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“Whether you write fiction, memoir or nonfiction, the same rule applies: when your dialogue clicks, your story springs to life,” says instructor Kerry Muir. “Stories like Hemingway’s 'Hills Like White Elephants' and Sam Shepard’s 'Opuestos' contain almost nothing but dialogue and yet still reveal character, theme, relationship, conflict and even metaphor. The key is subtext—letting your characters say one thing, yet mean quite another!”

In this fun and fast-paced daylong workshop, participants will work through a series of exercises to tap into characters’ distinct voices, build suspense and conflict, practice the art of the rant, insert silences that speak volumes, and more. We’ll look at excerpts by some masters of modern dialogue such as David Mamet, Victor LaValle, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Quentin Tarantino, and Toni Morrison. Come prepared to write!


    Kerry Muir‘s creative nonfiction has appeared in Kenyon Review Online, Crazyhorse, Fourth Genre, and elsewhere. Her essay collection, BLUR & Other Essays, was named one of three finalists in Bauhan Publishing’s 2017 Monadnock Essay Collection Prize, and her essay, “Blur,” is a notable in Best American Essays 2018. Kerry’s plays have received honors and awards from Sundance Theater Lab, Nantucket Short Play Festival and Competition, The Great Platte River Playwrights Festival, The Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition, Trustus Theater Festival, and she has optioned and sold screenplays to producers in the US & Mexico. In late 2018, her award-winning play, The Night Buster Keaton Dreamed Me, was published in both English and Spanish by No Passport Press. A graduate of Vermont College’s MFA in Writing Program, she has led writing workshops for teens at Children of the Night.
  1. Saturday, May 4, 10:00am-4:00pm
  • Kerry's enthusiasm was contagious and she encouraged each student, while helping them see how to improve their work. She created a friendly and supportive atmosphere through group discussion, and suggested further readings.

  • Kerry has a wonderful sunny personality and she is a great teacher. She taught us various useful techniques and made us practice them after each reading example throughout the day. Kerry mastered the subject on dialogue. Her workshop was well structured and organized. Her feedback was always kind and constructive. I loved her class that made me acquire a much better handle on writing dialogue. I hope to take more classes with Kerry at the Writing Salon, a place of learning I much enjoy.

  • Kerry made the art of dialogue accessible. I feel as if I left with an entire tool kit. She was knowledgeable, welcoming, friendly, inclusive and respectful. She gave great feedback. Really the course gave me more than expected. I feel like my dialogue skills improved substantially.



Saturday, May 4, 2019
5:00 pm - 11:00 pm PDT
Event Category:


2121 Bonar St, Studio D, 2nd Fl
Berkeley, CA United States
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Cancellation Policy

10 days or more before the start date for a class, the registrant will receive a credit minus a 10% fee OR a refund minus a 20% fee.

3-9 days before the start date for a class, the registrant will receive a credit minus a 20% fee OR a refund minus a 30% fee.

2 days or less before the start date for a class, the registrant will not receive a credit or a refund.

The Writing Salon cannot offer refunds, credits, or makeup sessions for classes a student might miss.

In the event of an emergency, we may consider a refund or credit, whether partial or full. We review these requests on a case-by-case basis, and we ask that you notify us as near as possible to the start date for the class.

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