Author workshops will be continually updated.
Below is an example of workshop formats from our 2012 festival as a preview of what we typically offer. Check back soon for updates!
OPTIONAL POETRY/CREATIVE NONFICTION MANUSCRIPT (Pauletta Hansel)
Any Festival attendee may arrange for a one-on-one manuscript review with author/editor Pauletta Hansel for a fee of $45. Manuscripts must be received by February 24, 2012 and will be discussed in individual half hour conferences on Friday, March 2. The review will include Pauletta Hansel’s observations of the strengths of the work as well as recommendations for further development and revision. This is a limited opportunity on a first-come basis. To request a conference, please contact Ms. Hansel directly through her email at: email@example.com ; include name and contact information, whether your work is poetry or prose, and any scheduling conflicts or preferences. Writers whose manuscripts are accepted for review will be asked to submit payment via check or PayPal and to email Pauletta a Word Document with a maximum of six poems OR one piece or excerpt of creative nonfiction no more than up 10,000 words in length. Poetry should be single-spaced; prose should be double spaced. The writer’s name, contact information and title of work should be on each page, with page numbers for pieces of more than one page. The manuscript review conference will be scheduled by mutual agreement between the writer and Pauletta.
OPENING A WORK OF FICTION (Margaret Atwood)
This workshop is designed to offer feedback to writers specifically on how a work of fiction opens. Participants who wish to submit pages for this workshop are asked to leave a larger font (14 ), double-spaced copy of their work at the registration table. Ms. Atwood will comment on as many as she has time for in the session.
From Ms. Atwood:
The first chapter is the
doorway to the book. It is always a time machine:
When are we? It is also always a come-on: Lure us in! Who’s talking? Where
is this voice situated in relation to the events we’re about to follow?
First chapters are also the key to structure: What sort of narrative
arrangement is being used? Are we following events as they happen, or being
told about them after they have occurred? And clues: How does a reader “know”?
Too much? Too little?
We will be concentrating on what we as readers learn
about books just from their opening pages.
ORAL INTERPRETATION AND BEYOND (JEI ARE)
This workshop delves into the art of story telling. We will focus on voice, breathing, body, language, and all of the human elements of communication that are used in communicating ideas, messages, thoughts, and poetry.
NAVIGATING THE LITERARY JOURNAL LANDSCAPE (Kiala Givehand)
After you have spent hours, weeks, or months on your writing, finding a place for publication can seem like a daunting journey filled with twists, turns and steep climbs. Having a road map to help you navigate the terrain can reduce the chance of wrong turns, detours, and dead ends. This workshop gives you tips on how to navigate the literary journal landscape. We will look at several resources that can assist you in your quest for publication and discuss ways to increase your chances of receiving acceptance letters. I will share both my perspectives as a writer and as the editor of a literary journal as we talk about acceptances and rejections, the pros and cons of simultaneous submissions, and online versus print publications.___________________________________________________________________
THE WINK OF IMMEDIACY: A FLASH FICTION WORKSHOP (Mark Ari)
Flash fiction covers as wide a range of forms and styles as other fiction, but it does so with fewer words. That’s the long and short of it. It is an exciting, tightly-compressed and nuanced genre, rich with implication and surprise. In this workshop, we’ll explore some of its possibilities. We’ll try our hands at a variety of methods for capturing the telling moment that occurs in the opening and closing of a window. We’ll share some of what we do. There are two goals: for everyone to have something to revise and, at some point or points in the workshop, to laugh very hard.
THE RHYTHM OF REVISION (Lola Haskins)
In this workshop, Ms. Haskins will talk about what happened to two or three of her own poems as they progressed from rough drafts to finished work. There will be a handout, including both the poems and most of the principles behind her revisions, to minimize the need to take notes. In the remaining time, she'll address as many poems from participants as she can.
HOW FORM CAN MAKE YOU SMARTER (AND YOUR POEMS BETTER) (Peter Meinke)
A workshop introducing students to various forms--from acrostics to pantoums--discussing the value to their poetry whether they regularly use forms or not, with examples and student participation.
FICTION & POETRY: HOW READING AND WRITING IN ONE GENRE HELPS YOUR WRITING IN THE OTHER ( Peter Meinke)
This workshop will explore the crossover skills and craft employed in both genre. We will look at lots of examples and save some time for experimentation with the prose poem.
BOOK IN A BAG (David Macinnis Gill)
In this hour long workshop, Gill will lead the group through the process of generating an intriguing premise for a novel, creating a log line synopsis, and using that log line to create the outline of a novel.
INVENTING YOUR TRUTH (Janisse Ray)
You've been walking the beaches of your life, collecting anecdotes and images and metaphors. It's time to use them. This class will cover the basics of personal narrative and memoir. We'll write about real life, our lives, including our ideas and beliefs, and we'll dive as deeply into craft as we have time to go. In a time of intense isolation, it is important to human culture and to each other that we tell our stories.
