Motifs & Metaphors: Power Tools in Writing
Motifs and metaphors have been used in writing since our epics, fables and classics. Through simplification, these power tools help explain complex situations in seemingly uncomplicated narratives. They add depth, purpose and meaning to our stories, and thereby reach a wider readership instantly.

In modern day story-telling, where brevity is in high demand, learning the use of metaphors to point to something larger, universal, and easily identifiable, while keeping economy of words, compliments the writer’s toolkit. In this workshop, we will hunt for tangential meanings to objects, and actions, with an emphasis on the writer’s unique thought process and sensibilities.

Refraining from tropes and cliches that are overused: flowers for softness, sleep for naivety in fairy tales, etc., we will attach different unexpected meanings to images and situations, and thereby take a fresh look at how we draft our stories. We will seek to supplement a writer’s arsenal with the masterful use of representative words, discuss how to borrow motifs and metaphors from real world, poetry and folk-tales, explore their excellent use as a sub-texting tool, and take a hands-on approach to using symbolism that lends a total, cinematic reading experience to stories.

What Participants Will Take Away

  • Simplification of complex narratives through metaphors.
  • Learning the use of appropriate images and situations that add depth through layering.
  • When and how to create sub-texting in a narrative.
  • Exploring metaphors unique to your thought process and sensibilities.

Suitable for all levels.

There will be an optional opportunity to share.

This workshop runs over two days, two hours each day:

There are two options.

Option 1:
Saturday, May 20, 2023: 7 AM PDT / 10 AM EDT / 3 PM BST / 7:30 PM IST
Saturday, May 27, 2023: 7 AM PDT / 10 AM EDT / 3 PM BST / 7:30 PM IST

Option 2:
Sunday, August 20, 2023: 6 AM EDT / 11 AM BST / 3:30 PM IST / 7 PM JST / 8 AM AEST
Sunday, August 27, 2023: 6 AM EDT / 11 AM BST / 3:30 PM IST / 7 PM JST / 8 AM AEST

Scroll down to see the time zone maps.

About Instructor
Mandira Pattnaik is the author of “Anatomy Of a Storm-Weathered Quaint Townspeople” (2022), “Girls Who Don’t Cry” (2023) and “Where We Set Our Easel” (forthcoming). Mandira’s work has appeared in The McNeese Review, Penn Review, Quarterly West, Citron Review, Passages North, DASH, Miracle Monocle, Timber Journal, Contrary, Watershed Review, Amsterdam Quarterly, and Prime Number Magazine, among others. She edits for trampset and Vestal Review. More at

Registration: Want to register? Sign up for the mailing list and you’ll be notified when registration opens in April.

Click here for the text version of the May 20 and May 27 map.

Click here for the text version of the August 20 and August 27 time zone map.

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