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Writing Workshops

Writing Powerful, Characterizing Dialogue in Fiction with Joanna Cantor (in-person)


6 Sessions

Out of stock

Once a week Wednesdays, 7:00 pm EDT - 9:00 pm EDT October 11 to November 15, 2023

Online via Zoom

This workshop has reached its capacity. To join the waitlist, please email Randy Winston at [email protected].

In this workshop, we’ll examine both student work and assigned readings by writers such as Bryan Washington, Emma Cline, and Jhumpa Lahiri, focusing on how to write pithy, characterizing dialogue as well as several other crucial elements of craft including the interdependent relationship between character and plot and the balance between scene and exposition. During class, we’ll use writing prompts to help generate new work.

Each writer will have the opportunity to submit new work for peer and instructor feedback. Writers will leave this workshop with a heightened instinct for playful, engaging dialogue and more confidence in their craft.

Course Outline
  • Week 1: Introduction, writing exercise, Anne Lamott, writing process, Bryan Washington
  • Week 2: Jhumpa Lahiri, plot, five modes, student work
  • Week 3: Dialogue, Emma Cline, student work
  • Week 4: Character, ZZ Packer, student work
  • Week 5: Emotion, dialogue, point of view, JD Salinger, student work
  • Week 6: Revision, Antonya Nelson, Jason Brown, Sally Rooney, student work

Capacity: 12


Led by

  • Joanna author photos_social_51 - Joanna Cantor

    Joanna Cantor

    Joanna Cantor

    Joanna Cantor holds an MFA from Brooklyn College and a BA from Colorado College. Her debut novel, Alternative Remedies for Loss, was an Amazon Best Book of the Month for May 2018 and received coverage in Vanity Fair, Real Simple, Nylon, and elsewhere. Her writing has appeared in Literary Hub, Electric Literature, Departures, Fodor’s Travel, Greatist, and Willamette Week. Joanna was a recipient of a Vermont Studio Center Fellowship. She previously taught fiction writing at Catapult and is also a yoga teacher. She lives in Brooklyn. You can keep up with Joanna on Instagram at @joannacantor and on Twitter at @jojannna.