We will be presenting this event virtually, using Zoom. RSVP here.

The traditional writing workshop was established with white male writers in mind; what we call craft is informed by their cultural values. In this bold and original examination of elements of writing—including plot, character, conflict, structure, and believability—and aspects of workshop—including the silenced writer and the imagined reader—Matthew Salesses asks questions to invigorate these familiar concepts. He upends Western notions of how a story must progress. How can we rethink craft, and the teaching of it, to better reach writers with diverse backgrounds? How can we invite diverse storytelling traditions into literary spaces?

Drawing from examples including One Thousand and One Nights, Curious George, Ursula K. Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea, and the Asian American classic No-No Boy, Salesses asks us to reimagine craft and the workshop. In the pages of exercises included here, teachers will find suggestions for building syllabi, grading, and introducing new methods to the classroom; students will find revision and editing guidance, as well as a new lens for reading their work. Salesses shows that we need to interrogate the lack of diversity at the core of published fiction: how we teach and write it. After all, as he reminds us, “When we write fiction, we write the world.”

MATTHEW SALESSES is the author of three novels, Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear, The Hundred-Year Flood, and I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying, and a forthcoming essay collection. He was adopted from Korea and currently lives in Iowa.

BRANDON TAYLOR is the author of the acclaimed novel Real Life, which has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and been named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. He holds graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he was an Iowa Arts Fellow in fiction.

Event date: 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Event address: 

Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781948226806
Availability: On Our Shelves
Published: Catapult - January 19th, 2021