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Block 3 [clear filter]
Friday, April 3

1:45pm EDT

3B: The Conversation Without Answers: Writing Better Dialogue
Limited Capacity full

Dialogue is a convenient way to provide exposition and advance plot. But when writers concentrate only on these aims, the dialogue they write barely resembles the way people really talk. In this session, we’ll focus on how conversations -- with their interruptions, non sequiturs and misunderstandings -- can be used to characterize speakers and bring their relationships to the next level. We’ll look at transcripts from real conversations, as well as excerpts from published fiction that will include “Tomi” by Kali Fajardo-Anstine and “Our Lady of Peace” by ZZ Packer, among others. And we’ll use a series of writing prompts to try out techniques right in class.

avatar for K Chess

K Chess

K Chess is the author of Famous Men Who Never Lived (Tin House Books, 2019). Her writing has appeared in The Chicago Tribune’s Printer’s Row Journal, PANK, Salon, Tor.com and other outlets. Her short stories have been honored by the Nelson Algren Literary Award and the Pushcart... Read More →

Friday April 3, 2020 1:45pm - 3:00pm EDT
Beacon Hill Room - 4th Floor

1:45pm EDT

3E: Please Sir, I Want Some More: How to Construct a Story with Multiple Timelines or Protagonists
Limited Capacity full

With the publishing world at last opening up to a diversity of voices and viewpoints, writing a single protagonist story with a single timeline in a single locale might feel, well, less than inspiring. Why can’t we have more? 

This session will explore the reasons for and against such a choice as well as how to find the right balance and structure to make it all work. Participants will leave with methods to create cohesion and continuity as well as ideas for organization and how to keep the writing flowing.

avatar for Michelle Hoover

Michelle Hoover

Michelle Hoover leads the GrubStreet Novel Incubator program and will be coordinating the 20th Anniversary Massachusetts Book Awards for the Mass Center for the Book. She is a 2014 NEA Fellow and has been a Writer-in-Residence at Bucknell University, a MacDowell Fellow, and a winner... Read More →

Friday April 3, 2020 1:45pm - 3:00pm EDT
Whittier Room - 4th Floor

1:45pm EDT

3G: Place as Character: Bringing the World to Life on the Page
Limited Capacity full

The places where we love and die, the homes we inherit and adopt, the library, the corner store, the basketball court, the city block and the small town meeting hall--the writer neglects the importance of such locations at her peril. When a piece of writing doesn't seem to be happening anywhere, we sense something's amiss, but when it takes full advantage of place, we find ourselves settling into the story's narrative, ready to be transported there.

In this directed writing session, attendees will explore strategies for fully fleshing out the "where" of the matter. In a series of short exercises, attendees will thoroughly imagine and map out their pieces' setting so that the characters they create will have a proper place to live, whether that's the treehouse in the banyan or the city in the sky

avatar for Maria Pinto

Maria Pinto

Fiction Writer
Maria Pinto is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared or will appear in Frigg, Necessary Fiction, The Butter, Word Riot, and Dostoevsky Wannabe Cities: Boston. She studied Creative Writing and Women’s and Gender Studies at Brandeis University, where her work was awarded... Read More →
avatar for Paloma Valenzuela

Paloma Valenzuela

Director, Producer, & Writer, THE PINEAPPLE DIARIES
Paloma Valenzuela is a Dominican-American writer, director and actress originally from the city of Boston. She is the creative director of the production operation La Gringa Loca Productions based in Boston and the Dominican Republic. Paloma has worked on several Dominican productions... Read More →

Friday April 3, 2020 1:45pm - 3:00pm EDT
Cambridge Room - 4th Floor