Sunday, December 4

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Books will be sold today

8:00am: Breakfast


9:00am – 10:30am

Guest Faculty Lecture: Marisa Silver (Fiction)

Good Beginnings: The opening of a novel or a story has to do more than snag a reader’s attention. Through the precise use of language and image, it must suggest authorial intention, narrative distance, and tone. The first gestures toward character ought to create a sense of urgency in the reader, a need to know how this person will react under the pressure of whatever drama will unfold. Without being coy or patently manipulative, an opening must offer and withhold at the same time. In this class, we will deconstruct a number of openings in order to understand how various authors have dealt with this challenge. At the end, students will use what they have observed and write their own openings.

Room: Salon 4

9:00am – 10:30am

Guest Faculty Lecture: Maret Orliss (All)

Room: Salon 3

Beyond the Reviews: Creating a Public Persona as an Author. The ways a consumer finds out about your book are myriad, and as an author, it’s your job to create and establish an identity and personality that makes you accessible, to some degree, to the book buying public as well as to event professionals, media, and more. From creating a website, to your presence on social media, to how and when to network and pitch yourself, this presentation will provide clarity as to the importance of having a public facing brand and the various ways you can do it that feel comfortable and natural to you.

9:15am – 10:30am

Guest Faculty Lecture: Lauren Barnett (Screenwriting)

Room: Salon 6

From Spec to Staff. You’ve been waiting for your big break. This is how it happens. A candid conversation about breaking in and staying in the writing room.


Guest Faculty Lecture: Ben Ehrenreich (Nonfiction)

Room: Salon 6

The Politics of Objectivity: There is perhaps no single concept at once more controversial and more fundamental to the understanding of journalism in the United States than objectivity. Whether they accept and endorse it, critique it, or thoroughly reject it, objectivity informs and defines journalists’ relation to the subjects of their work, to the texts they produce, to their audience, and to their understanding of the role of the media in a democracy. Ben Ehrenreich will explore–and debunk–the concept, its history, its politics, and its implications for telling the truth with the written word.


Guest Faculty Lecture: Moises Velez (Screenwriting)

Room: Salon 4

Writing Content For Streaming Media. With more and more content moving directly online, it’s difficult to know precisely what the studios, larger and small, are looking for from screenwriters. In this talk, we’ll hear from Warner Bros. executive Moises Velez, who oversees original scripted work for the studio’s new OTT service.


Guest Faculty Lecture: Adam Deutsch (Poetry, Publishing)

Room: Salon 3

The Place Where You Write. We live with the mythology that our writing places are sacred, and that we must be alone in those places. As Richard Hugo writes in The Triggering Town, there are writers who “take some things far more seriously than other people,” and it becomes necessary for us to move beyond a process of solitude, and be engaged in the community where you write. Engagement might have to go beyond silent observation and casual attendance. This is a conversation where we consider and explore our identities and activity in our communities, and what that can do for our writing.

12:00pm – 1:00pm: Lunch

1:15-4:15pm Cross-Genre Workshops

Classes will be held in the Las Flores Conference Center

Salons 1, 2, and 8 are located in the main conference and meeting area

Birnbaum: Lavender

Crane/Graham Jones/Roberge: Begonia

Essbaum: Iris

McCann: Jasmine

Otis/Waters: Larkspur

Rabkin: Lavender

Schimmel: Hibiscus

Stillman: Primrose

Ulin: Lantana


Graduate Lecture: David Martinez (Fiction)

Room: Salon 4

The Role of Truth in Autobiographical Fiction: “…it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.”One of the beauties of fiction is that it can tell—and perhaps should tell—the truth, even when the author may not be able to. It also gives the writer freedoms that strict non-fiction may not allow—in other words, it gives the writer the right to make it weird. From Eileen Miles to Jorge Luis Borges, Kurt Vonnegut to Tim O’Brian, and perhaps a little Nabokov too, we can dissect what it means to find the truth in autobiographical fiction through the lies, and how to make it weird.


Graduate Lecture: Luke Yankee (Screenwriting)

Room: Salon 4

Loving to Hate/Hating to Love: The Dynamics of the “Betrayal Film” If the language of Hollywood cinema is a microcosm for the world at large, everyone loves to see someone else’s rise and fall.   We admire and worship them on their ascent, but when they get too successful, we want to see them taken down. In the world of screenwriting, there are a number of successful scripts where one of the leading characters causes another’s downfall through deceit, blackmail, betrayal or other means…and yet, we don’t hate them for it.  In these “betrayal films”, it is the screenwriter’s task to create enough empathy on both sides so that we see the whole equation. In this lecture, we will discuss how a successful screenwriter achieves this and examine the psychology of a blackmailer through examples of some classic films.


Evening program: Publishing Roundtable with Dan Smetanka, Olivia Taylor Smith, Rayhane Sanders (Publishing/Agent)

Room: Salon 6