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Block 10 [clear filter]
Sunday, April 5

11:45am EDT

10B: Tell It From All Sides: Writing a Story with Multiple Points of View
Limited Capacity filling up

Some stories are told from a single point of view, while others are told by many characters who take turns giving us their own (sometimes conflicting) version of events. How do you decide when to tell your story using multiple perspectives? Which characters should serve as narrators? And once you’ve decided to use multiple perspectives, how do you create voices that are strong and distinct? 

In this workshop, we will discuss the when, why, and how of writing an effective multiple-POV story. We’ll use short writing exercises and our own powers of empathy to practice creating different characters’ voices. Then we’ll talk about how to best use them to deliver a powerful, multi-layered narrative.

avatar for Angie Kim

Angie Kim

Angie Kim is the author of the national bestseller Miracle Creek, named a "Best Book of the Year" by Time and Amazon, a Washington Post Summer Read pick, a Top 10 AppleBooks Debut of the Year, and an IndieNext and LibraryReads pick. Kim is one of Variety Magazine’s “10 Storytellers... Read More →
avatar for Mira T. Lee

Mira T. Lee

Mira T. Lee's debut novel, Everything Here is Beautiful, was selected as a Best Fiction title of 2018 by the American Booksellers Association, Amazon, Goodreads, and O Magazine, among others. Her stories and essays have appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Tin House... Read More →

Sunday April 5, 2020 11:45am - 12:45pm EDT
White Hill Room - 4th Floor

11:45am EDT

10E: The Things People Don't Say: Writing What Is Taboo
Limited Capacity seats available

In this discussion, we will explore the power and transformative nature of writing non-fiction about what is taboo. For us presenters, that has meant writing about postpartum depression, job loss, manic depression, invisible disabilities, and divorce (a taboo in South Asian American culture). How might we say the unsayable? What forms, structures, and other elements can help us craft effective "taboo" essays and memoirs? And what might writing about taboos-- and sharing these stories via publication-- do to the taboo itself, or ourselves as writers?

We'll examine how some writers have done exactly this, including excerpts from Roxane Gay's Hunger and Bad Feminist, Carley Moore's 16 Pills, Esmé Weijun Wang's The Collected Schizophrenias, and Cheryl Strayed's "The Love of My Life," about infidelity and her grief over her mother's death. We'll also do 1-2 short writing exercises, to help put these strategies into practice.

avatar for Pooja Makhijani

Pooja Makhijani

Pooja is the editor of Under Her Skin: How Girls Experience Race in America (Seal Press), an anthology of essays by women that explores the complex ways in which race shapes American lives and families. She is also the author of Mama’s Saris (Little Brown Books for Young Readers... Read More →
avatar for Sejal Shah

Sejal Shah

Sejal Shah is the author of the debut essay collection about race, place, and belonging: This Is One Way to Dance: Essays (University of Georgia Press, June 2020). Her essays and stories have appeared in Brevity, Conjunctions, the Kenyon Review, Literary Hub, the Rumpus, and the anthologies... Read More →

Sunday April 5, 2020 11:45am - 12:45pm EDT
Cabot Room - 4th Floor

11:45am EDT

10F: Back to School with Our Books: Finishing the Manuscripts We've Started
Limited Capacity seats available

Summer break may be on the horizon, but in this session we’ll talk about harnessing the power of the school year to finish our books. In this practical and hands-on session, Elizabeth Ames Staudt will share strategies she employed to finish her novel, The Other's Gold, in much less time than an finish an earlier (and drawer-dwelling) novel. From stickers to schedules to study hall, we’ll discuss how motivation, routine, and environment can help us make breakthroughs and complete projects. We’ll pack our craft backpacks with tips from other writers, and Elizabeth will share some of the strategies that helped her publish a novel after some false starts. There may be time to write/pass notes, so please come with your preferred school supplies.

avatar for Elizabeth  Ames

Elizabeth Ames

Named for Iowa but born and raised in Wisconsin, Elizabeth Ames is a writer living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan, Elizabeth has lived in Seattle, France, and Rwanda... Read More →

Sunday April 5, 2020 11:45am - 12:45pm EDT
Charles River Room - 4th Floor

11:45am EDT

10H: Micro-Level Revision: On Writer Tics, Filler Words, Grammatical Habits, and Other Sources of Slow Prose
Limited Capacity filling up

The difference between your manuscript getting a “yes” or a “no” is often in cutting what Cormac McCarthy and William Faulkner’s editor called “extraneous baggage.” In this interactive class, author and former Atlantic staff editor Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne will help you torch your manuscript of the filler words that junk up stories and slow prose.

Through instructor examples and a brainstorming session, we will establish a list of words and then strike out on the prowl, using Find and Replace as our weapon. Together, we will flush out those tic words and brainstorm cuts or replacements. Bring your computer and a willingness both to share your words and laugh at the instances of their use! You will leave with a cleaner manuscript and a toolkit for line-editing that will have you one step closer to being ready to submit, whether to an agent, an editor, or the reading public!

avatar for Elizabeth Shelburne

Elizabeth Shelburne

Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne grew up reading, writing, and shooting in East Tennessee. After graduating from Amherst College, she worked at The Atlantic Monthly. Her nonfiction work has been published in The Atlantic Monthly, Boston Globe, and Globalpost, among others and her short... Read More →

Sunday April 5, 2020 11:45am - 12:45pm EDT
Beacon Hill Room - 4th Floor

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