Partners in the Arts hosted New York Times bestselling author Josh Malerman on campus for a four-day storytelling workshop aimed at writers and educators. Local artists, university faculty as well as Malerman himself coached educators on crafting lesson plans that present content in a more engaging, digital story format.

The course revolved around Malerman’s own experiential writing technique, which emphasizes multi-sensory observation and place-based storytelling. Malerman shared his tips for overcoming writer’s block and using daily routines and everyday settings to spark creativity. 

The course also brought in multiple local artists, including DJ Lonnie B, artists Nelly Kate Anderson and Aijung Kim and broadcasting producer Mason Mills, among others, to help educators incorporate various artistic and digital mediums into their lesson plans. 

On the last day of the course, Malerman and University of Richmond Education faculty reviewed and critiqued students’ final projects: digital, multimedia presentations that reveal a compelling narrative and present content.

Students attended An Evening with Josh Malerman, a screening of the Netflix film Bird Box and a Q&A with the author, on whose work the film is based, to conclude the course. The screening was held at Richmond’s beloved Byrd Theatre and kicked off with “UnHappy Hour: It’s a Miserable Time,” courtesy of the Poe Museum. After the film, Malerman and his girlfriend, Allison Laako, walked the audience through Malerman’s artistic and personal journey towards creating the inspiration behind a horror cult classic film.

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Education Department