The Afternoon Series with Shanthi Sekaran: "To Boldly Go: Writing Fiction That Lies Outside of Your Experience"

Date & Time:
Wednesday, April 25, 2018 -
2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
De La Salle Hall: Hagerty Lounge, 1928 Saint Mary's Road, Moraga, CA 94575
View a map and get directions.

To Boldly Go: Writing Fiction That Lies Outside of Your Experience by Shanthi Sekaran

This talk explores the possibility of shedding the old “Write what you know” directive, and venturing into the thorny, daunting but potentially vivifying process of writing what you want to know. Over seven years of writing and researching Lucky Boy, I taught myself to think about and execute the task of writing a story vastly different from my own. The process raised endless questions. Where does research end and creation begin? How do you create a story that feels alive when you haven’t lived it yourself? Which limitations can you transcend, and which will you simply have to accept? How might you best avoid the pitfalls of cultural appropriation? The human experience is rich with stories that take us out of our own small worlds. This talk will introduce techniques of writing and thought with which to expand your narrative universe.


Shanthi Sekaran’s Lucky Boy, was named an Indie Next Great Read and an Amazon Editors' Pick. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in The New York Times, Canteen Magazine, Huffington Post and Best New American Voices. Sekaran is the 2017-2018 Distinguished Visiting Writer in Creative Nonfiction and Fiction in the MFA in Creative Writing program.



MFA in Creative Writing