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International Women's Writing Guild

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Finding the Dimensions of Your Story in its Setting

  • Wednesday, June 07, 2023
  • 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
  • via Zoom


  • IWWG Member (requires login)

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Finding the Dimensions of
Your Story in its Setting

**Please note all times are listed in EST**

We tend to spotlight character and plot when writing fiction, but often setting is where the real story begins. A claustrophobic place wrought with a tenuous history that forces characters together is often the beginning of determining the parameters of conflict and defining the dimensions of your world. For this workshop, we’ll go beyond thinking about place as merely the backdrop of your story—we’ll look for the story in the place! We’ll try to understand how the dimensions of a story can instigate the tensions and conflicts of a character’s world, and we’ll go beyond verisimilitude to construct the layers of a place. Like a tiered cake, we will build from the ground up, interrogating the ways that physical geography, history, and characters can lead to dynamic characterizations of setting that inform the conflict of your story. By the end of the workshop, you should have some concrete ideas for how to address setting in your writing in a more purposeful and nuanced manner.

Julie Iromuanya is the author of Mr. and Mrs. Doctor (Coffee House Press), a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, the Etisalat Prize for Literature, and the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize for Debut Fiction. Her scholarly-critical work most recently appears in The Journal of Black Studies, Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, Callaloo: A Journal of African American Arts and Letters, and Afropolitan Literature as World Literature (Bloomsbury Publishing). She is a 2020 George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation fellow, and she was the inaugural Herbert W. Martin Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Dayton. Iromuanya earned her Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is an assistant professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Program in Creative Writing at the University of Chicago and affiliate faculty of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture. Her second novel, A Season of Light, is forthcoming from Algonquin Books (2024).

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att: Michelle Miller

22 Parsonage St #293

Providence, RI 02903

telephone: (518) 290-1636 

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New York, NY 10019

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