On Saturday, June 9, I’ll be one of the presenters at the 4th Annual Spring Writing Intensive at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. The full day’s program runs 9:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Mellon Hall on the St. John’s College campus at 60 College Avenue. Registration is still available here.
My program, “Something Is Going to Happen,” focuses on writing suspense—even (perhaps especially) for those not writing genre fiction. Here’s the write-up:
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 presenting that day; her panel is “Tiny but Mighty: How to Write Amazing Flash Fiction,” and here’s that write-up:
Imagine it: An evocative, complete short story in 1000 words or less. This session will focus on flash fiction, the form taking online publishing by storm. Tara Laskowski, longtime editor of the flash fiction journal SmokeLong Quarterly, will define this type of writing and its many forms—from microfiction to novellas-in-flash—and walk participants through some of the rules for crafting your own tiny stories.
Other 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.
Beyond the Spring Writing Intensive, summer brings several other events, and Bouchercon is already on the visible horizon—so pleased again to have my story “A Necessary Ingredient” named a finalist for this year’s Anthony Award!
Here’s a list of events ahead, with more details still in the works:
Saturday, June 23, 2018
- Author Table with Alan Orloff, 10th Anniversary Celebration, Burke Centre Library, 5939 Freds Oak Road, Burke, VA • 10 a.m.-noon
Saturday, August 4, 2018
- Suffolk Mystery Authors Festival, Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, 110 West Finney Avenue, Suffolk, VA • 1-6 p.m.
Friday-Sunday, August 10-12, 2018
- Deadly Ink Mystery Conference, Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel, 515 US Highway 1 South, Iselin, NJ
- Deadly Ink Academy Workshop: “Brick by Brick: Strategies for Producing a Well-Paced Plot” • Friday, August 10, 1-4 p.m.
- Panel information to come.
Thursday-Sunday, September 6-9, 2018
- Bouchercon, Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort, 501 5th Avenue NE, St. Petersburg, FL
See you soon!