PDF Version and Application

Every good story is of course both a picture and an idea, and the more they are interfused the better the problem is solved.

Henry James
“Guy de Maupassant,” Fortnightly Review, March 1888

…nobody knows anything about the laws of fiction; or what its relation is to life; or to what effects it can lend itself. We can only trust our instincts. If instinct leads one reader to call Scott a story-teller, another to call him a master of romance; if one reader is moved by art, another by life, each is right, and each can pile a card-house of theory on top of his opinion as high as he can go…..A book fades like a mist, like a dream. How are we to take a stick and point to that tone, that relation, in the vanishing pages…?

Virginia Woolf
“The Art of Fiction,” New York Herald Tribune, 1927

…P. J. Wodehouse…was said to laugh as he wrote. Well, sometimes I do too.

Eudora Welty
Interviewed by Jean Todd Freeman, 1977

There are many bungalows as well as mansions in the house of fiction, each raised according to its author’s own lights (though sometimes with an eye to movie rights). This summer we can lend you the keys to some of the best small houses for overnight and weekend reads -- short stories, long stories, and occasional short novels. This page-turning, time-share assortment of spell-binding stories will be further explored, one-by-one, in short lectures and longer reflections/discussions each morning before lunch. After lunch, a film based on a short fiction source will be introduced, screened and discussed.

The authors you read will include a dozen or so of the usual suspects – Poe, Gogol, Chekhov, Flaubert, de Maupassant, Twain, Conrad, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Woolf, Welty – and others who may come as a surprise – Collins, Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Beerbohm, Lardner, Chandler, Hammett, Waugh, Janet Lewis, Graham Greene, Wodehouse, Spark, Narayan, Borges, Barthelme, Munro, Trevor. None of them should bore you. Same goes for the movies.

You’ll also have the opportunity to try your own hand/keyboard at short fiction, but reading is the heart of the matter. As Eudora Welty said: “I think always I loved writing because I loved reading. I don’t mean I get my stories out of books – I don’t. They spring from living. And not that I literally take things from real life, but it’s living that makes me want to write, not reading – although it’s reading that makes me love writing.” Try it and see.

For avid readers only.

This 5-week program of learning by doing is open to students from the Houston metropolitan area who will be entering the 10th, 11th, 12th grades or college. To apply, complete the student section of the PDF form and give it to a teacher who knows you well or a counselor to fill out the recommendation section. Your teacher/counselor should mail the completed form along with an official transcript directly to:

Story Lines
PO Box 667550
Houston, TX 77266-7550
Fax: 713.523.6145

To ensure full consideration, applications must be received by 3 May; early applications are encouraged. All applicants will be notified by 28 May; early applicants will be notified sooner.
If you have any questions or need additional information, call 713.301.4882 or email info@wonderworkshouston.org.

This program is made possible in part by a grant from Houston Endowment Inc.