BOONE—"Monks knows her monsters, both literal and figurative," said Publisher's Weekly in a starred review of Sheryl Monks' debut story collection, Monsters in Applachia. "And she knows the territory of hills and hollers, where reality is sometimes heightened so sharply that it bleeds into myth."
Monks will lead the Fiction class July 13-16 at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2017 Squire Summer Writing Workshops at Appalachian State University in Boone. Registration is open.
Her workshop, "How Bad Things Happen to Good Characters: Compression, Tension, and Catharsis in Fiction," will examine the ways in which conflict is the engine that drives any good story, long or short. Bad things simply must happen to good characters. Drawing upon contemporary examples, participants will discuss the fundamental way that short stories and novels differ in structure, beginning with the most fundamental element of any narrative: conflict. How does it work in short fiction? How does it work in the novel? Why is it important to know the difference?
Sheryl Monks is the author of Monsters in Appalachia, published by Vandalia Press, an imprint of West Virginia University Press. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Queens University of Charlotte. Sheryl’s stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Electric Literature, The Butter, The Greensboro Review, storySouth, Regarding Arts and Letters, Night Train, and other journals, and in the anthologies Surreal South: Ghosts and Monsters and Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods: Contemporary West Virginia Fiction and Poetry, among others. She works for a peer-reviewed medical journal and edits the online literary magazine Change Seven. Visit her online at www.sherylmonks.com.
Her Pinterest account offers a Board titled "Books I Love." Titles include Serena by Ron Rash, The Landbreakers by John Ehle, Gap Creek by Robert Morgan, and several titles by Toni Morrison. These are the books that have affected Monks, and SW17 participants can expect these titles to be touchstones during her workshop.
The Squire Summer Writing Workshops offer conferencegoers the chance to study elements of one genre with one instructor over the course of the program. Attendees will work on their own manuscripts, as well as those of their peers, while also attending readings, special presentations, and taking advantage of built-in writing time, amid the beauty and majesty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Joseph Bathanti will lead the course in Poetry. Eric G. Wilson will lead the class in Creative Nonfiction.
Support for these workshops is provided by the NC Arts Council, the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, and the family of Chick and Elizabeth Daniels Squire.