THE INDELIBLE CHARACTER
with Sarah Braunstein

Jane Eyre. Jason Bourne. Jean Brodie. Holden Caulfield. Holly Golightly. Sula. These indelible characters motor their respective stories—and linger with readers long after their books conclude. Who are the characters that stay with you? How do they appear on the page? What can you learn from them? This supportive 3-day workshop is designed for fiction writers of any experience level. We’ll talk about establishing haunting literary personages, challenging expectations, and creating dynamic conflicts. We’ll look hard at our syntax and diction, share work, and complete a series of short, technique-focused writing exercises.

SUBMIT Participants will be asked to submit in advance a sample of their own work in which an important character is introduced. Our focus will be on language/description, so don’t worry about providing a plot summary. Please limit the sample to five-pages, double-spaced (12-point type, one-inch margins). Email the manuscript no later than April 22 to director@mainewriters.org with the subject line: “BRAUNSTEIN FICTION SAMPLE.”

PLEASE BRING Participants are asked to please bring one page from a published work of their choice in which they see an “indelible” character. Please bring 12 copies.


Sarah Braunstein is a writer and teacher based in Portland, Maine. She is the author of a novel, The Sweet Relief of Missing Children (W.W. Norton), a finalist for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction and winner of the 2012 Maine Book Award. Her stories and essays have appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, Playboy, The Harvard Review, The Cincinnati Review, Ploughshares, AGNI, and The Sun. She has been a recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation. Sarah holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and an MSW from Smith College School for Social Work. She teaches at Colby College.