This winter I have two classes coming up: the first online and the second local to the Pioneer Valley (Central Mass.)
1) Online Course: The Gripping Read at LitReactor
Dates: Jan 23 to Feb 20th Place: Fully online
You know the feeling when the sense of reading falls away, and you find yourself completely immersed in a book’s action? I’ll show you how to write like that: Engage readers. More here at LitReactor.
2) Local course in Central Mass: 8-Week Intro to Fiction Workshop
Dates: Mondays from Feb 5 to March 26th. Time: 7-9PM. Place: Williamsburg, MA
In this course, you will produce creative work of your own and learn how to discuss and critique the work of others. More here from the Pioneer Valley Writers’ Workshop.
I hope you’ll come join me to learn more about writing craft, stories, and fiction in general. We’ll be doing a lot to discuss the writer-reader connection.
You can also find more of my teaching options and private sessions here via my Patreon page. (Look to upper level rewards.)
I’m also teaching a monthly office hour on the last Friday of the month. Sign up here to get notices about that. It’s FREE!
Here’s my Southern Gothic style story “To the Bone” for your ears.
Click here to download or listen.
This audio first appeared on CrimeWAV with guest host Mark L. Berry–my boy! Thanks, Mark!
“To the Bone” was first published in The Booked. Anthology back in 2013. Thanks much to the Booked. Podcast guys, who’re also on Patreon here.
Backstory on the story: I don’t know where this one came from, but I wrote it back in SF about 5 years ago. It feels very Faulkner-influenced and, since I’ve just picked up Go Down, Moses again for the first time in a LONG time, I thought of it. Where did these characters come from, Duncan and Estep? Neither of them PC or forgivable? Perhaps the story “Pantaloon in Black” holds the answer. Also, if you’re looking for a good read you could do a lot worse than to start there.
Anyway, that’s my background on this one and a reading tip for the month.
Thanks for listening! If you’d like to find more of my new audio work, head to my Patreon page here.
JACK PALMS is BACK! And now for the first time, Chapter 1 of The Maltese Jordans is free for you to download, listen to, share, and crow about to all your friends!
Feel free to share this post. After you listen here to chapter 1 (click to listen or right-click to download) you can head over to my page at Patreon OR go right to this page:
THE MALTESE JORDANS – Episode 1 is HERE
to hear all of episode 1, 3 chapters, all free for your ears! Take the story out, give it a test-drive and see what you think before you buy, purchase, support right there on the Patreon page. Go on! What have you got to lose?
So here’s your boy, working on a new publishing model for audiobooks, asking you to come along for the ride. Enjoy!
See links below for sharing. Thanks.
Click here to download or listen to the podcast.
Steve Owens is a longtime listener and fan of my work, an early and awesome Patreon supporter and a podcaster in his own right. He runs the Fascination Street Podcast, which you can find here: http://fascinationstreetpod.com
Alex Hernandez is his podcasting partner you’ll hear. He runs a separate podcast, Finding Stax (http://findingstax.com/)
In our interview we cover:
- my recent connection with the real residents of the Young Junius towers
- the genesis and depth of my recent obsession with Jordans —Revealed!
- a proper consideration of Patreon post pace and content
- and much, much more!
I hope you enjoy it.
Did you know that The Maltese Jordans has already reached episode 4? You start listening yet?
Episode 4 is here! [Patreon Link]
If you have, THANKS! If not, here’s the link to get you started: patreon.com/sethharwood
In 1999 I had the good fortune to study with one of my heroes, the novelist and short story writer Denis Johnson. This happened at a workshop put on by the University of Montana at a place called Yellow Bay on Flathead Lake.
I took a two-day train trip out of Boston, on Amtrak, and stepped off a train in Whitefish, Montana, spent the night there, and arranged for someone to drive me the rest of the way to the lake. A couple hours, I think.
During that week I met other writers and had a great time. But the highlight was meeting and actually becoming friends with my hero, Denis Johnson.
He liked the pieces I put up for workshop very much, chief among these “When They Were Calling You in for Dinner.” Late in the week, he took me aside. We walked along the shore of the lake, skipping rocks onto the water. He told me (and here I’m paraphrasing), “if you take care of your craft and focus on writing well, everything else will work out.” He said it much more succinctly, clearly, but that was the heart of it. In short, he gave me the confidence to write. Even more than that, he gave me the seed of a faith that this could work. Not the start, but perhaps a foundation of my belief.
