Hosted by Susan Beckham Zurenda
Why does the position of the threshold in literature exert such a compelling hold on our imaginative lives? Why is it a resonant space? Why is it imperative that we create thresholds for our characters?
Threshold scenes allow for transformation not only in characters but often in the structure of the narrative as well. “In between” spaces (whether literal, figurative, or both) act as triggers to catapult a character into a place he or she has never been, from which there is no return.
In this workshop, we will examine how elements such as atmosphere (setting and tone), pacing, detail, rhythm, imagery, and actions help to create meaningful crossings in stories. Before responding to a writing prompt, participants will examine illustrations for analysis, including a significant threshold scene or two with characters in Susan’s novel The Girl From the Red Rose Motel.
Susan Beckham Zurenda taught English for 33 years on the college level and at the high school level to AP students. Her debut novel, Bells for Eli (Mercer University Press, March 2020; paperback edition March 2021), was selected the Gold Medal (first place) winner for Best First Book—Fiction in the 2021 IPPY (Independent Publisher Book Awards), a Foreword Indie Book Award finalist, a Winter 2020 Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, a 2020 Notable Indie on Shelf Unbound, a 2020 finalist for American Book Fest Best Book Awards, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for 2021.
Susan has won numerous awards for her short fiction, including winning the South Carolina Fiction Prize twice. Her second novel, The Girl From the Red Rose Motel, was published in September 2023, by Mercer University Press and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, named a finalist in the American Book Fest Awards, and is a 2023 Shelf Unbound Notable 100 book. The author lives in Spartanburg, SC.
Learn more at www.susanzurenda.com.