Michael Byers’ first book, The Coast of Good Intentions,was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, won the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and garnered a Whiting Writer’s Award. Long for This World won the annual fiction prize from Friends of American Writers and was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. Both were New York Times Notable Books. Byers’ fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards; his nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Best American Travel Writing, and elsewhere. A former Stegner Fellow at Stanford, he directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan.
Workshop: Forward March!
Writers of literary fiction can too often overlook the allure of – and underestimate the difficulty of – good plotting. This workshop will take on the question of plot mechanics, management of backstory and "information dumps", and narratively engaged description. We'll read some useful examples and model our work on the work of those who have managed to tell stories without sacrificing depth, complexity, or surprise. We'll consider what makes a story a story – rather than just an anecdote -- and we'll overcome our "embarrassment of narrative" by recounting the best true-life (or nearly so) tales we know.
Michael Byers on the Web