A smiling white woman in her mid-fifties with wavy short brown hair and wearing sparkly gold earrings and a black v-neck blouse and sweater.




Karen Dukess is the author of The Last Book Party, "a spare, bittersweet page-turner (NYTimes)," which was an IndieNext and Barnes and Noble Discover New Writers Pick. She has been a tour guide in the former Soviet Union, a newspaper reporter in Florida, a magazine publisher in Russia and a speechwriter on gender equality for the United Nations Development Programme. She has blogged on raising boys for The Huffington Post and written book reviews for USA Today. She has a degree in Russian Studies from Brown University and a Master's in Journalism from Columbia University. She lives with her family near New York City and Cape Cod, where she hosts the Castle Hill Author Talks, a series of interviews on zoom and in person.

Learn more on her website.

SESSION: What Fiction Writers Can Learn (and Must Unlearn) From Journalism

Is journalism the best background for fiction writing or is it the worst? The answer is yes. It’s both. This session will discuss the journalistic skills that are helpful for writing fiction and those that are not only not helpful, but detrimental to the fiction writing process. We'll discuss how the nitty-gritty of reporting can strengthen the creation of fictional worlds and go over the different techniques and mindsets required for nonfiction and fiction. For example, in journalism, the most relevant information is delivered first; in fiction, you have to trust the reader and withhold information to build suspense. In journalism, what's true is most important; in fiction, authenticity is more important than truth, and it's often the things that really happened in the writer's life that ring most untrue. Through writing exercises, examples of different approaches to writing, and wisdom from writers on the fiction-writing process, this session will offer practical guidance and encouragement of particular use to nonfiction writers making their first forays into fiction.