Summer writing seminars at GrubStreet

May 12, 2015 § Leave a comment

grubstreet-logoLooking forward to teaching three intensive one-day seminars on critical aspects of the fiction writing craft this summer: descriptive writing, the novel opening, and point of view/psychic distance. I’m very much enjoying my association with GrubStreet, a Boston-based organization run by kind and wonderful people and frequented by many talented aspiring and established writers. If you’re within striking distance of downtown Boston, come join us!

Here’s a link to all of my upcoming GrubStreet workshops.

Upcoming talks and appearances

March 20, 2015 § Leave a comment

10653394_10152466045124682_4593457784593993577_nLooking forward to a busy spring and summer of talks and appearances! If you’re attending any of these events, I look forward to meeting you there. If you can’t make any of them but are interested in similar content, there are still openings in these wonderful, intensive writing seminars at GrubStreet in Boston.

April 24 – 26, 2015: Talks on the Jungian Shadow in YA Fiction and Image Systems in Fiction. New England Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators Conference, Springfield, MA

May 1 – 3, 2015: “Voice and Dialog in Historical Fiction.” GrubStreet’s Muse & The Marketplace Conference, Boston, MA IMG_3926

July 12 – 17, 2015: “Life Stories: Creative Adventurers, Adventurous Creators” (5-part lecture series). All-Star 2 Family Conference. Star Island, Isles of Shoals, NH July

18 – 24, 2015: Guest author, Writing in Prague program (Putney Student Travel)

New Cuba travel article out

March 15, 2015 § 3 Comments

630x355A new article about the changes on the ground in Cuba, based on observations made during my recent National Geographic Expeditions trip to the island, is up at TravelPulse. Take a look.

Spring novel writing classes at GrubStreet

March 13, 2015 § Leave a comment

grubstreet-logoIt’s been a great experience working with seven talented aspiring novelists in my 10 week Novel in Progress course this winter. I find that focusing in on particular aspects of craft of fiction is immediately beneficial in terms of one’s own work, and even more so in the long term, because it leads to greater fluency and range as a writer.

For these reasons, and because I very much enjoy teaching, I’ve agreed to offer yet another 10 week Novel in Progress course on Thursday evenings beginning April 9th. If you’re near Boston and working on a novel, join us! We have a lot of fun. And if my current students are any indication, you will make great strides on your project.

If you’re interested but can’t commit to 10 weeks, your can join one these intensive, one-off classes:

Voice and Dialog in Historical Fiction (Saturday, March 28, 10-5)

Crafting the Killer Novel Opening (Saturday, April 11, 10-5)

The Lost World: Harnessing the Power of Descriptive Prose in the Novel (Wednesday, June 17, 6-9 PM)

Click here for the full details on all my GrubStreet courses.

What Novels Can Do That Movies Can’t

January 10, 2015 § 1 Comment

grubstreet-logoIn anticipation of the 10 week novel class I’m teaching at GrubStreet this winter, I have a little piece up at The Grub Daily called “What Novels Can do that Movies Can’t, and Why We Need to Keep Writing Them.” Here’s an excerpt:

“One of the great things about being alive in the twenty-first century is the abundance of good movies – and, lately, of good and even great TV series. But the happy truth is, even in this environment, novels are holding their own. This may be due to what novelist and writing teacher John Gardner referred to as the “vivid, continuous dream” of fiction, which is more than a writing workshop cliché.”

Read the whole post here.

Winter writing courses at GrubStreet

December 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

Well, I must say I had fun this fall teaching several day-long classes on the writing craft at GrubStreet. It’s nice to have an excuse to spend more time in Boston, and GrubStreet students tend to be well educated, well read, open-minded, serious about writing, and eager to learn their craft. In this environment the learning experience definitely runs both ways. There’s something wonderfully inspiring about spending a stretch of time geeking out about craft with a bunch of other literary-minded introverts, and I believe it’s essential for a practicing novelist to keep educating himself in the analytical aspects of the craft. That’s exactly what teaching these classes does for me — and if I can help other aspiring writers get closer to their goals in the process, that’s certainly an excellent bonus.

grubstreet-logoI’m very much looking to teaching two more GrubStreet classes this winter. The first is a ten-week novel-writing class, in which we’ll be discussing many different aspects of the craft, including structure, scenes, dialog, characters, language, voice, point of view, image systems, backstory, the opening, and more, in addition to generating quite a bit of in-class work of either the first draft or the revised variety. The second class is a day-long affair focused on voice and dialog in historical fiction. So, Boston area writers, if any of this intrigues you, I urge you to take the leap! (And feel free to contact me if you have questions or doubts.)

