Generating Sparks in Fiction

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A portrait of Steven Amsterdam

Steven Amsterdam
10 November 2018 - 10:00 to 4:00 PM
Steven Amsterdam
We read fiction, paradoxically, for the moments that feel true. We want to see the mess of life, the revealing slip-ups, and the words that should not have been spoken. These are the bits of light that get in and make the reader nod at the page and say, ‘Yes, that. Exactly.’ How can they be created?

How can we slip them into our tightly-wound stories? Our workshop will be a search party for just such sparks. We will use exercises to free up our narrators, characters and their worlds. Through brave workshopping and discussion, you will be able to breathe more life into your fiction.

Please bring a very short story or an extract from your trove (approximately 500 words). We will do CPR on it.

You will learn

  • To notice what details provide spark in what you read,
  • to focus on the role of the unconscious in the world of your fiction,
  • to embed these sparks in your work,
  • to edit with a view towards maximizing their impact while never losing the story,
  • to provide other writers with a focused critique.

About Steven Amsterdam

Steven Amsterdam is the author of ‘Things We Didn’t See Coming’ (Winner, The Age Book of the Year), ‘What the Family Needed’ (shortlist, Encore Prize), and most recently, ‘The Easy Way Out’, which was shortlisted for ALS Gold Medal Award and longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. His short fiction and non-fiction has appeared in ‘The Age’, ‘The Guardian’, ‘The Monthly’, ‘Heat’, ‘The Lifted Brow’, ’Meanjin’, ’Overland’, ‘Salon’ and ‘Virginia Quarterly Review’. He is also a palliative care nurse.

Event registration fee
Concession member $ 135.00
Member $ 145.00
Non-member $ 195.00

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