The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Conference Schedule Thursday, Feb 20, 2020

While sessions don't officially begin until Friday, February 21, the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference offers a limited number of advanced workshops with selected conference faculty on Thursday, February 20.

Workshops are about three hours long and provide opportunities for deeper learning, closer feedback, and more personalized relationships with conference faculty and fellow attendees.

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

To learn more about advanced workshops, keep reading. 

To learn more about this year's conference, you can view the full schedule, meet our faculty, or register for the conference today

Advanced Workshops on Thursday, February 20

Character Therapy
Tracey Baptiste

Thursday, February 20, 2020, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Join New York Times bestselling author, Tracey Baptiste for an in-depth workshop designed to generate deeper characters, find their unique voice, discover what their motivations are within the story, and see how they interact with other story characters. Designed for writers who are having difficulty with a current draft, or connecting to their characters in a way that enhances the plot. 

Location: Piper Writers House, 450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281
Type: Generative Workshop, Workshop
Genre: Fiction, Mixed Genre, Novels, Short Stories

Trans, Non-binary, and Queer+ Poetry Wonder
TC Tolbert

Thursday, February 20, 2020, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Instead of only turning to Trans, Non-binary, and Queer+ (TNBQ+) writing to learn something about being TNBQ+, in this generative, experiential workshop, we’ll push further to consider and practice a variety of craft choices while immersing ourselves in the vast brilliance of TNBQ+ poetry. Come to read, write, and build community. And expect to be challenged and filled with delight.

Location: Piper Writers House, 450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281
Type: Advanced Workshop, Generative Workshop, Lecture, Workshop
Genre: Experimental, Hybrid, LGBTQIA, Poetry, Sexuality

Discovering What Binds Us Together
Sherwin Bitsui

Thursday, February 20, 2020, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

In this generative poetry writing workshop, we will attempt to enter the creative space by removing ourselves from the written work, thus allowing the poetic image to speak for itself. In this way, we can get outside our drives for individual gain and into areas of articulation that may help us discover something that binds us together.

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

Cultivating Chaos
Cristina García

Thursday, February 20, 2020, 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

How can we encourage our work to unspool in unpredictable, organic ways? To welcome what surprises and disturbs us? To harness wildness without domesticating its energies? To embrace what we only dimly perceive? In Cultivating Chaos, we'll discuss strategies for coaxing the strange, ineluctable, jagged-edged power of the wonderfully, dangerously unexpected into making a lasting, vivid difference in our writing.

Location: Piper Writers House, 450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281
Type: Advanced Workshop, Workshop
Genre: Creative Practice, Mixed Genre, Writing Process

The Transformational Image: A Poetry Workshop
Cathy Linh Che

Thursday, February 20, 2020, 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

What does an image do? How do images move or surprise us? In this writing workshop, we will examine how images shift, transform, and ultimately, move a reader. We will take our “go-to” images and explode them, looking at etymology, mythology, context and association. Finally, through writing prompts & workshop, we will read, write, and workshop poems that use recurring imagery to create tension and surprise.

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