Happy Saturday! Lee Lynch forwarded this information, so naturally, I’m sharing it with all of you.
I’m teaching an online course starting on March 14 called “Hearing Voices”—it’s a 5-week workshop on how to create authentic, believable, and distinctive character voices in fiction, nonfiction, and performance writing. Would you kindly help me share this information with other writers you know?
My short story collection, Meet Me Halfway: Milwaukee Stories
, is an award-winning book that narrates a set of racially charged events from a wide range of perspectives: a black teen protagonist, an elderly white neighbor and her best friend, a mixed-race Puerto Rican teenager, a Latina landlord, and others.
During Q&A sessions with readers, an inevitable question comes up: “How did you create all those different voices?” My answer: Science. My natural inclination is to hear the world as a linguist does, to study and practice the subtle shifts that make one voice different from another. But even if that isn’t your natural orientation to the world, that science is learnable, and it’s what I’ll be teaching in my online course, “Hearing Voices
,” starting March 14
” is an opportunity to learn how to listen like a linguist to create authentic, believable, distinctive character voices that your audience will remember
. Fiction and nonfiction writers, as well as storytellers and performance artists, will benefit from this 5-session online course. In addition to learning new skills in the creation of distinct character voices (or, in the case of nonfiction “characters,” learning how to hear and present them accurately), we will practice revising existing work and consider the ethics of depicting the voices of characters from language groups different from your own.
P.S. Here are some critics’ and reviewers’ thoughts on the voice work in Meet Me Halfway
“[Jennifer Morales is] an impressively gifted writer. [These] short stories are lucid, compelling, deftly crafted, thoughtful, and thought-provoking. Very highly recommended for community and academic library collections and for personal reading lists.”
—Midwest Book Review
“The nine loosely connected stories in Morales’ compelling debut collection explore the diverse voices, racial divisions, and intersecting lives within Milwaukee. . . . Morales’ stories do not shy away from her characters’ varied realities and modern-day prejudices. A candid and powerful book.”
“Morales fully inhabits the astonishingly diverse voices of her characters, allowing us to connect with them and their linked stories as they struggle to connect with each other in an ever-shifting cultural landscape.”
—Jenn Crowell, author of Necessary Madness and Etched on Me
“Jennifer Morales does nothing halfway—she throws herself full-force into the heart of Milwaukee, into the lives of her characters, and demands that the reader meet them with just as much empathy and respect. A stunning, stirring collection, one that will inspire dialogue and maybe even change.”
—Gayle Brandeis, author of The Book of Dead Birds, winner of the Bellwether Prize for Fiction of Social Engagement
“Morales convincingly lets us see through the eyes of a young black boy, a racist white woman, a narrow-minded substitute teacher, a lesbian woman, a left-wing housewife, and many more real lives. There are surprises here, and real people to remember.”
—Martha Bergland, author of A Farm Under a Lake
Meet Me Halfway is the Wisconsin Center for the Book’s 2016 Book of the Year.