In her fine story “In the Gloaming,” Alice Elliott Dark has the mother saying to her son that she thinks writers are just showing off when they write about sex. Nance Van Winckel says that when she really wants to get to know her characters, she puts them in bed together. Have you shied away from portraying these ubiquitous life experiences? Do you wonder when to draw the curtain? Are you anxious about what language you want to use? This workshop will look at how a number of contemporary writers handle sex on the page, and over the weekend you will gain more confidence in your ability to write a love scene, a scene of longing, or a seduction scene that satisfies you. We will write several scenes and the group will give feedback.
Patricia Henley is the author of four short story collections, two novels, a stage play, two chapbooks of poetry, and numerous essays. Her first collection of stories won the Montana First Book Award. Her first novel, Hummingbird House, was a finalist for The National Book Award and The New Yorker Fiction Prize. Her prose has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, The Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, and The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. In 2014, Engine Books published her young adult novel—Where Wicked Starts—co-authored with Elizabeth Stuckey-French. Her play If I Hold My Tongue was given a staged reading at The Kennedy Center in September 2015. Patricia served on the faculty of Purdue University’s M.F.A. in Creative Writing program for twenty-seven years.