This is a course designed, obviously, for those who are interested in exploring the art and craft of fiction. In part, a large part, the course will function as a writing workshop in which student work-in-progress will be read and discussed. Critical reading is as important as creative writing in a workshop. Good fiction writers are almost always strong critics. One cannot be a writer without first being a reader. The aim of the workshop discussions is to enable the writers to improve their work with the editorial and critical assistance of the readers. Our goal is to help the novel in question to be the best novel it can be. In addition to the workshop discussions, we値l do writing exercises in class, and we値l talk about various narrative techniques, such as plot, characterization, point of view and setting. We値l also be looking at the structure of the novel itself, at what a novel can be and what it ought not to be. We値l discuss the novel as a time machine, as a clock and a calendar. We値l talk about presentation and trajectory in novel writing. And we値l also discuss the practical matters of writing and marketing novels. And we値l discuss the writing process, the habit of writing.
This class tends to fill within the first weeks of registration opening. John chooses mss. based on how the class will coalesce. Master classes only offer six spaces. In the past, participants who signed up for another class have been able to make contact with John during the Conference and discussed the opportunity of working with him another year. If you do not make it in this year, this may be a way to get into the pool for the next year.
John Dufresne - photo credit Elizabeth Kortlander
John Dufresne has won the Yankee Magazine award for fiction, the Transatlantic Review/Henfield Foundation Award, a PEN Syndicated Fiction award. His novel Louisiana Power & Light was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, 1994. He is also the author of two short story collections, The Way That Water Enters Stone and Johnny Too Bad,three chapbooks, Lethe, Cupid, Time and Love;Well Enough Alone; and I Will Eat a Piece of the Roof and You Can Eat the Window and the novels, Love Warps the Mind a Little, also a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, 1997, Deep in the Shade of Paradise, and most recently, Requiem, Mass. He is one of the thirteen authors of the mystery novel, Naked Came the Manatee. His monologue,The Freezer Jesus was produced as part of Native Tongues at Le Chat Noir Theater in New Orleans. He wrote the screenplay for the short film, “The Freezer Jesus” and, with Donald Papy, the feature film To Live and Die in Dixie, both directed by Harper Philbin.His story “Johnny Too Bad,” which originally appeared in Triquarterly, was included in New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best, 2003.His story “The Timing of Unfelt Smiles” which originally appeared in Miami Noir, was included in Best American Mystery Stories of 2007. His story “The Cross-Eyed Bear, which originally appeared in Boston Noir,” was selected to appear in as a Best American Mystery Stories of 2010. He edited the short story anthology Blue Christmas. His books on writing, The Lie That Tells a Truth and Is Life Like This? are used in many university writing programs. He is a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow in Fiction. His new novel, No Regrets, Coyote will be published by Norton in July 2013.