Conference Schedule

October 10 - 12, 2024

Over 70 craft talks, panels, workshops and more

Craft. Culture. Community.

The Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference features over 70 craft talks, workshops, panels, and readings.

The conference spans a variety of genres and forms—fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, memoir, and genre fiction—with additional sessions on the business of writing from getting an agent to getting published. We often highlight special topics or issues such as travel writing, climate change, graphic novels, translation, disability studies, hybrid forms, social justice, and more.

In addition to regular sessions, the conference offers group readings, our keynote and opportunities to connect and engage with writing industry professionals.

If you have any questions, contact

Click below to view the schedule from last year which will give you some idea of what DNRS offers.

Our 2024 schedule will be released in May 2024.

View printable schedule

Please note: A printable schedule with room assignments will be emailed to attendees 3-4 weeks before the conference

View last year's schedule

Thursday, October 12

Session 1: (9:00 - 10:30 am)

Flash Fiction, Prose Poetry, and The Fluidity of Genre (9:00 - 10:30am)

Facilitator: Jenny Irish

Category: Multi-genre

In this 90-minute generative workshop, we will look at examples of flash fiction and prose poetry, as well as consider the potential for fluidity across them. Participants will start three drafts inspired by the examples we read together. We’ll also share some of our work and receive exercises to take home to work on independently.

Writing Poetry For, Through, and Beyond Identity: A Generative Workshop (9:00 - 10:30am)

Facilitator: Jacqueline Balderrama

Category: Poetry

This generative, poetry workshop will ask attendees about their connections to ancestry, language, and landscape. Participants will respond to prompts to create new writing, learn about poetic craft and engage in a lively and encouraging discussion around poems drafted during the event.

The Writer as Mapmaker (9:00 - 10:00am)

Facilitator: Corinna Cook

Category: Creative non-fiction

This class explores the relationship between maps and the contemporary creative non-fiction essay. We will sample essays that utilize map/. We will also spotlight actionable writing techniques that can inform your own writing in dialogue with mapped territories.Participants are invited to bring their own map or map-photo to the session and will have the opportunity to write alongside it. 

The Ode: In Praise of the Struggle (9:00 - 10:30am)

Facilitator: Raymond Antrobus

Category: Poetry

This generative workshop will focus on the ode and some surprising ways poets have used the Ode form to challenge as well as uplift readers using imagery, figurative language and interesting premises and word choices. We’ll look at examples from English as well as American poets and discuss / explore techniques that’ll help us write our own odes / praise poems.

MFA Presents Panel: Body Stories: Strength, Shame, Sex, and Sadness (9:00am - 10:00am)

Chloe Jensen, Tarah Knaresboro, Ames O’Neill, Cecilia Savala

Four writers from ASU’s MFA in creative writing talk about how they explore the experience of living in a human body in writing. How can physicality and its many manifestations – from vulnerability, to power, to disassociation – be interpreted on the page?

The Writers Life: Art: What Does it Take to Live Your Writing Life? (9:00am - 10:00am)

Moderated by Bernadette Smyth and Piper Staff

A free-flowing discussion around what it takes to achieve the writing work you want to do – how do you grow and sustain yourself as an artist, when is reinvention necessary, how do you deal with missteps, vulnerabilities, how do you not “sell-out,” how do you properly value yourself when the world doesn’t? 

Session 2: (10:45 am - 12:15 pm)

If Machines Can Write, Why Should We? (10:45 am - 12:15 pm)

Vauhini Vara

Category: Fiction/Creative Non-Fiction

Vauhini Vara's novel The Immortal King Rao, imagines a future in which those in power deploy AI to remake all aspects of society — criminal justice, education, communication — to suit their interests. This interactive 90-minute class will focus on what it means to write in an era in which machines can do the same.

Writing a Path Toward Joy (10:45 am - 12:15 pm)

January G. O’Neil

Category: Poetry

Making a path for beauty and randomness may seem like an indulgence. But attending to our astonishments—nourishing the soul—is the most important work a poet can do. In this workshop, we’ll explore opportunities to find and marvel at the joy in our work, engage with language not often found in poetry, reflect on the challenge and importance of documenting moments of change, and discuss strategies for honing and revising new and old drafts.