New England book mini-tour

October 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

IMG_3820Thrilled to be embarking on an autumn mini book tour, during which I’ll be speaking, reading, and signing at several of New England’s great independent bookstores and libraries. Here’s the schedule of events. Come on out, I’d love to see you and sign your personal copy of Will Poole’s Island!

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2014, 6:30 PM
Bank Square Books
53 West Main Street
Mystic, Connecticut
 
 
 
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2014, 11:00 AM & 2:00 PM
TOADLOGOThe Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough (11AM)
12 Depot Square, Peterborough, NH
&
The Toadstool Bookshop in Keene (2PM)
At the Colony Mill Marketplace in Keene, NH
 
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2014, 4:00 PM
world-eye-logo-fbWorld Eye Bookshop
156 Main Street, Greenfield, MA
 
 
 
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2014, 2:00 pm
DFL-logo-duxoval-largeDuxbury Free Library
77 Alden Street, Duxbury, Massachusetts

 

Brattleboro Literary Festival

September 23, 2014 § Leave a comment

What an honor to be included among the stellar group of authors participating in this year’s Brattleboro Literary Festival (October 2- 5, 2014) which for thirteen years has been one of the most dynamic and well attended celebrations of books and readers in New England. And what a blast to hang out with old friends, meet new ones, hear talented and interesting people discuss their work and read from it, all the events well attended, and the streets of good old Brattleboro teeming with readers and writers of every stripe. Thanks to the organizers and volunteers, my friends and fellow writers, and everyone who came out to celebrate the power and beauty of the written word!

I had the privilege of introducing two very special women, critically acclaimed emerging writers Alden Jones and Eleanor Henderson

I had the privilege of introducing two very special women, critically acclaimed emerging writers Alden Jones and Eleanor Henderson

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What a pleasure and an honor to read and discuss books alongside the talented Don Bredes, a fellow Vermont writer

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Signing books with Don and the luminous Dede Cummings, publicist, agent, and publisher of Green Writers Press

Giving a little pre-reading context for Will Poole’s Island

So great to see the streets and venues of Brattleboro filled with writers and readers. Reports of the death of the book have been very much exaggerated!

So great to see the streets and venues of Brattleboro filled with writers and readers. Reports of the death of the book have been very much exaggerated!

 

Fall writing courses at GrubStreet

September 5, 2014 § 1 Comment

grubstreet-logoHey everyone, I’m pleased to announce a new series of day-long workshops on the writing craft that I’ll be conducting at Grub Street in Boston. If you’re not familiar with this organization and you live anywhere in a 100 mile radius, you really ought to check it out. My experiences with Grub Street have been overwhelmingly positive. It’s a magnet for blazingly creative people following all kinds of interesting paths in writing, and their classes are top-notch in terms of providing inspiration and the ongoing work every writer must do in honing the craft.

Click on the titles to read full descriptions and logistical info. I’d love to see you in Boston!

New historical fiction article up at The Grub Daily

July 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

themuse&themarketplacefinal_newlogo-250x250My two part writing craft article, “Narrative as Time Machine: Five Tools for World Building in Historical Fiction” is now up at The Grub Daily.

The article grew out of a talk I gave at Grub Street’s fantastic Muse and the Marketplace conference in May, 2014, and analyzes key excerpts from great historical fiction novels such as The Age of Innocence, The English Patient, Cold Mountain, The King Must Die, and more.  If this sounds interesting to you, click here. Hope you enjoy it!

 

 

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