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The Circle and the Line

September 10, 2020 @ EST 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


We’ve moved online! All workshops will be conducted through Zoom, an interactive platform that allows you to participate in exercises and contribute to group conversation in your workshops. The day before your workshop you’ll receive an email with a link to Zoom for your workshop session.

Member Price: $65
Deadline to Register: September 10, 5 pm
Instructor: Melanie Conroy-Goldman

The spine of the novel occurs in linear time. Even if the tale isn’t told chronologically, the reader constructs a timeline that occurs in hours and weeks and years.  But there is another timeline we might think of as the circle. This is the obsessive vein of the novel, the thematic line, which recurs and revisits and revises. The writer, too, often constructs in both circles and lines–going forward, looping back, pushing ahead again. In this workshop, we’ll talk about the line, but our special focus will be the circle, ways in which narrative loops can pull in our reader, complicate our timeline, and ultimately deepen both the reading and the writing pleasure. We will consider such novels as Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad, Daisy Johnson’s Everything Under, and Dexter Palmer’s Version Control; and enjoy short writing exercises.

Melanie Conroy-Goldman is the author of the novel The Likely World (Red Hen Press, 2020). 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.


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September 10, 2020
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Virtual Classroom
NY United States
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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