S215. How to Design a Novel Workshop

B113, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Saturday, March 30, 2019
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm


Ever the misfit in traditional workshops, the novel needs its own space to grow. In a conversation for anyone who writes novels, teaches novel courses, or wants to, five writers reveal how we structure generative, productive novel workshops. We’ll exchange imaginative prompts and craft exercises that spur writers on and see them through the long haul. And we’ll reflect on how teaching this expansive, unruly genre has altered the way we understand the workshop form—and the novel itself.


Chelsey Johnson received an MFA from the University of Iowa and a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford. She is the author of the novel Stray City and her stories have appeared in One StoryPloughshares, NPR's Selected Shorts, and elsewhere. She teaches at Northern Arizona University.

James Hannaham is the author of the novels God Says No and Delicious Foods, and a longtime contributor to The Village Voice and other publications. He teaches in the brand new MFA program at the Pratt Institute.

Leni Zumas is the author of two novels (Red Clocks and The Listeners) and a story collection (Farewell Navigator). She is the Director of Creative Writing at Portland State University.

Matthew Salesses's books include The Hundred-Year Flood, I'm Not Saying, I'm Just Saying, and (forthcoming) The Murder of the Doppelgänger and Own Story: Essays. He has written for the New York Times, NPR, Salon, VICE, and other outlets. He is an Assistant Professor of English at Coe College.

Susan Choi is the author of four novels: The Foreign Student, American Woman, A Person of Interest, and My Education. She lives in Brooklyn.


March 27–30, 2019
Portland, OR

Oregon Convention Center