Fiction, Patricia Henley
Writing the Memorable Short Story
This workshop is about possibilities and choices short story writers make. You may bring a draft of a story already written or you may come with only an idea for a story. In early drafts, everything you write should feel malleable. We will focus on how to use the tools of craft—point-of-view, sensory description, character development, your sense of place, and structure–to make your story publishable and unforgettable.
Poetry, Phillis Levin
Powers of Syntax
This poetry workshop explores the shape-shifting powers of syntax across lines, stanzas, and entire poems. Syntax, the arrangement of words forming a sentence, is inseparable from what those words convey in relation to each other. Since a poem’s primary unit is the line, composing a poem elicits creative tension between lineation and sentence pattern: this dynamic amplifies the forces the syntax sets in motion. In drafts of poems you bring to workshop and through in-class writing exercises, we will experiment with the fragment, if/then construction, parallelism, and the rhetorical technique called anaphora. A packet of touchstone poems (circulated in advance) will highlight syntactical strategies that offer ways to suspend time, increase expectation and surprise, and re-orient the reader’s experience. Be ready to play with possibilities of the line as a measure of breath, rhythm, and thought.
Raising the Dead: Research As Creative Intervention, Angela Pelster
This workshop will be a supportive discussion and examination of participant’s writing, as well as an exploration of some of the major forms and styles within the genre.
Sailing From This to That: A Youth Writing Workshop, Eva Freeman
In this workshop, high school-aged conference attendees will explore the craft of the personal essay, short story, and poem. Participants will develop the intimate tone that is the hallmark of good nonfiction and its interplay of summary, musing, and scene. We will also explore the building blocks of a solid short story: plot, characterization, setting, and dialogue. There will be several writing prompts and exercises to practice developing these elements. While we will also generate new material, participants are encouraged to bring poems, essays, or short stories to be workshopped.
Fiction, Nadeem Zaman
In this workshop we will practice writing characters through action and detail. Stories are
more about events that happen to people. If we like the people, if we identify with the people, if
we recognize the people, we are like going to be compelled to read about those events. How do
we create characters readers will be interested in? How do we avoid clichés, stereotypes, or one-