F273. Understanding Novel Structure

Florida Salon 1, 2, & 3, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Friday, March 9, 2018
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


It can be a lodestar, a revelation, a voice in the wilderness, the solution to a riddle. From premise to final revision, structure is at the core of successful fiction. But where, for the author, does it come from? And how does one conceive of, execute, and/or repair a manuscript’s shape? Four writers—including the director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, winners of the PEN/Hemingway and PEN/Bingham Awards, and a Man Booker long-listed novelist—discuss the ins and outs of structuring a novel.


Arna Bontemps Hemenway is the author of the short story collection, Elegy on Kinderklavier, winner of the 2015 PEN/Hemingway Award. His fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2015, as well as other venues. He directs the undergraduate creative writing program at Baylor University.

Lan Samantha Chang is the author of two novels, All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost, and Inheritance, and a collection of short fiction, Hunger. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is professor of creative writing and director of the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa.

Peter Ho Davies is the author of the novels The Fortunes and The Welsh Girl, and the story collections The Ugliest House in the World and Equal Love. His fiction has appeared in The Atlantic, Harper's, Granta, The Paris Review, Best American Short Stories, and O. Henry Prize Stories.

Susanna Daniel is the author of Stiltsville, winner of the 2011 PEN/Bingham Award, and Sea Creatures, a Target Book Club pick. She teaches a year-long novel class with the Madison Writers' Studio, which she cofounded in 2013, and she also works privately as a novel editor and writing coach.

Bonnie Jo Campbell is author of Mothers Tell Your Daughters: Stories, American Salvage, a finalist for 2011 National Book Award and NBCC Award, as well as the bestselling novel Once Upon a River. She is a  winner of AWP award in short fiction, the Eudora Welty Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellow. She teaches at Pacific University's low residency MFA.


March 27–30, 2019
Portland, OR

Oregon Convention Center