Workshopping the I: Using the “Independent Workshop” to Build Your Confidence as a Writer (10:45 am - 11:45 am)

Felicia Rose Chavez 

Category: Multi-Genre

What do you find energizing, pleasurable, rigorous, or inspiring about your writing? Before you give persuasive power to an agent, editor, or critique group, I encourage you to first engage in “independent workshop.” Together, we’ll learn how to go inward, affirming our agency and bolstering our confidence. The goal of this 60-minute session is to cultivate artistic intuition so that you may serve as your first, ideal, reader. 

Working with an Agent: What Writers Should Know (10:45 am - 11:45 pm)

Regina Brooks

Category: Business of Writing

An overview of the steps to getting an agent from writing a “can’t miss” book proposal to deciding if an agent is right for you. Regina Brooks, owner of Serendipity Literary Agency provides her insights on what to know to make your agent-writer relationship work for you. 

MFA Presents Panel: Pressing Language: Imagining a Tactile Poetics of Care 10:45 am - 11:45 pm)

Cari Munoz, Aida Campos

Using the concept of “tactile value” as a point of departure, we seek to write poems as spaces that make real the “illusion of tangibility.” We aim for this panel to inspire attendees to experiment with the intimacies that printmaking allows a poet in imagining what the page can do and plan to create a celebratory broadside that attendees can take home with them.

Session 3: (1:45 pm - 2:45 pm)

Finding the Next Line: Small Steps Toward Writing Hard Things (1:45 pm - 2:45 pm)

Jenny Browne and Naomi Shihab Nye

Category: Poetry/Multi-genre

In this session, frequent collaborators Jenny Browne and Naomi Shihab Nye will consider the notion of "finding the next line" as a practical act toward writing difficult material, sharing their own experiences and exercises designed to help participants begin reimagining and rebuilding on the page after the unimaginable has occurred.

The Perfect Place for Your Work: Navigating Literary Magazine (1:45 pm - 2:45 pm)

Patricia Murphy

Researching publication outlets can be more time consuming than writing. Not only are technologies constantly changing, so are submissions timelines, guidelines, and editorial leadership. This 60-minute presentation will share tips and tricks for finding the perfect place for your writing.

Category: Business of Writing

Writing Memoir with a Purpose: Politics and Life Collide (1:45 pm - 2:45 pm)

Rus Bradburd

How do you intertwine the personal and the political in writing memoir? In this interactive class Rus Bradburd describe the process and challenges of writing memoir with a purpose, drawing on examples from his non-fiction books. The open discussion will focus on how you might build on lessons he’s learned to realize your own aspirations in writing relevant and powerful nonfiction.

Category: Creative Nonfiction

Tension in Fiction (1:45 pm - 2:45 pm)

Brandon Hobson

We know that to tell a good story in fiction we need conflict, tension, a sense of something being at stake.  How do we keep a narrative propulsive and engaging for the reader? This presentation looks at the elements of tension in fiction and their importance.

Category: Fiction

ABC, 123: Writing the Abecedarian (1:45 pm - 2:45 pm)

Jake Friedman

The abecedarian—a poem where the start of each line proceeds according to the alphabet--possesses a long and illustrious literary tradition. In this session, we’ll learn the abecedarian’s history and engage in a series of  short writing exercises.. Participants will leave with working knowledge of the form, a packet of examples from contemporary authors, written prompts and advice, and the seed of something beautiful and new.

Category: Poetry

MFA Presents Panel: Finding New Angles: Lived Approaches to Craft and Process

This panel focuses on parallels between non-writing areas of expertise/interest and approaches to craft. For example, how can a writer draw parallels between their background in computer science and their writing practice? Panelists will speak toward how their own unique non-writing expertise has sculpted their approach to craft, and, conversely, how writing has informed their strategies in other fields.

