Cleveland Inkubator

July 13-31, 2020

Register Here

The Inkubator is Literary Cleveland's free annual festival for writers and readers! This year, instead of a one-day in-person event, we will be moving online and expanding to a record free 25 events spread across three weeks from July 13-31. Each day will feature a new program or event open to the public and available online, including multi-week workshops, reading, panel discussions, craft talks, open mics, and a keynote address by Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and novelist Connie Schultz. Altogether, the three-week online conference will become a public celebration of writing in Cleveland that advances writers’ individual abilities, furthers artistic dialogue, fosters a more connected literary community, and invites more people to write. See the full schedule below! 

During the Inkubator we will also creating a new collective piece of writing, and we would like to to participate. Writers can submit up to thirty words on the subject of “Uncertainty” in the form of a paragraph or stanza. One of Literary Cleveland's Inkubator Fellows, Venus Davis, will then use lines from these submissions to create a collaborative piece of writing that we will present at the Inkubator closing ceremony. Submit your writing for inclusion today.

Cleveland Inkubator is made possible by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, as well as through support from Cleveland Public Library.


Free 3-Week Workshops

Beginning July 13

Generate new writing, learn new techniques, and improve your craft with our free 3-week writing workshops. These classes meet during lunchtime and happy hour so you can spend your work break or afternoon leveling up your writing. All workshops take place remotely through Zoom video conferencing. Register for the workshop and Lit Cleveland will send you an invitation and instructions on how to attend via Zoom. All you need is a good internet connection and a computer or smartphone with a camera and microphone. Not sure if your system is compatible? Just click here. Space is limited for weekday workshops, so sign up soon!

REGISTER FOR THE WEST WORKSHOP HERE!

The Life Cycle of a Novel

Mondays July 13, 20, & 27 from 12-1pm EST

Learn what it takes to bring a novel to life from start to finish. This craft talk will offer practical, forthright advice tailored to aspiring novelists who hope to publish traditionally, covering everything from drafting, revision, finding an agent, signing with a publisher, preparing for publication, and marketing the book. Gain a better understanding of the publication landscape, learn about common industry challenges and misconceptions, and get inspired to take the next step with your own novel.

July 13: Inspiration & Creation
July 20: Revision & Agents
July 27: Publishing & Promoting

Instructor

Laura Maylene Walter

Genre

Fiction

This class has already stated and is now closed to new registrations.

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Wonderland: How to Unlock Your Writing Projects

Mondays July 13, 20, & 27 from 4-5pm

Ever wonder why your writing has stalled? Or what your project is really about? In this presentation, workshop leader and writer Charlotte Morgan will help you gain the clarity needed to begin serious work on your manuscript. “Wonderland”, participants will complete an experimental exercise to help loosen the imagination; followed by some writing and during sharing, you will gain some understanding.

Instructor

Charlotte Morgan

Genre

Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry

This class has already stated and is now closed to new registrations.

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Crafting a Narrative Timeline of Your Life

Tuesdays July 14, 21, & 28 from 12-1pm EST

A big part of the memoir writing process is taking a deep-dive into the events, experiences, people, and places that have shaped you. This workshop will teach participants how to develop a narrative life timeline, a concept that was popularized by Artist's Way creator Julia Cameron. Learn how to utilize this building block in writing the story of your life in a workshop taught by Artist's Way expert and aficionado Jen Jones Donatelli.

Instructor

Jen Jones Donatelli

Genre 

Nonfiction, Memoir

This class has already stated and is now closed to new registrations.

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Practical Principles for Writing Poems

Wednesdays July 15, 22, & 29 from 12-1pm EST

Does poetry sometimes feel intimidating or overly complex? This workshops will reveal how approachable the genre actually is. Discuss of the art of writing poetry in accessible terms and begin writing your own poems. Stop over-thinking your processes start creating meaningful work.

Instructor

Michelle R. Smith

Genre

Poetry

This class has already stated and is now closed to new registrations.

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Building Suspense

Wednesdays July 15, 22, & 29 from 4-5pm EST

Best-selling author D.M. Pulley shares tips and techniques to keep readers on the edge of their seats. Through multiple examples, Pulley will demonstrate three key components of suspense and how to build it from the ground up. Over the course of three sessions, participants will evaluate their works in progress and consider ways to increase tension, up the stakes, and keep an audience hooked.

 

Instructor

D.M. Pulley

Genre

Fiction

 

This class has already stated and is now closed to new registrations.

