Thursday, December 7

Home/Thursday, December 7

8:00am: Breakfast

9:00am – 10:30am

Guest Faculty Lecture: Guy Nicolucci (S)

Sketchy. Late-Night sketch comedy is dramatic writing boiled down to its essence: Sketch-writers create a world, introduce a protagonist and antagonist and their conflict — all on the first page. Then they’ve got just three or four more pages to resolve (or destroy) it all.  And they do this while getting laughs. Guy Nicolucci will break down and analyze sketch-writing technique, using examples from Saturday Night Live, Key and Peele, Inside Amy Schumer, etc. and show that if you can write sketch comedy, you’ll have the tools necessary to write drama or comedy of any length.

Room: Salon 4

 9:00am – 10:30am

Guest Faculty Lecture: Rachel Kann (P)

The Poetry of Memory. Join poet Rachel Kann for this quick-and-deep dive into memory and emotions, all in service of creating rich, textured and real experiences for your readers, no matter what genre you write within. We will embark on two guided writing exercises and discuss the process. You’ll leave this workshop with two brand new pieces of writing, and learn about the gift in “remembering what you remember when you let yourself remember.”

Room: Salon 6

10:30am – 12:00pm

Faculty Lecture: Rob Roberge (F)

The Genre of Literary Fiction. Just like crime or fantasy or romance, there are subcategories of literary fiction, with their own conventions and tropes. In this talk, Rob will break down the genres, explain their use and misuse, and how to identify where in the world your work fits.

Room: Salon 4

10:30am – 12:00pm

Guest Faculty Lecture: Megan Stielstra (NF)

A Screaming Comes across the Sky: Crafting a Powerful Opening

Not in Your Head But Your Bones: Writing the Personal Essay

This workshop focuses on the personal essay and its importance in our world. We’ll start with the gut—what do you need to tell, the memories and questions that live not in your head but your bones—and then move to craft—how to tell our own stories in ways that are equally urgent to an audience. Pulling from both literary and oral storytelling traditions, we’ll engage in a series of activities to get our stories out of the body and onto the page, encouraging risk and discovery and examining literary craft in new ways. How does telling a story aloud heighten our understanding of its movement and structure? How does the presence of an immediate audience influence the rewriting process? What the hell do we do with these things once they’re written, and how do we keep the writing going?

Room: Salon 6


12:00pm – 1:00pm: Lunch


1:15pm – 2:30pm

Guest Faculty Lecture: Michael Besman (S)

From Pitch to Project. Producer Michael Besman has been making films and TV for decades. In this talk, we’ll go from pitch to project with him, as he discusses the successes and failures of scripts, pilots, and series. He’ll give you the golden ticket.*

*okay, probably not, but you’ll understand how certain projects end up greenlit and others languish. In conversation with John Schimmel.

Room: Salon 6

1:15pm – 2:30 pm

Faculty Lecture: Tod Goldberg (F)

The Art of Subtext. We’ll talk about what’s not said, how not to say it, and how subtext creates the vibrancy of real life in your fiction, using examples from across the literary spectrum, including film and TV.

Room: Salon 4


Graduate Lecture: Arturo Urrutia (F)

Difficult Texts: Broadening the Conflict Spectrum. Difficult texts are those books that take an effort to read because they are complex or are repellent to our sensibilities. They create a tension between the text and the reader that can rise to the level of the traditional conflicts that we’ve all been taught since grade school. What’s the purpose of this tension and how do you create it in a story? I will go through some of the reasons we might want to allow the tension to spill over between the text and the reader and five techniques used in novels to disrupt the narrative in a way that makes a text more interesting: manipulation of narrative speed, the irritating narrator, the grotesque, graphic violence and break of ontological assumptions.

Room: Salon 4


Graduate Lecture: Dein Sofley (F)

Fool’s Gold: The Hidden Value of an Unreliable Narrator. What compels readers to engage with a narrator who they know is naïve, deranged, biased or lying? How does an author convince the reader to corroborate with the text when the narrator’s norms contend with their own? By exploring unreliable narrators in contemporary novels and the works of cognitive theorists, we will discover ways to construct a story that uses an unreliable narrator, discuss the rules of engagement, explore the different types of unreliable narrators and the techniques that persuade a reader to become an accomplice.

Room: Salon 4



Spring Graduate Meeting. All students graduating in Spring 2018 are required to attend this important meeting in Salon 3.

Room: Salon 3


Evening Program: The Art of the Personal Essay: Carina Chocano and Megan Stielstra in conversation with Maggie Downs

Room: Salon 6