Session 4: (3:00 pm - 4:30 pm)

Intersections: Identity and Eco Poetry (3:00 pm - 4:30 pm)

Pamela Uschuk

This 90-minute generative workshop will look at eco poetry as it relates to identity. We will look at how ecopoets identify—culturally, racially, sexually, scientifically, metaphysically--and how identity influences the way these poets write. This is a hands-on workshop where participants will write one in-workshop poem from a prompt. provided by the instructor.

Category: Poetry

Creating Three-Dimensional Characters (3:00 pm - 4:30 pm)

Marilyn Atlas

Some writers talk about creating connections with their characters so deep that the characters feel like real people. But how do you bring memorable, three-dimensional characters to life enough to make that connection? In this class, equally suitable for fiction writers, screenwriters, and TV writers, we will dissect the elements of constructing unique, memorable, and believable characters.

Category: Film/Fiction/Multi-genre

Refuse to Be Done: How to Write and Rewrite a Novel (3:00 pm - 4:30 pm)

Matt Bell

This interactive workshop details a practical and straightforward approach to writing fiction, focusing on specific tactics for generating a strong first draft of a novel and for polishing your final manuscript to prepare it for submission and publication. The session will offer an abundance of strategies to help motivate you and shake up your drafting and your revisions, all focused on practical steps you can take to strengthen both your practice and your novel.

Category: Fiction

Poetry Translation in the Expanded Field (3:00 pm - 4:30 pm)

Urayoán Noel

In this 90-minute hybrid of class and workshop, we will examine work by Latin American poets working in the expanded field (performance, book art, etc.), and consider how translating such poets demands that we approach translation as an expanded field practice. We will attempt one or more brief generative and/or conceptual exercises (solo or collaborative), and we will discuss our practice, as well as challenges and questions that may arise.

Category: Poetry/Translation

MFA Presents Panel: Queering the Panel (3:00 pm - 4:00 pm)

Patrick de Leon and Ayling Dominguez

"Queering the Page" explores breaking down barriers between genres and mediums to create new and unique forms of expression. Beyond traditional notions of queerness, participants will delve into the idea of queering the page as a means of challenging norms and expectations within literary and artistic practices. How do we challenge established artistic practices and create new forms of expression that break down traditional boundaries.

Panel: Women Behaving Badly (3:00 pm - 4:00 pm)

Connie Voisine, Ramona Emerson, Patricia Spears Jones, and Antonya Nelson

In this panel, fiction writers, screenwriters, and poets talk about the pleasures and politics of women behaving badly. What is behaving badly and why are we so interested in it? From noir gumshoes to rock-and-roll rebels, our panelists look at what the subversive and transgressive tells us about the realities of women’s lives,

Friday, October 13

Session 1: (9:00 am - 10:30 am)

Ephemeral Arrangements: Working with Grief and Joy (9:00 am - 10:30 am)

T.C. Tolbert

In this experiential, collaborative, and generative workshop, we will poetically explore grief and some of its other living companions: love, contemplation, silence, beauty, creation, and joy. The workshop will include a variety of invitations to make and be made: generative writing prompts, full sensory and playful engagements, and reading and reflection.

Category: Poetry/Multi-Genre

"'What is the Why?': Building a Backstory (9:00 am - 10:00 am)

Karen Odden

In this workshop, we explore how to create backstories for the protagonist and the important secondary characters. Effective backstories make characters unique and memorable, drive the plot forward, and provide opportunities for both interpersonal (character/character) and intrapersonal (character/world) conflict. Participants will apply writing exercises to their work-in-progress during the workshop as well as have some prompts and exercises to take home.

Category: Fiction

Moving Your Poems (and Other Words) from the Page to the Stage (9:00 am - 10:00 am)

Timothy Staley

We spend so much time working on our poems (or our stories) and then we go up on stage never having thought about how we might bring them to life with our bodies, our voice, our energy. While this class primarily addresses poets, prose writers will benefit as well. Learn how live performance can be leveraged to support your best writer self.

