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WORKSHOP: Beginnings, Middles and Endings; The Structure of a Narrative with Claire Keegan

  • Nanyang Technological University 50 Nanyang Avenue Singapore, 639798 Singapore (map)
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Claire Keegan, internationally acclaimed author and fiction-writing teacher, will direct her most popular fiction writing course, using a novel and two short stories to demonstrate and explore the mechanics of fiction writing and narrative structure.

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

2. “The Displaced Person” by Flannery O’Connor

3. “A Small, Good Thing” by Raymond Carver

4. Jane Campion’s adaptation of Portrait of a Lady

How do stories begin? How and why does an author make an incision in time and build tension? How is a reader drawn into a narrative? This workshop will also explore the much-neglected middle; the trunk of the story, its denouement and turning points. And ask if endings natural: why do stories need to end, to find a place of rest? The discussion around endings will focus on falling action, emotional consequences and inevitability. Participants will also examine the differences between the short story and the novel.

This weekend will be of particular interest to those who write, teach, read or edit fiction -- but anyone with an interest in how fiction or reading works is welcome to attend. To book your place, contact Tuition is €400, and a 50% deposit secures your spot in the workshop.

Claire Keegan’s story collections include Antarctica, Walk the Blue Fields and Foster (Faber & Faber). These stories, translated into 17 languages, have won numerous awards. Her debut, Antarctica, was a Los Angeles Times Book of the Year. Walk the Blue Fields, her second collection, was Richard Ford’s Book of the Year in 2010, and won the Edge Hill Prize, awarded by Hilary Mantel. Foster won the Davy Byrne’s Award, then the world’s richest prize for a single story. It is now on the school syllabus in Ireland. Of Antarctica, “The Observer” said, “these stories are among the finest stories recently written in English.” Walk the Blue Fields won the Edge Hill Prize, awarded to the strongest collection published in the British Isles. Foster was elected by readers as the best story published that year in The New Yorker and was then published in Best American Stories. Keegan also has earned an international reputation as a teacher of fiction, having taught workshops on four continents.

VENUE: Nanyang Technological University
ADDRESS: 50 Nanyang Ave, Singapore 639798
EVENT WEBSITE: Claire Keegan Fiction Clinic

3 and 4 November 2018, 9.30am - 5pm