Fiction Writer’s Workshop


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Fiction Writer
s Workshop, Second Edition
The Key Elements of a Writing Workshop: Clear instruction, illustrated by contemporary and classic works, innovative exercises and methods to gauge your progress
By Josip Novakovich
Writer’s Digest Books, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-58297-536-8
$16.99 paperback, 336 pages

Read an excerpt from chapter six: “Dialogue As Conversation.”

The great paradox of the writing life is that to be a good writer, you must be both interested in the world around you and comfortable working in solitude for hours on end. Fiction Writer’s Workshop, Second Edition, is designed to help you foster a strong sense of independence—of being and thinking on your own, of becoming self-evaluative without being self-critical—in order to accomplish what others seek in classroom groups.

In this comprehensive guide, award-winning writer and teacher Josip Novakovich explores every aspect of the art of fiction and provides all the tools and techniques you’ll need to develop day-to-day discipline as well as a personal writing style, such as:

  • More than 100 writing exercises, including dozens that are new to this edition, that challenge you to experiment with diverse writing styles
  • Specific statements of purpose for each exercise, to help guide you and instruct you at every step of the creative process
  • Self-critique questions to help you assess your work and identify strengths and weaknesses before moving on to the next lesson
  • The full text of eight acclaimed short stories, with analysis and exercises, to provide models for your own writing and help reinforce the lessons you’ve learned

The practical, insightful methods offered in this workshop will clarify your voice, broaden your perspective, and strengthen your fiction.

Praise for Fiction Writer’s Workshop

“Thoughtful, articulate, and eloquent, Fiction Writer’s Workshop is one of the best books I’ve seen on the teaching and learning of writing. Students say this book makes the whole process much more accessible and inspiring.” —Diana Abu-Jaber, Portland State University

Fiction Writer’s Workshop is written in a lively and engaging style. Josip Novakovich is not offering the reader pronouncements from on high—unbreakable story rules—but friendly and useful advice from one writer to another.” —Mary Grimm, Case Western Reserve University

Fiction Writer’s Workshop offers a wealth of sensible and relevant practice exercises. Any creative writing instructor could profit from this book.” —Peter Schmitt, University of Miami

About the Author

Josip Novakovich is a Croatian-American writer. At the age of 20, he left Yugoslavia, continuing his education at Vassar College, Yale University, and the University of Texas, Austin. He has published a novel (April Fool’s Day), three short story collections (Yolk, Salvation and Other Disasters, Infidelities: Stories of War and Lust), and two collections of narrative essays (Apricots from Chernobyl, Plum Brandy: Croatian Journeys). Novakovich has taught at Nebraska Indian Community College, Bard College, Moorhead State University, Antioch University in Los Angeles, the University of Cincinnati, and is now a professor in the Master’s of Fine Arts program at Pennsylvania State University.

Mr. Novakovich is the recipient of the Whiting Writer’s Award, a Guggenheim fellowship, two fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Ingram Merrill Award, and an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. He has been anthologized in Best American Poetry, Pushcart Prize, and O.Henry Prize Stories.

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