Conference Schedule


Doors open at 8:30 a.m.
Printouts: Program Campus Map

Opening remarks, Emcee Grace Totherow

9:00-10:00 -- Keynote Speaker, Gary Noy

The Elegant Utility of Formalized Curiosity, or, The Importance of Research in Writing

Regardless of the genre, one of the most indispensable tools a writer wields is research. By providing consistency and credibility, careful research can supply richness and texture to any work, whether fiction, nonfiction, poetry or prose. In his Keynote Address, Gary Noy will address the power, value and necessity of research in the writing process.

10:00-10:20 – Break and refreshments

10:30-11:30 - Breakout Session #1

· Performance and Poetry: Chris Olander

Poems are created to be heard. The aural and oral qualities of a poem is what enters and moves the hearts and minds of listeners. We will discover techniques and tricks that infuse color and meaning into each poem as we lift them from the page and teach them to fly, winging the beautiful images and metaphors of essential character to all who listen. Every poet needs to learn to recite her/his poetry well and good. We will critique each other. Bring your own poems to recite or use poems provided to you from the Poetry Out Loud web site at:

· Fiction/YA: Dimitri Keriotis

From the Physical to the Interior: Building Interiority

It’s often easy to illustrate our characters from the outside, but what about from the inside? In this interactive session, we will examine examples of literary fiction where the physical acts as a trigger to take the reader inside the protagonist, to build interiority. Participants should come prepared to work on their own writing and prepared to dig deeper into their protagonists.

· Nonfiction: Patricia Dove Miller


Learn how to do basic "Writing Practice" (based on Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones), a cumulative series of short exercises. Quiet your inner critic, delve into your unconscious, go deeper into your writing, and increase your creativity. Helps you learn how to write, to improve your writing, or to overcome writer’s block. For all levels of writers. Please bring: plenty of paper and pens, and a firm writing surface.

11:40-12:00 – Performance interlude

12:10-1:10 – Lunch (bag lunches available with registration)

1:20-2:20 - Breakout Session #2

· Performance/Poetry: Grace Totherow

Alchemy of the Muse

What happens after inspiration? How do we transform rough drafts and creative musing into cohesive, powerful work delivered with exactitude? In this session we will explore methods to distill the essence of our ideas, receive and integrate feedback, and craft our writing to completion.

· Fiction/YA: Sands Hall

Do I Really Know My Narrator?

Strategies for Strengthening Point of View

Point of View is the underlying pedal tone, the overarching melody, and the essential rhythm of any successful piece of writing. How do we go about creating that? How do we get our readers to believe—and believe in—the person telling our story? Do the author and the narrator really have to be two separate entities? What does sense of place have to do with point of view? How can I make the narrator(s) of my book more powerful, effective, and believable? And what does “voice” have to do with all of this? This workshop will explore these and other questions. If you like, you may bring a sentence or two (limit 30 words) that you think presents your narrator well; we’ll share a few of these and discuss how to make them even more effective.

· Nonfiction: Rachel Howard

Finding Your Narrative Engine: The Three C's

Why do some memoir and novels take off from the first page, while others stall out before the end of chapter one? More importantly: How can you make sure the book you’re writing gets all the necessary gears lined up on those all-important first five pages?

In this trouble-shooting workshop, you’ll learn the three Cs of narrative engine: Character, Conflict, and Clock. What’s clock, you say? Glad you asked. It’s a simple but elusive element that’s crucial to your story’s drive—but many writers don’t realize their pages are missing it. Character and conflict are also more complex than they first appear. Drawing
from the teachings of novelist David Haynes and Lisa Cron’s excellent book Wired for Story, this class will demystify the three Cs, then help you identify Character, Conflict, and Clock in your narrative.

**Conference attendees can bring the first five pages of a book-in-progress to this session to get on-the-spot feedback about narrative engine setup.

2:30-3:30 - Breakout Session #3

· Performance/Poetry: Shawn Odyssey

Defining Your Voice

There is no other voice quite like yours. It’s what makes you stand out, and is essential to success in both the writing and publishing process. So let’s find your original voice, and magnify it, and tell the story only you can tell.

· Fiction/YA: Kim Culbertson

Publishing Fiction

A writer can write without publishing; however, if you're interested in publishing your fiction and have questions about avenues (traditional vs indie), agents (query letters), or simply where to begin with the process, this workshop will help participants determine what options might best fit their work.

· Nonfiction: Besty Graziana Fasbinder

Become a Law-Abiding Literary Thief: Rob from Real Life for Your Fiction and Steal Fiction Techniques for your Memoir

Whether you're writing a work of pure imagination or telling the tale of your own lived events, you are a storyteller and you want to tell a "believable" story that captivates and connects with readers. Fiction writers have much to teach memoirists about scene, dialogue, and suspense, and real life offers inspiration, insights, and universal emotional experiences to fiction writers to give verisimilitude and realism to their stories whether they're writing about historical figures, mass murderers, or non-human creatures from other galaxies. 

The art for writers is becoming a skilled "thief" of techniques and sharing them to enhance and elevate your memoir and fiction writing. The aim is to tell the "essential truth" in whatever you write and to tell a compelling and captivating story that people want to read. 

This session will explore:

    Ethical theft from your real life  that can serve a fictional story
    Fiction writing techniques that are vital for writing compelling memoir
    Deciding which way is best to tell the story you want to tell: Fiction or memoir
    Writing with the target of "essential truth" as your guide

3:30-3:50 – Break and refreshments

4:00-4:30 – Closing performance, Grace Totherow

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