Category – Poetry/Multi-genre

M(other)ing from the Brink (9:00 am - 10:00 am)

Viktoria Valenzuela

This generative multi-genre writing class is for m(other)ing people and/or caregivers who wish to report on their experiences in our current turbulent socio-political times. We will generate writing that defines how we've cared for others during harrowing moments, such as the Covid-19 lockdown, political unrest, migration, disabilities, or climate change. We will share work generated for feedback and deeper discussion. 

Category: Multi-genre

Panel – MFA Presents: Bringing Identity into Your Work (9:00 am - 10:00 am)

M. McDonough, Brandon Johnson, Santana Shorty, Anna Abraham Gasaway

A diverse group of poets and writers discuss how identity and experience of living in the margins informs their work and practice in terms of both content and form.How does one navigate responsibility to community while retaining a strong sense of individual identity?  What are the gifts of identity and how can we celebrate them?

The Writer’s Life: Community: Who is Your Writing Family and How Do You Find Them (9:00 am - 10:00 am)

Moderated by Bernadette Smyth and Piper Staff

A conversation by writers in multiple genres about how they found their writing “family” and what we talking about when we talk about literary citizenship. How are you responsible to community and what role does building community have in forging the writing life you most want? Audience Q & A and comments encouraged.

Session 2: (10:45 am - 12:15 pm)

Boswell’s Fiction Workshop (10:45 am - 12:15 pm)

Robert Boswell

We will discuss conferee manuscripts in terms of their intent and craft, while also providing an overview on the writing of fiction. This class will require some pre-submission of materials and will be capped at 10 students.  While I expect most of the submissions to be short stories, I'm also open to novel chapters.

Category Fiction

Subverting the Sonnet (10:45 am - 12:15 pm)

Susan Nguyen

The word sonnet comes from the Italian “sonneto,” meaning little song. In this 90-minute workshop, we’ll explore different sonnet variations and look towards contemporary examples that subvert and expand the form. Participants will generate a few drafts, including a collaborative sonnet, and leave with additional prompts.

Category: Poetry

A Thousand Words: Writing for Picture Books (10:45 am - 12:15 pm)

Xelena González

In this session, picture book writer and children’s librarian Xelena González will share tips for writers new to the field and will address topics based on participants’ interests. A portion of the session will be devoted to generative exercises that can serve as story starters for this unique genre or for other vessels of writing.

Category: Children’s Books

Writing Movies in a Post-Movie Time (10:45 am - 12:15 pm)

Carroll Cartwright

Screenwriter Carroll Cartwright discusses what movies do best and why in an era of six season TV series (and comic book blockbusters), , there's an audience yearning for the concentrated dose of passion that's peculiar to the theatrical movie and leave with tips and strategies for successful screenwriting.

Category: Film/Screenwriting

The Creative Dark: A Generative Workshop to Enable Creative Flow (10:45 am - 12:15 pm)

Chana Porter

This 90-minute writing intensive is designed to unblock your flow and write, write, write! We'll use automatic writing and somatic exercises to say Yes to the creative impulse and create unexpected new work. Come with lots of blank paper, pens, and an open mind.

Category: Multi-Genre

MFA Presents Panel: The Blurred Line Between Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction(10:45 am - 11:45 am)

Claire Wilcox, Michael Howling Wolf, Gerard J. Martínez y Valencia

When does creative non-fiction turn into fiction, and how do we use our life experiences in either genre? In this panel, we will talk about how we all bring our personal experiences as fiction and non-fiction writers into our work, what the benefits and limitations of that are for both genres.

Session 3: (1:45 pm - 2:45 pm)

Approaching Revision: Ten Steps (1:45 pm - 2:45 pm)

Antonya Nelson

This class will focus on strategies for revising your fiction. The aim is to create stronger work by interrogating various elements of short fiction (character, structure, tension, shape, plot, time, etc.) in service of the next, better, draft.

