Here is a closer look at some of our conference offerings. Check back regularly as new program descriptions are added.
Fiction Workshop with Jennifer Haigh
This workshop for fiction writers at all levels will address the techniques of fiction: character development, structure, dramatic tension, setting and dialogue. We will closely examine the work of professional writers, with an eye towards breaking down the underpinnings of narrative. We will also read selections from participant work and give constructive feedback. This workshop will generate material for participants to take home and use to develop complete stories. There will be short writing assignments and reading assignments.
Poetry Workshop with Major Jackson
In this class we will explore issues of poetic craft, using devices such as formal strategies, structure, rhythm and sound. We will experiment with ways to push our writing beyond our usual subject matter and style. Our time will also be spent reading and examining the work of other contemporary poets. We will challenge ourselves with in-class writing exercises, as well as take the time to read each other’s work and offer feedback that inspires. Come prepared to make your poetry shine.
Nonfiction Workshop with Kenny Fries
In this hands-on workshop, we’ll explore how creative nonfiction differs from, and might be similar to, fiction and other genres. We’ll look at how we might best use techniques and structures from other genres (narrative voice, dialogue, characterization, flashback/flashforward, setting, close-up, montage, point of view, etc.) to get to the heart of what we’re writing. Each day we’ll use our time together to discuss craft issues, look at some short excerpts from good examples of the genre (memoir, personal essay, travel writing, and other kinds of creative nonfiction), write and brainstorm from prompts, and share some of our own work with each other. The goal of the workshop is to get each of us further along in what we’re writing or want to write with a focus on how best to lift the work off the page into the reader’s psyche.
Panel Discussion: Historical Narratives: The Craft of Writing
The discussion with historian and author Marie Jenkins Schwartz and historical novelist Taylor Polites will focus on the joys and challenges of engaging with history when writing. Research is an essential part of writing any book set in the past. What approaches to research work, and when it is time to stop researching and to start writing? Both Schwartz and Polites will read excerpts from their latest books and explain how their approaches to research informed the stories they tell.