March 28, 2020
with Friday night and Sunday morning options
460 N Cherry Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Short Fiction Master Classes, Seminars, and Critique Sessions:
Design Your Day by choosing from our 75-minute seminars, 3-hour master classes, and critique sessions (just scroll down)
Short Fiction Master Classes
9:30 AM - 3:15 PM (with lunch break 12:30 - 2 PM)
Limited to 15 writers
Master Class Description
We’ll explore the key elements of fiction writing, focusing on correcting common misconceptions about the creative process, point of view, style, characterization, plot, and revision that prevent our fiction from reaching its full potential and earning publication. Handouts on these and related subjects will be provided and will help guide our discussion.
David Jauss is the author of four collections of short stories, including Glossolalia: New & Selected Stories and Nice People: New & Selected Stories II, two volumes of poetry, and the craft book On Writing Fiction. He has also edited three anthologies, most recently Words Overflown by Stars, a collection of craft essays by the faculty of the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. His stories have appeared in numerous magazines and been reprinted in Best American Short Stories and the O. Henry Prize and Pushcart Prize anthologies. His awards include the AWP Award for Short Fiction and National Endowment for the Arts and James Michener Fellowships. He teaches fiction writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Master Class Description
Writers want their readers to remain riveted to their work from the very first to the final sentence. That's the kind of fiction that upmarket suspense, thriller, and mystery writers create every day. Learn how to write upmarket suspense stories, or simply learn to apply suspense fiction techniques to your own writing to produce page-turning fiction filled with complex characters, intriguing settings, and compelling plots.
Laura Benedict is the Edgar- and ITW Thriller Award-nominated author of eight novels, including The Stranger Inside (Publishers Weekly starred review). Her short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and in numerous anthologies such as At Home in the Dark, A Thousand Doors, and St. Louis Noir. A native of Cincinnati, she lives in Southern Illinois with her family.
Master Class Description
With the meteoric rise in the popularity of podcasts, audio books, and the like, we are swiftly becoming—again—a “people of the ear.” This shift from the written to the spoken word can be difficult to negotiate for those of us who were trained for the eye and the page. This class will briefly examine the history and nature of oral/aural literature, after which we will set about generating work “for the ear.” You will finish this master class with your own podcast channel as well, but our focus will be on creating literary effect through sound.
Pinckney Benedict is the author of three collections of short stories, including Miracle Boy and Other Stories. His stories have appeared in, among other magazines and anthologies, Esquire, Zoetrope: All-Story, StoryQuarterly, Ontario Review, O. Henry Award, New Stories from the South, The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, The Oxford Book of American Short Stories, and The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction. He is a professor in the English Department at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Short Fiction 75-Minute Seminars
Hooking your readers is a must. But how do you get them to turn to the next page too? And then the next? Crafting suspense may seem like the special province of crime fiction writers, but literary writers and genre writers both can profit from heightening tension, escalating conflict, tossing in the unexpected left turn, and keeping readers focused on the idea that "something is going to happen." This session draws on work by writers including Patricia Highsmith, Alice Munro, Joyce Carol Oates, and Scott Turow to illustrate various techniques for incorporating suspense into your own work.
Art Taylor won the 2019 Edgar Award for Best Short Story for "English 398: Fiction Workshop" (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine). He is the author of On the Road with Del & Louise, Agatha Award winner for Best First Novel, and his short fiction has won three additional Agatha Awards, an Anthony Award, two Macavity Awards, and three Derringer Awards. He is an associate professor of English at George Mason University. www.arttaylorwriter.com
Imagine it: an evocative, complete short story in 1000 words or less. This session will focus on how to write compelling flash fiction and avoid some of the common mistakes that writers make when writing super short. Tara Laskowski, longtime editor of the flash fiction journal SmokeLong Quarterly, will define this type of writing and its many forms—from microfiction to novellas-in-flash—and walk you through some dos and don'ts for crafting your own tiny stories.
Tara Laskowski is the award-winning author of two short story collections, Modern Manners for Your Inner Demons and Bystanders, which was named a best book of 2017 by Jennifer Egan in The Guardian. Her debut novel One Night Gone was published in October 2019 by Graydon House Books. She has had stories published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Mid-American Review, and the Norton anthology New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction, among others. Her Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine story, “States of Matter,” was selected by Amy Hempel for the 2017 Best Small Fictions anthology, and her short story “The Case of the Vanishing Professor” won the 2019 Agatha Award. Tara has been the editor of the popular online flash fiction journal SmokeLong Quarterly since 2010. She grew up in Pennsylvania and lives in Virginia.
One-on-One Critique Sessions
Receive valuable feedback and advice from a pro.
Choose from two options:
A 25-minute session for up to three pages of short fiction—$50
A 1.5-hour session for a short fiction manuscript of up to 120 pages—$250 (only one session available per adviser)
Note: the manuscript critique will not be a line-by-line edit or critique, but an overview of the collection with advice and comments on what works or doesn’t work and what your adviser believes could make the manuscript stronger.
Our Short Fiction Critique Faculty
Wendy J. Fox was born in rural Washington state, which inspired much of her writing on class and the West. Her first book, The Seven Stages of Anger & Other Stories won the Press 53 Award for Short Fiction and was finalist for the Colorado Book Award; her debut novel The Pull of It (Underground Voices), was named a top pick by The Displaced Nation; her most recent novel If the Ice Had Held (Santa Fe Writers Project) is a Buzzfeed recommended read and a grand prize winner from Santa Fe Writers Project. She lives in Denver, Colorado.
Clifford Garstang is the author of In an Uncharted Country and What the Zhang Boys Know, winner of the Library of Virginia Award for Fiction. His novel, The Shaman of Turtle Valley, was published by Braddock Avenue Books in May 2019, and the third story collection, House of the Ancients & Other Stories will be published by Press 53 in May 2020. Clifford is the co-founder of Prime Number Magazine and the editor of the anthology series Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet. He lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.