Stop the presses! (He shouts, in his 1930s-era hat pulled low pushed up on his forehead, shirtsleeves rolled to elbows):
We've added four new afternoon workshops. Three will be led by poet, fiction writer, and playwright Lyn Coffin, the other is a just-added offering by Bich Minh Nguyen, who will also be leading a core morning workshop in nonfiction.
Wednesday, July 21
“Clarifying Narrative: A Generative Fiction-Writing Class”
Contemporary writers often have a love affair with characterization or theme, but an uneasy or even dysfunctional relationship with plot. Participants in this generative writing class will learn how to develop a sound fictional structure by using narrative outlines. We will begin by writing the opening of a short fiction in response to a prompt. After a brief discussion of the handout (three-act event outlines of two Hemingway short stories) we will generate narrative outlines for our own stories. Toward the end of class, participants will write a new opening scene. Especially recommended for those who write "literary" or non-genre fiction.
Thursday, July 22
“Moving between Genres”
Do your fictional characters tend to talk a lot? Do you struggle with speech tags? Maybe your fictional narratives really want to be plays. Are your stories full of sense detail? Is “mood” as important as “event"? Maybe your fictions want to be poems. Do the characters in your plays tell stories? Maybe you should switch from drama to fiction. Bring at least two pages of poetry or a short story, or a brief scene from a play. We’ll learn some techniques for “breaking into” an unfamiliar genre, and try our hand at moving from one genre to another.
Friday, July 23
Bich Minh Nguyen
“(Pop) Culture, Metaphor, and Nonfiction”
That song that stays in your mind. That book you’ve read over and over. That television show you loved as a kid. That movie you’ve practically memorized by now. That store, that icon, that restaurant…So much (pop) culture swirls around us, marking us and becoming a part of our experiences and memories. This workshop will address ways to make good use of it all by turning our favorite (pop) culture moments into vibrant metaphors and creative nonfiction.
Saturday, July 24
Taking as our inspiration Richard Rauschenberg’s “An Erased Drawing by de Kooning,” we'll do some erasure poetry—I’ll read and hand out and we’ll briefly discuss my “An Erased Poem by Billy Collins” and seek to prove the old adage, “Less is more.” This is a great technique for removing huge chunks of writers' block, by the way. Please bring copies of two or three favorite poems; one of these may be your own.
Registration for all Conference workshops and residencies is available here, as well as by calling us at 360.385.3102, x131.