A black woman in her mid thirties wears a blue dress with a bird print while seated at a desk. Her hair done up in a bouffant and she has a small smile for the camera.




Maria Pinto is a Boston-area writer, educator, and mushroom enthusiast. She reads fiction for the journal Peripheries, teaches at GrubStreet, and has been awarded fellowships by The Vermont Studio Center, The Writers' Room of Boston, The Mastheads, and Garret on the Green. Her work has appeared in publications like Frigg, Necessary Fiction, Dostoevsky Wannabes: Boston, and Cleaver.

SESSION: Place as Character: Bringing the World to Life on the Page

The places where we were born, where we die, where we love, the homes we inherit and adopt, the library, the corner store, the basketball court, the city block, and the small town meeting hall—these locations are where we set our lives, and as a result, they have a strong hold on our imaginations. When a piece of writing doesn't seem to be happening anywhere, we sense something’s amiss, and when it takes full advantage of place, we find ourselves settling into the story’s narrative, ready to be transported there.

In this directed writing session, attendees will explore strategies for fully fleshing out the “where” of the matter. In a series of short exercises, attendees will thoroughly imagine and map out their piece’s setting, so that the characters they create will have a proper place to live, whether that's the treehouse in the banyan or the city in the sky.

CO-PRESENTER: Paloma Valenzuela