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Extreme Constraint Writing

Organizing Committee:


Inspired by Oulipo group and Extreme ironing, this participatory workshop will create and practice extreme constraints writing. Participants will brainstorm extreme constraint for creative writing. It can be extreme in term of physical endurance (such as pseudo-sports for writing), duration (such as overnight automatic writing),  level of concentration (such as writing a novel collaboratively within one hour) and in terms of structural difficulty (developing upon various constraint writing techniques, systems art, and computer algorithm). 


All those who struggle to write, let’s get together and write seriously extreme text. 


Reading list may include:

George Perec- La Disparition (A void) and excerpt from Life: User’s manual 

Harry Mathews - Cigarettes (I am not sure if this relates, but he was one of the few Oulipo member whose first language is English. The book is hard to get, so I’ll order a copy and scanzzz) 

I hope the list will grow by comment section. 


Exercise may include:

Drifting, playing badminton, calling each other, leaving secret notes, creating rules for live action role playing game, and any thing that is not ordinary but may be helpful to write good stories. 


Venue and teacher:

A storefront pop up space and around Hoyt- Schermerhorn streets.  

Ideal teacher will be someone with experience of teaching creative writing who also enjoy a bit of eccentricity. It may make more sense to not have a single teacher, but few people lead this collaboratively. My hands are up



I'm currently not available for timely email communications.

Joe Milutis
Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts
University of Washington-Bothell

I'm currently not available for timely email communications.

Joe Milutis
Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts
University of Washington-Bothell

Is anyone still interested in this?  I think we could go it on our own, maybe.
tchoi8's picture

Hi everyone. Thanks for coming to the extreme constraint writing class last week. It was wonderful fun and hope for the next one soon.
Meanwhile, here's a documentation of the class.

Hi everyone. I know a few people were interested in attending a meeting of the Writhing Society, but our session this week( (tomorrow) as unfortunately been canceled.

We normally meet every Wednesday from 6:30 to 9:30 in Proteus Gowanus. $5 to writhe, $2 for a free glass of wine.
543 Union Street, Brooklyn, New York 11215

To find out more about it go to these websites:

And to get on the weekly email list (to find out what we're doing that evening and to be notified if there is a cancelation) email Tom here:

Hope Writhe with you in the future!

tchoi8's picture

Hi all extreme constraint writers

Few of us facilitating the class met today and figured out how it’s going to happen. Details are still subject to change.

1PM: Meet up at Motto
1PM~1:20 Brief introduction to Constraint writing: Oulipo and etc
1:20~1:40 Ice breaking and body exercises
1:40~2:30 Few constraints prepared by the teachers. *
2:30~2:50 Students create their own constraints
3:00~3:30 or 4:00 Extreme constraint writing: demonstration and participation

*We have made few example of extreme constraints. Rules will be explained in detail at the class.
1. Writing with one pencil but with many hands holding them
2. ‘Writing letter home’: War game that each team writes a letter on a paper, make it into an airplane and throw at another team, if hit: you lose the word in the letter, thus can nor use that word when writing letter home.
3. Window-oppositional writing: Two group on either side of the storefront windows, each have to write flip sided (so it’s legible from the other side). The text begins as a simple phrase, next person must write it in opposition, as a negative.
4. Badminton hang man: every time shuttle cock travels to other team, a letter box is added to a hang man.
5. Text message collab: Group sends text message to complete a piece of writing, anonymously.
6. Recycle artist book: using vast collection of artist book from Motto’s stall.

Ok. If feel like it, please bring anything, idea, books or snacks to share!

Excited! Are they "official" readings posted?

Taeyoon, I am totally up for this. Let me know if you want to discuss in person. I hear from Tom that you may attend a Writhing Society meeting, so I hope to see you there tomorrow!


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