William Price Fox (1982) | Writer's Workshop


A treasure from the ETV tape vault brings us this segment of the Writer's Workshop where William Price Fox talks about the writing process and answers questions of students from the University of South Carolina's creative writing program.  He notes that "You aren't working until you're writing—that's the secret." As a writer and writing teacher, Fox believes in starting with a sound and building from that. He advises students not to worry about spelling and punctuation in the beginning, to forget dictionaries and thesauruses, and to "go with the first impression always...because the words that occur to you are usually the right words." As regards the short story, if the characters want something, what they want will reveal the plot. Fox talks about his use of black dialect in his stories and even the sweep of the southern accent, the ways in which the words sound. Fox urges the students to watch their habits, and focus on the writing.  

Side Notes:

  • April 9, 1926 - April 19, 2015
  • A novelist,  he wrote Southern Fried and Doctor Golf
  • In his day, Fox wrote for USA Today, the Atlantic Monthly, Golf Digest, Golf Illustrated, Golf Magazine, Sports Illustrated, The Saturday Evening Post, Millionaire Magazine, American Heritage, The Los Angeles Times, the Village Voice and more. 
  • Fox organized and hosted the Writer's Workshop series featuring interviews and workshops with 15 famous writers

The Writer's Workshop features 15 major talents in contemporary literature who met in a one-on-one forum with well-known author William Price Fox and University of South Carolina creative writing students. Each writer discussed his or her personal writing methods, furnishing insights into the highly individualized process of literary creation. Other authors include George Plimpton, James Dickey, James McPherson, John Gardener, John Hawkes, John Irving, Kurt Vonnegut, Nora Ephron, Pauline Kael, Reynolds Price, Stephen Spender, Susan Sontag, Tom Wolf, William Price Fox, and William Styron.