This year, the AWP conference is in Minneapolis. I’ve never been to Minneapolis before, and I know little about it other than the rave reviews it receives from Economics bloggers: the city is apparently a very middle-class sort of place, where actual good jobs exist in good numbers.
So I’m excited to visit and explore.
If you live in the area, or are going to the conference, feel free to say hello. Anything nice you say, anything at all, will mean a very large amount to me. Suggestions for good restaurants will also be appreciated and (with any luck) put to use.
On Thursday, April 9, I will be the least amazing part of this amazing panel:
R174. A Thread through the Labyrinth: Learning and Teaching Plot . (Lynne Barrett, Joy Castro, Lauren Grodstein, Daniel Wallace) Too much plot? None at all? Writers well-trained in other aspects of writing fiction are often confused and daunted by plot, lost in its maze of possibilities. Panelists will share their experiences learning how stronger plot invention enhances character, structure, and meaning in novels and short stories, and will suggest approaches to teaching how to perceive, discuss, and evaluate plotting. They will offer charts, maps, and other techniques for devising and envisioning a plot’s twists and turns.
Lynne, Joy, and Lauren are all very successful writers and teachers, and it should be a great session.
I’m going to be talking about the endings of stories, and what it takes to write a good one, using James Joyce’s “The Dead” as a model. This is the first time I’ve ever presented at AWP and it feels like a kind of big deal.
So I thought I would start small, by unpacking perhaps the most famous ending of all modern literature. No pressure.
On Friday evening, I’ll be in the noodle and sake house, moto-i, for the “Five-Fingered Discount” reading, with Dzanc, The Normal School, Bluestem, Sonora Review, and Burlesque Press. Best of all, I think I’ll just be hanging out that evening and listening. This year, all I had to do was design the flier (as seen above).
For the rest of the conference, I’ll be wandering the book fair, or helping out at the Burlesque Press booth, 515. Come over to 515 and chat. I’ll probably try to sell you a copy of Siren Song, but you’re strong. You won’t give in.