2013 Gathering Schedule






Intro and Keynote by Christopher Coake

"Point of View:  Voice, Thought, and the Theory of (Fictional) Everything"



First Gathering Session:


Sean Lovelace

The World as Structure: Appropriation Flash Fiction
Complaint letter, a Facebook post (with comments), a list, a recipe, a syllabus, a Monopoly game board, a feedback card for Wendy’s restaurant, on and on (and on again). The entire world is potential scaffolding for the flash fiction genre (fully realized fiction in fewer than 750 words). In this workshop, we will examine multiple forms, quickly reading, critically thinking, and, most significantly, writing, writing, writing. We will "appropriate" our environ to meet our structural needs. Once we obtain this concept as writers, we can leave the workshop with not only new words, but a fresh way of viewing potential frameworks for our future imaginative art.



Sarah Layden

Memoir: From Personal to Public in Five Easy Steps
This session might be for you if 1.) you have a story to tell; 2.) you don't want to write solely about yourself; 3.) you're conscious of what personal details you share with the world; 4.) you still have an interest in engaging with that world; 5.) "taking the me out of memoir" appeals deeply to you. Through exercises, discussion and instruction, your drafting will develop what only you can: your memoir.

Shari Wagner

Breaking the Rules: The Coming of Age Poem
General Douglas MacArthur once said, “You are remembered for the rules you break.” When writing any kind of memoir, whether prose or poetry, it’s helpful to keep in mind that we are not only remembered but shaped by the rules we break, the lines we cross, the times we act against an expectation. In fact, it can be revealing to consider the rules our parents or grandparents broke or the expectations they defied and how their decisions had repercussions for them and us. Participants in this class will look at some imaginative strategies poets have used to fashion coming of age poems and then, with the assistance of a guided exercise, write the rough draft of their own poem






Second Gathering Session:

Lucrecia Guerrero

Create Characters that Breathe: Bring Your Fiction to Life 
You know it when you read it--that sense of real people, really talking, behaving, reacting, feeling.  Is creating complex human-like characters a gift the writer is born with?  No--like many other qualities of good writing, this too can be learned.  We'll look at examples of effective characterization and complete exercises to hone these skills to the point that your characters will come alive for you--and for your reading audience!


Kelsey Timmerman

Truth, Justice, and the Creative Nonfiction Way
Works of creative nonfiction don't just have to do the truth justice; they have to be the truth. Writers of creative nonfiction explore truths through verifiable facts, shaping the narrative using the same tools as writers of fiction: scene, pacing, setting, characterization, etc.. Students will be introduced to these elements and given the opportunity to use them in their own writing and share them in the class. 

Norman Minnick

Possibilities: Writing What's Not on the Page
In this Poetry Writing Workshop we will discuss inspiration and explore the possibilities of the unwritten word.



Third Gathering Session:

Nicole Louise Reid

Right from the Start:  Turning up the Heat in Your Short Story’s Opening
We all know how important first impressions are, so why do we let our stories meander?  In this workshop, we’ll consider published models of gripping openings, then turn a critical eye to your own story’s start to help you truly capture your reader.

Jim McGarrah

Linking Scenes to Themes in Memoir Writing
A theme is the thread that defines the memoir. A memoir is a linked series of events with the same underlying theme. No one wants to know when you, as a crack addict, rode a bicycle for the first time unless riding that bicycle can be linked to the theme of addiction. One way we provide that link and keep a cohesive and coherent narrative arc is through the writing of scenes. The smallest structural element in writing your memoir is a scene, and the largest is your theme. These elements must work together for a memoir to be successful. Knowing your themes helps you locate the scenes that best illustrate it. Scenes bring the reader into your world—to feel it, walk in it, hear, feel, smell, and taste that world. Join me for a discussion of how these crucial elements work together in your writing. Bring paper and pen so we can practice what we preach.


Rob Griffith

Writing the Contemporary Sonnet
For poets, there is always an interest in the interplay between life, imagination, memory, and form; and for this workshop, we’ll talk about the sonnet and how contemporary poets use the form to grapple with the problems people face every day. Through a combination of discussion, exercises, and workshop, we’ll explore the sonnet and get beginners started on writing their own.



Open Mic

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