The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Conference Schedule 2018

When Words Won't Come
Jac Jemc, Malka Older, Amy K. Nichols

Thursday, February 22, 2018, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
What happens when the page stretches out in front of you and the words remain stagnant? How do you bring yourself to write when the words just won’t flow? All writers have ideas and hesitations on where to begin. Learn from these authors on how to spin stories from the everyday and how the act of writing becomes as important as the writing itself.
Location: Heritage, University Club
Type: Panel
Genre: Mixed Genre, Writing Life

Exploring the Unsayable Through Sound
Jenny Johnson

Thursday, February 22, 2018, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Writing sound-driven poems can allow us a way into writing about that which feels hard to say or express. In this session, we will consider how sound effects meaning in a few poems, attending to what Robert Pinsky calls a poem’s “audible web.” Then, we will do a writing exercise where you will have a chance to experiment with sound, letting it be your guide as you explore a subject matter that you’re struggling to tackle.

Location: Thoren, University Club
Type: Discussion, Generative Workshop, Presentation
Genre: Poetry

Tiny Package, Big Punch: Flash Memoir and the Art of Concision
Rosemarie Dombrowski

Thursday, February 22, 2018, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

The tools of the trade remain relatively the same, but the size of the package—when it comes to writing “flash”—forces us to distill our stories into palatable, 750-word bites. Think of them as appetizers for your longer works, parts/chapters of a longer whole, or simply an exercise in brevity and lyrical concision. In this session, we’ll discuss the features of the form as well as a few recent flashes from Brevity magazine.

Location: Basha, Old Main
Type: Presentation
Genre: Creative Nonfiction, Flash, Memoir

Erotic and Aesthetic Distance (On Henri Michaux and Anais Nin)
Kevin McIlvoy

Thursday, February 22, 2018, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

In this session, we will focus on selected examples from the works from Henri Michaux and Anais Nin, writers whose sense of erotic distance and aesthetic distance is instructive. We will focus upon selections from Henri Michaux, Selected Writings (New Directions, paperback) and Anais Nin, Under a Glass Bell (Swallow Press / Ohio University Press).

Location: Traditions, University Club
Type: Presentation
Genre: Fiction, Mixed Genre

Haunting: Mining Memory to Add Depth and Intrigue
Jac Jemc

Thursday, February 22, 2018, 2:45 to 3:45 p.m.

From the absences of Sappho to the specters of Henry James, the idea of haunting presents itself in many forms throughout literature. In this session we'll explore haunting as narrative driver and resonance builder. Whether you're interested in building a traditional ghost story, a tale of unrequited love or lingering grief, or lacing your work with outside influences, this session will help anyone looking for ways of building theme and image-based collateral in a variety of genres.

Location: Basha, Old Main
Type: Presentation
Genre: Fiction, Mixed Genre

The Lyric Impulse
Stephen Kuusisto

Thursday, February 22, 2018, 2:45 to 3:45 p.m.

We live in a time of hybrid forms when creative writers are exploring lyric prose in striking ways. In this session, poet and memoirist Stephen Kuusisto will share examples drawn from lyric essays that not only bridge the gap between poetry and prose, but also demonstrate how the writer finds new imaginative ground. Writing prompts will also be shared.

Location: Tooker, Old Main
Type: Presentation
Genre: Creative Nonfiction, Hybrid, Memoir, Poetry

Writer's Voice on Graphic Nonfiction
Kristen Radtke

Thursday, February 22, 2018, 2:45 to 3:45 p.m.

In this discussion-based session, learn about one author’s views and perspectives on graphic nonfiction, including recommendations for writers pursuing the genre, how releasing the first graphic novel has impacted the author’s life, and how the worlds of art director and author meld/don’t meld together as a career.

Location: Thoren, University Club
Type: Discussion, Presentation
Genre: Comics, Creative Nonfiction, Graphic Novels, Memoir

Crisis Creates Us: The Three Act Structure
Daniel José Older

Thursday, February 22, 2018, 2:45 to 3:45 p.m.

An in-depth look at narrative structure and how to make each section stand on its own and function in the larger story.

Location: Traditions, University Club
Type: Presentation
Genre: Fiction

The Devil's in the Details
Charlie Jane Anders, Tara Ison, Bill Konigsberg

Thursday, February 22, 2018, 2:45 to 3:45 p.m.
Writing fiction requires intense engagement from the author with specific attention on the intricacies of the world in which their characters live. How do you bring a scene to life? What can you do as a writer to weave your reader in, and make them feel right alongside the protagonist, in the stockroom, on the boat, or in the living room? How do authors who strive for some degree of scientific accuracy, keep the drama in cohesion with the realities of a gradual or methodical progression of the story?
Location: Heritage, University Club
Type: Panel
Genre: Fiction, Mixed Genre

Reception

Thursday, February 22, 2018, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.

More information coming soon

Location: Carson Ballroom, Old Main
Type: Reception
Genre:

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