Tuesday, December 11

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8:00am: Breakfast

9:00-10:30: Guest Faculty Lecture: Lee Cohn (S)

A Brief History Of the Independent Feature…And What To Do When Making One

We’re going to talk about: 1. What is Independent Film? A brief history, and then how indie film operates today. 2. Writing for the Indie market: What to write, what not to write, difference between Indie and studio, even with specs. 3. The business of Indie films right this very instant.  Salon 6

9:00-10:30: Guest Faculty Lecture: Tyrell Johnson (F)

How to Make the Magic Work: A look at the use of magic in modern day literature and a discussion of the best practices in world-building, magic systems, and how to get your readers to follow you down the rabbit hole. Salon 6

9:00-10:30: Guest Faculty Lecture: Ruth Nolan (P)

ECOLOGY OF A POEM – Using Narration to Explore Poetic Landscapes. Poet Natalie Diaz tells us that in her Mojave culture, “Mojave song-maps do not draw borders or boundaries, do not say this is knowable, or defined, or mine. Instead our maps use language to tell about our movements and wonderings (not wanderings) across a space, naming what has happened along the way while also compelling us toward what is waiting to be discovered, where we might go and who we might meet or become along the way.” Likewise, a poet might approach the craft of writing poems by considering the ecology, the deep relations and connections between their own poetic landscapes, in the sense of crafting their own storied – narrated – poetic word-maps. Rather than naming or defining, writing poetry might be considered more in the activation of discovery and possibility and wonderment in the explorations of the implied relationships between the poet and the ecologic fabrics of their chosen cultural and geographic landscapes, and the excitement of what is, and what might be. In this workshop, we’ll look at the role of narrative voice and technique in poetry by Diaz, as well as works by other poets – Javier Zamora, Charles Bukowski, Joy Harjo, Robert Frost –to explore how these poets use narrative story-mapping techniques in their poems. We will then embark on using these examples as the anchoring place for starting a poem or two of our own. Be ready to explore and be ready to explore your own poetic word-scape. Salon 3

10:30-12:00: Guest Faculty Lecture: Debbie Graber (F)

Writing Thematically Linked Short Stories

Putting together a book of stories linked by a theme is harder than you might imagine…but don’t worry, we’ll figure out how to do it right here, in 90 minutes. Salon 5

10:30-12:00:  Guest Faculty Lecture: Bryan Burch (PL)

Adapting Classic Works for the Stage

You just read a Greek tragedy and you think: I’d like to turn that into a play. Well guess what? You can. In this talk, we’ll discuss how to adapt a classic work for the stage. Like, say, Virgil’s Aeneid with songs from the Go-Gos…Salon 3

10:30-12:00: Faculty Lecture: David Ulin (NF)

Writing the Op-Ed

You’re mad as hell. You should probably write about it for your local newspaper. We’ll tell you how. Salon 6

12:00-1:00pm: Lunch

1:15-4:15 Cross-Genre Workshops

Birnbaum: Hibiscus

Crane: Begonia

Essbaum: Jasmine

Malkin: Lantana

McCann: Gardenia

Roberge: Iris

Rabkin: Lavender

Schimmel: Larkspur

Stillman: Primrose

Ulin: Plumeria


4:30: Graduate Lecture: Catrina Lim (F)

Making a Name for Your Characters

Writing is complex. With all the worries about plot, conflict, setting, style and character growth, the thoughts of what to name a character often gets pushed down low on the priority list. After all, “that which we call a rose by another word would smell as sweet,” right? Wrong. No matter how boring names seem, they can become iconic: there will be no other James Bond or Humbert Humbert. In this lecture, we will investigate how names affect reader impression of character, setting, culture, and even set the tone of the whole book. Join me in going through the process of naming a character and see how a good name can make a great book better and how it can all go terribly wrong.


5:15: Graduate Lecture: Ashley Khatkhate (F)

Authenticity of Voice: The Challenges of Writing Outside Your Race and Gender in Fiction:  Now that you’ve found your voice, how authentic is it? Today’s publishing industry and readers are calling for more diversity, but who should attempt it, is like playing a game of Truth or Dare. Because you will be called out by critics for being inauthentic. Writing outside one’s ethnicity or gender is not new in fiction, and the various well-known authors from the past who have tried it with their protagonists and succeeded, are important lessons for the modern world of fiction. Not just in craft, but how to read such a work without summing it up as “racist.” At their core, these various pieces of fiction covered race relations and gender roles. A writer’s job is to make up characters. So would those same famous authors be able to get away with it now? Yes, because of their authenticity, and we will talk about how they did it.


8:00: Evening Program: Screening Roundtable