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“The Business of Writing”: The Path to Traditional Publishing for Fiction with Johnnie Bernhard

Want to demystify the path to traditional publishing but don’t have the time and money to attend a full-scale writing conference? Learn about traditional publishing through sequential steps beginning with vetting a literary agent and a publisher, writing the query letter, mastering the synopsis, and formatting a manuscript to industry standards. This hands-on approach to traditional publishing, including the university press system, will guide you through industry standards, ensuring better opportunities for your manuscript or future writing projects. Bring your questions and projects to class and take that next step in your writing journey!

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Perfectly Irresistible: Creating Sympathetic Characters

When a character is in trouble, as all protagonists should be, she can seem unsympathetic if she’s focused only on her own problems. Her unhappiness, worry, and frustration may result in a character who appears judgmental, short-tempered, rude, and who wants to read about someone like that? The answer is that we all do, but only if she’s complex enough to make us identify with and root for her, and the story ultimately shows her transcending those tendencies. This class will incorporate general methods for creating characters but with an emphasis on unlikeable ones, sharing examples and specific techniques for evoking reader sympathy and depicting character growth. Whether you write fiction or creative nonfiction, come ready to practice each technique by focusing either on a character of your own or one provided. You will finish with a handout, notes, and generated writing.

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Four Ways to Develop as  a Fiction Writer: A One-day Workshop with National Book Critics’ Circle Award Winner Ben Fountain

In this workshop we’ll focus on four specific areas in the craft of writing fiction and will discuss the more general questions of fiction’s role in society, and how we as aspiring writers might also aspire to keep our bodies, souls, and sanity intact while developing as artists. The four craft sections will deal with character, plot, dialogue, and scene, with examples drawn from modern and contemporary fiction, and occasionally nonfiction. Along the way, we’ll discuss work routines, what to do when we’re stuck, where to submit our work, and what—and how—to read as writers. 

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