Category: Fiction

Poetry Lab: Come Play! (1:45 pm - 2:45 pm)

Victoria Chang

This will be a generative writing lab where we will read poems together and then write poems together. We will go from one set of poems and writing exercises to the next with some time at the end to share what we’ve written. Come to this workshop with a big imagination, an open mind, a laptop and/or a notebook, and be prepared to have fun as we experiment in new ways.

Category: Poetry

Punk Against Genre: Radical Writing Through Bending Genre (1:45 pm - 2:45 pm)

Marcus Clayton

Writing with the “punk rock ethos” is to write with the intention to decolonize literature and communicate flawlessly without adherence to the literary canon. We’ll look at the punk rock behind genre-bent writing, how hybrid texts open communication between the author and the reader, building trust. Students will participate in interactive exercises to help them write the unexpected,

Category: Poetry/Multi-genre

Memory-Keepers: Writing What is True in Non-Fiction (1:45 pm - 2:45 pm)

Jen Soong

Locating the truth, or heart, of a story can be a mystifying task. Whether you are looking to write memoir, lyric prose, or a researched CNF essay, finding the backbone of your narrative is essential. This generative workshop will include a series of relevant passages and prompts designed to unlock memories and thread together connections. Bring an open mind and a notebook.

Category: Creative Non-fiction/Multi-genre

Community Writer Panel: Place-Based Pedagogies: Academic Writing in the Borderlands (1:45 pm - 2:45 pm)

Our place-based panel spotlights the cultural, geographical, and Border-specific influences that are integral to Tucson and the University of Arizona community. We explore possibilities of focusing more locally on engaging with Indigenous, Mex/American, and Border issues—and how might our Student Learning Outcomes align and address our paying attention?

Panel: World Building (1:45 pm - 2:45 pm)

Matt Bell, Claire Holroyde, Chana Porter, Vauhini Vara

In this panel, ASU professor Matt Bell and his invited writer panelists discuss “Worldbuilding” or narrative experience built around wonder, collaboration, curiosity, and problem-solving, putting into practice the modes of inquiry, thought, and imagination that will be essential to the envisioning of our future ways of life.

Session 4: (3:00 pm - 4:30 pm)

Writing About Friends, Family, and Other Real Folks (3:00 pm - 4:00 pm)

Lisa Nikolidakis

For writers of nonfiction—whether in memoir or narrative journalism—the ethics of writing about the people in our lives raises, at best, a complex set of questions: Do I need permission? Should I let them read a draft? How do I avoid libel? This class will address these questions and more about the blurry boundaries of writing CNF.

Category: Creative Non-fiction/Multi-genre

"Fused and Glowing": Writing the Sinuous Sentence (3:00 pm - 4:30 pm)

Connie Voisine

Often a revision of what we are writing--a poem or prose--can be energized by an examination of your syntax, the order of words, the structures of your sentences, the variety of your sentence length. Using examples from Virginia Woolf's journal to poems by Ross Gay, we will study the art of the sinuous sentence.

Category: Multi-Genre

The Fortitude of Witness: When and Why We Document Our Lives (3:00 pm - 4:30 pm)

Tennison Black, Cynthia Hogue, Joni Wallace

Join award-winning poets Tennison Black, Cynthia Hogue and Joni Wallace as they explore documentary poetics and the role of witnessing through poetry. What are the ethical and aesthetic challenges of the genre and the ways in which poetry can capture the realities of our lives and communities?

Category: Poetry

The Long Fields: Engaging with Writing of Place in Poetry and Prose (3:00 pm - 4:00 pm)

C.S. Giscombe

Writing and thinking about location is energizing and complicated. What are we talking about when we talk about place? What are strategies we can take to bring place into our work? The session will combine discussion and generative exercises.

Category: Multi-Genre

Paralyzed or Blossoming: Writing as Parents (3:00 pm - 4:00 pm)

Gionni Ponce

This generative workshop will take heart from the reflections of inspiring and thoughtful parent-writers and engage in exercises that explore our role as parents. Towards the end of the class, we’ll partner share with other workshop participants to provide one another with feedback. This will be a space open to parent-writer celebrations and complaints alike as well as to all genres of writing.

