The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Creative writing teacher to read from novella at Atkinson Gallery

Jazmyne Cushenberry
Chella Courington, author and English professor at City College, has recently published her novella ‘The Somewhat Sad Tale of the Pitcher and Crow,’ Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, pictured at her office in the Interdisciplinary Center on West Campus. The story, which shares some parallels to her own life, follows the escapades of two married writers, Tom and Adele, while they try and organize the living and creative space between them. Courington will be reading a piece from her novella on Wednesday, Nov. 18 in the Atkinson Gallery.

Published author and City College creative writing professor Chella Courington will be reading a piece from her novella “The Somewhat Sad Tale of the Pitcher and Crow” in hopes the audience will find her own work intriguing.

Students, staff members and the community are encouraged to attend from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18 in the Atkinson Gallery on East Campus.

“Chella’s writing style is very profound and imposing,” said Jon Vreeland, president of the creative writing club. “She is our mentor and never opposes any of our ideas, no matter how radical, and is always there to support us in whatever we are sticking our noses in.”

Courington has done numerous poetry readings and has had six writings published. Typically, she writes chapbooks, which are collections of poetry anywhere from 30-50 pages, but Courington took a different approach and decided to publish a short fiction novel.

Story continues below advertisement

The novella she will be reading from is a literary tale of marriage, dreams and desire that faces a conflict when communication between the couple becomes hazy. This piece is an example of flash fiction because of its extreme brevity.

“In every flash novel there is a conflict that causes an action to take place and eventually leads to a resolution,” Courington said.

With teaching classes at the college, she says it’s hard to make time to write a full-length novel and be able to finish it.

“The nice thing about a flash novel is that it’s much easier to sit down and write a short piece with work daily and daily life,” Courington said. “The characters just take off.”

The story is told largely through the point of view of a woman named Adele, and then switches to the point of view of her husband Tom. Both of them are writers and live together in California.

The couple in the novella loosely resembles Courington and her husband seeing as they are both writers and have many of the same qualities as the characters.

Adele and Tom explore their aspirations and the reader gets a sense of their journey together, but this seemingly perfect couple has difficulties when they must negotiate their living space and maintain cultural habits.

“There is lots of interior thinking going on throughout the novel,” Courington said. “The reader goes inside Adele’s head.”

Courington is hosting this reading as a way to connect with the audience and hear their responses to her work. She enjoys public readings and hopes the audience will be engaged and enjoy the piece she is reading.

The novella can be purchased on Amazon for $7.99 and readers have rated it five stars.

“The Somewhat Sad Tale of the Pitcher and the Crow is wonderfully written and a joy to read,” said Amazon reviewer Jim Dicus. “It’s the story of a married couple, both writers, in conversation about their writing, life, love, fears, hopes, and dreams. Adele and Tom probe and discuss life in ways that most of us wish that we could but seldom dare.”

The novella reading’s admission is free for all attendees.

More to Discover