September 9, 8pm ET: FREE Event: Anatomy of a (Fictional) Confrontation with Anne Elliott

Our kindergarten teachers taught us to play nice, but then we grew up and our writing teachers told us to raise the heat on conflict.

What’s a nice writer to do? Confronting another person takes courage. How can we help our characters to muster that courage, and what form will it take?

In this session, we will slowly unpack a confrontation scene from Elizabeth Bowen’s novel The Death of the Heart, exploring the battle tactics used in a pivotal argument. Perhaps what is important is not why characters fight, but how. The confrontation scene is a great way to reveal aspects of character that are otherwise invisible—and perhaps discover mettle (or vulnerability) you did not know was there.

Anne Elliott is the author of The Artstars: Stories(Indiana University Press) and The Beginning of the End of the Beginning (Ploughshares Solos). Her short fiction can be found in StoryA Public Space, Crab Orchard Review, Witness, Hobart, Bellevue Literary Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, and elsewhere.  Elliott is a veteran of the New York spoken word circuit, with stage credits including The Whitney Museum, Lincoln Center, PS122, and Woodstock ’94. Her fiction has been awarded support from The Story Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, The Normal School, Table 4 Writer’s Foundation, and The Bridport Prize. She holds an MFA in fiction writing from Warren Wilson College, and lives in Portland, Maine. Learn more at