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How to Find a Voice and Make It Yours: A Fiction Craft workshop with Ben Cheever (In Person)

July 16 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


There’s a collision when we write—between what’s in our hearts and minds and what is expressed and altered on the page. The first car wreck is between ourselves and our words. The second one is between those words and our reader. Whether we survive or not as writers depends on how much or how little that reader believes us. How much the reader trusts our voice.

During our first class, we’ll read aloud a sample from a well known writer with a distinct voice. I’ll point out techniques being shown off in this flash of lightning. You’ll then take ten minutes to compose your own imitation of that voice. In the second class, we’ll also begin with one page in a great writers voice and we’ll talk about how that writer connects with us through voice. You will then take 15 minutes to write a page in your own voice. Each class will begin with a different, well known writers unique voice, which we will analyze to determine which basic skills are used. During the final class we will all write one extraordinary page in the voice we have been building and discovering for ourselves. I will give you my comments on this last work. Here’s the paradox of voice. We will all use the same rules which I will repeat and repeat and repeat. If we follow the rules, we will all sound good—but different. Good prose is a fingerprint. And voice is what makes it yours.

NB: This four-week class will be taught in person (Tuesday, July 19-Tuesday July 30, 6-8 PM ET ) and will be capped at 12 students. Please review the course policies page before registering for any classes. Please email misty@writerscenter.org with any questions.

Ben Cheever edited The Letters of John Cheever and has published four novels (The Plagiarist, The Partisan, Famous After Death and The Good Nanny). He has written two books of nonfiction—Selling Ben Cheever and Strides. With illustrator Tim Grajek, he produced a children’s book tittled The First Dog. Ben taught writing at The New School for Social Research and in the Bennington MFA program. If you go to PCTV.76.org and type Ben Cheever into the search you can see him hosting a show started with Herb Hadad. Ben has free-lanced for The New Yorker and The New York Times. He’s chin-deep in a book on Canis Lupus Familiaris. He lives in Pleasantville, New York.


July 16
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Hudson Valley Writers Center
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Hudson Valley Writers Center
300 Riverside Drive
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 United States
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