Master Class with Steve Almond
Saturday, July 13, 2019
How to Create Irresistible Characters
Ever read (or write) a story where the hero or heroine just doesn’t seem to pop? I have. Like a thousand times. This intensive (but fun-filled!) seminar will investigate why some characters leap off the page, while others just sit there. We’ll look at the work of Joyce Carol Oates, Sylvia Plath, Jane Austen, and others in an effort to examine all the untapped ways that authors can create layered, multi-dimensional characters. And we’ll work on an in-class exercise to bring the lesson home.
About Steve Almond:
Almond's 2014 book Against Football, which documents his growing disillusionment with American football, derived from two pieces written for The New York Times. Almond's second book, Candyfreak (2005) was a New York Times Best Seller and won the American Library Association Alex Award and was named the Booksense Adult Nonfiction Book of the Year.
Almond's books have been published in half a dozen foreign countries and translated into German, Dutch, Spanish, and Croatian. He has published more than 150 stories in magazines such as Tin House, Playboy, Zoetrope, and Ploughshares. His story "Donkey Greedy, Donkey Gets Punched" was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2010 and has been optioned for film by Spilt Milk Entertainment.
Two of his stories were published in The Pushcart Prize. His essays and journalism have appeared in venues such as The New York Times Magazine, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, Poets & Writers, and Real Simple. His stories and essays have appeared in dozens of anthologies. Almond also reviews books for The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times. He regularly teaches at GrubStreet in Boston, at the Sanibel Writer's Conference, and the Tin House Writer's Conference.
After a decade of working with traditional publishers, Almond has self-published three books in recent years and become an outspoken advocate of self-publishing, which he has written about extensively in the Los Angeles Times, Poets & Writers, and The Rumpus.
Steve was a contributing writer to Alarm Clock Theatre Company's Elliot Norton Award-winning play PS Page Me Later based on selections from Found Magazine.
Almond is a regular correspondent on NPR's Here & Now and on WGBH, both based in Boston. On October 27, 2011, Almond appeared as a guest on the podcast WTF with Marc Maron. Almond also hosted a live interview podcast series with Hallelujah the Hills band leader Ryan Walsh entitled "This Has Been A Disaster – Thanks For Having Us." During an interview with Newsmax TV on January 28, 2014, Almond encouraged the public to join him in boycotting the Super Bowl because of the risks involved to the players, with respect to brain injuries. Almond co-hosted the Dear Sugars podcast for four years with Cheryl Strayed.