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Geoff Aggeler

Manuscript Consultant

A member of the SBWC faculty since 2003, Aggeler holds a Ph.D. in English, is a novelist, biographer, critic, freelance editor (fiction and nonfiction), and professor emeritus at the University of Utah, where he taught advanced fiction-writing workshops and literature. He has also taught in the writing programs at the University of California, Davis, and UC Santa Barbara. His published books include critical biography, historical criticism, and historical fiction. His historical novel Confessions of Johnny Ringo was hailed as “a masterpiece” by Anthony Burgess, and another book was runnerup in the 1997 competition for Best Book in Shakespearean Studies sponsored by the University of Delaware Press. He has also published notable short fiction and numerous articles both academic and non-academic. His newest novel, Horses of the Night, is based on the life of Christopher Marlowe.

Message to Students

I require workshop students to become actively involved in discussion of the pieces presented. Participants are seeking feedback, and I expect group members to listen attentively and respond honestly. “I liked the story” isn’t enough. What seems to work and what doesn’t?

If you’re attending the conference for the first time, talk to other writers who have attended in the past. Find out which workshop leaders are the most effective in generating feedback in their sessions and providing useful input. If you want to be sure that your work will be critiqued, arrive early and sign up.

Writing Tip I Live By

For a writer, nothing is wasted. Sooner or later you can use everything you’ve experienced or heard about.

Literary (and other) Heroes

Flannery O ’Connor for A Good Man is Hard to Find; Joyce for Dubliners; Isabel Allende for The Stories of Eva Luna; Tim O’Brien for The Things They Carried; Richard Ford for A Multitude of Sins; Faulkner for Absalom Absalom! and The Sound and the Fury; Dickens for Bleak House; A.B. Guthrie, Jr. for The Big Sky; and Anthony Burgess for The Long Day Wanes.