Learn More

"I shall never get you put together entirely": Writing about Difficult Relationships

Thursdays July 16, 23, & 30 from 12-1pm EST

Though some poets, like Adam Zagajewski and Francis Ponge, dismiss personal relationships as a frivolous subject for writing, let's be honest: they're a constant source of frustration and revelation, i.e. prime poetry material! In this workshop, then, we will look at poems by poets like Sylvia Plath, Chen Chen, Natalie Diaz, and others, to see how they address different relational dynamics, use a variety of aesthetic methods, and from different emotional vantages. Then, we will use their tools to chisel and carve the material of our own lives.

Instructor

Conor Bracken

Genre

Poetry

This class has already stated and is now closed to new registrations.

Learn More

Week 1 Events

July 13-18

Our opening week of the conference features a kickoff reading, poetry presentations and panels, the Cleveland Stories Vol II launch party, and a virtual open mic. Events will take place remotely online using Crowdcast and there is no limit on attendance. Register for free by following the links below.

REGISTER FOR THE NORTHEAST WORKSHOP HERE!

Inkubator Kickoff Reading

Monday, July 13 at 7pm EST

Help us kickoff Literary Cleveland's three-week Inkubator Conference! This online event will include readings and appearances from local authors. More to come soon!

Register for this free event here


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Publishing Your Poetry Collection

Tuesday, July 14 at 7pm EST

This session will offer practical guidance for writers hoping to transform a bundle of poems into a focused book or chapbook-length collection. We will also discuss the process of researching publishers and shepherding a collection through the process, from submission to production and promotion. Audience Q&A will follow presenter’s remarks.


Presenter

Mary Biddinger

Genre

Poetry, Publishing


Register for this free event here

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Cleveland Stories Vol II Launch Party

Wednesday, July 15 at 7pm EST

Join writer/residents of Cleveland's Mt. Pleasant neighborhood as they share their poems, essays and other works from Cleveland Stories Vol. II. Published in June, 2020, this volume of Cleveland Stories, created and organized by Lit Cleveland, explores the challenges, the hopes and the dreams of that community.


Presenters

Charlotte Morgan, DL Ware, Mt. Pleasant residents and more!

Genre

Nonfiction & Poetry

Register for this free event here

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Poetry and Protest

Thursday, July 16 at 7pm EST

We're living through a sudden resurgence of the power of protest—from Black Lives Matter marches to the pandemic statehouse protests. The word "protest" comes from the Latin, meaning to testify to something publicly. Usually, protests occur as a way of raising a voice against injustice, or to support those unjustly treated. How do poets and writers approach the question of testifying publicly, standing with the unjustly treated? Poets Jericho Brown, Philip Metres, and Barbara Jane Reyes will read poems (their own and others') and talk about the role of poetry in social movements for change, and poetry as protest.


Presenters: 

Jericho Brown, Philip Metres, & Barbara Jean Reyes

Genre: 

Poetry


Register for this free event here

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Ink Out Loud: Open Mic

Friday, July 17 at 7pm EST

There are so many compelling voices among Cleveland's community of writers, and this is your chance to hear them speak their truth! Available on two nights. If you want to read, check the box when you register for the event on Zoom. Readers will be drawn from a hat. Join us for the chance to read your work at a virtual open mic.

Genre

Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry & More

Register for this free event here

Read More

Intro to Food Writing

Saturday July 25 at 1pm EST

Note: This event has been moved back a week and will now take place at 1pm EST on Saturday, Jul 25.

Are you interested in beginning a career in food writing or improving your craft? This class will be based in discussion and practice to get you thinking about the particular skills required for a food writer. We’ll look at several pieces of contemporary food writing and analyze what makes them compelling. We'll study narrative arcs and techniques for non-fiction writing that are important for food writers. Then we’ll expand your vocabulary and tighten your writing to make your pieces come alive. And finally, we'll complete an exercise in class that will bring your new skill set into focus. This class will be helpful for anyone who needs to effectively communicate about food, but will be focused for journalists, bloggers, and authors.

Presenter: 

Sarah Lohman

Genre: 

Nonfiction

Register for this free workshop here

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Fictional Stories in the Real World

Saturday, July 18 at 7pm EST

When it comes to settings, sometimes real places are inspirational, but should your story take place in a real or imaginary locale? This panel of fiction writers will explore the challenges and perks of writing about real locations. They will discuss the values, risks, and techniques they use to blend and balance research and reality with invention and creativity. Topics considered will include deep dives, distractions, and issues of craft: how to research what you need to know, determine how much is enough, and decide what to invent.


Presenters

Meredith Doench, Annie Hogsett, Susan Petrone, D.M. Pulley, E. F. Schraeder, Abby Vandiver

Genre

Fiction


Register for this free event here

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Week 2 Events

July 19-25

Week two of the conference features a reading by Inkubator instructors, fiction presentations and panels, a Lake Erie Ink event for teens, our second virtual open mic, plus our keynote reading and discussion with Connie Schultz. Events will take place remotely online using Crowdcast and there is no limit on attendance. Register for free by following the links below.

