory event, audience members are asked to submit short memoir pieces anonymously to the editors of Scum for publication on the Scum site. During the livestreaming event, Scum editors and contributors who work in confessional memoir will discuss the intersections between confessional memoir and technology, gently dissecting the anonymous submissions received from audience members.
What details make for good sex writing? Can sex be written without clichés, or without falling into the tropes of erotica? Can sex be erotic and functional to the narrative at the same time? How can sex scenes be used to declare a character’s sense of self without feeling gratuitous or forced? We’re gonna try and figure all this out together, and you’re gonna write a couple pieces of sex writing while we’re at it.
Class 1: Thursday February 12, 6—7pm AEST
The first time you fuck somebody you are crossing a threshold. After this, things will be different. It’s like the first time you see a new city: you notice things, and those things look and feel different the first time than they will ever look afterwards. A new body, a new terrain to discover and to map onto yourself, to begin to understand. You question yourself, maybe, or you question the other: what does this mean? What happens next? There is a tight tight tension, a readiness to launch or maybe a wanting to stay on the lip of it all and wave goodbye.
Prep: Bring to the first session a piece of writing about a first sexual experience with somebody. It can be fiction or non-fiction, poetry or prose, the decision is yours! Keep it short, though, about 500 words. I’ll bring one too, and we’ll share, workshop and discuss. If you’re stuck for inspiration, listen to this podcast for a really great example of first-time storytelling. It’s only 16 minutes long!
Class 2: Thursday February 19, 6—7pm AEST
What details make for good sex writing? Can sex be written without clichés, or without falling into the tropes of erotica? Can sex be erotic and functional to the narrative at the same time? How can sex scenes be used to declare a character’s sense of self without feeling gratuitous or forced? We’re going to be really, really honest about our own desires and bodies, and the desires and bodies of our characters. We’re going to work out what kind of honesty we need to write sex in a way that is realistic, relatable and does what we want it to do in the context of our narrative, so we’ll take a look at ways of writing really mindblowing sex as well as sex that is awkward, insincere or just plain bad.
Bring to the second session a sex scene very different from the wide-eyed novelty of last week: sex that comes with all the frustration of a relationship that isn’t really working. Use some of the detail, emotion and observation we discussed last week to really establish a sense of character. If you’re stuck, you can read this great short piece of memoir by Marie Calloway, or this lil something I wrote one time because I am a shameless self-promoter.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EVENT IS IN TWO PARTS. The first class runs February 12th, and the second runs on February 19th. You need only buy one ticket, it is valid for both events.