He encouraged me to apply to graduate programs, and a year later I wound up at his alma-mater, the University of Iowa, and the Writers’ Workshop. We corresponded for a few years after that and I had the pleasure of being his Iowa City tour guide when he came to read in 2002.
He was a friend, a teacher, and a great writer–the author of Jesus’ Son and the National Book Award-Winning Tree of Smoke, among others.
And now we have lost him. May Denis Johnson rest in peace.
This summer I searched out the tape I bought of his “craft lecture” at that conference and found it, bought a small auto-reverse cassette walkman with a USB output, and I converted it to audio. I hope you’ll enjoy this. I certainly taught me a lot.
Click here to listen or right-click to download the file: http://shoutengine.com/SethHarwoodCrime/SethHarwoodCrime-1999-denis-johnson-craft-lecture-1999-37622.mp3
Tuesday nights this month I’ll be teaching a seminar on the craft of fiction at my new local: The Pioneer Valley Writers’ Workshop, a new endeavor started by Joy Baglio within the past year. For writers in my new adopted home area of Northampton, MA and its environs, this will be a wonderful new opportunity to meet, write, share, and learn. More here: pioneervalleywriters.org
Fiction Writing: The Craft of Connecting with Readers
In this course, students will focus on writing the kind of clean and gripping prose they’ve loved to read their whole lives. You know the feeling when a sense of reading falls away and you find yourself immersed in a book’s action, tied to the narrator’s struggle, and watching each scene unfold in your mind’s eye? That’s the kind of prose we’ll be working toward creating in this class.
Our first and possibly most surprising lesson: You don’t need a fascinating, multi-layered outline or a stellar plot concept to write like this. Instead we’ll be looking at how writer and reader connect, and build the craft elements necessary to pull readers in and to keep them eagerly turning pages. Students will develop work through exercises in the use of dialogue, visual action, and creating three-dimensional characters in scenes. This class meets four times. Open to writers of all levels and genres.
Signup here: http://www.pioneervalleywriters.org/writing-classes.html
Listen to the new audio here. Or read on…
Last week marked 8 years for me at Jack Palms Crime! But you know what’s a real anniversary? May 5th, which I originally called Cinco de Harwood back in 2009, when Three Rivers Press released Jack Wakes Up for its second time in print. That was a big release for me; Three Rivers Press / Crown / Random House put my first novel in bookstores from coast to coast. What a thrill!
And now, eight years later, I’m ready to bring Jack Palms back in the same way that I originally brought him out to the world: as a serialized podcast novel. It’s hard for me to believe that so much has changed since I started podcasting back in 2006, and in all I’ve done, I still haven’t found a better way to reach people than by giving them my serializing audio episodes as MP3s on the web.
That fact amazes me.
We’ve all come so far with technology, publishing has moved miles, and still I’ve come full circle to reach out to my audience again in the same way I did over eleven years ago. Know what? It’s still the best thing I’ve done, hopefully this next step will be a new “best thing” for me.
What’s new? Well, now I’m using Patreon.com, a hybrid of Podiobooks and Kickstarter that enables me to build a consistent, sustainable crowdfunding model along with the RSS and direct distribution of my audio right to listeners.
So it’s a big thing, one I’ve seen other writers use so well that I’m moved to try my own hand at it. Want to know more?
Most recently, I did a Q&A all about it last week that you can listen to here.
And the new JACK PALMS adventure? I’m happy to tell you that I am more excited about this title than any other book I’ve done to date. This one is called The Maltese Jordans and it’s gonna be fun! You can hear more about The Maltese Jordans here. Then subscribe to get episodes as soon as they release for a small fee, and see me spinning out videos of what I’m all about. All right here: patreon.com/sethharwood.
I hope to see you there.
Yes, that’s my boy Aldo Calcagno on the left and JACK PALMS on the right. Need more? Want more? Listen here: Download
Why? Because THE MALTESE JORDANS podcast has started! JACK is back!
And you have to go get it here for all the audio goodness: patreon.com/sethharwood Enjoy!