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Wednesday, April 10, 2024 6:00PM


Writing the Object with Julia Ridley Smith


This program is offered in conjunction with the exhibition Layered Legacies: Quilts from the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts at Old Salem.

Objects—whether everyday items, family heirlooms, or exquisite works of art—offer rich material for narrative. The writer Italo Calvino put it this way: “The moment an object appears in a narrative, it is charged with a special force ... We might even say that in a narrative any object is always magic.”

In this workshop we explore the reactions, memories, and cultural associations that objects evoke for us and then play with ways to let our discoveries generate new writing. Together, we look at and write in response to a few specific works in the Museum. Participants also have the opportunity to write about objects of personal significance.

Open to adult writers of any genre and experience level.

About the instructor
Julia Ridley Smith is the author of the story collection Sex Romp Gone Wrong (Blair, 2024) and The Sum of Trifles (UGA Press, 2021), a memoir about cleaning out her antique-dealer parents’ house, grief, and what the objects we live with mean to us. She teaches creative writing at UNC–Chapel Hill. Find her at and @JuliaTrifles.

Thank you for your interest!

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