It’s All in the Details: a Prose Intensive with Melanie S. Hatter via Zoom

Description is an important element in fiction to orient the reader to setting and characters. But how do you know what and how much to describe? Too much can slow the narrative and bore the reader, and not enough can leave a reader feeling lost or confused. By reviewing excerpts from a wide array of short stories and novels, we will explore how selecting the right details can add texture and depth to a story. Participants will have an opportunity to practice writing their own descriptions.

NB: This class will be capped at 15. You will receive a link as soon as you register to the email address you use to enroll in the class. Please check spam if you do not receive it. Scholarship information will be available for this class in November. You will be sent a reminder email with the link 24 hours before class. Please read our policy page before registering. Registration is $124 at:

Melanie S. Hatter is the author of the critically acclaimed Melawi’s Sisters (Four Way Books) chosen by Edwidge Danticat for the inaugural Kimbilio National Fiction Prize.  She also wrote The Color of My Soul, winner of the 2011 Washington Writers’ Publishing House Fiction Prize, and Let No One Weep for Me, Stories of Love and Loss, a collection of short fiction. She is a participating author in the PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools program in Washington, D.C., and serves on the board of the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation.

Featured on Ms. Magazine’s Blog

Featured in Ms. Magazine

Hatter’s artful, moving novel looks closely at the murder of a young black woman and her family’s devastation. Old—and new—questions about race and civil rights in 21st Century America arise alongside the unfolding story of Malawi and those who live in the wake of her loss. 

“Whether random or at the hands of authorities or of vigilantes, daily, black men and women become victims of the epidemic of gun violence sweeping the United States. Malawi’s Sisters considers the consequences on those left behind. An early morning phone call disrupts the seemingly placid lives of Judge Malcolm Walker and his artist wife, Bet. The Walker family, including daughters Kenya and Ghana, struggle to come to terms with what it means when those you love are taken in ways that are somehow both random as well as predictable.”
—David Haynes, Kimbilio Co-Founder and Program Director, Author of A Star in the Face of the Sky

Praise by Edwidge Danticat, judge of the inaugural Kimbilio National Fiction Prize:

“This story is both timely and well executed. We rarely see the private side of the devastating aftermath of police/vigilante/help-seeking and shot-related deaths that this writer describes here in such a suspenseful and nuanced manner. This is the kind of book that might encourage and inspire in depth conversations and discussions and help readers think more deeply about a subject they might have mistakenly thought they knew all about.”

Event Location and Ticket Information

Date: Sunday, February 20, 2022
Times: 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Ticket pricing:

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Presenter: Hudson Valley Writers Center
Presenter Phone: 19143325953