Matthew Salesses will present “What Is Craft?” in conjunction with his latest book, Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping. This webinar is February 4, 2021 at 7 p.m. and is part of Virginia Tech’s Visiting Writers Series.

As noted by the series organizers, Salesses’ book is a bold and original examination of elements of writing including plot, character, conflict, structure, and believability — and aspects of workshop including the silenced writer and the imagined reader. He upends Western notions of how a story must progress. How can we rethink craft, and the teaching of it, to better reach writers with diverse backgrounds? How can we invite diverse storytelling traditions into literary spaces?

Kirkus Reviews calls the book “an insightful guide for readers, writers, and instructors from all walks of life...this manifesto and practical guide challenges current models of craft and the writing workshop by showing how they fail marginalized writers, and how cultural expectations inform storytelling.”

Introducing Salesses is an MFA candidate in fiction, Bessie F. Zaldívar.

“I admire how his new book challenges and dismantles the traditional notions of writing workshops, while providing us a beautiful vision for how we might better construct them,” Zaldívar said.

Salesses is the bestselling author of The Hundred-Year Flood, an Amazon Best Book of September and Kindle First pick, an Adoptive Families Best Book of 2015, and a Best Book of the season at BuzzfeedRefinery29, and Gawker, among others, and Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear, a Best Book of the Year at, and Craft in the Real World. His previous books include I’m Not Saying, I’m Just SayingDifferent Racisms: On Stereotypes, the Individual, and Asian American Masculinity; and The Last Repatriate.

An assistant professor of English at Coe College, he teaches fiction writing and Asian American literature and studies. He earned a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from the University of Houston and an M.F.A. in fiction from Emerson College.

The link for this virtual event is:

Contact Matthew Vollmer at for more information.