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"Making Your Story Seem Real: Crafting Believable Characters and Engaging Dialogue" with Stephanie Noll

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

2/6/2016 From 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM


$49 for members
(please log in for member pricing)

$109 nonmembers

Before purchasing, please read all policies as noted below and on our Classes page.

Note: Online registration will close at the end of Thursday, February 4. After that you can pay admission at the door with a check for the walk up rate - $59 for members and $119 for nonmembers - as long as seats are available. Thank you!


When we read good fiction, we are entering a dream, a place where we can spend our time with characters that we long to love, hate, identify with, feel for. You can tell when a story isn’t working; the dream is disrupted, and as readers we may say, “There’s no way that would happen,” or, “That’s not how people talk.” As writers, even if the worlds we create are made up and full of people we’ve never truly met, we want to transport our readers to a place that feels entirely “real.”

This class will look at novel and short story excerpts where characters and dialogue help to create a believable narrative. We’ll examine how the writers of selected works create characters that are complicated and layered, and we’ll talk about how dialogue is so much more than a conversation between characters. We’ll complete writing exercises that give us the opportunity to create characters and dialogue for new or existing work.

(Note: Writers of speculative and science fiction, have no fear—this workshop is for you, too! Making a story seem “real” is not the same as making it seem “realistic.”)

About the instructor:

Stephanie Noll
studied fiction writing at Texas State University, where she earned her MFA. Last fall, she published a young adult novel titled Breach, a book that she co-authored with four other writers. She is a frequent storyteller at The Story Department, a monthly fundraiser for the non-profit Austin Bat Cave. Stephanie has 17 years of teaching experience and has worked as a senior lecturer in the English department at Texas State for the past 8 years. She also has led a memoir-writing workshop for female inmates at the Travis County Jail and has written a novel about a standardized test cheating scandal at an inner-city Houston high school.

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 supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. 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