The University of Iowa

New Eleventh Hour Episode: The Art and Craft of Strong Dialogue

February 3, 2020

The Writing University's Eleventh Hour podcast features recordings of illuminating craft talks from the renown writers, novelists, poets, essayists who present at the Eleventh Hour Lecture Series during the University of Iowa's Iowa Summer Writing Festival.

We periodically release a tailored craft talk from the series, focusing on a wide range of topics such as Transforming Life into Writing, Humor Writing, The Music of Language and many more.

Episode #125: Better Talky Talky - The Art and Craft of Strong Dialogue


In this episode, Better Talky Talky: The Art and Craft of Strong Dialogue, Kelly Dwyer discusses writing dialogue. Many book editors and agents say that they read the first paragraph of a manuscript, and if they like it, they skip ahead to read some dialogue. If the dialogue is strong, they go back to page one and keep reading. If the dialogue is weak, the editor or agent sets down the manuscript, and the chances for publication (with that particular house or agency, anyway) end there. Knowing how to write good dialogue, then, is crucial to publication—and readership (and of course, if anything, is even more crucial in the arts of playwriting and scriptwriting).

Listen to the episode here

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This talk was originally given on Thursday, July 18, 2019 in the Phillips Auditorium on the University of Iowa campus.


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