Mermaid Trouble: This Saturday

Are you a mermaid? Are you a writer? Is the answer…. maybe?

This Saturday, We are having our first ever Fairy Tale Deconstruction workshop.


If you’ve ever wanted to write your own fairy tale, send stories and poems to magazines like the Fairy Tale Review and Cabinet Des Fees (to name only two of many), if you’ve wanted to free your writing from realism, or if you’ve read this story in the New Yorker and thought – I could do that, only more… [feminist, queer, marxist, eco-fierce, more you, more magic, more]… come write! (Sign up by contacting us here!)

MERMAID TROUBLE, this Saturday, 2:00 – 5:30 PM. $60. Discounts, trades, and payment plans always available.

We will begin with Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. And we will use devised theater, improv, cut ups, writing in, videos, music, anything EVERYTHING to create y/our method of writing into fairy tales, considering these questions:

_ After Donna Haraway: What stories does the world need right now?
_ What is YOUR mermaid story?
_ What is the language of water? What is the form of water? What does the world look like through a crashing wave or the stillness of a tidepool?
_ What lies beneath, underwater, subconscious, submerged, deep, deep down where the Big Fish of your imagination swim dangerously.

And we will emerge with pages and pages of new writing. Possibly even the fishy backbone of a story that swims.

Why write from fairy tales? 


1. “Fairy tales are more than real, not just because they tell us that dragons are real, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” – Neil Gaiman quoting G.K. Chesterton.

2. What gets transmitted through fairy tales? What gifts, what structures?

Once upon a time, there was a very beautiful princess who –

Ok. Stop.

Let’s try again. Every day she cleaned out the ashes for her family, even if they were mean to her, and she watched the skies for a fairy godmother that wouldn’t come –


Once there was an intelligent, slightly crazy, non-binary person wearing way too much glitter who decided that whales were more important to the world than cruiseships AND once there was a man who fell in love with a fish because we are, after all, not that different AND once we spoke the language of water, how did it go?

3. What about fairy tales endures? What makes these stories survive? What makes them so real?


This Saturday, we are teaching our FIRST EVER fairy tale deconstruction/ subversion class. We will use Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid, techniques borrowed from devised theater, improv, and cut up poetry, and we will create a method for writing from fairy tales that you can use for any story.

There are just a few spaces left in this one. Come laugh, write, sing, write, tear up, subvert, and write yourself into fairytales. Come be mermaids, just for a day.

And if you’re looking for a longer workshop, check out Crossroads, starting April 28th. And if you’re looking for a place to write, come to our Monday drop ins in Oakland.

Thank you for being wanderin’ free, writing stories, part of our worlllld.



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