A Masterclass On Voice and Narrative Style
Finding your voice is one of the great myths of creative writing: you have a voice already! In this one-day masterclass we’ll use readings, discussion and practical exercises to harness the instinctive power of our natural speaking voices. By listening to your voice in this way you’ll create a strong and adaptable foundation for narrative style in your writing. During the masterclass you’ll also be given various tools and resources on voice and narrative style to take home with you. We'll end the day with an informal Q&A with literary agent Jenny Savill, who can answer your questions about agents and getting published.
Program for the day
- 9.45-10.00 Registration
- 10.00–10.45: Trusting Your Voice: the art of listening, and putting your natural speaking voice on the page
- 10.45-11.30: Shifting the Tone: evoking feeling, establishing mood and pace, and layering personality into your writing
- 11.30–11.45: Break
- 11.45–12.45: Showing and Telling and Storytelling: scenecraft, visual storytelling, and the role of the narrator
- 12.45–14:00: Lunch (we can give recommendations for places nearby at London Bridge and Borough Market)
- 14.00–15.15: Manners of Speaking: extending the range of your voice – selecting point of view and tense, creating dialogue and subtext, working with idiolects and personas, and thinking about other voices and cultural appropriation
- 15.15–15.30: Break: Explore Borough Market
- 15.30–16.45: Industry speaker Q&A with literary agent, Jenny Savill
- 16.45–17.00: Final wrap-up: sharing of resources and informal networking
Coffee, tea and biscuits will be available throughout the day
In advance, please read ‘Brokeback Mountain’ by Annie Proulx (available in her collection Close Range) and ‘Hills Like White Elephants’ by Ernest Hemingway. A couple of weeks before the masterclass itself, you’ll be sent an email with guidelines for anything else you might need to prepare for class (which might include a few other short readings), so keep an eye on your inboxes.
Andrew Wille is an editor, book doctor, and writer. As senior editor at Little, Brown & Company in London and as a freelance editor, he has worked with many bestselling and award-winning authors. He studied and taught writing and publishing at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, birthplace of the modern mindfulness movement, and is particularly interested in contemplative and intuitive approaches to writing. More info and his blog at www.wille.org
Jenny Savill: Jenny joined Andrew Nurnberg Associates in 2002 as part time PA to the Managing Director. At that point she had no idea what a literary agent did. Sixteen years later, with a successful list of authors under her belt, many of them award-wining, she is a Director of the agency, placing books in the UK and US markets. She represents children’s and young adult fiction; also literary fiction, commercial and literary women’s fiction, psychological suspense, historical fiction, comic fiction, and narrative non-fiction. High fantasy is not her thing, though she is partial to a story with a slight, speculative thread running through it. She welcomes originality, depth, and the ability to move and surprise in submissions.