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“Show, don’t tell” is a slogan cited like scripture. It also might be the single most destructive piece of advice writers ever receive. In this seminar, participants will look at concrete examples of how the “show, don’t tell” mantra often wreaks havoc on writers’ storytelling by creating confusion, sapping their prose of suspense, and causing them to write disjointed scenes. We’ll explore how writers can transform their work by following a much more useful creed: tell the reader just enough to feel what they’re being shown.
Steve Almond is the author of ten books of fiction and non-fiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His forthcoming book is William Stoner and the Battle for the Inner Life. Steve's short stories have appeared in the Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize anthologies. His essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine and elsewhere. For many years, he hosted the Dear Sugars podcast with Cheryl Strayed.