Kristen Iskandrian

Building Memorable Characters with Kristen Iskandrian

August 7, 2021
11:00 am – 2:00 pm PST

Application deadline: July 24, 2021

About this workshop

Whether discussing classic literature or the bestsellers of contemporary fiction, there's no denying that when it comes to what truly moves readers, it's one thing: characters. But what makes a character memorable? How do you create a character's voice? And how do you give your characters emotional complexity? In this workshop, acclaimed author Kristen Iskandrian will offer craft discussion and writing prompts to help attendees develop the kind of dynamic characterization that keeps readers turning the page.

Kristen Iskandrian is the author of the acclaimed novel MOTHEREST (Grand Central Publishing). Other work has been published in The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Short Stories, Tin House, Ploughshares, ZYZZYVA, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, and many other places. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband and their two daughters.

Application Guidelines

Please submit a fiction manuscript (short story, flash fiction, or novel excerpt) of no more than 1,250 words (roughly 5 pages double-spaced). Manuscript will not be discussed as this workshop is focused on craft discussion and generative writing prompts.

The non-refundable application fee is $15. Accepted applicants will be informed by July 31, 2021. If accepted, the fee to attend is $150.

Lydia Kiesling

Writing About Place with Lydia Kiesling

October 9, 2021
11:00 am – 2:00 pm PST

Application deadline: September 24, 2021

About this workshop

No plot? No problem! Approaching fiction can feel daunting if you know you want to write but don't naturally think in terms of inciting action or character development. As it happens, you don't need an elaborate story in mind to embark on a fiction project—a place (or a feeling! or an experience!) is more than enough foundation upon which to build character and conflict. This class led by Lydia Kiesling will focus on how to anchor a novel or story in place, feeling, or experience—guiding writers in the practice of building fiction around everything except story, and encouraging writers to trust their instincts and let their sources of inspiration drive the story.

Lydia Kiesling is the author of The Golden State, a 2018 National Book Foundation “5 under 35” honoree, and a finalist for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. She is a contributing editor at The Millions and ZYZZYVA and her writing has appeared at outlets including The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker online, The Cut, and The Guardian.

Application Guidelines

Please submit a fiction manuscript (short story, flash fiction, or novel excerpt) of no more than 1,250 words (roughly 5 pages double-spaced). Manuscript will not be discussed as this workshop is focused on craft discussion and generative writing prompts.

The non-refundable application fee is $15. Accepted applicants will be informed by September 28, 2021. If accepted, the fee to attend is $150.