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Friday, May 5 • 10:30am - 11:45am
1F: Write What You Don't Know: How to Trust Your Imagination to Create Fictional Worlds FILLING
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So often aspiring writers are taught to write what we know, but some of the most memorable works of fiction are by authors who have never experienced what they write about. In Virginia Pye's two novels, she writes about Americans in China at a time before she was born and in a province where she's never set foot. But through inspiration prompted by research, the study of old photos, reading fiction and seeing movies set in similar times and places, she was able to create believable settings and characters. In this discussion session, we'll explore territory that we don't know first hand. Because the sources of inspiration can be so unpredictable, we'll be encouraged to think of unexpected possible sparks--for example, anecdotes passed down in families that lead to the creation of character, or newspaper articles that sound like fictional plots. We'll also study how other authors succeed at creating a full sense of place and character that is completely unfamiliar to them. Come let your imagination run wild in this encouraging workshop.

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Virginia Pye

Virginia Pye’s second novel, Dreams of the Red Phoenix, was named a Best Book of 2015 by The Richmond Times Dispatch, and called “Riveting!” by Library Journal, and “Superb historical fiction,” by the Historical Novels Review. Her first novel, River of Dust, was a Finalist for the 2014 Virginia Literary Award in Fiction, and was an Indie Next Pick. Her award-winning short stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Literary Hub, The Rumpus, Brain Child, The Tampa Review, The Baltimore Review, The North American Review, and elsewhere. She has taught writing at New York University, the University of Pennsylvania, in high schools, and in private workshops in her home. After decades living in Hartford, New York City, Philadelphia, and Richmond, she recently moved back to Cambridge where she grew up and is enjoying the vital literary scene. Please visit her at... Read More →

Friday May 5, 2017 10:30am - 11:45am
Cambridge Room