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He Said, She Said: The Art of Dialogue in Fiction

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St. Edward's University
Fleck Hall 108

12/8/2012 From 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM


Sorry. This event is sold out. To get on a waiting list, please send your contact information to Jennifer Ziegler at For information on class policies, please see our Classes and Workshops page.




 with Sara Kocek


$49 for Writers' League members (log in to get member price)

$109 for nonmembers



“Speech is a literary biopsy.”

-Rita Mae Brown, Author

Good dialogue is unmistakable. It can electrify a piece of writing and bring an otherwise listless story to life. It can create tension from nothing, advance a stalling plot, reveal hidden motives, and add depth through subtext. Yet many writers—even those with years of experience—struggle with it. Why? Because crafting realistic dialogue is not the same as crafting compelling dialogue.

In this fun and lively workshop, we’ll analyze what separates dialogue that it simply realistic from dialogue that is truly engaging and serves a larger purpose in the work of fiction. Through lectures, dialogue samples, and in-class exercises, we will explore techniques to help you take your dialogue to the next level. By the end of this workshop, you will have all the tools you need to create dialogue that not only rings true, but also serves as an engine for your plot and characters. While we will focus on fiction, these techniques can also be applied to nonfiction, screenplays, and stage plays.

This workshop will cover:

· How to use dialogue to advance your plot

· How to reveal and deepen your characters through their dialogue

· Easy techniques for crafting convincing dialogue

· How to write dialogue that adds depth through subtext

Who should attend:

· Novel, short story, and creative nonfiction writers

· Screenplay writers and playwrights

· Writers who struggle with crafting realistic dialogue

· Writers who enjoy writing dialogue-heavy stories but want to improve their craft

Sara Kocek holds an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University, where she taught fiction and poetry to undergraduates. A recent transplant from New York City, she has worked on the editorial side of the publishing industry at Random House and Penguin. She was most recently the Program Director at the Writers’ League of Texas.


Please see our classes page for information regarding refunds or walk-up registrations.


Our classes & workshops are funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin's future. Visit Austin at