Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Pre-Publication Praise for SILVER GIRL

I was updating my website (early!) this morning and was just feeling so, so happy about all these kinds words about my forthcoming novel!! And I’m grateful to the writers who took time out of their busy writing lives to read the book and offer their support.

“They think she is a simple, well-mannered girl, quiet and helpful. But the reader has seen into her past, knows her uncle, her little sister, her father, and all that happened back in Iowa. She is anything but. A dark, intense novel on a hot subject: female friendship complicated by class and privilege.”

“Leslie Pietrzyk’s haunting SILVER GIRL begins in 1980, with a nameless narrator starting her freshman year at a prestigious Chicago-area university. The narrator escaped her economically depressed Iowa hometown, but the emotional baggage of a grim childhood and dysfunctional family continue to weigh her down like the bulky, cheaply made trunk that holds her belongings… SILVER GIRL concludes with a surge of hope, like the spring thaw after an icebound Chicago winter.”

~Meg Nola, Foreword Reviews (5 /5 stars)

“In SILVER GIRL, Leslie Pietrzyk fearlessly explores the complex inner life of a young woman and her myriad complicated relationships with friends and sisters, while unearthing secrets about her traumatic past. Pietrzyk treats her characters with incredible empathy and tenderness, producing a deeply affecting novel about the terrible things we ask our young women to endure.”

~Mandy Berman, author of PERENNIALS

“Unflinching, thoughtful, and sharp. SILVER GIRL is the story I’ve been waiting to read: complicated women navigating life with grit and grace. From small town Iowa to Chicago, rural to urban, haves to have-nots, SILVER GIRL delivers a poignant truth about how relationships and regret shape our definitions of home.”

~Melissa Scholes Young, author of FLOOD

“SILVER GIRL is a blunt and piercing character study of a young woman making choices that are both understandable and unthinkably wrong; we watch helplessly as our unnamed narrator digs herself in deeper and deeper, sabotaging nearly every relationship in her life. Pietrzyk writes insightfully about female friendship, personal morality and accountability, unspooling an eminently compelling plot and delivering us, finally, to a redeeming moment of grace.””

~Carolyn Parkhurst, NYT Bestselling author of The Dogs of Babel, Lost and Found, The Nobodies Album and Harmony

“The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Leslie and her stories is the courage and ferocity of her women. Women who must negotiate a culture not of their own design and not of their own choosing. Women who have experienced tragedy and misfortune. Women who have made mistakes. Women who are honest in their testimony, resourceful in their lives, daring, not shy.”

~Robert Olmstead, award-winning author of Savage Country, Far Bright Star, Coal Black Horse, and The Coldest Night

Monday, December 11, 2017

Registration Open for My Winter Classes at Politics & Prose: Prompts & Dialogue

I’ve got two classes coming up at Politics & Prose in DC in the new year…love to see/your friends there!!

Right Brain Writing: Relationships

Wednesday, January 31, 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Explore your creative side in this session, one of a series of stand-alone classes with prompts designed to get your subconscious flowing. Through guided exercises, we’ll focus on writing about the variety of relationships we have in our lives, significant people, people who are still with us, people who are lost, even relationships with people we don’t know. No writing experience necessary! This is a great class for beginners and also for those fiction writers and/or memoirists with more experience who might be stuck in their current projects and are looking for a jolt of inspiration. Our goal is to have fun in a supportive, nurturing environment and to go home with several promising pieces to work on further. Please bring lots of paper and pen/pencil or a fully charged computer. Note: new exercises!

Text: The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry, edited by J.D. McClatchy
*Please note that although this is a poetry book, you are not required to write poetry.


Elements of Writing: Mastering Effective Dialogue

Thursday, February 1, 1 to 4 p.m.

Dialogue is tricky. It’s not simply recorded speech; conversation must sound natural—while also creating a sense of a character and advancing the action. How does the writer learn that balance, knowing when characters should talk and when maybe they should keep quiet? How can your conversations build layers of meaning? This hands-on, interactive class will focus on helping you learn the tricks needed to get your characters to talk the talk! This class is appropriate for fiction writers, memoirists and anyone looking to sharpen their dialogue skills. All levels of experience are welcome. Please bring a notebook/pen or charged computer for writing exercises.

Text: Best American Short Stories 2017, edited by Meg Wolitzer

**Please read "Last Day on Earth" by Eric Puchner, and "Famous Actor" by Jess Walter; other examples from the book may be cited, though these are the only stories that will be discussed fully.


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.