Two Optional Weeks, One Great Conference

The Port Townsend Writers’ Conference has been happening every summer since 1974. Some years it ran for ten days, some years it ran for seven.

In 2012, it will run for two weeks–you can attend the week of July 8-15 or the week of July 15-22, or come for the whole two-week extravaganza.

The July 8-15 week features Gary Copeland Lilley, Erin Belieu, and Ashley Capps; nonfiction writers Diane Roberts and Judith Kitchen; and fiction writers Benjamin Alire Sáenz and Jennine Capó Crucet.

The July 15-22 week features poets Dana Levin, Ashley Capps, and Kim Addonizio; fiction writers Pam Houston, Susan Steinberg, and Dorothy Allison; and nonfiction writers Cheryl Strayed and Peggy Shumaker.

Learn more about the faculty and their class descriptions.

In addition, each afternoon during the two weeks will feature a wide variety of workshops in special topics. These classes are free to those who are registered for the full workshop experience, and are available for $50 each or $275 for an entire week if you don’t want to attend the morning workshops. Check out the full schedule of afternoon workshops.

Finally, as yet another option, fiction writer Sam Ligon will be leading a three-day “boot camp” in the short-short story from July 12 to July 14. What a lot of fiction writers are doing is signing up for this workshop, and then staying for the following week, for a ten-day Conference.

Class Description:
“Flash-fiction Boot Camp: Three Days, Three Stories.”
In the anthology Sudden Fiction, Robert Kelly refers to short-short fiction as “the insidious, sudden, alarming, stabbing, tantalizing, annihilating form… neither poetic prose nor prosy verse, but the energy and clarity typical of prose coincident in the scope and rhythm of the poem.” In the same anthology, Joyce Carol Oates writes that “[v]ery short fictions are nearly always experimental, exquisitely calibrated, reminiscent of Frost’s definition of a poem—a structure of words that consumes itself as it unfolds, like ice melting on a stove.” Very short fictions tend to rely on surprise, a hard turn at the end. They’re often elliptical or fragmented, and often shaped by tone and shadow. In this workshop, we’ll be exploring compression and limitation, evocation and implication, formal constraint and what might arise from line pressure and narrative restriction. We’ll  immerse ourselves in a fever of flash fiction reading and writing, composing and workshopping three short-short stories in three days, an intensive in the annihilating form.

Register for any track here. For more information, please call Jordan Hartt at 360-385-3102, x131 or email him at jordan(at)centrum(dot)org.