Wilkes University

Conference Schedule

Friday, Aug. 4

9 to 10:00 a.m.

Plenary Session: Communication is Communion
Jason Carney | Dorothy Dickson Darte Center 

This writing workshop, open to all genres, will focus on writing epistolary poems. Participants will discuss head/heart thinking in writing and performance. 

Bookfair and author signing hosted by Barnes & Noble
Jason Carney, four-time National Poetry Slam Finalist and performance poet |
Dorothy Dickson Darte Center

10:30 to 11:15 a.m.

Craft Class - Character Development: Writing a Goal Statement
Jennifer Bokal | Breiseth 106
Great characters remain with readers long after a book has been read. But how do authors create fictional people who resonate with readers? In a word, characters must want something. By having characters with a goal, readers are invited on the journey. The story also gains inherent conflict and the plot is propelled forward. Through several exercises, participants will devise a backstory and goal statement for one character and leave the session knowing how to effectively use these tools.

Performance - Higher Intelligence in Light
Richard Aston | Kirby Salon
A recital of poems beginning with the famous command, “Let there be light” through to the invention of artificial light and intelligence that has emerged through the enlightenment and the rise of science and technology, resulting in our search for higher intelligence not only in outer space, but in machines as well.

Panel - The Contingent Writing Life: Discovering Balance
Tyler Grimm, Vito Gulla, Bernie Kovacs, and Jeff Minton | Breiseth 107
Writers often find themselves working as low-paying temporary or part time faculty while endeavoring for a permanent academic post. These panelists share their experiences, challenges, strategies, and successes.

Panel - Editors
Phil Brady, Lenore Hart, David Poyer, Bill Schneider, and Donna Talarigo - Moderator:  Dr. Bonnie Culver | Breiseth 213
Editors from small, independent literary presses discuss the state of the industry. Bring your questions for these publishing professionals to answer. This panel will also be offered on Saturday at 3:00 p.m.

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Craft Class - Only YOU Can Prevent Boring Writing!
Todd McClimans | Breiseth 106
Are you ready to take the boring out of student writing time? This interactive session and discussion will focus on engaging students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade in authentic writing experiences that meet the PA Core standards and builds writers. This craft class will also be offered on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

Panel - How to Win Contests and Impress Editors: What to Do and Not Do When Submitting Your Work for Prizes or Publications
Lenore Hart, David Poyer, Bill Schneider, and Barbara Taylor | Breseith 107
This panel of editors, publishers, and experienced writing contest judges discuss the best ways to get your work seriously considered. The panel will discuss common errors to avoid with submissions.

Craft Class - Writing for Stage vs. Writing for Page
Jan Quackenbush | Breiseth 213
What do you see or hear when you are writing? Playwrights commonly evoke characters, settings, and sounds. This craft class will explore ways on how to achieve strong insight and vivid clarity as you write. This craft class will also be offered on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

Lunch on your own
Please see a list of restaurant suggestions in your registration folder.

2 to 2:45 p.m.

Workshop - Getting Out of Neutral: How to Defeat the Dreaded Blank Page and Get Your Novel in Gear
Chris Campion | Breiseth 106
How to tackle the problem of starting the first few pages of a novel: this workshop will dissect specific techniques, including voice, tone, POV, stylistic approaches, and overall sense of momentum.

Panel - ‘Girl’ Gone Wild: What the Feminization of the Thriller Means for Writers
Bethanne Patrick, Laura Ellen Scott, and Sarah K. Stephens | Breiseth 213
This panel will discuss current trends in the popular thriller genre, including the essentials for crafting quality female protagonists and plotting that exemplifies issues relevant to the newest thriller readers.

Workshop – Poetry + Music = Creativity
Rashidah Ismaili AbuBakr | Breiseth 316
Using selected snippets of recorded music, we will create poems during the session. Participants may bring in an original poem or one of their chosen poets to read with musical accompaniment. A new way of experiencing the joys of poetry and creativity. This workshop will also be offered on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.

Craft Class - Tap into Pure, Creative Energy to Expand Your Writing Abilities
Marsha Warren Mittman | Breiseth 107
Cutting edge science confirms Dr. C. G. Jung's collective unconscious, and through various guided exercises, writers learn to tap into this deep, intuitive creative space. These tools can be used anywhere, by anyone, at any time.

