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Plot Prose Intensive with Monica Ferrell via Zoom

July 17 @ 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Free – $99

If events are pearls, plot is the string that holds them together. If each individual scene in your story is like a star illuminating the sky, plot is the constellation that connects them. One of the most challenging aspects of writing fiction—especially for those authors new to it—is structuring a plot where each action causes the next like a set of carefully-arranged dominoes falling. What makes a plot surprising or engaging? How does plot connect to character? In this craft class, we’ll consider these questions, devoting special attention to how to plant seeds in the beginning of a piece of fiction, how to increase dramatic tension, and how to deliver resonant endings that give readers a sense of closure. We’ll examine sample texts from authors such as Carmen Maria Machado, Nell Freudenberger, and ZZ Packer, alongside passages from critics, all with a view to developing strategies to enliven and deepen your own fictional plots.

Please note: Two person of color scholarships and one need-based scholarship are given on a first come, first served basis to writers living within the US. Please notify us right away if your plans change and you cannot attend the class. We will then reopen the slot so another student may register. Thank you in advance for this consideration.  Please refer to our Scholarships page before registering for Person of Color Scholarship or Need Based Scholarship. Thank you.

Monica Ferrell was born in New Delhi, India in 1975. She is the author of three books of fiction and poetry, most recently the collection You Darling Thing (Four Way, 2018), a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Award and Believer Book Award in Poetry. Her novel The Answer Is Always Yes (Dial Press/Random House) was named one of Booklist‘s Top Ten Debut Novels of the Year and a Borders Original Voices selection. Her first collection of poems, Beasts for the Chase, was a finalist for the Asian American Writers Workshop Prize in Poetry and won the Sarabande Books Kathryn A. Morton Prize. She has been recognized with residencies at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation and the MacDowell Colony, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, and a Discovery/The Nation Prize. She has taught fiction and poetry for the MFA programs at Columbia University and Bennington College, and is Professor of Creative Writing at Purchase College (SUNY).


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July 17
12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Free – $99
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Hudson Valley Writers Center
Philipse Manor Station
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 United States