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What is really going through readers’ minds when they read the first sentence or paragraph of one of your works-in-progress? We will discuss beginnings, first lines and paragraphs: what they should do, how much they can demand of a reader, and what creates confusion. We’ll discuss a few first lines and paragraphs from a recent issue of Best American Short Stories. Then, participants will read aloud from the beginning of one of their stories or novel and get feedback from the rest of us. We’ll discuss what our buy-in moment was and try to articulate why. Bring the beginning of a story or novel work-in-progress. If time allows, we can briefly discuss preparing manuscripts for submitting to contests.
Due to COVID-19, all classes will take place online until further notice. If there's a possibility that your class might take place in person, you will be notified in advance. Even if classes can be held in person, there will always be a hybrid option to participate via Zoom.
Classes with "Zoom" in the title will be held via Zoom even after our doors open. Classes listed as "Online" will be held on Wet Ink, our platform for asynchronous learning.
All times are listed in Pacific Time.
Lori Ostlund’s novel, After the Parade (Scribner), will be released in September and is a B&N Discover Pick. Her story collection, The Bigness of the World (2009), received the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and the California Book Award for First Fiction.