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"How to Tackle the Embarrassing, the Forbidden, the Emotionally Difficult" with Nan Cuba

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

2/13/2016 From 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM



$99 for members (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, February 11. 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!

Without emotional characters, you are just writing events, not replicating real people who illustrate aspects of the human condition. Your characters should certainly have external problems, but they should also have internal conflicts.

In order to do that, you must be honest about your own emotional reactions to personally challenging moments and want your characters to have that same range of feelings, resisting the impulse to make the characters sentimental or melodramatic. Your life-changing moments will be the inspiration for stories readers crave.

This class will help you identify those moments, ones ideal for fiction or nonfiction, and then help you recognize your complicated reactions in order to transfer those emotions to your characters. We will practice focusing on craft elements (illustrating emotions through actions and sensory perceptions) in order to transform difficult material—the embarrassing, the forbidden, the emotionally difficult--into scenes that honestly expose life.

About the instructor:

Nan Cuba’
s novel Body and Bread (Engine Books), won the PEN Southwest Award in Fiction and the Texas Institute of Letters Steven Turner Award; it was listed as one of “Ten Titles to Pick Up Now” in O, Oprah’s Magazine, and was a “Summer Books” choice from Huffington Post. Cuba co-edited Art at our Doorstep: San Antonio Writers and Artists (Trinity University Press), and published other work in Quarterly West, Columbia, Antioch Review, Harvard Review, and storySouth. She is the 2016 Dobie Paisano Fellow; founder and executive director emeritus of Gemini Ink, a nonprofit literary center; and teaches in the MA/MFA Program in Literature, Creative Writing, and Social Justice at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, where she is writer-in-residence.

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