Martha Conway

About me

I’m the author of novels Sugarland, Thieving Forest, and 12 Bliss Street, which was nominated for an Edgar Award. My short fiction has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Mississippi Review, Folio, Carolina Quarterly, and other publications. I graduated from Vassar College and received my master’s degree in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Currently, I am an instructor of Creative Writing at Stanford University’s Online Writers Studio and UC Berkeley Extension.

From my website

Just received my ARC!

A big box of Advance Review copies came in the mail last week. I’m totally thrilled! It’s 1838, and May Bedloe works as a seamstress for her cousin, the famous actress Comfort Vertue—until their steamboat sinks on the Ohio River. Though they both survive, both must find new employment. Comfort…

Start at the Last Possible Moment

THIS IS THE MOMENT WHEN, in your story world, everything has changed. The stranger has come to town, the father has died, the mother has left, the best friend has announced that she’s moving to Pakistan. Like In Media Res, in which you begin in the middle of the action,…

The Cold Open – in media res

STARTING A NOVEL, writing that very first sentence, is as exhilarating and intimidating as riding a bicycle for the first time without training wheels. Many new writers think they need to explain a good deal more than they need to explain. They think that the first chapter is about laying…

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