Craft Seminars

Pinckney Benedict

Beyond the Vignette: Writing Effective Scenes
The great film director Howard Hawks is reputed to have said that a successful movie is “three good scenes and no bad scenes.” The scene is the basic building block of all narrative. But how do you know if you’re writing working scenes? In this seminar, we’ll establish a rubric by which you can test whether you’ve creating a functioning dramatic scene and not just a vignette or situation.

Dan Mueller

Bon Appetite: Food in Life and Literature
Humans, and by extension characters, must eat to survive.  Yet in literature food may or may not play a role.  What are the advantages (and disadvantages) of feeding your characters?  Or, conversely, denying them food?  In this interactive craft talk we’ll lift the veil–or in this case, the plate cover–on appealing to appetites.

Jonathan Dee

Have Pen, Will Travel
How to write about stuff you don’t know about.

Fred Leebron, Barbara Jones, and Jeff Kleinman

Some Confusion: How an Instructor, an Agent, and an Editor Work with the Same Manuscript and Author

Jim McKean

Every Aberration Willed: Surprise vs. Expectation, or How to Keep Them Guessing
A discussion with examples on tension, suspense, and working against and with reader expectations.