Great Endings (And How to Write Them)

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Taught by Joe Pfister

Joe Pfister is a writer, teacher, and Tecmo Super Bowl enthusiast living in Brooklyn. His fiction has appeared in such publications as PANK, New World Writing, Juked, and decomP, among others. He is a graduate of the MFA Writing program at Sarah Lawrence College and currently serves as an annual juror for The Scholastic Writing Awards and fiction editor of The Boiler Journal.

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Often, the difference between a merely good and great story comes down to, quite simply, how its ends. Endings, we are taught, should be both surprising and inevitable. So how do we, as writers, navigate this contradiction and create a finale that is truly exceptional?

In this two-hour workshop, we will focus, in particular, on some of the most remarkable final acts in modern fiction. From John Cheever and Alice Munro to Saïd Sayrafiezadeh and T.C. Boyle, we will delve into the art of the dénouement—with a keen eye toward learning how to construct the perfect ending: one that resonates with the reader long after they have finished the last line.

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