In this talk, we will discuss the challenge of mastering tone, rhythm, and style in our writing by looking closely at the art of composing powerful sentences and scenes in fiction and nonfiction. We'll explore samples from masters of the form, learn some new strategies, and discuss the challenge of word choice and sentence variation as they apply to our own work. Writers will leave the session with a bank of examples from writers in all genres, plus a few of their own short exercises to use as stand-alone pieces or seeds for a larger project.
Micah Fields has published essays and photography for the Oxford American, Gulf Coast, The Baffler, Columbia Journalism Review, Sonora Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, War, Literature & the Arts, and elsewhere. He holds a BA from the University of Montana and an MFA in nonfiction from the University of Iowa. He received the Oxford American’s 2018-19 Jeff Baskin Writers Fellowship, an Iowa Arts Fellowship, and the AWP Intro Journals Award in nonfiction. He served as a Marine Corps infantry rifleman from 2007 to 2011 and is a combat veteran of deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. He now lives in Helena, Montana, where he writes, teaches, and works as a fishing guide on the Missouri River. We Hold Our Breath, his book about Houston and its story of development and storms, is forthcoming from W. W. Norton.
Micah will accept manuscripts for critique. Please see the manuscript drop down on our website at ocww.info for details.