Duane Unkefer

Manuscript Consultant

For some years Duane Unkefer has taught Basic Fiction Fiction. This year he will be meeting one-on-one with attendees.


This workshop is designed as a primer — often called “nuts and bolts” — for fiction writers, covering the basic elements of fiction.This is a lecture class; no homework or read-aloud.Topics include: Books for Writers,Writing the Synopsis, Developing Your Plot, Structure in the Novel & Short Story, Point of View,Writing Effective Dialogue, Creating Memorable Characters, and Voice.There will be hand-outs on these topics.

Message to Students

What I require of my students: That they pay attention — and take a lot of notes. My advice for writers who have never attended SBWC: Besides the opportunity to choose from a variety of different workshops, you’ll get to meet a whole bunch of people who are just as crazy (about writing) as you are.


Duane Unkefer is the best-selling author of Gray Eagles, Code Sakura, and a new writing book, Basic Fiction. Unkefer has been a SBWC fiction workshop leader for many years and taught his course at Santa Barbara City College Adult Education for over 20 years.

Writing Tip I Live By

The writer’s main job is to get it out of our heads and on the paper — so write!

Recommended Authors

Richard Ford, John Gardner, Raymond Carver,Thomas McGuane, J.P. Donleavy, and Kazuo Ishiguro.