Giving Voice to Voice with Josh Mohr

Giving Voice to Voice with Josh Mohr

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Voice is one of the most elusive aspects of craft to not only cultivate, but simply define. To my eye/ear, voice is a synonym for personality type, and our task as both fiction and nonfiction authors is to figure out what tools we have at our disposal to sculpt a memorable voice on the page. Holden Caulfield. Mrs. Dalloway. And while I wouldn't let him babysit my daughter, Humbert Humbert from "Lolita" certainly is a memorable voice from the canon. 

So how do we imbue our prose with that vital, vibrant life? How do we create that curiosity in our readership so she simply has to stay with a character from page one until page The End?

In this workshop, we'll walk through several principles, honing our word choice and syntactical combinations. We'll do a lot of writing exercises geared toward unleashing a character's full personality on the page. Regardless of genre or aesthetic, every writer seeks to capture a consciousness and render it in--as Charles Baxter says--"sudden shocking life."

INSTRUCTOR BIO: Joshua Mohr is the author of the memoir "Sirens" (2017), as well as five novels including "Damascus", which The New York Times called "Beat-poet cool." He’s also written "Fight Song" and "Some Things that Meant the World to Me," one of O Magazine’s Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle best-seller, as well as "Termite Parade," an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times.  His novel "All This Life" won the Northern California Book Award. 

In addition to being the founder of Decant Editorial, Josh teaches creative writing at Stanford University, the University of San Francisco and the San Francisco Writers Grotto.

TIME: 10am to noon on Saturday, April 14 and Sunday, April 15.


“Joshua Mohr turned my 300 pages of angsty rambling into a sharp and action-packed novel. He sees the story through the clouds, and always knew what I was trying to say well before I could assemble the appropriate words to say it. I’d never have a book deal if it wasn’t for Josh.

— Lauren Saft, author of "Those Girls" (Little Brown, 2015)


Joshua Mohr is that rare reader, able to hold onto the microscopic and master plan simultaneously, who will work with your ultimate goal in mind: how to execute your literary project in the most effective way possible. With an eye for character development, pacing, hooking your reader, and sentence exactitude, Mohr understands the complicated and tangled mess involved when making fiction come to life.

— Courtney Moreno, author of "In Case of Emergency" (McSweeney's, 2014)

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