R196. The Novella Workshop: Advocating an Alternative MFA Apprenticeship Model

Room 214B, Henry B. González Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Thursday, March 5, 2020
12:10 pm to 1:25 pm


A frequent misgiving about workshop classes in fiction—whether taught at the undergraduate or graduate level, at writers’ conferences or elsewhere—is the inevitable focus on the short story or, begrudgingly, on single chapters from novels-in-progress. It's time to consider an alternative. Two professors and three graduate students share their experiences teaching, writing, and reading novellas as well as their reasons for embracing a form they find commodious, malleable, and downright subversive.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: Event_Outline_AWP_2020.docx
Supplemental Document 1: PW_Consider_the_Novella_09.17_.pdf



Clancy McGilligan’s novella History of an Executioner won the 2019 Novella Prize from Miami University Press. His fiction has appeared in Slice magazine, Santa Monica Review, Wigleaf, and elsewhere. He’s a PhD candidate at Florida State University and reviews/interviews editor at Split Lip magazine.

Douglas Trevor is professor of English and creative writing at the University of Michigan.

Heather Johnson, a Dine woman from the Navajo Nation, is an MFA student at the University of New Mexico's Creative Writing Program. She has written a novella, Jane Smith, and is working on a memoir and a novel, Ash. Her experience as a CPS social worker and victim advocate informs her writing.

Cherline Bazile is enrolled in an MFA in prose at the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. She graduated from Harvard University, where her novella won the Thomas T. Hoopes Prize. Cherline is a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. She is at work on her debut novel.

Sharon Oard Warner is professor emerita of English at the University of New Mexico (UNM) and co-chair for the D.H. Lawrence Ranch Initiatives. She has published four books, the most recent being the novel, Sophie's House of Cards. Her craft book, Writing the Novella, is forthcoming from UNM Press.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center