Meet the Instructor

Fall Novel Generator

Instructor Statement

"Writing a novel is,” as E.L. Doctorow said, “like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” Many excellent novels have been composed with the writer learning as they chug alone in the dark. But imagine having a team to support you as you break through the fog. We will start by delving into craft: point of view, character, setting, plot, dialogue, and structure. We’ll explore how to use these elements without sacrificing attention to language or atmosphere. Shedding our own harmful judgments and self-imposed obstacles will be key to generating freely. Next, we’ll give feedback on each other’s work by recognizing that commentary on early drafts requires an entirely different texture and scope than critique on later revisions. As the worlds we create become stronger and take shape, we’ll learn how to alter narrative speed, sequence of events, and sub-plots to merge theme and meaning in our novels. By implementing our craft techniques, customizing feedback to the stage of generation, and holding each other up, we’ll create fiction that reflects the truest things we want to say.

About the Instructor

Marjan Kamali is the author of The Stationery Shop (Gallery/Simon&Schuster) and Together Tea (Ecco/HarperCollins). She is a novelist and teacher whose work has been anthologized, broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and adapted for the stage. The Stationery Shop was a Boston Globe best-seller, one of NPR’s best books of 2019, one of Newsweek’s 30 Best Summer Books, an Indie Next Pick, and named to numerous “Best Books of 2019” lists. Marjan’s debut novel, Together Tea, was a Massachusetts Book Award Finalist, an NPR WBUR Good Read, and a Target Emerging Author Selection. A graduate of UC Berkeley with an MBA from Columbia University and an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University, Marjan has taught writing at GrubStreet and Boston University. She’s lived in seven countries across five continents and now lives in the Boston area. Her novels have been translated into German, Czech, Italian, Slovak, Turkish, Arabic, Norwegian, Polish, and Dutch.