The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Conference Schedule 2019

While the 2019 Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference doesn't officially begin until Friday, February 22, advanced workshops with selected conference faculty will take place Thursday, February 21 in the Piper Writers House.

Please note: advanced workshops are not included in the conference registration and are subject to additional fees. 

For more information, you can view advanced workshops below. You can also view this year's schedule, meet our faculty, ovisit the registration page.

Thursday, February 21

Multiplying Language: The Art of Codeswitching and Bilingualism in Creative Writing
Achy Obejas

Thursday, February 21, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

How do you approach creative writing in a multilingual landscape? Join critically acclaimed author, translator, and educator, Achy Obejas, to explore how authors use codeswitching, bilingualism and multiple languages in the same text to highlight culture, the necessity of home languages, and to demonstrate new creative paths for their writing. When and how do we codeswitch? To what to end do we use codeswitching in our art? What does it mean for our single language readers when these techniques are employed?

Location: Piper Writers House, 450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281
Type: Advanced Workshop, Generative Workshop, Workshop
Genre: Mixed Genre, Translation, World Literature

How to Survive Your Novel
Ramona Ausubel

Thursday, February 21, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Starting a novel is hard. Finishing a novel seems nearly impossible. And the middle, well, the middle is a thousand years long. But! But! There are things you can do to turn walls into doorways and keep you moving forward. Join award winning novelist, Ramona Ausubel, in a course on discussing strategies for survival in writing your novel and for keeping the process fun, inventive and full of life. This workshop consists of both moments of lecture and exercises, so be prepared to learn, talk, engage, and put your thoughts and ideas on the page!

Location: Piper Writers House, 450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281
Type: Generative Workshop, Lecture, Workshop
Genre: Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Hybrid, Novels

Writing Away from a Good/Evil Binary
Hanif Abdurraqib

Thursday, February 21, 2019, 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

We too often rely on a “good/bad” binary to shape our characters and considerations in our stories. How do our complexities as human beings find their way to the page? In this generative workshop, join poet, essayist, and cultural critic, Hanif Abdurraqib, on an exploration on empathy and the dynamics of character in popular culture. The group will use an empathy tree in which participants figure out which characters in popular culture they find empathetic or non-empathetic.

Location: Piper Writers House, 450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281
Type: Advanced Workshop, Generative Workshop, Workshop
Genre: Poetry

Writing Down the Demons
Deborah Miranda

Thursday, February 21, 2019, 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

How do we summon creative power in the face of our personal and/or global demons? How can we speak of beauty when our world seems full of loss, grief, climate change, and political turmoil?  Thich Nhat Hanh says that the work of meditation is to transform “compost into flowers”; that is also the work of poetry.  This generative workshop will help you to re-see your demons as a form of poetic compost.

Location: Piper Writers House, 450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281
Type: Advanced Workshop, Generative Workshop, Workshop
Genre: Poetry