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Speaking and Listening : The Art of Dialogue

Thursday, Mar 21, 2019 at 4:00pm

Waterville Public Library
73 Elm Street
Waterville, ME 04901


Good dialogue can bring enormous vividness and music to our prose. Good dialogue invites a reader into a room, helps us connect, and lets us hear and see. It can forward plot, illuminate character, reveal theme. But writing dialogue is not always intuitive, in part because dialogue is not merely transcribed speech. (Artful dialogue has very little to do with how people actually talk.) In this 2-hour workshop, we’ll discuss what makes good dialogue and explore methods of capturing and distilling the music of speech. We’ll look at some examples and experiment with techniques. Appropriate for all interested in creative writing—those writing memoir, personal essay, fiction, plays—or anyone who wants to think more about this element of literary craft.  Participants should bring something to write on and with: laptop, iPad, pad of paper, etc.

Sarah Braunstein is a writer and teacher based in Portland, Maine. She is the author of a novel, The Sweet Relief of Missing Children (W.W. Norton), a finalist for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction and winner of the 2012 Maine Book Award. Her stories and essays have appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, Playboy, The Harvard Review, The Cincinnati Review, Ploughshares, AGNI, and The Sun. She has been a recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation. Sarah holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and an MSW from Smith College

Free and open to the public. Seats are limited; registration is required.School for Social Work. She teaches at Colby College.

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