Wednesday, December 12

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Books will be sold today

8:00am: Breakfast

9:00-10:30: Guest Faculty Lecture: Liska Jacobs (F)

Where Does Your Story Take Place?

Setting is one of my favorite things about writing and reading but often treated as secondary to plot and protagonist. It’s the compelling details in a scene that heighten tension in the story—the blowing of the Santa Ana Winds in Joan Didion’s Play It As It Lays, the changing from day to night in Raymond Carver’s short story What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. In this lecture, we’ll explore how the setting is inextricably linked to character and plot, and we’ll do a writing exercise that will enrich the sensory details in your settings while building characterization elements. This should help all students, whether you’re working on fantasy, contemporary or a space odyssey. Salon 5


9:00-10:30 Guest Faculty Lecture: Senta Scarborough (NF)

Writing Freelance

While you’re busy selling your life’s passion…you still gotta eat. In this lecture, we’ll discuss how to carve out a successful freelance writing career for magazines, newspapers, and websites. Salon 6


9:00-10:30 Guest Faculty Lecture: John Schimmel & Joshua Malkin (S)

The Future of Reality: Writing Video Games

If you’re a screenwriter and aren’t prepared to write for the video game market…you’re not prepared to write. It’s not just the next wave…it’s already here. In this talk, we’ll talk about the biggest elements in the form and how to get yourself in position to succeed in this burgeoning form. Salon 3


10:30-12:00: Guest Faculty Lecture: Xach Fromson (All)

Creating Your Own Reading Series

The creator of Shades & Shadows tells you how he went from an idea into a local LA favorite to a national brand, all in just a few short years. Salon 3


10:30-12:00: Faculty Lecture: Elizabeth Crane (F)

Addressing Current or Timely Events in Short Fiction

This lecture will focus on how to create work with an eye on using your individual voice to have an impact on a larger conversation. I will point students toward the work of contemporary writers such as Kanishk Tharoor, Daniel Olivas, Dana Johnson and others as models of some unique ways we can work with timely material. Salon 5


10:30-12:00: Guest Faculty Lecture: Emily Rapp Black (NF)

ABCs/123s: Creative Nonfiction and Making the Personal Matter

What exactly do we mean by “personal” or “topical” narratives?  We’ll keep these in mind as well as other issues we’ll talk about in a minute. Where does creative nonfiction intersect with fiction and poetry? The masters import the most useful components of each form into the others: the clarity and momentum of fiction into poetry; poetry’s economy of language into fiction and nonfiction; and the perspective, restraint and applicability of creative nonfiction into all writing. We will explore the concept of “truth,” and how and whether honesty matters for essayists. Directness, irony and perspective are key, as is the ability to structure your writing so that it happens in an order that’s logical, engaging, and propulsive. Salon 6


12:00pm-1:00pm: Lunch


1:15-4:15: Main Genre Workshops


Crane/Essbaum: Begonia

Goldberg: Hibiscus

Malkin:  Lantana

McCann: Gardenia

Otis:  Larkspur

Rabkin & Schimmel:  Lavender

Roberge: Iris

Smith:  Primrose

Stillman/Ulin: Plumeria & Salon 8

(Deanne & David will meet separately with their students on Saturday and Sunday, together on Monday, Wednesday, & Friday)

Waters:  Jasmine


4:30: Graduate Lecture: David Olsen (F)

The first page: An analysis of successful openings, craft choices, and where to begin your novel.   There are myriad craft techniques to consider when beginning a novel, and there are lots of great examples of successful openings (and we will look at these). But where do we begin with this amorphous concept that we have floating around in our heads. In this presentation, we will go through a brief exercise designed to help you sort through your novel’s 5-act structure that will, in turn, guide you toward that opening scene, and the craft elements that best support your vision.


 5:15: Graduate Lecture: Madeline Wentworth (F)

The Emerging Niche of Queer Literature

More and more LGBTQIA+ characters are showing up in media each year and it’s awesome. We will discuss queerness as central to the plot versus noncentral, the positives and negatives of both approaches, and the universal themes that can touch queer and non-queer people alike.


Dark Night