Craft Talk: How to Write Endings

“I love the story/novel—but in the end, the end didn’t work for me” is an ironic rejection many a writer has gotten back from an editor. All good things must end, but how do you end a story? What makes an ending feel like the end, what actions, revelations close a story or novel successfully for the reader? We’ll talk about some classic narrative structures, famous endings and, together, brainstorm ideas for your own work. 

This project is funded in part by a grant from the Madison Arts Commission, with additional funds from the Wisconsin Arts Board.

Wisconsin Poet and Writer Jesse Lee Kercheval

Jesse Lee Kercheval is the author of fourteen books of fiction, memoir and poetry and also a translator, specializing in Uruguayan poetry. Her translations include The Invisible Bridge: Selected Poems of Circe Maia and Fable of an Inconsolable Man, by Javier Etchevarren. She is the editor of the anthologies Earth, Water and Sky: An Bilingual Anthology of Environmental Poetry and América invertida: An Anthology of Emerging Uruguayan Poets. She is currently the Zona Gale Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she is the Director of the Program in Creative Writing.

Ready to Visit?

Arts + Literature Laboratory is located in Madison’s Schenk-Atwood neighborhood at 2021 Winnebago Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53704.

Summer gallery hours are Wednesday-Friday 12-5pm and Saturday 11am-3pm during exhibitions or by appointment. Please check the exhibitions calendar before planning your visit, as the gallery is closed between exhibitions and other schedule changes are posted here.

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