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"White-Knuckle Fiction: Creating Suspense in Stories and Novels" with Michael Noll

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St. Edward's University, Trustee Hall 303
3001 S. Congress Ave.
Austin, TX 78704

10/4/2014 From 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Online registration for this class has now closed. If you would like to register for this class, please email or call 512-499-8914 before noon on Friday, October 3. You can also buy tickets at the door, if seats are available, at walk-up rates. For more information, please see our Classes page.


$99 for WLT members (log in for member pricing)

$159 for nonmembers

Chances are, you’ve stayed up too late at night reading because you couldn’t put the book down. But have studied those white-knuckle passages to understand how they work? This class will look at examples from crime fiction, genre thrillers, and literary fiction in order to understand the techniques that writers use to create suspense and how you can use those same strategies in your own writing.

In this class, you will bring material (ideas, notes) and leave with sketches and outlines for suspenseful scenes. The class will use guided writing prompts and exercises, analysis of published work, and a Q&A session.

This class is perfect for
• Writers working on a novel (genre or literary) and trying to increase the tension of the plot
• Writers who want to raise the stakes in their short stories
• Any writer who wants a stronger approach to plot and tension
• Readers who want to know why their favorite books can’t be put down easily

About the instructor...

Michael Noll teaches writing at Texas State University and edits Read to Write Stories, a site that offers writing exercises based on published stories, novel excerpts, and essays. His work has been published at American Short Fiction, Chattahoochee Review, Narrative Magazine, Huffington Post, and The Good Men Project. He was formerly the writer in residence at the Katherine Anne Porter House in Kyle, TX. He’s currently at work on a story collection set in rural Kansas and a novel, Seven Attacks of the Dead.

REGISTRATION BY MAIL: If your browser has difficulty with our website store, or if you prefer to mail in a check, click HERE for a class registration form. The document provides instructions on where to mail it.

NOTE: Tickets are not refundable, but they are transferable. If you purchase a ticket and then find you cannot attend, someone else can attend in your stead. Simply contact us at or 512-499-8914 and let us know so that we can update the class roster. For more information, visit our Classes page.


This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Economic Growth & Redevelopment Services Office/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Visit Austin at


Writers' League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts - Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to


The Writers' League of Texas would like to thank St. Edward's University for its generous support and commitment to community, ongoing education, and the arts. Visit