3 to 3:45 p.m.

Craft Class - Write Like Hemingfaulkwayner
Karen Dwyer and Ivan Rodden | Breiseth 106
This craft class will use exercises to engage deep description as well as quick summation to help writers discover the benefits of both types of writing, for their readers and for themselves. This craft class will also be offered on Saturday at 3:00 p.m.

Craft Class - New Poetic Forms: Found, Blackout, Paradelle, and More
Viannah E. Duncan | Breiseth 107
Poetry is a type of writing that allows for new forms to crop up all the time! Learn about new forms, including blackout and found poetry, the paradelle, the double acrostic, and more. This interactive discussion will send you home with a least one poem written in a new style and ideas for many more. This craft class will be repeated on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

Pitch Session - Screenwriting
Dr. Bonnie Culver and Ross Klavan | Breiseth 213
Come pitch your film, novel, or memoir ideas to two experienced pitch artists. Use the “pitch” they assist you in finding as an opening for your query letter or talk with an agent, editor. Learn how to sell your work. This pitch session will also be offered on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.

4 to 4:45 p.m.

Panel - Pressing the Issue: Working With an Independent Press
Brian Fanelli, Raymond Hammond, Amanda Bradley, Dawn Leas, and Christine Gelineau | Breiseth 213
On this panel, we will discuss what it is like working with a small, indie poetry press. Our panel includes poets and editors, including the editor of NYQ Books. Topics include production, publishing, and promotion. Poets will read a small sample from their books. This panel will also be offered on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.

Workshop - Writing as Resistance: Surviving the “Shock and Awe” of the 2016 Election
Laurie Jean Cannady | Breiseth 106
The 2016 election shook America’s literary community to its core. How do you find and redefine your writing voice? Be ready to write, resist, stand and be counted among the voices leading the masses to the other side. This workshop will also be offered on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.

Workshop - Quick Fix: Get It on Its Feet!
D Ferrara | Breiseth 107
Have a scene that just isn’t working? A problematic entrance, exit, speech, dialogue? In this workshop, we will read your piece aloud to discuss tweaks and fixes. Plays, screenplays, stories, excerpts and memoirs are welcome.

5 to 6:45 p.m.

Dinner on your own
Please see a list of restaurant suggestions in your registration folder.

7 to 9:30 p.m.

Open Mic/Poetry Slam
Hosted by Jason Carney | Henry Student Center (Second Floor) Ballroom

Jason Carney author signing hosted by Barnes & Noble
Henry Student Center (Second Floor) Ballroom

Saturday, Aug. 5

9 to 10:00 a.m.

Plenary Session: Breaking in
Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air Book Critic | Dorothy Dickson Darte Center

Bookfair and author signing hosted by Barnes & Noble
Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air Book Critic | Dorothy Dickson Darte Center

10:30 to 11:15 a.m.

Craft Class – Characters as Objects
Tyler Grimm, Vito Gulla, and Jeff Minton | Bresieth 107
Writers often envision their characters as real people. Round or flat, protagonist or antagonist, primary or secondary. This craft class will provide a different view on the functions, purposes, motivations, and development of characters.

Panel - Authorial Intrusive: Embodying Personal Values in Creative Work in the Age of Polarization
Dr. Bonnie Culver, Heather Harlen, David Poyer, Todd McClimans, and Tony Morris | Breiseth 106
Writers in different genres will each read a short excerpt from published or produced work that conveys an opinion they personally hold. A discussion will follow about effective techniques of conveying personal credos or viewpoints without crossing legal lines, in a way that helps promote open discussion rather than closing off debate.

Craft Class - Writing for Stage vs. Writing for Page
Jan Quackenbush | Breiseth 213
What do you see or hear when you are writing? Playwrights commonly evoke characters, settings, and sounds. This class will explore ways on how to achieve strong insight and vivid clarity as you write. This craft class will also be offered on Friday at 11:30 a.m.

11:30 to 12:15 p.m.

