This Year’s Event – April 18, 2020

Schedule

8:45-9:15–Check-in

9:30-11:00–Workshop Session I

11:15-1:15–Lunch and In-Conversation—Publishing Panel with Blue Nile Press, I Street Press, Tule Review, and others

1:30-3:00–Workshop Session II

3:15-4:15–The Mindful Muse—Large Group Writing Activity with Lesley and Jessilyn Gale

Workshop Descriptions

“New Eyes” with Lisa Dominguez Abraham—“The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust—We all have a life story we tell by touching the same details each time and concluding in a lesson we have engrained into ourselves. In this workshop, we’ll seek surprise by exploring hidden aspects of a familiar story and use them to draft a new poem.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Life: Shifting Perspectives with JoAnn Anglin—Poets often reveal deeper truths about a situation or person by using metaphors and analogies to depict a memory’s different facets in time’s passage, or by shifting the expected focus. JoAnn will show you how to use these techniques in telling your life story.

Establishing Setting: Using Research Skills to Unlock the Past with Emily Bond—In both memoir and other creative writing genres, we take our readers on a journey into the world of our characters, selves, or loved ones. Make that world rich and real by gathering historical facts and details to describe the environment, events, customs, dress, and habits of the period. Learn how to employ historical research skills to explore the past, and use uncovered facts to establish setting and environment in your writing.

The People in Our Lives: Details Tell Their Stories with Marcus Crowder—In this workshop, participants will go through a couple of exercises searching for visual descriptive scenes which reveal character and then work on developing one of them in depth with descriptive details.

Writing the Garden with Dale Flynn—For centuries humans have gardened—for food, for solace. And we all have gardens—if only a flowerpot on the sill or a view of the neighbor’s roses. In this workshop we will consider the many ways we look at gardens and the ways we use them in writing. We will look at them as metaphors and as holders of place.

Seven Ways In: Turning your attention to a writing prompt with Bob Stanley—Finding our way into the mind-set of inspiration can be a challenge in a hectic life. This workshop will give you seven prompts for “quickwrites,” with a goal of helping writers find more prompts for the future. The theory here is the more attempts you make, the more work you eventually produce. When you start creating your own prompts, building your own puzzles to solve, you’ll be more likely to find inspiration in the time you spend writing and revising your poems and stories.

The Four Do’s and Three Don’ts of Using Descriptive Language to Tell Your Story with Marie Taylor—A picture is worth a thousand words! As writers that means we can use descriptive language to portray the people, places, and events of our life. The appearance of our family home, the music we danced to, the fashions we wore, and the sound of the train whistle as it pulled out of town can all contribute to the richness of the narrative. When we understand and use the techniques of descriptive writing, our life experiences come alive. Through discussion and exercises we will explore the four do’s and three don’ts of descriptive writing to enrich our stories.

Your Life in Context: Adding Insight to Your Story through Research with Kate Washington—In this workshop, we will discuss how writers can approach situating their own life story in a broader context. We will discuss why writers might want to incorporate research elements to broaden the scope and vision of their memoir, to discuss relevant issues or offer social critique, to include meaningful artifacts or primary sources (such as family history), to create a powerful braided narrative, or as a meaningful counterpoint to personal memories. The workshop, based in part on the workshop leader’s experience writing her forthcoming book, will include examples of personal essays and memoir grounded in research (including a list for further reading); discussion of research methods and how to use and credit sources ethically; a craft discussion on incorporating researched materials artfully; and a brainstorming session for participants.