1) Flaubert’s Barometer: On Setting In Fiction
(Somewhat hands-on) Join Christian Kiefer in an exploration of setting in photography, film, and fiction, with the goal of analyzing the most significant details to include in creating “the reality effect.” Examples from Flaubert, Ford, Chekhov, and others will be analyzed and compared and participants will write some descriptive settings of their own.
5) How to Write a Sentence
(Somewhat hands-on) Sentence-obsessed novelist Christian Kiefer leads a lecture/workshop exploring what makes a truly great sentence, how to read such a sentence, and how to write one. Authors considered include Hemingway, Faulkner, Stein, Austen, and Salinger.
9) Character Development
(Somewhat hands-on) Join Christian Kiefer in a discussion of character development in fiction writing (and reading). What makes a character interesting and how do you succeed in presenting a fictional character who has the depth and weirdness of “real life.”
2) The Poet as Memoirist
(Mostly hands-on) In this workshop, we’ll explore memory as one of the greatest resources for writing. We'll discuss the “five secrets” of writing, and approach writing from memory from many different angles: trying our hand at list poems, persona poems, letters, poems of address, and even surrealism. We’ll investigate the uses of rhythm, repetition, long and short lines, and the benefits of strong verbs and nouns.
6) The Poet as Nature Writer
(Mostly hands-on) In this workshop, poets will explore their relationship to nature. We’ll be writing persona poems about nature by imagining that we have become a plant or an animal and are speaking in their voices; writing list poems about a place; and writing memory poems, including the sounds, smells and sights of a favorite wilderness area. We'll read poems by Kenneth Rexroth, Gary Snyder, and Louise Glück.
3) Research Tools for Historical Fiction and Nonfiction Writers
(Somewhat hands-on) Conference attendees will be walked through the process of finding very old books and textbooks that have been archived online by various sites, and the proper way to credit them, if needed, in a bibliography. Newspaper archives will be covered, as well as how to access most of them for free by using just a little more legwork than accessing the omnipresent pay archive sites.
8) Submitting for Publication
(Somewhat hands-on) In this workshop, we’ll go over the steps necessary to get your writing ready for publication. We’ll discuss how to find publishers and agents to send your material to, how to write book queries, cover letters and pitch letters to editors, and how to deal with both acceptance and rejection.
12) Pump It Up/Break It Down: Editing Basics
(Somewhat hands-on) Do you have trouble making your very short stories or nonfiction pieces longer, or your very long stories or nonfiction pieces shorter? In this workshop, we’ll go over some basic editing techniques to make your work adhere to a given word count, and how to give your writing a professional polishing.
7) Be Your Own Editor
(Somewhat hands-on) As Ernest Hemingway once said, “Easy writing makes hard reading.” Revision is a necessary part of any writing project, yet revising one’s own work often seems daunting. Bring a work-in-progress to practice how to approach your own writing with the objectivity of an editor, including when to begin the revision process and how to divide it into stages.
11) Everyday Book Marketing
(Not hands-on) With so many marketing opportunities available, book promotion can seem overwhelming. Learn how to develop strategies that fit in with your life, whether you have ten minutes a day or two hours a day, from creating an author website to planning events to engaging on social media.
Julia Park Tracey
4) Social Media for Dummies/Why You Need a Platform
(Not hands-on) The very basics: How to get up on social media, which sites are best for you as a writer/author, and how to start building your platform. What is a platform and why do you need one, anyway? How to use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and other social media sites, and getting started with a blog or web site. For the writer who is just starting out on social media, plus an overview.
10) Creative Non-Fiction for Writers: Essays and Reviews
(Somewhat hands-on) How to write personal essays, where to submit them for publication, and how to blog to gain followers. Review different works, from the visual arts to books and literature, poetry readings or lectures, theatre, and more. Reviews and essays show your writing abilities and that you’re an authority on your topic. Use these two formats to establish your credentials as a writer.