Writing From Life: The Art of Fiction

Date(s): May 23, 2017 06:30 PM – May 23, 2017 09:00 PM
Cost: $65/$55 WLT/SCBWI Member. To pay via check, e-mail [email protected]
Faculty: Bethany Ball
Maximum Class Size: 18
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Writing From Life: The Art of Fiction

Work Open“I have the best story for you!” How many times have writers heard this? Or have you ever thought something fascinating happened to me and if I write it down it will be a great memoir or novel? We write in order to understand things we don’t know. Or to make better sense of things we do. We write for a way to figure out and to search for our own questions. Our job is to create characters that people can love, can relate to, can learn from, can remember, and can see themselves in.

Every writer uses aspects of their life and the life of those around them in their work. One must give oneself permission to write the stories they long to bring out to the world, but also must tell a story that is compelling to the outside world.

Through writing exercises, readings, and discussions, we will mine those veins of reality and imagination to jump-start a new project or infuse energy into a work in progress.


Who should take this course:

  • Writers of all novel genres and levels
  • Writers wanting to analyze the inner workings of fiction
  • Writers looking for the opportunity to study with a New York based creative
  • Writers feeling stuck in their craft
  • Writers looking to sharpen their skills

Praise for What To Do About the Solomons by Bethany Ball

“Ball switches points of view for a mosaic of family members and associates in crisis and adrift. Her terse, sharp-edged prose captures settings ranging from an American jail where highest bail is king to a French military post where they haven’t won a war since Napoleon, but they sure know how to live. For all its humor, penetrating disillusionment underlies Ball’s memorable portrait of a family, once driven by pioneer spirit, now plagued by overextension and loss of direction, unsure what to do with its legacy, teetering between resentment, remorse, and resilience.”—Publishers Weekly

“Ball, with great humor, profound wit, and notable insight, vividly captures a singular family….This novel from a most promising writer has been compared to the work of Isaac B. Singer and Grace Paley, as well as Nathan Englander and Jennifer Egan. Try Eudora Welty with sex and Jews.”―BooklistScreen Shot 2017-03-10 at 12.22.55 PM

“Ball’s prose is compulsively readable, almost addictive, and she has a wicked sense of humor.”—Kirkus Reviews

Bethany Ball was born in Detroit and lives in New York. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence and has been published in BOMB, The American Literary Review, the MetroTimes, Kveller and 2Paragraphs. She has work forthcoming in The Common and Lithub. Her debut novel, WHAT TO DO ABOUT THE SOLOMONS will be published in April by Grove Atlantic.