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Classes and Panels

I’ll be teaching at the upcoming Lighthouse Lit Fest in Denver, Colorado. You can register for these classes by clicking on the links below. Check out the entire Lit Fest schedule here: Lighthouse Lit Fest

Tuesday, June 6, 2 p.m.
Writing the Unlikeable Woman
Lighthouse Writers Workshop
1515 Race St., Denver CO

We’ll look at examples of difficult women from Lauren Groff (Fates and Furies), Ron Rash (Serena), and others to uncover why some unlikable characters win over readers in spite of—or maybe  because of—bad behavior. Prompts will guide writers to elevate their own characters from someone who is easily dismissed (I don’t like her) to someone who is deeply compelling (I don’t  want to have coffee with her, but I can’t wait to see what she  does next).

Tuesday, June 6, 7 p.m.
Salon—Despicable Me: The Likability Problem
Lighthouse Writers Workshop
1515 Race St., Denver CO

Panelists: Rebecca Makkai, Erika Krouse, Tiffany Quay Tyson, Ben Whitmer

We’ve all read those dismissive book reviews: “I hated every single one of these characters.” But what are the unique advantages and challenges of writing unlikable characters? Who are the anti-heroes of our purest imaginings, and who are they encouraged to be after we run the gauntlet of agents, editors, publishers, and PR? Come and talk about how we negotiate characters in all their forms, from superheroes to evil masterminds.

Catered meal and beverages included in ticket price, available starting at 7:00 PM. Panel discussion begins at 8:00 PM.

Friday, June 16, 2 p.m.
Determination vs. Inspiration: How to Keep Writing
When You Really, Really Want to Quit

Lighthouse Writers Workshop
1515 Race St., Denver CO

You know the feeling. You’ve been writing that novel/memoir/book of short stories or poems forever. Your inbox is full of rejections, and the idea of another round of revisions makes you want to curl up in the fetal position and revert to thumb sucking. We’ll talk about authors who thought about giving up before going on to publishing success. And we’ll explore practical strategies to keep you writing when inspiration fizzles. Bring a work in progress and a willingness to look at the habit of writing in new ways.

What I’m writing about