I’m thrilled to be part of this year’s program—presenting a workshop on writing suspense, though importantly, intriguingly, not with a focus on crime fiction. Here’s the write-up for my session, “Something Is Going to Happen”:
Hooking your readers with a killer opening—that’s a must. But how do you get them to turn not just the first page but the next too? and then the next? …and the next? Crafting suspense may seem like the special province of crime fiction writers, but literary writers and genre writers both can profit from heightening tension, escalating conflict, tossing in the unexpected left turn, and generally keeping readers focused on the idea that “something is going to happen,” (to borrow the title of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine’s weekly blog). This session draws on work by writers including Patricia Highsmith, Alice Munro, Joyce Carol Oates, and Scott Turow to illustrate various techniques for incorporating suspense into your own work.
My wife, Tara Laskowski, is also part of the program, presenting a session on flash fiction, and additional presenters include Susan Coll, Caroline Kitchener, Jeff Kleinman, and David Leite. Registration includes lunch, a coffee break, and a wine reception too—with many chances for q & a and informal chat with participating authors.