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Jan 29, 2023

In this episode of "Craftwork," author Peter Turchi teaches a lesson on how to use shifting power dynamics to write more dynamic scenes in fiction.

Turchi is the author of seven books and the co-editor of three anthologies. His books include (Don't) Stop Me if You've Heard This Before; A Muse and A Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery, and Magic; Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer; Suburban Journals: The Sketchbooks, Drawings, and Prints of Charles Ritchie, in collaboration with the artist; a novel, The Girls Next Door; a collection of stories, Magician; and The Pirate Prince, co-written with Cape Cod treasure hunter Barry Clifford, about Clifford’s discovery of the pirate ship Whydah. His short story “Night, Truck, Two Lights Burning” has been published, with images by Charles Ritchie, in a limited edition artist’s book. He has also co-edited, with Andrea Barrett, A Kite in the Wind: Fiction Writers on Their Craft, The Story Behind the Story: 26 Stories by Contemporary Writers and How They Work and, with Charles Baxter, Bringing the Devil to His Knees: The Craft of Fiction and the Writing Life.

Turchi’s work has appeared in Tin House, Fiction Writers Review, Ploughshares, Story, The Alaska Quarterly Review, Puerto del Sol, and The Colorado Review, among other journals. His honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Washington College’s Sophie Kerr Prize, an Illinois Arts Council Literary Award, North Carolina’s Sir Walter Raleigh Award, and having a quotation from A Muse and a Maze serve as the answer to the New York Times Magazine Sunday acrostic.

Born in Baltimore, he earned his BA at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, and his MFA at the University of Arizona. He has taught at Northwestern University and Appalachian State University, and has been on the faculty of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. For 15 years he directed The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina; at Arizona State University he taught fiction and served as Director of Creative Writing and Director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. He currently teaches at the University of Houston, and in Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers. Laura, his wife, is a Clinical Professor in English at Arizona State University, where she is curriculum director for “RaceB4Race: Sustaining, Building, Innovating” at the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies; she also co-directs the Shakespeare and Social Justice Project at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles. Reed, their son, is a musician (


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