top of page

Do we need to re-imagine the craft of writing and the way it’s taught?

Matthew Salesses--English professor and bestselling author of The Hundred-Year Flood and The PEN/Faulkner finalist, Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear--takes on these questions in his new national bestseller, Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping. Matthew discusses with Eve and Julie how the format of traditional writing workshops was defined by straight, white, able, cis men; how greater diversity in workshops today necessitates a more mindful and empowered approach to the teaching of writing; and how we, as readers and writers, can break free of the oppressive cycles of privileged assumptions and expectations.

Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping

An NPR Best Book of the Year

An Esquire Best Nonfiction Book of the Year

"Salesses is clearly a generous instructor, willing to share ideas for syllabus design, grading techniques and writing exercises. He brings to this work many years of experience as a writer and professor, along with palpable frustration at what he has witnessed or endured in these roles ... Craft in the Real World is a significant contribution to discussions of the art of fiction and a necessary challenge to received views about whose stories are told, how they are told and for whom they are intended." —Laila Lalami, The New York Times Book Review

"A real eye opener ... It unpacks the seemingly ‘universal’ lessons we learn about what makes fiction good to reveal how whiteness and maleness have shaped those values." —Kumari Devarajan, Code Switch, NPR

Go Deeper

Matthew Salesses

Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping, by Matthew Salesses

The Hundred-Year Flood, by Matthew Salesses

Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear, by Matthew Salesses

I'm Not Saying, I'm Just Saying, by Matthew Salesses

Different Racisms: On Stereotypes, the Individual, and Asian American Masculinity, by Matthew Salesses

The Last Repatriate, by Matthew Salesses

The Art of the Novel, by Milan Kundera

Franz Kafka

Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes

Tiger Writing: Art, Culture, and the Independent Self, by Gish Jen

Jennifer Riddell Harding

America Is in the Heart, by Carlos Bulosan

Eve Yohalem

Julie Sternberg

Book Dreams Podcast


Lit Hub Radio

bottom of page