Three exceptionally strong fiction writers will be teaching this summer at the 2011 Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, including Portland-based writer Cheryl Strayed. (Read an interview of how she wrote her debut novel, “Torch”, here.)

Cheryl StrayedThe novel was a finalist for the Great Lakes Award and was selected by The Oregonian as one of the top ten books of the year by writers living in the Pacific Northwest. Her memoir “Wild” will be released in 2012. Strayed’s short stories and essays have been anthologized in The Best American Essays, Best New American Voices, and other anthologies, and have been published in such periodicals as The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, The Sun, and The Missouri Review. She holds an MFA in fiction writing from Syracuse University and lives in Portland, Oregon.

Cheryl Strayed’s Class Description: “The Story You Have to Tell”
What’s the story you’re burning to tell? It this workshop we’ll go where the heat is by writing the stories that most compel you as a writer—not the stories you think you should tell or that your Aunt Edna would like to read or the stories you believe will become
New York Times bestsellers. Our focus will be on the story that, for better or worse, keeps insisting on being told. We’ll talk about how to find stories and how to write them. We’ll examine sentences and scenes and structure. We’ll delve into the less definable elements of writing—things like the role of intuition, emotional risk-taking, and what David Foster Wallace called “the agenda of the consciousness behind the text.” Most of all, we’ll write every day so that by the end of the week at least some of the story you have to tell will be on the page. Register or learn more about the Conference.