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An update from our fifty-eighth Writing Workshop with Conner Bassett

A summary of the workshop held on Saturday, March 4, plus some of the output published below

This week, the workshop focused on polysyndeton and asyndeton. Conner began his presentation by introducing three examples of sentences that use polysyndeton, which translates to “many bound together” and is the technique of using conjunctions in a sentence instead of punctuation. We looked at examples of polysyndeton in texts, such as Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy. Then, workshop participants wrote their own stories using polysyndeton and then we learned about asyndeton, which is a technique that is the opposite of polysyndeton. The sentence directly before this one uses polysyndeton. This one does not. In fact, it uses asyndeton. Asyndeton is the technique of using punctuation, such as commas and periods, in one’s sentences rather than conjunctions. Next, we took the excerpt from All the Pretty Horses and removed the conjunctions, separating it into sentences to employ asyndeton.

The Challenge: Write your own story using polysyndeton, then revise it using asyndeton.

The Participants: Anushka, Ava, Amaya, Emma, Sarah, Lucy, Samarina, Stella, Aarush, Catherine, Arjun, Yueling, Eliza, Katelyn

Two Exercises in Polysyndeton

Amaya Chugani, 9


The rain hit my head or the sun gleamed on me and the rain fell on me or I loved and I was safe and I was happy and I told myself this was the perfect family and I hated her and him and her and him and I hated all of them and mom and not dad and not mom and I hated him and her and him and her for every reason.

Hitting My Stone

I was sitting by the river and the pebbles hit my feet and I could feel the stream and the wind and the cool stones and I move the stream with a twig and I can feel the water sloshing around my feet. And I laid back and I felt guilty again and smiled and was mad and I got back up and stared at the woods and felt the sun shining down and I felt happy and I could see the fish. And they were red and white and blue and yellow and red birds flew overhead and the hints of the sun's golden rays speckled in my eyes and I leaned down at the river and I was hitting my stone with a twig all along.

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