Workshop Description

The first page of a novel or story establishes the crucial bond between writers and readers, setting us off on a path toward the heart of a narrative, or failing to do so. The workshop—developed in conjunction with Peter’s book of the same title—is based on the premise that just about everything that can go right or wrong in a work of fiction or memoir goes right or wrong on the first page. We will analyze and discuss participants’ first pages and extrapolate general insights and craft lessons that can be applied to all the pages that follow the first one.

Workshop Preparation

Participants should submit their first pages (of no more than 300 words) to by Monday, Feb. 21st.

About Peter Selgin

Peter Selgin is the author of Drowning Lessons, winner of the 2007 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. He has written two novels, three books on the craft of writing, two essay collections, plays, and children’s books. Confessions of a Left-Handed Man, his memoir-in-essays, was a finalist for the William Saroyan International Prize. His memoir, The Inventors, won the 2017 Housatonic Book Award. His novel, Duplicity, won the 2021 Independent Publisher Book Award, the 2021 National Indie Excellence Award, and was a finalist for both the Bridge Book Award and the Foreword Indie Award. His work has appeared in the Colorado Review, Missouri Review, Gettysburg Review, The Sun, Best American Essays and Best American Travel Writing. His illustrations and paintings have been featured in The New Yorker, Forbes, Gourmet, Outside, Boston Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Georgia, where he is also nonfiction editor and art director of Arts & Letters, the international journal of poetry and prose.

About Peter’s Books

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Semi-finalist, 2020 Elixir Book Prize
Short-listed, 2020 Steel Toe Book Books Prize
Finalist, 2019 Craft First Chapter Contest

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University of Iowa Press / Sightline Books 2011
Finalist, William Saroyan International Prize

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Amanda Vining photo

Amanda holds a BS in Biology from Georgia College & State University. She began her career as an educator with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. After leaving the DNR, Amanda became a formal educator with Baldwin County School System and Jasper County School System. Amanda began her museum career at the Museum of Arts and Sciences (MAS) in Macon, Georgia, where she served as Curator of Environmental Science
(2011-2020). While at MAS, Amanda developed a love for sharing the world around us with the many students who visited on school field trips. During her time as Curator of Environmental Science, Amanda launched a storytime
program for preschool children.

Since 2020, Amanda has been serving Georgia Writers Museum as a volunteer on the Education Committee. Amanda has brought her love of sharing stories with students by launching Peaches’ Reading Pasture. As Museum Manager, Amanda looks forward to serving the community and helping to inspire those within our community to put words to paper and share their stories.

Amanda was born and raised in nearby Shady Dale, Georgia. Her husband, Rodney, is a native of Eatonton, and they currently reside in Putnam County. They have three children.