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Date
Session / Presenter
Location / Time / Track
Jun 06
Sat - 2020
Using Regional Folklore and Local History in Creating New Fiction
Jez Lowe
TBD
1:40pm to 3:10pm
Writing Fiction
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Presenter: Jez LoweTrack: Writing Fiction

Musician and songwriter Jez Lowe hails from North Eastern England, a region steeped in folklore and with a turbulent history of border conflict and industrial turmoil. Much as he has done in his 40 year musical career, Jez has tapped into his regional heritage when producing both of his recent novels, The Dillen Doll in 2017 and The Corly Croons in 2020. His fictional characters inhabit an accurate social context, where historical events fuel the immediate plot and encourage the overall development of the story. While Jez embraces the gifts of such strong inspiration, he is also keen to attest to both the advantages and hazards of such an approach. He will be examining these contrasting attitudes in his work and will also be encouraging his audience to consider their own regional heritage and how it might be applied to their own writing.

Jun 06
Sat - 2020
Writing and Researching Historical Genre Fiction
Holly Day
TBD
1:40pm to 3:10pm
Writing Genre Fiction
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Presenter: Holly DayTrack: Writing Genre Fiction

Are you a writer of historical fiction or nonfiction and you don’t know how or where to find information on the time period you’re writing about? This class will show you where to find textbooks, old newspapers, photographs, voice recordings, illustrations, photos and descriptions of historical and religious relics, and maps—ancient nautical maps to modern city maps--of all types to add authenticity and depth to period-based fiction and accuracy to historical nonfiction. Resources covered in this class will be available to find either online or in-person--this class is especially aimed at the researcher with a limited budget. The basics of compiling a bibliography will also be covered as well as how to get permissions for using photographs in published work.

Jun 06
Sat - 2020
Writing Authentically Online
Meg Fee
TBD
1:40pm to 3:10pm
Writing for New Media
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Presenter: Meg FeeTrack: Writing for New Media

In 2015, I published a small collection of essays online - on my blog. That digital download led to a direct twitter message from an independent publisher. That direct message then led to an agent and an eventual book deal. The story of how I published my first book is a bit of a Cinderella-story of the Digital Age, but it’s also not singular to me. This workshop will cover how to successfully transition from a blog to a book, and how to do it in a way that feels purposeful. You don’t need to have a massive following to attract attention, you simply need to write in your authentic voice. Writing truthfully online today (whether it’s on a blog or Instagram) is harder and more important than ever before - and ultimately it is the thing that will attract followers, engagement, and - yes - book deals.

Jun 06
Sat - 2020
An Agent's Guide to Self-Editing
Andrea Hurst
TBD
3:20pm to 4:50pm
The Business of Writing
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Presenter: Andrea HurstTrack: The Business of Writing

When an agent is reviewing your book, they are not only assessing the quality of the writing and the intensity of the story, but also the potential for it to sell. The more polished and professional your manuscript is the higher your chance for success. Whether you have just started writing your novel or memoir, are seeking an agent or publisher, or trying to sell more copies on Amazon, your manuscript must hook readers from the very beginning, and hold them all the way through. This class will show writers how to self-edit their manuscript and create a book that will keep agents, editors, and readers turning the page. Topics include the first fifty pages, craft mastery, and common reasons manuscripts are rejected.

Three Things People Attending Will Learn:

· How to hook an agent/reader’s attention
· How to self-edit more effectively
· Overview of the editorial process from an agent’s POV

This is an interactive workshop and handouts will be distributed.

Jun 06
Sat - 2020
I Remember: Unlocking Memories to Lay the Foundation of Your Memoir
Jamie Brickhouse
TBD
3:20pm to 4:50pm
Writing Creative Non-Fiction
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Presenter: Jamie BrickhouseTrack: Writing Creative Non-Fiction