SONGWRITING: HOW TO BEGIN…WHERE TO START (Stan Lynch and Billy Chapin)
We explore the motivation behind songwriting and what drives writers. How they communicate and why certain songs connect. We'll discuss the basics of creative collaborative thinking and how to keep an open mind. We'll discuss the mechanical bond between music, lyric and melody. The workshop promotes the synergy between the student and the teacher, and Billy and Stan look forward to a spirited Q and A.
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TAPESTRY: TRUTH AND TREASON IN TRANSLATION (Michael Judd)
Effective translation demands a careful balance of fidelity and beauty. This seminar will examine how thinking about translating - by reading great literature in translation and by experimenting with the translation process - helps us better understand our own work while also making us better readers of others' work. Writers from all backgrounds - poets, playwrights, fiction and non-fiction writers - are welcome to attend, and participants will leave the seminar with a better understanding of language, meaning, and interpretation. No previous translation experience is required.
ARTFUL INTERVIEWING: GETTING TO THE HEART OF A PERSONAL STORY (Jeff Brumley)
Every person has a compelling story to tell. It is the job of the journalist and creative nonfiction writer to begin unearthing these tales through interviewing. This workshop will explore and practice techniques to draw the subject into a relaxed conversation that encourages her to freely share life stories, thoughts and observations. Writers will also consider the gray area between using an interview for a journalistic piece and heading toward Truman Capote's part journalism, part author-as-character style.
WRITE MORE!: GENERATIVE WRITING EXERCISES (Billy Merrell)
A poet once wrote: "No one expects a man to make a chair without first learning how, but there is a popular impression that the poet is born, not made." This workshop focuses on the importance of the personal writing ritual and will explore various time-tested exercises--from collaborative writing games and OULIPO philosophy to playful tricks for starting poems by simply getting words on the page. Students will discuss their own writing habits, will try out new ways of writing, and will leave equipped to master their own literary routine.
FICTION WORKSHOP: MAGIC OBJECTS IN FICTION (Martha Cooley)
Good scenes in fiction often begin with a particular object—ordinary or odd, lovely or ugly, new or old, owned or ownerless—which jumpstarts and animates that scene’s action and enriches its characterizations. We’ll do freewrites that take their energy from objects I’ll show you: inanimate things that your imaginations bring to vivid life. We’ll practice using figurative as well as expository language to imbue these objects with their own magic and power, so they can set unexpected events in motion.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR LIFE MATTER: a workshop in literary non-fiction (Ira Sukrungruang)
Annie Dillard says that memoirists are minor historians. As a memoirist, not only are we responsible in telling our story, but also the story of our culture. Why do our lives matter? Why does the writing of our lives matter? In this time period of political and social upheaval, how can the story of the lives of people elevate the social consciousness of our culture? Participants of this workshop will discuss the pitfalls and beauty of the contemporary memoir, and also locate themselves not only in the life of their stories but the mind of their stories.
MAKING UP STUFF WITH AUTHORITY: a fiction workshop (Ira Sukrungruang)
Too often, fiction writers enter their created world without much thought to the small elements that make that world ticks. As fiction writers, there should be more emphasis on understanding the language, understanding of vocation, understanding of character and setting. This workshop will explore how the fiction writer can use the stuff found in research to make their stories richer.
MORE THAN HUMAN: BREAKING OUT OF REALISM WITH NON-HUMAN CHARACTERS (John Ray)
From Aristophanes through Shakespeare through "War Horse," theater has used non-human characters to question, parody and illuminate human nature. Characters based on animals, objects or the elements force us to think about the limitations of physical being and how these shape our actions in the world; we have the chance to use movement, sound, color and space, as well as different forms of language, to find human truths. After discussion of some examples from my own and other work, writers in this workshop create non-human characters and explore their physicality, temperament and philosophy through scene work, using an expanded palette of language and movement.
WRITING YOUR TRUTH (Al Letson)
Al Letson leads a workshop that explores how to use your own life experiences as the foundation for your writing. Mining the triumphs and struggles from your life can be difficult, but put in the right context can illuminate the human condition.
LANGUAGE IN THE LANDSCAPE, POETRY OFF THE PAGE: INSTALLING WORDS ONTO THE WORLD (Clark Lunberry)
With our focus upon installation poetry, in this workshop we will discuss and demonstrate a variety of ways in which the language of poetry can leave the page, leave the book, relocating itself onto the landscape, into the environment. Seen in motion, and read in the shifting arrangements of our own movements, such site-specific poetry is dispersed and fleeting, a trace onto a surface, a mark that’s there and then vanishes — floating, sinking, igniting into flame — engaging what William Carlos Williams described as “the inevitable flux of the seeing eye...”