Craft Class - Only YOU Can Prevent Boring Writing!
Todd McClimans | Breiseth 106
Are you ready to take the boring out of student writing time? This interactive session and discussion will focus on engaging students in grade kindergarten through eighth grade in authentic writing experiences that meet the PA Core standards and builds writers. This craft class will also be offered on Friday at 11:30 a.m.

Panel – You’ve Got a Friend in Pennsylvania … Lit Mags
Donna Talarico, Mitch Sommers, and Meghan Phillips | Breseith 107
Literary magazine editors discuss their publications, processes, and literary citizenship. Writers of all genres may get up close and personal with literary friends all based in the keystone state.

Craft Class - New Poetic Forms: Found, Blackout, Paradelle, and More
Viannah E. Duncan | Breiseth 316
Poetry is a type of writing that allows for new forms to crop up all the time! Learn about new forms, including blackout and found poetry, the paradelle, the double acrostic, and more. This interactive discussion will send you home with a least one poem written in a new style and ideas for many more. This craft class will also be offered on Friday at 3:00 p.m.

12:30 to 1:45 p.m.

Lunch on your own
Please see a list of restaurant suggestions in your registration folder.

2 to 2:45 p.m.

Workshop - Turn Your Writing Research into a Successful Blog
Gale Martin | Breiseth 106
Every creative writing endeavor involves doing research – novels, memoirs, plays, screenplays. Learn how and why blogging your book research can yield unprecedented rewards and opportunities.

Craft Class – Getting Started with Historical Fiction
Barbara Taylor | Breiseth 213
This craft class will examine research techniques geared toward historical fiction writers, and explore how character, language, and style lend authenticity to this genre. Participants will discover strategies for creating a highly readable story.

Workshop – Poetry + Music = Creativity
Rashidah Ismaili AbuBakr | Breiseth 316
Using selected snippets of recorded music, we will create poems during the session. Participants may bring in an original poem or one of their chosen poets to read with musical accompaniment. A new way of experiencing the joys of poetry and creativity. This workshop will also be offered on Friday at 2:00 p.m.

3 to 3:45 p.m.

Panel – Spark into Flame: Writing Prompts in and Out of the Workshop
Sally Clark, Jackie Chicalese, Sydney Fuhrman, and Holly M. Wendt | Breiseth 213
Designed for writers, workshop leaders, teachers, and students, this panel will discuss the role of prompts both inside and outside of the workshop. The panelists will provide tips for moving from freshly generated work to submission-ready pieces.

Craft Class - Write Like Hemingfaulkwayner
Karen Dwyer and Ivan Rodden | Breiseth 107
This craft class will use exercises to engage deep description as well as quick summation to help writers discover the benefits of both types of writing, for their readers and for themselves. This craft class will also be offered on Friday at 3:00 p.m.

Craft Class – Building an Anthology: A True Story (How a Momentary Fancy Became a Book)
D Ferrara and Patricia Florio | Breiseth 106
This craft class will discuss how two writers decided to publish a compilation of works inspired by a writing conference in Italy last September. They will provide insight and advice on how they produced and published this anthology.

Panel – Editors
Phil Brady, Lenore Hart, David Poyer, Bill Schneider, and Donna Talarigo. Moderator: Dr. Bonnie Culver | Breiseth 320
Editors from small, independent literary presses discuss the state of the industry. Bring your questions for these publishing professionals to answer. This panel will also be offered on Friday at 10:30 a.m.

4 to 4:45 p.m.

Panel - Pressing the Issue: Working with an Independent Press
Brian Fanelli, Raymond Hammond, Amanda Bradley, Dawn Leas, and Christine Gelineau | Breiseth 107
On this panel, we will discuss what it is like working with a small, indie poetry press. Our panel includes poets and editors, including the editor of NYQ Books. Topics include production, publishing, and promotion. Poets will read a small sample from their books. This panel will also be offered on Friday at 4:00 p.m.

Workshop - Writing as Resistance: Surviving the “Shock and Awe” of the 2016 Election
Laurie Jean Cannady | Breiseth 106
The 2016 election shook America’s literary community to its core. How do you find and redefine your writing voice? Be ready to write, resist, stand and be counted among the voices leading the masses to the other side. This workshop will also be offered on Friday at 4:00 p.m.

