F272. Plot Is Not a Four-Letter Word: Teaching the Art of Storytelling in Fiction Courses

Grand Salon D, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Friday, March 9, 2018
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


Many workshops avoid discussing plot in depth, but this panel argues for the importance of teaching students to practice and analyze plot. Noted novelists-educators will offer inspiring possibilities for adding plot instruction to one’s repertoire, including: structure-based exercises, outlining (gasp!), “stealing” from screenwriting practice, reader-centered revision, playing with genre conventions, and artfully deploying storytelling elements (misdirection, withholding, reversals, etc.).


Derek Nikitas is an assistant professor of English and creative writing at the University of Rhode Island. A fiction writer and Edgar Award nominee, he has published the novels Pyres, The Long Division, and Extra Life. He has also cowritten three novellas with bestselling author James Patterson.

Julianna Baggott is the author of over twenty books under her own name and two pen names, including two New York Times Notable Books of the Year, Pure and Harriet Wolf's Seventh Book of Wonder. Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry, The New York Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post, and on NPR.

Chantel Acevedo's novels include The Distant Marvels, a Booklist Editors Choice pick, A Falling Star, and Love and Ghost Letters. Her most recent novel is The Living Infinite. She is an associate professor and teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Miami.

Katharine Beutner is an assistant professor of English at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Her novel Alcestis won the 2011 Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction and her writing has appeared in Public Books, TriQuarterly, The Toast, and other publications. She has an MA and PhD from UT Austin.

Bill Beverly is the author of Dodgers, a novel. He's a past editor of 32 Poems magazine. His book On the Lam is a survey of the criminal fugitive figure in narratives from 1932 to 1952. He teaches at Trinity University in Washington, DC.


March 7–10, 2018
Tampa, FL

Tampa Convention Center & Marriott Tampa Waterside