Special Two Part Zoom Session
First Half: Confessions: A story where every character acted with goodness, a level head, self-knowledge, and self-acceptance, would likely be dead in the water. Fiction is fueled by conflict, both interior and exterior, and contains characters who make mistakes feeling everything from guilt to glee. In this session we’ll look at stories and novels where narrators openly confess to their misdeeds. How does a writer inspire and maintain the reader’s loyalty despite, or perhaps because of, a character’s fictional offenses? How do we create empathy for prickly people, and why write about prickly people in the first place? Through examples, discussion, and exercises, we’ll harness the power of empathy for characters making even the messiest of mistakes.
Bio: Caitlin Horrocks is author of the story collections Life Among the Terranauts and This is Not Your City, and the novel The Vexations, named one of the 10 best books of 2019 by the Wall Street Journal. Her stories and essays appear in The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories, The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, The Pushcart Prize, The Paris Review, Tin House, and One Story, as well as other journals and anthologies. Former fiction editor of the Kenyon Review, she currently teaches at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.
Second Half: Caitlin is joined by Christina Baker Kline for a Question and Answer Panel on Writing Historical Fiction and General Craft Questions.
Bio: A #1 New York Times bestselling author of eight novels, including The Exiles, Orphan Train, and A Piece of the World, Christina Baker Kline is published in 40 countries. Her novels have received the New England Prize for Fiction, the Maine Literary Award, and a Barnes & Noble Discover Award, among other prizes, and have been chosen by hundreds of communities, universities and schools as “One Book, One Read” selections. Her essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in publications such as the New York Times and the NYT Book Review, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, LitHub, Psychology Today, and Salon.