Date & Time: Thursday, October 26, 2023 | 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT
Location: Pat Conroy Literary Center | 601 BLADEN ST BEAUFORT, SC 29902 (limited to 15 attendees)
“Here is my advice to you, writer to writer…. Copy down dialogue from memory. Learn how people sound when they are sitting around talking versus how they sound when giving a speech or running for office. Details are the gold coinage in the realm of fiction and poetry.”–Pat Conroy, from his foreword to Writing South Carolina, Vol 1.
Good dialogue can shoot a scene into orbit––and mediocre dialogue can keep a narrative stuck in the mud. We’ll take a good look at dialogue that takes off with examples from the masters, including Raymond Chandler, Flannery O’Connor, Toni Morrison and, of course, Pat Conroy. We’ll question how realistic dialogue can and should be, and we’ll explore how many ways there are to weave speech and action and description together. We’ll also play around with several in-class exercises, with the emphasis on play. This workshop is designed for writers of both fiction and nonfiction, with all levels of experience welcome. Just bring pen and paper and the voices ringing in your ears.
This is an in-person writers workshop, held at the Pat Conroy Literary Center as part of the annual Pat Conroy Literary Festival. Limited to 15 participants; $45/person.
About our instructor:
Valerie Sayers is the author of a collection of stories, The Age of Infidelity, and six novels, including her most recent, The Powers. Who Do You Love and Brain Fever were both named New York Times “Notable Books of the Year, and a film, “Due East,” was based on her novels Due East and How I Got Him Back. Sayers’s stories, essays, and reviews have appeared widely, in such publications as the New York Times, Washington Post, Commonweal, Zoetrope, and Ploughshares, and have been cited in Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays. Her literary prizes include a National Endowment for the Arts literature fellowship and two Pushcart Prizes for fiction. She is honored to be a member of the South Carolina Academy of Writers.
Photos as well as short bios of all festival presenters are on the Presenter Page.