The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Conference Schedule 2019

Conference Schedule 2019

Saturday, February 23, 2019, 1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

The Art of Contemporary Nonfiction Panel with Fernanda Santos, Yvette Johnson, Mike Conklin, Walonda Williams

Date(s): Saturday, February 23, 2019, 1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Carson Ballroom, Old Main (view map)
Genre and Form(s): Creative Nonfiction, Journalism
Tags: n/a

About the Session

In a world where the boundaries between fact and fiction are constantly blurred, where does creative nonfiction fit in at this moment in history? How do writers bring the story of the individual to life? What are the intricacies of writing characters who are real people? How does writing the factual impact the creative process? Spanning journalism, memoir, research, and essays, Fernanda Santos, Yvette Johnson, and Mike Conklin will discuss the unique challenges, complexities, and ultimate rewards of writing the real.

Meet the Presenter(s)

Desert Nights Rising Stars Writers Conference Faculty 2019 Fernanda Santos
Fernanda Santos teaches narrative journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She joined Cronkite after 12 years at The New York Times, including five as its Phoenix Bureau chief.
Desert Nights Rising Stars Writers Conference Faculty 2019 Yvette Johnson
Yvette Johnson is an accomplished writer, filmmaker, speaker, and the Executive Director of the Booker Writer Project which facilitates workshops on unconscious bias. Her memoir, The Song and the Silence, was published in 2017.
Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference Fellow 2019 Mike Conklin

Mike Conklin is a career journalist, whose feature, news and daily column writing was familiar to Chicago Tribune readers for three-plus decades. His assignments were local, national and international, often appearing in Tribune Syndication distributed to over 300 newspapers. Other work appeared in the New York Times, Encyclopedia of Chicago, Encyclopedia of American Journalism, History Magazine, textbooks, and a variety of other publications. 

Piper Writers Studio Instructor Walonda Williams

Proud to be a Phoenix resident for five years, Walonda Williams hails from Detroit, Michigan, where she graduated with a BFA in theater from Wayne State University. Williams recently completed her MBA, specializing in project management, from Strayer University. Through flash memoir, poetry, short stories and staged-plays, Williams provides an otherworldly perspective and employs organic process, unleashing the marginalized voice. She trusts that transformative writing can shift painful pasts into dynamic action.