Kathryn Trueblood on Turning Life into Fiction

Winner of the 2013 Goldenberg Award in Fiction and the 2011 Red Hen Press Story Award, Kate Trueblood understands the complication of balancing a career and family. She is the mother of two children, a writer, and an Associate Professor at Western Washington University.

Kate will be on faculty at the 2017 Port Townsend Writers Conference, July 16-23.

For her latest collection, she has been researching pharmaceutical corporations’ efforts to sell blockbuster drugs and the effect of that on the medical profession. She is concerned that people’s problems are being redefined as diseases in order to encompass a greater percentage of the population. In The Medicated Marriage, families struggle to recognize spiritual epiphanies amidst the diagnoses. The collection speaks to a generation whose loyalties are now torn between their aging and often unreasonable parents, and their teenaged and relentlessly unreasonable children.

Her stories and articles have been published in Poets & Writers Magazine, Rain Taxi Review of Books, Publishers Weekly, The Seattle Weekly, Glimmer Train, The Seattle Review, The Cimarron Review, Zyzzyva, and others.

Her workshop at the Conference:

“Turning Life into Fiction”

This workshop will be devoted to converting life stories into fiction of all genres, and it operates on the premise that all fiction is autobiographical, though it may be only emotionally autobiographical. (No one has to know but you!) You’ll work deeply on techniques of flashback, dialogue, point of view, and description. Even if your character is captured by an alien space ship and taken to a planet billions of miles away from Earth called Tralfamadore, there has to be some emotional stake in it for you, some life question that you need to work out. Without a genuine emotional connection, we tend to write fiction that is more of a head game than a high stakes emotional experience for the reader. We will undertake the challenge of writing a short story this week—from hands-on generative techniques to prompts for revision that address both structure and sentence.

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