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Where is the border between fiction and memoir, and how and when do we cross over? We’ve become accustomed to thinking there’s a firm distinction between these genres, but the reality is, there’s a lot of room for letting the imagination run wild in our “true” stories, or for bringing in real events, characters, and emotions into our fiction. We’ll look at your story or novel chapter together, so you’ll get to hear how it lands on readers, and we’ll spend time looking at some of the points of craft (character description, dialogue, pacing, etc.). Each session will include generative writing exercises designed to unlock your imagination and help you find new roads through the borderlands.

Header image by ELG21

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Instructor: Sarah Van Arsdale

Sarah Van Arsdale’s sixth book, a poetry collection, was published by Finishing Line Press in October 2021. She is the author of four books of fiction and a single book-length poem, titled The Catamount (Nomadic Press, 2017), illustrated with her watercolors. Her fourth book of fiction, a collection of novellas titled In Case of Emergency, Break Glass, was published by Queens Ferry Press in 2016. Her third novel, Grand Isle, was published by SUNY Press in 2012. Her second, Blue, winner of the 2002 Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel, was published by the University of Tennessee Press in 2003, and her first, Toward Amnesia, was published in 1996 by Riverhead Books.