Nora Shalaway Carpenter

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Meet Nora

Nora Shalaway Carpenter's debut YA novel THE EDGE OF ANYTHING was named "Best of the Year" by Bank Street, Kirkus Reviews, and A Mighty Girl, and was a Library of Congress Discover Great Places Through Reading list selection. Her new novel, FAULT LINES, was named to the prestigious TAYSHAS state reading list by the Texas Library Association and is a Cybils Award finalist. Shalaway Carpenter also knows short stories. Her mixed genre anthology RURAL VOICES was an NPR Best Book of the Year, a Bank Street Best Book, a Whippoorwill Award winner for authentic rural fiction, and a Nautilus Award double winner, among numerous other honors. Her new anthology of short fiction, AB(solutely) NORMAL, was named to the TAYSHAS reading list, and her next anthology is forthcoming 2026. Shalaway Carpenter holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and serves as faculty for the Highlights Foundation, where she co-teaches the popular Intro to Short Fiction class and the Whole Novel Workshop. A dynamic speaker, she has presented all over the country, including at NCTE, YALSA, and TLA.

Sessions + Events

Critiques + Reviews

  • Manuscript Critique - PB, MG, YA, Graphic Novel (script only)

What's the Deal with Short Fiction & Why is it Definitely Worth My Time? - Breakout

Sunday, Sept 22nd 9:30 am - 10:30 am


If you’ve yet to study the short form, you might not realize how much craft short stories can offer novelists and even picture book creators. Short fiction also provides a direct path to publication as well as huge marketing benefits. Plus, with an anthology winning this year’s Printz, short stories are more popular than ever. Participants will learn key writing craft terms, such as “the shattering moment,” “the turn,” “unity of effect,” “internal/external desire lines,” and “character misbelief,” which will strengthen their writing in every genre. This interactive session will address:

  • what—structurally and artistically—makes a great short story
  • why you should write short stories even if they aren’t your primary genre
  • how short fiction for young readers differs from short fiction targeting adults
  • real-life examples of how successful novelists used the short form to create their books.

Generative prompts will help attendees brainstorm story ideas and start writing. Participants will leave with everything they need to create (or revise) a great short story, a detailed list of mentor texts, and a list of publication opportunities for those looking to submit.

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Hosted by SCBWI Carolinas