Basic Info
  • Fiction
  • Novel
  • Short Story

Many book editors say that they read the first paragraph of a manuscript and if they like it, they skip ahead to read some dialogue. If the dialogue is strong, they go back to page one and keep reading. If the dialogue is weak, the editor puts down the manuscript and the chances for publication (with that particular house, anyway) end there. Knowing how to write good dialogue, then, is crucial to publication—and readership.

In this workshop, we’ll explore what makes strong dialogue. We’ll read and discuss published models of exemplary dialogue, go over dialogue mechanics, and of course, write some dialogue of our own, which we will then workshop in a supportive, stimulating environment. This class is for writers of all levels and focuses on generating new material.

Kelly Dwyer


Kelly Dwyer is the author of two novels, Self-Portrait with Ghosts and The Tracks of Angels, two children’s books, and a number of short plays. She is currently teaching creative writing and doing freelance manuscript editing, as well as working on her own writing. Current projects include a novel, travel writing, and plays and flash fiction based on the Disney princesses at middle age. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Oberlin College, Kelly grew up in California and lives in Wisconsin with her husband, daughter, and their pug. Feel free to contact Kelly via