Memory and fact are two different animals. The meat of literary memoir is the author’s salient memories around the facts of the story he is telling. In this introduction to memoir, Jamie Brickhouse, author of the critically-acclaimed Dangerous When Wet: A Memoir of Booze, Sex, and my Mother (St. Martin’s Press; “Required Reading” in Mary Karr’s The Art of Memoir; Amazon “Best Book of May 2015,” Book Chase “Top 10 Nonfiction of 2015” ) shows writers how to unlock their deepest memories—the buried, nearly forgotten, and painful—to allow those memories to flower on the page. Taking a lead from Joe Brainard’s literary and artistic cult classic, I Remember, students will discover that laying “I remembers” on the page before writing prose, is akin to an artist priming a canvas before painting. The first half of the workshop will explore the art and craft of channeling and writing about memory as Brickhouse discusses examples from classic memoirs (The Liars’ Club by Mary Karr, The Night of the Gun by David Carr, The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion) and a range of how-to books on memoir and writing (The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr, Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Loss by Jessica Handler, The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative by Victoria Gornick) and his own writing experience. He will also explore how to lift the “burden of too much information”—to weed out the memories, passages, and scenes from a life so that only the essential ones germane to the story you’re telling remain. The second half will be participatory, and students will write their own memories through a series of “I remember” exercises and then transform some of those into prose. Participants will discover that the memories which materialize from their stream of conscious—the ones that cannot be ignored—are the ones that must be written about, and are usually the ones that create literary gold. Brickhouse will lead guided discussions around the students’ work in a supportive, encouraging and laid-back atmosphere. Students will receive a reading list, as well as additional writing prompts and exercises.

Jun 06
Sat - 2020
Nailing the Spike: Creating a Compelling Short Story
April Eberhardt
TBD
3:20pm to 4:50pm
Writing Genre Fiction
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Presenter: April EberhardtTrack: Writing Genre Fiction

"Nailing the Spike" focuses on the quick and dramatic arc (i.e. the spike) required to make a short story jump out and grab the reader. Having read thousands of short stories as a reader for the Best American Short Stories series, and as former head reader for Zoetrope--All Story, Francis Ford Coppola's literary journal, April Eberhardt has developed a strong sense of the characteristics that distinguish successful short stories. We’ll discuss what a short story must accomplish in a brief form, how short stories differ from novels and novellas, and the ways in which short story trends have changed. We’ll also discuss ways to approach getting your short stories published. This workshop is suitable for aspiring and experienced short story writers.

Jun 06
Sat - 2020
Reading and Signing Event
Billy Collins • Jane Smiley
TBD
5:00pm to 7:30pm
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Presenter: Billy CollinsJane Smiley

Join our keynote speakers Billy Collins and Jane Smiley as they read from their selected works and sign copies. The event will also feature a musical performance by Jez Lowe. Come and enjoy as hors d'oeuvres and wine will be served.

Jun 07
Sun - 2020
American Women Crime Writers of the Mid-20th Century
Sarah Weinman
TBD
10:10am to 11:40am
Writing Genre Fiction
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Presenter: Sarah WeinmanTrack: Writing Genre Fiction

Sarah Weinman, author of The Real Lolita, previously edited anthologies of crime novels and stories by women published between World War II and the mid-1970s. In this session she'll discuss writers attendees may be familiar with, like Patricia Highsmith, Dorothy B. Hughes, and Margaret Millar, and those they may be less familiar with, including Nedra Tyre, Elisabeth Sanxay Holding, and Dolores Hitchens. What united these women was a relentless quest to chronicle America as it really was, not necessarily the America depicted in classic hardboiled crime fiction by the likes of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and James M. Cain. Their domain was more domestic, but still merciless and acute in depicting society's ills, and the terror that afflicted women and children in particular.

Jun 07
Sun - 2020
Looking Back, Moving Forward: Writing About Grief, Loss, and Trauma
Jessica Handler
TBD
10:10am to 11:40am
Writing Creative Non-Fiction
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Presenter: Jessica HandlerTrack: Writing Creative Non-Fiction

Robert Frost wrote, “no tears for the writer, no tears for the reader,” but how do we create effective story from emotionally difficult material? Writing well about loss requires more than capturing slippery memory on the page - the act of reflection must advance the narrative.

In this prompt-driven workshop, we will examine elements of renowned trauma memoirs and undertake writing exercises that will help us examine how both sorrow and joy are put to work in powerful creative nonfiction.

Participants will explore strategies for writing about loss and trauma in pursuit of insight, wholeness, and connection to readers. We will end our time together with a new understanding of the little-known continuation of Frost’s quote: “No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.”

Open to writers of all levels.

Participants will:

· Examine the nuts and bolts of notable examples of memoir and essay about loss, grief, and trauma to understand the writers’ craft;

· Generate new material from writing prompts designed to explore memory from new angles;

· Explore the narrative balance of research, memory, and imagination;

· Develop confidence in their right to write their version of events.