Big Blue Marble Bookstore
a neighborhood bookstore for Mt. Airy and beyond


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On Sundays We Write: Borrowed Forms

Writing the "Hermit Crab” Essay—Or How to Use Borrowed Forms to Structure Your Work

with Kim Adrian

Tickets $20, Preregistration Required

Join the editor of the recently released anthology The Shell Game: Writers Play with Borrowed Forms to explore a curious new sub-genre of creative nonfiction: the so-called “hermit crab” essay. Hybrids in the truest sense, hermit crab essays borrow their structures from ordinary, extra-literary sources (a recipe, a police report, a pack of cards, an obituary…) to use as a framework for a lyric meditation on the chosen subject. Using borrowed forms is an incredibly liberating way to work—exciting for both new writers as well as more advanced practitioners. In this workshop, we will do a close reading of a short hermit crab essay, discuss the importance of choosing the right “shell,” and generate new work.