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A Lie That Tells The Truth: Fiction Workshop – FINE ARTS WORK CENTER in Provincetown
Fine Arts Work Center In Provincetown

2023 Summer Workshops

Jill Bialosky A Lie That Tells The Truth: Fiction Workshop July 15 to July 20, 2018 Tuition: $600 Workshop: 9am-Noon Discipline: Fiction INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED On-site Housing NOT Available - Off-site Housing Options

Pablo Picasso famously said, that art “is a lie that tells a truth.” This workshop will focus on voice, point of view, character and narrative strategies in writing urgent and compelling fiction. I will offer techniques using memory, personal, experience and fictive techniques to create a fictional reality. How does a piece of writing transform itself into artfulness? How does fiction get at personal and universal truths? How can a fictive voice be called upon in order to dig deeper and raise the stakes? We all know that the most convincing writing comes from urgent subject matter. How do we take this material and shape it into artful fiction. Jill Bialosky will offer writing prompts and exercises to generate new material and to reshape existing material. We will examine student writing as well as look at select pieces of fiction as guideposts for transformation.


Jill Bialosky is a poet, novelist, memoirist, and New York Times bestselling author. Her most recent memoir, Poetry Will Save Your Life (Atria Books, 2017), is a wholly original approach, refracting Bialosky’s life through the prism of poems that have shaped, inspired, and helped her make sense of the world around her. The Washington Post called it “A lovely hybrid that blends [Bialosky’s] coming-of-age story with engaging literary analysis.” Her next book, Asylum: A Personal, Historical, Natural Inquiry in 103 Lyric Sections, will be published by Knopf in August 2020. Her other volumes of poetry are The Players (Knopf, 2015), which the poet Linda Gregerson called, “elegant and generous,” Intruder (Knopf, 2008), Subterranean (Knopf, 2001), a finalist for the James Laughlin Prize, and the acclaimed debut collection The End of Desire (Knopf, 1997), She has written three novels, The Prize (Counterpoint, 2015), a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, The Life Room (Harcourt, 2007), and House Under Snow (Harcourt, 2002). History of a Suicide: My Sister’s Unfinished Life (Atria Books, 2011) was a New York Times bestseller and finalist for the Book for a Better Life Award and an Ohioana Award. She is also the co-author of an anthology, Wanting a Child (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1998) with Helen Schulman. Her poems and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Atlantic Monthly, Oprah Magazine, Paris Review, American Scholar, Kenyon Review and Harvard Review among others. In 2014 she was honored by the Poetry Society of America for her distinguished contribution to poetry. An Executive Editor and Vice President of W. W. Norton & Company, she lives in New York City.