2015 Gathering of Writers Schedule





Intro and Keynote Speech by Scott Russell Sanders

"Writing While the World Burns"



First Gathering Session:


Sarah Layden

#WriteYour Novel
Don't just talk about writing your novel (updating Twitter with hashtags like #amwriting #amnoveling, though your file remains unopened.) Write your novel. This is a session on plot, character, place, point of view, and time. A brief but realistic look at publishing and rejection. And, the story behind the story of Trip Through Your Wires, a novel by session leader Sarah Layden, and new from Engine Books.



Karen Kovacik

On a Continent We No Longer Recognize: Reclaiming Lost Arts in Our Poems 
This workshop will begin with a puzzle: each student will get pieces of a poem by Irish writer Eavan Boland and will experiment with different ways to structure it. We will then read together her version of the poem as a springboard for our own writing about arts that have passed from our lives. Finally, we will consider ordinary objects as memory triggers. Come read and write and get inspired!


William O'Rourke

The New Soapbox: Writing for Free
In a world of declining paying markets for nonfiction, there's always pundit-for-free gigs, online and in the shrinking number of newspapers that exist. How to fashion your opinions into copy, or rather, content- and give it away. Includes book reviewing, though less in demand.









Second Gathering Session:

Ben Winters

How to Use Mystery in Your Fiction
Every good novel is a mystery novel. No matter what the story is, whether it is a human drama or an action/thriller or a Bildungsroman, there are always secrets at the core: secrets of the human heart, secrets of past indiscretions, secrets of buried treasure. Join Edgar award winning mystery novelist Ben H. Winters for a conversation about how (and for how long) to keep your story's secrets hidden, and how to reveal them in the most exciting and satisfying ways.


Elizabeth Weber

Poetry Writing as Revelation
This workshop will focus on poetry writing as memoir. In other words, using poetry as the path to find the emotional truths in our experiences that helped to shape our lives. The writing exercises given in this workshop will focus on that quest for meaning and the journey toward realization and revelation.

Andrew Black

The Play's the Thing
Playwriting is just another form of narrative, but one with some very special constraints!

Learn how to set up the first ten pages of an effective playwriting narrative by focusing on the "protagonist", the "old world order", the "intrusion" and an "MDQ" (Major Dramatic Question). The session will balance interactive lecture, with live examples, creative brainstorming, writing and reading. For non-playwrights who want to re-purpose their skills for a new medium or for playwrights who want to refine their understanding of technique.   






Third Gathering Session:

Sal Pane

The Long Short Story
What makes a good short story? How do you stretch beyond mere flash fiction and write prose that extends to twenty or even thirty pages? In this session, attendees will complete a series of related prompts and assignments designed to prep writers of all skills levels to complete a long short story. By session’s end, each writer will have a detailed outline of their story in addition to an opening segment.

Kevin McKelvey

Words with Friends
Poets can be inspired by a single word, and with social media, online news, and other venues, we see and read more words than ever. In this session, we will explore the multiple ways a single word can lead to a poem. We'll use news articles, dictionary entries, word games, and visual dictionary pages to discuss sound, rhythm, images, and metaphor to help inspire your own poem



Dan Wakefield

Writing the Spiritual Memoir
This workshop will use exercises as keys to evoking memory, using the senses to create credibility, and the practice of "looking close".



“Best of Flying Island, 2014” & Open Mic

© Indiana Writers Center 2012