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September Third Thursday: WLT On the Craft of Writing: Genre-Bending Fiction

September 21, 2023 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM CDT

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WLT hosts On the Craft of Writing talks a few times a year, partnering with an indie bookstore or other community organization, featuring authors discussing their craft in relation to their newest releases.

“I have a complex feeling about genre. I love it, but I hate it at the same time. I have the urge to make audiences thrill with the excitement of a genre, but I also try to betray and destroy the expectations placed on that genre.” – Bong Joon-ho

Join us for a conversation with two distinguished authors – Matt Bell (Appleseed and Refuse to Be Done) and Rachel Heng (The Great Reclamation and Suicide Club) – about the ways writers approach genre when crafting a work of fiction. We’ll be looking at the ways writers test and push beyond the expectations of genre, whether by writing something that blends more than one genre into a wholly unique story or by upending a specific genre while also staying true to many, if not all, of the conventions.

This conversation will be moderated by WLT Executive Director Becka Oliver. 

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Buy our panelists’ books and support indie bookstores! You can find our September Third Thursday booklist here

Featured Presenter(s)

Matt Bell is the author most recently of the novel Appleseed (a New York Times Notable Book) and the craft book Refuse to Be Done, a guide to novel writing, rewriting, and revision. He is also the author of the novels Scrapper and In the House upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods, as well as the short story collection A Tree or a Person or a Walla non-fiction book about the classic video game Baldur's Gate IIand several other titles. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Esquire, Tin House, Fairy Tale Review, American Short Fiction, Orion, and many other publications. A native of Michigan, he teaches creative writing at Arizona State University.

Rachel Heng is the author of the novels The Great Reclamation (Riverhead, 2023)—a New York Times Editors’ Choice and a ‘Best Book of 2023 So Far’ by The New YorkerAmazon Books and Town & Country Magazine—and Suicide Club (Henry Holt / Sceptre, 2018), which was a national bestseller in Singapore and has been translated into 10 languages. Rachel's short fiction has been published in The New Yorker, McSweeney’s Quarterly, Best New Singaporean Short Stories and elsewhere, longlisted for the Sunday Times Short Story Award and listed among Best American Short Stories’ Distinguished Stories. Her non-fiction has been listed among Best American Essays’ Notable Essays and has been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Esquire and elsewhere. She has received grants and fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, Fine Arts Work Center, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Vermont Studio Center, Hedgebrook, Kenyon Review Writers Workshop and the National Arts Council of Singapore. Born and raised in Singapore, Rachel received her BA in Comparative Literature & Society from Columbia University and her MFA in Fiction and Playwriting from UT Austin's Michener Center for Writers. She is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Wesleyan University.


September 21, 2023
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM CDT
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Online via Zoom