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Fiction Workshop: Muddling the Middle

July 23 @ EST 10:00 am - 12:00 pm


Virtual Event with Melanie Conroy-Goldman

Rising action. Mounting stakes. Reversals. Unmaskings. When a novel or a story doesn’t arrive or reach a powerful (and in some measure satisfying) conclusion, the fault is nearly always in the middle. In this workshop, we will consider one novella and three short stories to consider the all-important middle of a narrative. We’ll develop a toolkit of strategies for stalled or underwritten middles, complete two writing workouts to massage already-written middles into tighter, denser, tenser form, or to tease out the middle of an as-yet-unwritten work. The instructor also will provide a demo beginning which writers earlier in their process can use to develop their skills outside of a WIP.  



Works we will consider:

Gravelby Alice Munro (also available in her collection Dear Life)

Black-Eyed Womenby Viet Thanh Nguyen (also available in his collection The Refugees)

The Neon Guillotineby Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah  (Not collected, but consider his excellent collection Friday Black if you enjoy this short story) 

Sleep Donation by Karen Russell, available as an e-book or from Vintage Contemporaries (9/29/2020)

Melanie Conroy-Goldman is the author of The Likely World, a novel from Red Hen Press. A Professor of Creative Writing at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, she was a founding director of the Trias Residency for Writers. Her fiction has been published in Southern Review, StoryQuarterly, in anthologies from Morrow and St. Martin’s and online at venues such as McSweeneys.net.  She also volunteers at a maximum security men’s prison with the Cornell Prison Education Program.  She lives in Ithaca, New York with her husband, daughter and step-daughters.

Scholarships available

Members $30 | General Public $40 (Members: please remember to login to your account before ordering your ticket)

This virtual event is streamed via Zoom.


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Fiction Workshop: Muddling the Middle
$ 40


July 23
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Categories:
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W&B Online Class
Rochester, United States


Writers & Books
(585) 473-2590
View Host Website
If you would like to make a request for any accommodation, please email us at accommodation@wab.org at least 10 days prior to the event or workshop.

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