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"Structure and Pacing in Narrative Fiction" with John Pipkin

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ACC Highland Campus, rm 2210
6101 Airport Blvd.
Austin, TX 78752

6/6/2015 From 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

with John Pipkin

Note: Online registration is now closed for this event. If you wish to attend, there are still a few seats available for purchase at the door at walk-up rates. Please arrive at least 15 minutes early and pay with a check (made out to Writers' League of Texas). Members - $109, Nonmembers - $169

$99 for WLTmembers (log in for member pricing)

$159 for 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, June 4. After that you can pay admission at the door with a check or money order for the walk up rate - $109 for members and $169 for nonmembers - as long as seats are available. Thank you!

Pacing can be one of the most elusive aspects of plotting, and often writers assume that the way to achieve effective pacing is to make as much “stuff” happen as quickly as possible. But a well-paced story is one in which the narrative unfolds at the rhythm that the characters, scenes, and themes require. And often, pacing is determined by the mechanics of how the story is told, sentence-by-sentence. Decisions as simple as word choice can have a profound effect on the flow of a story.

In this full-day class, we will focus on the characteristics of successful structure and pacing. We'll also identify some of the sign-posts that can indicate pacing problems in a story, and we'll discuss strategies for addressing these issues in the revision stage.

About the instructor:

John Pipkin’s first novel, Woodsburner, was published to national acclaim by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday in April 2009. Woodsburner won the New York Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, the Massachusetts Center for the Book Novel Prize, and the Texas Institute of Letters Stephen Turner Prize for First Novel. John was the Dobie Paisano Fellow at UT-Austin for the spring of 2011, and he recently finished his second novel, The Blind Astronomer’s Atlas. He received his Ph.D. in British Literature from Rice University in 1997. Currently, he is the Writer-in-Residence at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, and he teaches in the Brief-residency MFA Program at Spalding University, in Louisville, Kentucky.


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 policies, please 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 Austin Community College for its generous support and commitment to community, ongoing education, and the arts. Visit