Get in the Car, Loser: On Crafting Inviting Beginnings

with Rosanna Gargiulo

As writers, we venture deep into the worlds of our experience and imagination. Beginnings—our first words, sentences, and lines—are the invitation we extend to readers to come along with us for that ride. But, how do we entice readers in a few words? How do we establish our tone, characters, plot, mood, setting, and themes in the space of a stanza or paragraph? What is the literary equivalent of weeks-old burger wrappers and stale fries in the passenger seat? In this generative workshop, we’ll explore examples of effective beginnings in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry and begin crafting our own enticing invitations to readers. All genres are welcome.

To register for the event, simply sign up using the “Register Now” button above, and you’ll receive the Zoom meeting details.

*Participants in this workshop are invited to submit to Sunspot Literary Journal’s Inception Contest ($5 entry fee).

Rosanna Gargiulo lives in an antique house in Maine with her husband, stepdaughter, and the perfect number of dogs (six, in case you were wondering). She is the Editor of The Maine Review, a triannual online literary journal. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in River Teeth, New South, Bacopa Literary Review, and elsewhere.


On Tuesday, August 11, we continue the series with a second lecture:

Let’s Talk! (about Dialogue)

with Jennifer Pun

Dialogue is not real-life conversation. It is beachfront property—valuable real estate used at the right moment and time to reveal character, deepen scenes, and propel your story forward. In this interactive session, we will talk dialogue, write dialogue, maybe even role-play and exchange dialogue. It’ll be fun (I hope). If not, you can give me the silent treatment.

To register for the event, simply sign up at this link, and you’ll receive the Zoom meeting details.

Jennifer Pun is a Canadian film and television producer. Her productions have ranged from tween series to cult horror (so don’t leave her alone in a room with your children). In her spare time, she teaches at San Diego Writers Ink, writes weird short fiction, and devises zombie apocalypse survival strategies for her family.

Stay tuned for more craft lectures in the coming weeks!