F268. The Village of Your Novel

Room 207B, Washington Convention Center, Level Two
Friday, February 10, 2017
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


Jane Austen advised that three or four families in a country village was the very thing to work on. Two hundred years since the publication of Emma, the idea of the village of your novel can help you manage a cast of characters, build tension, and create a sense of place. This international panel looks at ways writers create villages (inner city or rural) and demonstrates practical methods and exercises for leading readers into a convincing world, utilizing its spaces and playing with its rules.



Rebecca Smith (University of Southampton, UK) is the author three novels and two books on Jane Austen including The Jane Austen Writers' Club, an innovative creative writing guide. She was the writer in residence at Jane Austen’s House Museum where she now runs workshops.

Carole Burns's story collection, The Missing Woman, won Ploughshares' 2015 John C. Zacharis Award. She is editor of Off the Page: Writers Talk About Beginnings, Endings, and Everything in Between, a reviewer for the Washington Post and head of creative writing at the University of Southampton in the UK.

Robin Black is the author of three books, the story collection If I Loved you, I Would Tell You This, the novel Life Drawing, and, most recently, Crash Course: Essays From Where Writing and Life Collide. She teaches in the Rutgers-Camden MFA Program.

Margot Livesey teaches at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She is the author of a collection of stories and eight novels, including Eva Moves the Furniture and Mercury. A book of essays about fiction, The Hidden Machinery, is forthcoming.


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Washington State Convention Center