Writing Workshop with
Susan Beckham Zurenda
Family Stories: Evoking Emotion in Your Characters
"Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted."
- E. M. Forster
We tell our family stories for ourselves, for our future generations, and for others outside our family. They can awaken us and future generations to our potential. For our family stories to be effective, however, they must not only tell a tale but express the important values, blunders, wishes, hopes, disappointments, and triumphs common to all humanity. And to convey the truth of humanity, our characters must express real emotion.
This workshop will cover both the basics of story and the importance of genuine emotion in stories. It will also examine how writers achieve success in creating human emotion in contrast to why writers sometimes fail in this essential endeavor. Ample illustrations will be provided, some from Susan’s novel, Bells for Eli, and participants will be given writing prompts with feedback.
Following the workshop, Susan will also be leading a lecture about her new novel, Bells for Eli. For more information about the lecture, click here.
About Susan Beckham Zurenda
After teaching literature, composition, and creative writing to thousands of high school and
college students for 33 years, Susan turned her attention to putting a novel in her heart on paper, the genesis of which started with a short story that won a fiction prize some years ago. She is delighted to present her debut novel, Bells for Eli, to readers beginning March 2, 2020. During her years of teaching at Spartanburg Community College and then as an AP English teacher at Spartanburg High School, Susan published short stories and won numerous regional awards such as the South Carolina Fiction Prize (twice), the Porter Fleming Competition, The Southern Writers Symposium Emerging Writers Fiction Contest, The Hub City Hardegree Contest in Fiction, Alabama Conclave First Novel Chapter Contest, and The Jubilee Writing Competition (twice). Since 2018, she has published six stories in literary magazines.
Susan received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in English from Converse College and now works as a book publicist managing media relations for Magic Time Literary Publicity.
Susan lives in Spartanburg, SC, with her husband Wayne. She has two daughters who live with their families in the coastal area of the state.