Category: Multi-Genre

Kundiman Presents: Five Southwest Kundiman Writers Read Work and Share Experiences (3:00 pm - 4:00 pm)

This panel will present a reading and discussion by Kundiman fellows and affiliates from the Southwest. Each panelist will provide a short reading and then discuss the influences and aesthetic goals of their poetry and how participation in Kundiman has informed their work.

Saturday, October 14

Session 1: (9:00 am - 10:30 am)

Invention & Investigation in Speculative Fiction (9:00 am - 10:30 am)

Claire Holroyde

Invention and Investigation in Speculative Fiction is class on generating and researching ideas for grounded, socially-engaged speculative fiction. It will kick off with a craft lecture after which students will participate in a generative workshop. The class will conclude with a question-and-answer period on speculative fiction, or more generally on the writing profession.

Category: Fiction

When The World Is Too Much with Us: Keep Going (9:00 am - 10:30 am)

Laura Van Prooyen

At times when the world feels like just too much, art can offer a glimpse into something that makes us feel less forlorn. In this workshop, we’ll discuss how engaging in the act of creation can offer perspective. We will look at a few example poems then we will use our time together to write and consider possibilities we might open with our own work.

Category: Poetry

Ripple Effect: How to Iterate Your Ideas and Begin to Make a Living from Your Words (9:00 am - 10:00 am)

Yi Shun Lai

Coming up with a great idea always feels like hoarding treasures. But one great idea can yield a lot of material, Participants will learn how to see their ideas in multiple ways, the better to gain more mileage from them--and earn more income. They'll also discuss what it really means to make a living from words. (60 mins)

Category: Multi-Genre/Business of Writing

Fighting Erosion, A Fiction Workshop: Writing toward the Ethics and Aesthetics of a New Literary Regionalism (9:00 am - 10:00 am)

Jonathan Danielson

In this workshop we will try to define what regionalism is and what it can provide to our work in fiction How are we truest to our specific land or place? How do we find or define what that is?

Category: Fiction

Creating Intimacy By Omission: Poetics of the Unsaid (9:00 am - 10:30 am)

Justin Petropoulos 

In this workshop we will focus on the intimacy and connection poets create through secrets and omissions. After looking at some sample poems, we will work through some writing prompts together and leave with drafts that explore different and surprising ways of creating intimacy in a poem. 

Category: Poetry

The Writer’s Life: Practicalities: “Things I Wish I Knew as a Developing Writer” (9:00 am - 10:00 am)

Moderated by Bernadette Smyth and Piper staff

How have missteps and mistakes informed the writing careers we’ve built? What are writers’ favorite tips and secrets? What do editors, agents, and publishers wish writers knew? Audience questions and contributions welcome.

Session 2: (10:45 am - 12:15 pm)

Wash, Repeat: Repetition as an Essential Component in Art (10:45 am - 12:15 pm)

Fady Joudah

With a variety of examples from poetry and prose, this interactive class will explore how repetition, recurrence and creating and breaking patterns is an essential strategy for art.  Participants will leave with new strategies for employing pattern-making as a key of their art-making practice with ideas and insights that can be applied across multiple genres.

Category: Multi-Genre

Care Practices for Writers (10:45 am - 12:15 pm)

Naomi Ortiz

In this generative session we will explore self-care as a support for writing practice. How do we show up to the page when feeling depleted? What tools and techniques can we employ when we get stuck? Through writing prompts and facilitated activities we will investigate and develop methods of care that are designed to nurture participants' lives and work.

Category: Multi-Genre, Self-Care

The Eye and the I: A Generative Ekphrasis Workshop (10:45 am - 12:15 pm)

Sally Ball and Jenny Browne

This class will explore text and image co-conjuring. Jenny Browne (poet and maker of collaged and painted pages) and Sally Ball (poet and frequent collaborator with visual artists) will walk through some examples of visio-textual co-inspiration and then lead class in several generative exercises, providing guidance toward exploring this kind of work further on their own, and some ideas about what it might bring to their writing in general.

