The Truth About Show Don't Tell


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Carmack Community Room

Show Don’t Tell. Is it as big a deal as editors say? How much do I show? How much do I tell? Authors, published and unpublished, struggle with the decision of when and how to “show” and when to just deliver information to the reader. How do I find the right balance between dialogue, exposition or description? How can I leave room for my reader and why is that important? How will my reader connect with my characters and come to care about what happens to them? Will my reader respond better when they are part of an experience or when they are just observing? This session is presented by Eileen Robinson. 

There is no set formula when editors say “show don’t tell” but there are questions you can ask, some rules or common mistakes you can take note of, and perhaps some of the answers can be found in the simple art of listening to your story.

Register once (appreciated but not required) for the entire Writers Conference and come and go as you please. Separate registrations are required to attend any of the Critique Sessions. Check out the Writers Conference schedule at a glance or search our online calendar for in-depth descriptions.

Editor/Publisher Eileen Robinson loves the power of stories and helping authors revise.  She was an executive editor for Scholastic, has worked in educational publishing, school and library, and worked with trade, magazines, book fairs and clubs. The stories that excited her were by Judy Blume, V.C. Andrews, Louisa May Alcott, and later, Shakespeare, some Greek mythology, and writers from the Harlem Renaissance.  Landing at Scholastic, she was in heaven.  She would actually get paid to read! She now partners with Harold Underdown in Kid’s Book Revisions, owns f1rstpages.com, and is publisher of Move Books Children’s Publishing.