Session 1

Inside a Publisher’s Mind: How the Book Publishing Process Really Works

Brandi Larsen
At a Big 5 publisher, over sixty people help bring a book into the world. For academic, small press, and self-publishers, the hands may be fewer but the volume of work remains the same. Book publishing expert Brandi Larsen demystifies the publishing process and shares how a book is made and what you can do to get in the pipeline—from manuscript to bestseller to perennial backlist and beyond.

Poetry Masterclass: The Sestina

Kisha Nicole Foster
The sestina is a complicated breath of fresh air. It is ancient and modern. It conveys wit and candor while telling a story. In this workshop, you will learn tips for mastering the sestina and leave having crafted one of your own. Along the way you will strengthen your language skills and learn formal techniques that will help you improve no matter kind of writing you do. This is for intermediate/advanced writers.

Writing on Your Feet: An Improv Approach to Your Craft

Marc Moritz
Trying to find the "life" of a character you're working on? A plot idea you need to "see" on it's feet? This workshop will address these and other craft questions using Improv Theatre games and exercises that focus on spontaneity, collaboration, and the joys of bringing your unique voice to your work. We will collaborate as a class to support ideas, choices, and create a sense of play. Whether you’re a performer, banker, comedian, graphic designer, public speaker, sales rep or lawyer, improv is a terrific tool for thinking quickly on your feet and taking risks in your seat.

Say What?! The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing Memoir

Lee Chilcote
Through entertaining, powerful, and sometimes salacious examples, this class will provide a glimpse into what it means to be a memoir writer. What are the tools memoirists use to turn their lives into stories? How do you safely write about family and still get invited back to dinner? What do you do when you don’t remember what happened or don't 100% trust your memory? Finally, and most importantly, does everything you write have to be true? This overview will leave you with ideas to help guide your writing and a reading list for exploring more.

Practical Principles for Writing Poems

Michelle R. Smith
This craft talk is designed to help emergent and experienced writers that may be intimidated by writing poetry realize how approachable the genre actually is. It is a discussion of the art of writing poetry in accessible terms and language meant for would-be poets and those struggling to grasp the genre. The talk is aimed at helping struggling poets to stop over-thinking their processes and doubting the worth of their work. Throughout the presentation, Michelle R. Smith will share her own experiences with writing poetry and provide examples from her work that illustrate how the principles can be applied to increase confidence, harness creativity, and improve skill.