Frances de Pontes Peebles - The 23rd Draft: The Art and Logic of Revision

  • March 12, 2020
  • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Winnetka Community House, 620 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka, IL


Registration is closed

The poet Paul Valery says, “In the first draft is the talent. In the second is the art.” But what about the fifth draft? Or the twenty-fifth? With a first draft, it’s necessary to banish our internal critics. With each successive draft, however, we must be both creator and editor. How can we balance these two (sometimes conflicting) roles? How can we be effective readers of our own work? How can we find practical ways of seeing our work anew, of re-envisioning it after many drafts? Revision isn’t simply line-editing. In revision, we must confront our evasions in order to continue moving forward. Sometimes we discover that a forward direction isn’t where the work leads us; writing can take a circuitous path. How can we listen to the work, and to our own internal editor, without losing stamina? How can we push through fatigue and doubt in order to continue writing and revising? This can entail soul-searching and a release of old expectations in order for new ideas to arise. Revision is a dialogue with our own work. In this session we will begin the conversation.

Frances de Pontes Peebles is the author of the novels The Seamstress and The Air You Breathe. Her books have been translated into ten languages and won the Elle Grand Prix for fiction, the Friends of American Writers Award, and the James Michener-Copernicus Society of America Fellowship. Her second novel, The Air You Breathe, was a Book of the Month Club pick. Born in Pernambuco, Brazil, she is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she also served as a Visiting Associate Professor of Fiction in Spring 2019. She has received a Fulbright Grant, Brazil’s Sacatar Foundation Fellowship, and was a Teaching Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Her short stories and essays have appeared in O. Henry Prize Stories, Zoetrope: All-Story, Missouri Review, Indiana Review, Catapult, and Real Simple. Her novel, The Seamstress, was adapted for film and mini-series on Brazil’s Globo Network. She is proud to serve on the Board of the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights.

9-9:30 Registration and Socializing

9:30-12 Program

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