Winter Craft Intensive: Lydia Conklin


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Editor's Note

Deepening Character with Lydia Conklin
Sunday, March 5th
12 – 3 PM PST / 3 – 6 PM EST

This session will explore ways to deepen character in fiction. We will take a look at a few brief novel excerpts from Jessamine Chan, Katie Kitamura, and Richard Yates, and discuss the ways these writers use propulsive interiority and high emotional stakes to bring characters alive. We will discuss roadblocks in character building and explore some tactics for deepening characters that are hard to access, using the sample texts as blueprints. The session will build to the execution of a developmental writing prompt using characters the participants have previously developed, and we will all share work with the group. Students will leave with a deeper understanding of how to deepen and enrich characters within their short stories and novels.

BIO: Lydia Conklin has received a Stegner Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, three Pushcart Prizes, a Creative Writing Fulbright in Poland, a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation, a Creative Writing Fellowship from Emory University, work-study and tuition scholarships from Bread Loaf, and fellowships from MacDowell, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, Djerassi, the James Merrill House, and elsewhere. Their fiction has appeared in Tin House, American Short Fiction, The Paris Review, One Story, and VQR. They have drawn cartoons for The New Yorker and Narrative Magazine, and graphic fiction for The Believer, Lenny Letter, and the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago. Last year they served as the Helen Zell Visiting Professor in Fiction at the University of Michigan and they are currently an Assistant Professor of Fiction at Vanderbilt University. Their story collection, Rainbow Rainbow, was published by Catapult in North America and Scribner in the UK.