Category: Poetry/Multi-Genre

Visual Storytelling: A Guide (10:45 am - 12:15 pm)

Ramona Emerson

This workshop will give writers tips and tools to help them be better visual storytellers. Have you ever really looked at your scene and described it in explicit detail or thought about every element of every character that you are bringing into your world? We will discuss the generation of worlds (the what if's), how music/playlists can help memory muscle, and how to get everything you can out of the characters you're developing.

Category: Multi-genre

Queerdos: Queer Misfits in Contemporary Literature (10:45 am - 12:15 pm)

Kennedy Coyne

In this class we explore queer misfit weirdo characters who exist in the margins, or queerdos. These bodies often have a lot to show us as readers and writers particularly in terms of glimpses of the systems they occupy. The characters’ queerness exists in the fabric and texture of the text in language, structure, and what the writer decides to disclose. What can we learn from reading queerdos and how do we write them?

Category: Fiction/Multi-genre

Panel: Pen Arizona Presents: Ban the Ban: Free Expression and Schools (10:45 am - 11:45 pm)

In honor of Banned Books Week, PEN America's Arizona chapter has assembled thought leaders to discuss the torrent of book bans overtaking the nation, and what can be done to stop this epidemic. 

Poetry Center at University of Arizona Presents: Panel: First Book Discoveries by Tucson Area Writers

Poets Claire Hong, and Logan Phillips and Sara Sams present readings of their work discuss their journeys and discoveries in a conversation moderated by Poetry Center director Tyler Meier and event coordinator Paola Valenzuela.    

Session 3: (1:30 pm - 2:30 pm)

Reading Like a Writer (1:30 pm - 2:30 pm)

Peter Turchi

For this class we'll discuss a short story, extracting a number of tools, techniques, and strategies that can be put to use in your stories or novels.  You will leave with strategies for mining your reading for techniques you can apply in your fiction or creative non-fiction; if time allows, we'll also do a related exercise.

Category: Fiction

Laughter and Defiance: The Power of Disobedience (1:30 pm - 2:30 pm)

Deborah Taffa

In this workshop, we will explore ways to write “the voice of resistance.” There are many reasons to be disobedient in your prose—to raise awareness or give voice to impassioned appeals. But how can we make our defiance work for a broader audience? We will brainstorm disobediences, do exercises, and draft a “disobedient” piece.

Category: Creative Non-fiction/Multi-genre

Default Whiteness: Overcoming Internalized Racism in Crafting a Compelling Story (1:30 pm - 2:30 pm)

Sarah Sheppeck

Diversity, in all of its forms, is at an all-time high, yet contemporary literature rarely reflects that level of diversity. In this class, we will break down terms such as “default whiteness,” discuss the way race is incorporated and navigated by authors ranging from Stephen King to N.K. Jemisin, and brainstorm ways that you - yes, you! - can diversify your fictional worlds without “making everything about race.”

Category: Fiction, Multi-Genre

Poems for the Future: Myth and Spirit Make for Vision and Community (1:30 pm - 2:30 pm)

Patricia Spears Jones

Poems for the Future — Myth and Spirit Make for Vision and Community will allow participants to consider these themes as catalyst for new poems. A series of readings will be provided prior. Let's see if we can start to create the future we want in poetry.

Category: Poetry

What We Talk About When We Talk About Decolonization (1:30 pm - 2:30 pm)

Felicia Rose Chavez, Fady Joudah, Urayoán Noel, Susan Nguyen, and Naomi Ortiz   

When we speak about decolonizing the creative writing workshop, program, or the literary field as a whole what are we talking about?  What are the issues of colonization?  What are the strategies for authentic decolonization?.

Storytelling in a Multi-Media Age (1:30 pm - 2:30 pm)

Robert Boswell, Carroll Cartwright, Victoria Chang, Brandon Hobson, and Marilyn Atlas.

Across all genres new technologies and platforms are influencing how and why we tell stories.  What does this mean for literary form and practice?