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Steven Galloway  

Author of "The Cellist of Sarajevo"

Steven Galloway is the author of three novels, most recently "The Cellist of Sarajevo," an international bestseller. He has won the Borders Original Voice Award, the OLA Evergreen Award, and the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature, and been nominated for the Internation IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Richard & Judy Book of the Year Award, the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, the Canadian Booksellers Association Fiction Award, and the in Canada First Novel Award. His work has been published in over thirty countries and optioned for film. Galloway teaches Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia and lives in Vancouver, Canada.

Speech Topics

The Role of Art in Civilization

In recent times, artistic expression and the engagement with art has become increasingly marginalized, considered by many to be an effete and elitist activity. But we’ve made a mistake—we’ve confused what civilization is with what civilization allows us to have. Civilization isn’t roads, bridges, buildings, stock markets, governments, and businesses; civilization is a basic agreement and shared set of values that allow us to have these things. And art is the most indestructible way of asserting and changing these values and agreements. When all else fails us, it is still there. A society that dismisses this central act, that relegates the genuine work it does until it appears alongside the antics of celebrities, it does so at its peril.

The Abdication of Hatred

If a stranger were to walk up to us on the street and tell us they loved us, few, if any, of us would immediately return that love. But if the same person were to tell us they hated us, more often than not that hate would be returned in full force. Why is that, and what does it do to us when we begin to hate groups of people because they hated us first?

MFA in a Day Workshop

Having taught fiction writing at a graduate level for ten years, I believe there are a few very basic techniques and ways of approaching the writing of fiction that can be taught in an afternoon. Most of them (for example, how to move between a third-person narrator and the inside of a character’s head) are things writers understand subconsciously, but why not understand the technical aspects of them consciously?

Writing What You Don’t Know Workshop

The old trope “write what you know” is alive and well. But what if you want to write about something that you have no personal experience with or biographical connection to? How do you go about doing that in an accurate and respectful manner?

The Cellist of Sarajevo

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