“As much as I love writing (the verb), I probably love writing (the noun) even more. I doubt anyone becomes a serious novelist who doesn’t love reading: savoring paragraphs that precisely capture longing or dread or desire. Being riveted by a plot twist that is utterly surprising but, you realize, perfect, because it was inevitable.”
Critically acclaimed novelist Chris Bohjalian uses his gripping fiction to explore contemporary social issues and how they play out in the lives of ordinary people, as well as to shed light on some of the most important moments in history. His writing delves into such topics as domestic violence, global climate change, gender identity, genocide, adultery, animal rights, adoption, homelessness, mental illness, and human trafficking with equal facility. He is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 20 books, and his work has been translated into over 35 languages.
Midwives, an Oprah’s Book Club selection and a #1 New York Times bestseller, is a contemporary classic whose central questions of individual and societal responsibility remain just as pressing today as when the book was first published. Among Bohjalian’s many standout titles since then have been the New York Times bestsellers The Guest Room, The Sleepwalker, and The Sandcastle Girls, in which Bohjalian tackles the weighty topic of the Armenian genocide in an “intricately nuanced romance” that Julie Kane of Library Journal called “simply astounding.”
Another bestseller, Bohjalian’s novel The Flight Attendant came out in 2018 to rave reviews. In this “expertly turned thriller” (USA Today), a flight attendant wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, next to a dead man—with no idea what happened. The Washington Post, which named it one of the ten best thrillers and mysteries of the year, said, “Filled with turbulence and sudden plunges in altitude, The Flight Attendant is a very rare thriller whose penultimate chapter made me think to myself, ‘I didn’t see that coming.’” A television adaptation of The Flight Attendant starring Kaley Cuoco is in development as an original series for HBO Max.
In his forthcoming novel, The Red Lotus, Bohjalian tells the story of a Manhattan ER doctor whose boyfriend vanishes while the couple vacations in Vietnam. In a twisting story of love and deceit she must uncover a series of strange revelations, forcing her to confront the fact that much of what she knew about her boyfriend was a lie. The Red Lotus is out in spring 2020.
Bohjalian’s masterful plotting evokes a magician who distracts his audience to look this way, not that way… Fans of Bohjalian know to expect the unexpected and, thanks to his creativity and cunning, readers usually get walloped by one heck of a plot twist by book’s end.
Bohjalian is also a playwright and screenwriter. His first play, Grounded, premiered at the 59 East 59th Theatres in New York City directed by Academy Award winner Alexander Dinelaris, and was released as the Ebook Wingspan by Vintage. He is currently adapting his novel The Sleepwalker for film with Scott Simonsen of Fresh Pond Productions, as well as a stage production of Midwives, which will premiere at the George Street Playhouse in early 2020.
Bohjalian’s books have been chosen as Best Books of the Year by The Washington Post, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Hartford Courant, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus, Bookpage, and Salon. Bohjalian has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Reader’s Digest, and The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. He was a weekly columnist in Vermont for The Burlington Free Press from 1992 to 2015.
His awards include the New England Book Award, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Freedom Award for his work educating Americans about the Armenian genocide, the ANCA Arts and Letters Award for The Sandcastle Girls, and other honors. He is a Fellow of the Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Bohjalian graduated from Amherst College and lives in Vermont with his wife, the photographer Victoria Blewer.
For more information about Chris Bohjalian, please visit him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or at chrisbohjalian.com.
You know you’ve got a great story idea, but how do you make it so great that it rises from slush pile to publication?
Author and Writing Coach Annalisa Parent has helped hundreds of writers to improve their craft and to become published authors. In this workshop, she will walk you through a straightforward system to pace your opening in a way that makes agents sit up and pay attention–and better yet request a full manuscript.
She will cover important topics such as:
- How and when should you use backstory?
- Where is the best point in the narrative to start?
- What are the biggest mistakes to avoid in your novel opening?
You’ll walk away with a bucket load of information and resources to keep and put to action, so you can cross “Become an Author” off your bucket list.
Sponsored by: Date with the Muse, LLC
This exclusive pre-conference workshop kicks off the 2020 Writer’s Digest Annual Conference weekend on Thursday, November 5th. Seats are limited, so register today!
In this workshop, Windy Lynn Harris—founder of Market Coaching for Creative Writers and author of Writing & Selling Short Stories & Personal Essays: The Essential Guide to Getting Your Work Published—will teach you how to find publication success in the coveted literary magazine market by crafting and selling short personal essays. Packed with practical advice, this class includes:
- Personal essay writing defined in detail.
- A step-by-step guide to crafting personal essays.
- A revision plan for short creative prose.
- An overview of literary magazines and how they impact your career.
- Finding the right magazine for each of your essays.
- Submitting your work professionally.
- Making authentic connections with literary magazine editors.
- Essay chapbooks and full-length collections—other opportunities for your essays.
- Copyright, contracts, and the rights you sell.
Bonus: Are you writing a memoir? Having essay bylines on your resume are impressive to literary agents, build your pre-publication platform, and can be an essential part of your marketing efforts once your book is in print. In this session, Windy will also cover how to take a chapter from your memoir and revise it into an essay while keeping the rights of the larger project intact.
Who this session is for
- Writers of all levels who want to explore essay writing
- All memoir writers
- Essayists who want to get published
- Bloggers who want to expand into literary magazines
Windy Lynn Harris writes personal essays, short stories, flash, nonfiction, and novels from her desk in sunny Phoenix, Arizona. She is the author of Writing & Selling Short Stories & Personal Essays: The Essential Guide to Getting Your Work Published and a frequent speaker at literary events around the country. Her work has been published across the US and Canada in places like The Literary Review, 34th Parallel, Pithead Chapel, The Sunlight Press, Literary Mama, Sasee, and Chahoots, and many other journals. Learn more about Windy at her website: www.windylynnharris.com.
At 1000 words or less, flash fiction and flash memoir represent the smallest of our creative stories. Flash writing includes mini-essays, vignettes, prose poems, lists, fables, and rants, among other more traditional narratives. A flash piece might look like a recipe card or a postcard or even a report card. Anything goes!
Great news: Flash is one of the most sellable pieces of writing in today’s journals. Join this session and learn how to add your voice to this segment of publishing. You’ll leave with information, inspiration, and a list of 100 magazines acquiring flash today.
Most people think revision is something you do in an afternoon, manuscript and red pen in hand. They think once that first draft is done, the book is practically finished. Writers know better. You know that when it comes time to revise your fiction, trying to juggle all the story elements at once will leave you frustrated and your manuscript in shambles.
In this session, Gabriela will walk you through her signature Pyramid Method for revision, a layer-by-layer approach for a smoother revision and a stronger final draft. You’ll leave this session with a concrete plan and actionable timeline so you can power through and rock your revisions.