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Novel Taught by Nicola Keegan

Think of this weekend masterclass as an intensive boot camp for the writerly brain. It is intended for writers who have begun a novel, are stuck in the middle of a novel, or are at the end of a first draft and almost out of gas. We’ll meet you where you are to discuss the strategies that we found useful: Defining authorial intent, increasing flow, use of analytical meditations, self-hypnosis, and automatic writing techniques. We will focus on generating material, writing towards a greater understanding of your creative mind, your work and its potential. The top priority remains your needs, your goals, your questions. Writers can expect to walk away ready to dive back in to work all cylinders firing.

In this Master Class we’ll explore the fundamentals of fiction writing. How to create multidimensional charaters who come to life on the page, how to build a vibrant, detail-rich world for your characters to move through, and how to concoct a tight and coherent plot that grips, moves and surprises a reader. Along the way we’ll discuss how to do this with style—in other words with a voice. Please submit 15 pages of your own work for peer and instructor feedback.

Writing Craft 1: The Alchemy of Writing, From Darkness to Light Taught by Susan Tiberghien

After a short introduction to the history of alchemy, we will see how the three steps of alchemy illuminate the writing process. First we find our subject and follow it into the dark. This is called nigredo, the blackening. Then we distill the experience, draw forth its meaning. We call this albedo, the whitening. And finally we polish the story, polish the gold. Rubedo, the reddening.  We will read together a few excerpts from Brodsky, Atwood, Pamuk, following the steps in our imagination. We will become alchemists to bring a bit of light into our darkened world.

Writing Craft 2: Settings Make Your Story Taught by Alecia McKenzie

A convincing setting is not only a vivid backdrop for your narrative. Whether you write novels, novellas, short stories or creative non-fiction, setting can generate ideas for characterization and plot. Award-winning author Alecia McKenzie (who has worked in all of the above-mentioned genres) will explore the use of settings based on your current life, memory or research. A setting can be as glamorous as Paris or a humdrum village: in either case it can make your story come alive.

Panel Discussion 2019 - Navigating the Publishing World

Two award-winning writers, Caroline Vu and Alecia McKenzie and literary agent Gregory Messina discuss today's publishing environment, and the challenges for the writer. How do you get an agent? Is it possible to be published without an agent? What about writers crossing different cultures? Our panel will engage in a lively discussion and take your questions!


  • April Eberhardt
  • Caroline Vu
  • Alecia McKenzie
  • Gregory Messina
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