Pitch Session - Screenwriting
Dr. Bonnie Culver and Ross Klavan | Breiseth 213
Come pitch your film, novel, or memoir ideas to two experienced pitch artists. Use the “pitch” they assist you in finding as an opening for your query letter or talk with an agent, editor. Learn how to sell your work. This pitch session will also be offered on Friday at 3:00 p.m.

5 to 6:30 p.m.

Dinner Hosted by Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing
Henry Student Center (Second Floor) Ballroom

Bookfair hosted by Barnes & Noble
Dorothy Dickson Darter Center

7 to 8 p.m.

Keynote address
Natasha Trethewey | Dorothy Dickson Darte Center

Bookfair and author signing hosted by Barnes & Noble
Dorothy Dickson Darter Center


BIOS

Nathasha Trethewey

Keynote Speaker

Pulitzer-winning poet Natasha Trethewey examines the way personal and national histories intertwine and the use of poetry to create social justice.

In a talk that switches conversationally between explaining her influences and reading from a few of her poems, Trethewey discusses writing her third collection of poetry, Native Guard, her upcoming collection at the time, Thrall, and the ways that personal and national histories intertwine. For her, writing is a pilgrimage and a way of coming to terms with what has happened. She is obsessed with learning about the South and its oppressive history because it is a part of her own history, and much of her work touches on slavery and black history in the South, specifically the history of the native guard and other black regiments. While she thinks figuratively about the inability to return to her past, she also discusses how it is literally impossible, with Hurricane Katrina’s damage on her hometown in Gulfport, Mississippi drastically changing her idea of home. Memory also remains an obsession for Trethewey, and she seeks to memorialize her mother in the same way she memorializes the South.

Trethewey’s first book of poems, Domestic Work (2012), won the Cave Canem Prize for a debut book by an African American poet. Her third collection, Native Guard, won a Pulitzer Prize in 2007. Trethewey has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute. She was also named the 2012 Poet Laureate of Mississippi and the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States from 2012-2014.

When I wrote Theories of Time and Space, I was thinking very figuratively about the impossibility of returning home, of going back to those places we’ve left behind. Not because the places are gone or forever changed, but because we are.”

“Whoever has the power to tell the story has all the power.”

“When I’m writing, one of the things that I love is how I discover things that I hadn’t known before. And so for me, research is always a part of what I’m doing. Whenever I get stuck in a poem, it’s probably because I don’t know enough.”

Maureen Corrigan

Plenary Session Speaker

Maureen Corrigan, book critic for NPR’s Fresh Air, is a critic-in-residence and lecturer at Georgetown University. She is an associate editor of and contributor to Mystery and Suspense Writers (Scribner) and winner of the 1999 Edgar Award for Criticism, presented by the Mystery Writers of America. She also served as a juror for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in fiction. She is the author of So We Read On: How the Great Gatsby Came To Be and Why It Endures, and a literary memoir, Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading! She is also a reviewer and columnist for The Washington Post’s Book World. In addition to serving on the advisory panel of The American Heritage Dictionary, she has chaired the Mystery and Suspense judges’ panel of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Jason Carney

Open Mic/Poetry Slam Host

Jason Carney, a performance poet from Dallas, Texas, is a four-time National Poetry Slam Finalist, honored as a Legend of the Slam in 2007. He appeared on three seasons of the HBO television series Russell Simmons’ Def Poets. Jason has performed and lectured at some of our nation’s finest colleges and universities as well as high schools and juvenile detention centers from California to Maine.

Carney is a graduate of Wilkes University Graduate Creative Writing Program, where he was an honored winner of the Etruscan Prize, the Bergman Foundation Scholarship, and the Norris Church-Mailer Scholarship. He is co-founder and artistic director of the nonprofit Young DFW Writers.


Wilkes University’s Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing
Earn your master of arts and master of fine arts degree online with limited campus visits. We focus on the craft and business of writing in a mentoring atmosphere that embraces one-on-one guidance while immersing you in a community of working writers. Choose to study fiction, poetry, screenwriting, playwriting, creative nonfiction, publishing and making documentary films. Learn more at www.wilkes.edu/creativewriting.


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