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Writing Workshops

The Craft of the Unputdownable Story: How to Grab a Reader’s Attention and Keep It with Stefan Merrill Block


3 Sessions

In stock

Friday - Sunday 1:00 pm EDT - 2:30 pm EDT November 12 to November 14, 2021

Online via Zoom

Whether it’s literary fiction, a genre novel, or nonfiction, a story’s ability to find a readership comes down to a single essential question: do readers feel that they need to keep turning its pages? In this three-session bootcamp, participants will explore techniques to seize and hold the reader’s precious attention like naturally cultivating suspense, raising stakes and escalating conflict, crafting compelling and sympathetic characters, keeping language urgent and active, and structuring a story in the most dramatic way possible. As part of this discussion, participants will dissect several published stories and consider how they might apply learned lessons to their own projects. This bootcamp is perfect for writers who are trying to revise their work for maximum effect, and also for writers who are just at the start of a project and considering how to give shape to an idea or story.

All Levels
Capacity: 20

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Led by

  • Stefan Merrill Block

    Stefan Merrill Block

    Stefan Merrill Block

    Stefan Merrill Block grew up in Plano, Texas. His first book, The Story of Forgetting, was an international bestseller and the winner of Best First Fiction at the Rome International Festival of Literature, The Ovid Prize from the Romanian Writer’s Union, the 2008 Merck Serono Literature Prize and the 2009 Fiction Award from The Writers’ League of Texas. The Story of Forgetting was also a finalist for the debut fiction awards from IndieBound, Salon du Livre, and The Center for Fiction. Following the publication of his second novel, The Storm at the Door, Stefan was awarded The University of Texas Dobie-Paisano Fellowship, as well as residencies at The Santa Maddalena Foundation and Castello Malaspina di Fosdinovo in Italy. Stefan’s stories and essays have appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker Page-Turner, the Guardian, NPR’s Radiolab, GRANTA, the Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. Stefan’s third novel, Oliver Loving, was released in 2018 by Macmillan/Flatiron Books, and is being developed for television by Participant Media. He lives in Brooklyn.