REGISTER FOR THE SOUTHEAST WORKSHOP HERE!

Words in Action: Inkubator Instructor Reading 1

Sunday, July 19 at 7pm EST

Our esteemed instructors are also accomplished writers in their own right. And this is your chance to hear these talented people read their favorite pieces—on two different evenings.


Readers

Conor Bracken, Philip Metres, Charlotte Morgan, D.M. Pulley

Genre

Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry

Register for this free event here

Read More

The I in Publishing: Diversity and Inclusion in Today's Book Business

Monday, July 20 at 7pm EST

The latest Diversity in Publishing study showed over 75 percent of book industry workers identified as white, with even higher percentages identifying as straight and non-disabled. We Need Diverse Books Executive Director Nicole A. Johnson, CEO, Serendipity Literary Agency, Regina Brooks, and Elda Rotor, Vice President and Publisher of Penguin Classics, will discuss the issues of diversity and inclusion in publishing with moderator Brandi Larsen.

Presenters

Regina Brooks, Elda Rotor, Nicole A. Johnson, Brandi Larsen

Genre

Publishing

Register for this free event here

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So You Want to Publish a Book? with Anne Trubek

Tuesday, July 21 at 7pm EST

In this talk, Anne Trubek, founder of Belt Publishing, demystifies the publishing process by discussing her new book So You Want to Publish a Book. This insightful guide offers concrete, witty advice and information to authors, prospective authors, and those curious about the inner workings of the industry.


Presenter

Anne Trubek

Genre

Publishing

Register for this free event here

Read More

Lake Erie Ink: Teen Writers

Wednesday, July 22 at 7pm EST

As part of the Inkubator Conference, Literary Cleveland presents Lake Erie Ink Teen Writers, featuring readings from their recent anthology, The Fundamental Elements, as well as other poets and creative writing activities for teen writers.

Presenters

Lake Erie Ink

Genre

Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry


Register for this free event here

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Writing Fiction in Uncertain Times

Thursday, July 23 at 7pm EST

Join world-renowned local novelist Dan Chaon as he conducts an informal discussion about writing fiction during a time of great upheaval with novelist Katie Flynn. Her new book, The Companions, tells the story of a company that uploads human consciousness before death and then downloads it into robots, which are sold as companions for people who are isolated during a global pandemic.


Presenters

Dan Chaon, Katie Flynn

Genre

Fiction

Register for this free event here

Read More

Ink Out Loud: Open Mic

Friday, July 24 at 7pm EST

There are so many compelling voices among Cleveland's community of writers, and this is your chance to hear them speak their truth! Available on two nights. If you want to read, check the box when you register for the event on Crowdcast. Readers will be drawn from a hat. Join us for the chance to read your work at a virtual open mic.

Genre

Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry & More


Register for this free event here

Read More

Keynote: Connie Schultz

Saturday, July 25 at 7pm EST

As our Keynote Speaker for Inkubator, Cleveland's own Connie Schultz will talk with Karen Sandstrom about her writing and read from her New York Times best selling novel The Daughters of Erietown, which explores rural Northeast Ohio across three generations of women and the stories that collectively formed their lives.

Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and a professional-in-residence in the journalism school at Kent State University, her alma mater. She is the author of two memoirs, Life Happens and …And His Lovely Wife. Her first novel, The Daughters of Erietown was published in June by Penguin Random House and is a New York Times best seller. Schultz lives in Cleveland with her husband, Sherrod Brown, and their rescue dogs Franklin and Walter. They have four children and seven grandchildren.

Karen Sandstrom is a lifelong artist and writer who never wanted to choose between words and pictures. After a career in newspaper journalism, most recently at The Plain Dealer, she earned her BFA in Illustration at the Cleveland Institute of Art. She is now CIA's director of communications and a freelance writer and illustrator. Her illustrations have appeared in two books of poetry for children by Sara Holbrook, "Zombies! Evacuate the School!" and "Weird? Me Too! Let's Be Friends!" (Boyds Mills Press). She is currently at work on a picture book, "Hope Notices."

This event is sponsored by Loganberry books. Purchase your copy of The Daughters of Erietown or any other book at https://bookshop.org/shop/loganberrybooks.

Register for this free event here

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Week 3 Events

July 26-31

Our final week of the conference features a second reading by Inkubator instructors, a panel on the teaching of creative writing, a nonfiction craft talk and workshop, a discussion with journalist Wesley Lowery, and our closing ceremony. Events will take place remotely online using Crowdcast and there is no limit on attendance. Register for free by following the links below.

