Afternoon Craft Conversation with Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

Date & Time:
Wednesday, March 17, 2021 - 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Passcode for the event: MFACW


The Big Easy: Writing Place as a Character in Fiction

I typically write about New Orleans, a city that is superficially well known. In this talk, I’ll address how I choose a setting for my stories. I’ll talk about the techniques I use, once I’ve chosen my setting, to tell the story of the place so the reader is learning about it in textured and nuanced ways. I’ll point to other examples of fiction where place was presented in all its dimensions, where it changed over time, where the reader learned about aspects of the environment that they wouldn’t have known about unless they lived there. In that way, these places were rendered as vibrantly as characters. Finally, we’ll talk about how to avoid cliches and stereotypes when writing about places that people think they already know. 



Margaret Wilkerson Sexton's most recent novel, The Revisioners, won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work and was a national bestseller as well as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her debut novel, A Kind of Freedom, was long-listed for the National Book Award, won the Crook's Corner Book Prize, and was the recipient of the First Novelist Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in The Paris Review; Zyzzyva; O, The Oprah Magazine; The New York Times Book Review; and other publications.

          Check out a review of The Revisioners and order your own copy!

Margaret Wilkerson Sexton Craft Conversation MFA visiting writer