Complex characters are at the heart of well-crafted works of fiction. They hook the reader, propel the plot, and give the writer the tools to add meaningful layers and themes to the story. In this workshop, we will explore several ways to create complex characters, infusing them with the depth needed to make them unforgettable and, as an added bonus, effective in helping you craft a solid, layered narrative and maintaining this narrative’s strength and momentum from beginning to end. The workshop will include writing exercises as well as a handout.
Rajia Hassib is the author of the novels In the Language of Miracles (a New York Times Editors’ Choice) and A Pure Heart (one of Real Simple’s Best Books of 2019). Her work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker online, and LitHub. Born and raised in Egypt, she moved to the United States when she was twenty-three. She holds an MA in creative writing from Marshall University and lives in West Virginia with her husband, two children, and four cats. To learn more about her, please visit her website at www.rajiahassib.com.
Join agent Monika Woods for a discussion and Q&A about the ins and outs of literary agents: how to query an agent about your book, what they do, how it all works, and more. She will be joined in conversation by Hub City Press.
Monika Woods is the founder of Triangle House Literary, a boutique literary agency established in 2019. She has worked closely with leading voices in contemporary literature over her decade-long publishing career. Her interests include literary fiction and compelling non-fiction in cultural criticism, food, popular culture, journalism, science, and current affairs.Monika is particularly excited about plot-driven literary novels, non-fiction that is creatively critical, unique perspectives, a great cookbook, and above all, original prose. Her clients have won the PEN Bingham Award, been listed for the National Book Award, The Kirkus Prize, The Edgar Awards, LAMBDA Awards, and the Believer Book Award, appeared on the New York Times bestseller list, and been named books of the year by the New York Times and NPR, among other honors.
"The poet Vievee Francis introduced the concept of entering "the cave of one's self" during my grad school years at North Carolina State University. Vievee encouraged me to explore my narrative, to investigate my symbols, and to break them open and to look inside of them. My narrative is that I'm black, southern, raised by a single mother, and now I'm a husband. Knowing my narrative helps me understand why tobacco fields and dirt roads show up in my poems. By identifying and exploring my symbols, I can begin to telescope inside them, making the language I use to speak about them fresh, and discover why these symbols were given to me. I believe our images come from God and are our egoless souls trying to make us see our connection to the world. In our workshop, I will ask students to enter "the cave of one's self" through several writing exercises."
Tyree Daye is a poet from Youngsville, North Carolina, and a Teaching Assistant Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill. He is the author of two poetry collections River Hymns 2017 APR/Honickman First Book Prize winner and Cardinal forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press 2020. Daye is a Cave Canem fellow. Daye’s work has been published in Prairie Schooner, New York Times, Nashville Review. Daye won the 2019 Palm Beach Poetry Festival Langston Hughes Fellowship, 2019 Diana and Simon Raab Writer-In-Residence at UC Santa Barbara, and is a 2019 Kate Tufts Finalist. Daye most recently was awarded a 2019 Whiting Writers Award.
In this workshop, we’ll look at ways of finding a theme for your memoir to alleviate some of the pressure of having a bad memory. Not everyone can remember what they had for lunch in third grade on the fourth day of school and not everyone has daily dairies they’ve maintained since childhood. Setting a theme for your memoir can help sharpen recall and make your manuscript more cohesive without sacrificing detail or truth.
Nichole Perkins is a writer from Nashville, Tennessee, currently based in Brooklyn. She was a 2017 Audre Lorde Fellow at the inaugural Jack Jones Literary Arts Retreat, and a 2017 BuzzFeed Emerging Writers Fellow. She’s the author of Lilith, but Dark, and her memoir, Sometimes I Trip On How Happy We Could Be, is forthcoming from Grand Central Publishing.