REGISTER FOR THE EAST WORKSHOP HERE!

Poetry in Public Spaces (and Other Fresh Encounters)

Sunday, July 26 at 4pm EST

Poetry is larger than just printed collections. Learn about fresh ways that poetry is springing out of classrooms and books into the world around us and the poets and groups making that happen in Northeast Ohio and nationwide. David Hassler of the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State will discuss their interactive Traveling Stanzas project; David Wilson of LAND Studio will share the ways they’ve incorporated poetry into their public art projects around Cleveland; and Cleveland poets D.L. Ware and Mimi Plevin-Foust will show the innovative ways they are filling their neighborhoods with poems. Come away with fresh inspiration and ideas for your poems and communities.


Presenters

David Hassler, David Wilson, DL Ware, Mimi Plevin-Foust

Genre

Poetry

Register for this free event here

More Details

Words in Action: Inkubator Instructor Reading 2

Sunday, July 26 at 7pm EST

Our esteemed instructors are also accomplished writers in their own right. And this is your chance to hear these talented people read their favorite pieces—on two different evenings.


Readers

Judah Leblang, Sarah Lohman, Michelle R. Smith, Laura Maylene Walter

Genre

Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry

Register for this free event here

More Details

Decolonizing Craft: The Future of Creative Writing Instruction

Monday, July 27 at 7pm EST

How we teach creative writing matters. Without careful examination, writing instructors and programs can reinforce the same white supremacist, colonialist, misogynist, and heteronormative values of the culture at large. This panel featuring teaching experts Matt Bell, Ru Freeman, and Matthew Salesses will discuss strategies for resisting problematic workshop structures, challenging biased craft assumptions, and creating a more equitable and just world of words.

Presenters

Matt Bell, Ru Freeman, Matthew Salesses

Genre

Teaching


Register for this free event here

More Details

Get Your Work Out There

Tuesday, July 28 at 7pm EST

You want to be published, but you're not sure how to start. This workshop will introduce you to the mechanics of getting your work published! From book publishers to blogs and everywhere in between, you'll leave this session with a plan for getting your work out there!


Presenter

Dana Norris

Genre

Publishing


Register for this free event here

More Details

The Heart of Your Story: Introduction to Structure in Memoir

Wednesday, July 29 at 7pm EST

This session will provide an introduction to common memoir formats, with a focus on the three-part structure commonly used in this genre. We'll look at several examples, and complete an exercise in which participants will identify key events in their own stories. By the end of this 90 minute workshop, attendees will have a better understanding of effective memoir structures and new ideas for possible structures/formats for their memoirs.

Instructor

Judah Leblang

Genre

Nonfiction

Register for this free workshop here


More Details

Words from the Front: Journalism, Justice and Black Lives Matter

Thursday, July 30 at 7pm EST

As a lead on the Pulitzer Prize-winning team of journalists at the Washington Post, Mr. Lowery and his fellow journalists created "Fatal Force," a comprehensive database of officer-involved shootings. This native Clevelander also wrote the book They Can't Kill Us All, the story of the struggle for Black lives in Ferguson, Baltimore and elsewhere. Learn more about his writing and the work of journalists in the struggle for racial justice at this discussion with Sam Allard (Cleveland Scene) and Sia Nyorkor (Cleveland 19 News & NABJ).


Presenters

Wesley Lowery, Sam Allard, Sia Nyorkor

Genre

Nonfiction


Register for this free event here


More Details

Inkubator Closing Ceremony: A Human Anthology

Friday, July 31 at 7pm EST

Join us for the closing ceremony of Literary Cleveland's three-week Inkubator Conference!

Register for this free event here


More Details

The Inkubator is Literary Cleveland's free annual festival for writers and readers! This year, instead of a one-day in-person event, we will be moving online and expanding to a record free 25 events spread across three weeks from July 13-31. Each day will feature a new program or event open to the public and available online, including multi-week workshops, reading, panel discussions, craft talks, open mics, and a keynote address by Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and novelist Connie Schultz. Altogether, the three-week online conference will become a public celebration of writing in Cleveland that advances writers’ individual abilities, furthers artistic dialogue, fosters a more connected literary community, and invites more people to write. See the full schedule below! 

During the Inkubator we will also creating a new collective piece of writing, and we would like to to participate. Writers can submit up to thirty words on the subject of “Uncertainty” in the form of a paragraph or stanza. One of Literary Cleveland's Inkubator Fellows, Venus Davis, will then use lines from these submissions to create a collaborative piece of writing that we will present at the Inkubator closing ceremony. Submit your writing for inclusion today.

Cleveland Inkubator is made possible by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, as well as through support from Cleveland Public Library.


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