Past

EVENTS

Craft on Draft is a reading series devoted to great fiction—and the mechanics behind it. Three authors read and discuss their work, plus that of one lucky audience member. So grab a drink, a page of your own writing, and come craft your own draft.

Archive

SECONDARY CHARACTERS: THE IMPORTANCE OF A SUPPORTING CAST (April 4, 2017) 

Everyone loves a great protagonist, but great novels also need strong secondary characters. Come hear authors Camille DeAngelis (Immaculate Heart), Sara Farizan (Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel), and Annie Weatherwax (All We Had) discuss how they create terrific supporting characters who bring out the best, and worst, in their protagonists.

Camille DeAngelis is the author of the novels Immaculate Heart, Petty Magic, Mary Modern, and the Alex Award-winning Bones & All. She’s also written a book of practical philosophy, Life Without Envy: Ego Management for Creative People, and a first-edition guidebook, Moon Ireland (revised edition coming April 2017).

Sara Farizan is the award-winning young adult author of If You Could Be Mine and Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel. She has been featured on Buzzfeed, Mother Jones, NPR, and has had the opportunity to tour as far away as Australia for her books.

Annie Weatherwax is the winner of the Robert Olen Butler Prize for Fiction. Her short stories have appeared in The Sun Magazine, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. Her debut novel, All We Had, now a major motion picture, was published by Scribner.


A HARD DAY’S WORK: THE WORKING LIVES OF CHARACTERS (October 4, 2016) 

Easy Rawlins, private eye. Jane Eyre, governess. Atticus Finch, lawyer. Who would these characters be without their jobs? Come hear authors Louise Miller, Jennifer S. Brown, and Hank Phillippi Ryan discuss their characters’ careers, why they chose them, and how employment informs their narratives.

Jennifer S. Brown is the author of the historical novel Modern Girls (NAL/Penguin), and her writing has appeared in Fiction Southeast, The Best Women’s Travel Writing, The Southeast Review, The Sierra Nevada Review, Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere.

Louise Miller’s debut novel The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living was chosen by Bon Appetit Magazine as one of the “8 Food Novels You Need To Read This Summer.” She is a pastry chef who is also a graduate of GrubStreet’s Novel Incubator program, a yearlong workshop for novelists.

Hank Phillippi Ryan is the on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s NBC affiliateand the bestselling author of eight mysteries. Her newest book, What You See, is an Agatha and Anthony nominee and Library Journal Best of 2015.


TRUE STORIES: WRITING FICTION FROM REAL LIFE (April 5, 2016)

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. What would these novels be without the historical people and events they feature? Novelists Michelle Hoover, Emily Ross, and Dawn Tripp discussed how real life events influenced and shaped their novels.

Michelle Hoover is the Fannie Hurst Writer-in-Residence at Brandeis University and teaches at GrubStreet, where she leads the Novel Incubator program.

Emily Ross received a 2014 Massachusetts Cultural Council finalist award in fiction for her YA thriller Half in Love with Death.

Dawn Tripp‘s Georgia, a novel about the American artist Georgia O’Keeffe, is an ABA Indie Next Pick and has been described as a “tour de force” by Publishers Weekly.


WHERE’S THE STORY?: THE IMPORTANCE OF SETTING (October 6, 2015)

Imagine Harry Potter without Hogwarts, Huck Finn on the Nile, or Beloved haunting Beijing. Settings animate the story. Novelists Patricia Park, Stephanie Gayle, and Anjali Mitter Duva discuss how they created the settings of their latest work.

Patricia Park , is the author of RE JANE: A Novel (PDB/Viking, Penguin). Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Guardian, Slice Magazine, and others.

Stephanie Gayle, released her second novel, Idyll Threats, published by Seventh Street Books, in September 2015.

Anjali Mitter Duva, is an Indian-American writer raised in France. Her novel, Faint Promise of Rain, was published by She Writes Press in October 2014.

 


WHO TELLS THE STORY?: CHOOSING POINT OF VIEW (April 9, 2015)

Imagine J.D. Salinger deciding Holden Caulfield shouldn’t tell his own story, but handing the job to an omniscient narrator? Choosing the right point-of-view can make or break your novel. Hear Chris Castellani, Daphne Kalotay, and Celeste Ng discuss how they chose (and rejected) points of view, until they hit upon the right one for their novels.

Christopher Castellani is the artistic director of Grub Street and the author of three novels: All This Talk of Love (2013), a New York Times Editors’ Choice; The Saint of Lost Things (2005); and A Kiss From Maddalena (2003), winner of the Massachusetts Book Award.

Daphne Kalotay released her second novel, Idyll Threats, published by Seventh Street Books, in September 2015.

Celeste Ng is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Everything I Never Told You (Penguin Press). Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, One Story, Five Chapters, Gulf Coast, The Millions, and elsewhere, and has been awarded the Pushcart Prize.


CREATING KICK-ASS CHARACTERS (Tuesday, October 7, 2014)

Holden Caulfield, Katniss Everdeen, Oscar Wao—fictional characters as unforgettable as our own family members. Join novelists E. B. Moore, Jennie Wood, and Kate Racculia for a reading and discussion of how they created their own unforgettable characters, trait by trait, from first draft to final. 

E.B. Moore, in her debut novel, An Unseemly Wife, gives stunning and palpable energy to a 19th-century Amish woman in her journey to find a new life.

Jennie Wood, graphic novelist, author of the Flutter series, brings into dazzling focus the maturation of young Peyton as he discovers his true self in her debut novel, A Boy Like Me.

Kate Racculia, in her second novel, Bellweather Rhapsody, casts the Bellweather Hotel in the Catskills as a central character inhabited by an ensemble of eccentrics-turned-sleuths as they search for clues to the fate of the missing flautist.


FIRST PAGES: BEFORE & AFTER (April 8, 2014)
Our authors shared their novel openings, both their first drafts and the final results, how they started, where they ended up and why, and all the editing decisions in between.

Lisa Borders

Stephanie Gayle

Henriette Lazaridis Power