Breaking Into the Literary Fiction Market
The path to publication for unpublished writers of literary fiction can be different than for commercial fiction. Christine Sneed, one of Chicago’s foremost literary authors and creative writing lecturers, delivers an in-depth lecture on how to submit literary works to periodicals, how to find an agent, and how to approach an independent press.
Christine Sneed is the author of the novels Paris, He Said and Little Known Facts, as well as the story collections Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry and The Virginity of Famous Men.
She has been published in The Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Stories, New Stories from the Midwest, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, New England Review, and a number of other periodicals. Her books have received AWP’s Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction, Ploughshares' Zacharis prize, the Society of Midland Authors Award, the Chicago Public Library’s 21st Century Award, Book of the Year from the Chicago Writers Association.
Sneed is the director of MA/MFA creative writing program at Northwestern University and she’s on the fiction faculty of the Regis University low-residency MFA program.
*Christine will accept up to four manuscripts for critique. Please see manuscript guidelines for details.
Registration and Socializing 9:00AM-9:30 PM
Using Mystery Tools for Any Story
Special Evening Event
URGENT: Venue Change!
The mystery genre is vast and varied, but mystery authors do rely on a few specialized tools to tell suspenseful, well-plotted stories. Lori Rader Day, a multiple-award-winning mystery writer, reveals those tools in a talk about character, setting, plot, suspense, conflict, story structure and more as seen through the lens of solving a mystery—information that can add energy, intrigue, and reader satisfaction to any story.
Lori Rader-Day is the author of The Black Hour, which won the 2015 Anthony Award for Best First Novel, the Lovey Award for Best First Novel, the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion for Best First Novel/Mystery & Thriller, and the Illinois Woman's Press Association Mate E. Palmer Award for Fiction. It was a finalist in four other awards competitions. Her second novel, Little Pretty Things, won the 2016 Mary Higgins Clark Award and is nominated for the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original. Lori’s short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Time Out Chicago, Good Housekeeping, and others. She lives in Chicago, where she teaches mystery writing at StoryStudio Chicago and is the president of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter.
Lori Rader Day will critique manuscripts. Please see manuscript guidelines.
Special Evening Event:
Kenilworth Assembly Hall
410 Kenilworth Avenue, Kenilworth, Illinois
Setting & Description
How does the setting of a story influence the plot, characterization, and tension? Award winning author Abby Geni will provide guidance on creating vivid worlds within your writing: how to craft strong descriptions, how to find the right balance between too little and too much imagery, and how to make sure that your prose has vibrancy and physicality. Includes handouts and exercises.
Abby Geni is the author of The Lightkeepers, winner of the 2016 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award for Fiction, and the inaugural Chicago Review of Books Award for Best Fiction, and a Chicago Magazine 2016 Breakout Novel, and The Last Animal (2013), a finalist for the Orion Book Award and a winner of the Friends of American Writers Literary Award. Her stories have won first place in the Glimmer Train Fiction Open and the Chautauqua Contest and have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies. Geni is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a recipient of the Iowa Fellowship. Her website is www.abbygeni.com.
Abby will accept manuscripts. Please see manuscript guidelines.
Registration and Socializing 9:00AM-9:30PM
Making a Scene
Scenes are the building blocks of fiction—and yet while an education in playwriting pays tremendous attention to the architecture of scene, fiction workshops tend to overlook it. We’ll take a playwright’s approach to fiction by learning how to build scenes with a solid arc, scenes that advance every element of the story, scenes that matter. Appropriate for writers working on short stories, novels and scene-driven creative non-fiction.
Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the story collection Music for Wartime, as well as the novels The Hundred-Year House (a BookPage “Best Book” of 2014 and winner of the Chicago Writers Association Award) and The Borrower (a Booklist Top Ten Debut). Her short fiction was featured in The Best American Short Stories anthology in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, and appears regularly in publications such as Harper’s, Tin House and Ploughshares, and on public radio’s This American Life and Selected Shorts. The recipient of a 2014 NEA Fellowship, Rebecca has taught at the Tin House Writers' Conference, Northwestern University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
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