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Saturday, April 27
 

9:30am

Writing for Young Readers: A Discussion of YA Literature
The fastest growing genre in the literary world is YA lit. Publishers are working hard to meet the increasing demands (from kids, teachers, and parents) for engaging literature for young readers. But what IS young adult literature? What is the difference between YA, middle grade,  and even "new adult" literature? How do you write successfully for younger readers? This panel features several writers whose YA and children's books are being published -- they will share what they have learned about writing for this segment of the reading population.

Speakers
avatar for Dave Housley

Dave Housley

Dave Housley is the author of the novel This Darkness Got to Give, and co-author with Becky Barnard on the upcoming sci-fi YA novel The Greys. He has published four story collections: Massive Cleansing Fire, If I Knew the Way, I Would Take You Home, Commercial Fiction, and Ryan Seacrest... Read More →
avatar for Melinda Beatty

Melinda Beatty

Melinda Beatty is the author of the "Heartseeker" middle grade duology from Putnum (Heartseeker-June 2018, Riverbound-June 2019). By day, she's mild-mannered indie bookseller at Curious Iguana Books in Frederick, MD and by night she wrangles words, craft projects, a Labrador, and... Read More →
avatar for Susan Muaddi-Darraj

Susan Muaddi-Darraj

Susan Muaddi Darraj's short story collection, A Curious Land: Stories from Home, was named the winner of the AWP Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction; it also won the 2016 Arab American Book Award, a 2016 American Book Award, and was shortlisted for a Palestine Book Award. She was... Read More →


Saturday April 27, 2019 9:30am - 10:30am

9:30am

Writing Through Facts: How Research Shapes and Frustrates Narrative
Research can be a writer's essential weapon or worst enemy. How do you balance the desire for investigating history, questioning ideas, and having experiences with the cost of wandering so far afield your project stalls? Can the dangers of the rabbit hole actually be productive? In this panel, Melissa Scholes Young (*Flood*, Center Street), John Copenhaver (*Dodging and Burning*, Pegasus), Matthew Ferrence (*Appalachia North*, WVU Press), Jessica Hendry Nelson (*If Only You People Could Follow Directions*, Counterpoint), and DeMisty Bellinger (*Rubbing Elbows*, Finishing Line) will discuss how research has shaped, confined, and freed their fiction, nonfiction, and poetry—when they had to trust research to get them unstuck and when they had to address gaps in knowledge to move forward.

Whether establishing verisimilitude in fiction or crafting compelling nonfiction or writing resonant poetry, research is a key component. Writers from all backgrounds struggle with allowing research to dominate a project or with approaching insurmountable gaps in historical or experiential knowledge. This panel will offer practical advice on research methods as well as tips about when to stop researching and just write. Our hope is that writers will be able to approach their work with new strategies and a more confident relationship with research.

Speakers
avatar for DeMisty D. Bellinger

DeMisty D. Bellinger

DeMisty D. Bellinger, a Pushcart nominated poet, teaches creative writing at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts. Her writing has appeared in many places, including Blue Fifth Review, The Rumpus, The Coil, and Necessary Fiction. Her chapbook, Rubbing Elbows, is available through... Read More →
avatar for John Copenhaver

John Copenhaver

John Copenhaver is the author of the historical crime novel Dodging and Burning (Pegasus, 2018). He writes a crime fiction review column for Lambda Literary called “Blacklight,” and he is the five-time recipient of Artist Fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities... Read More →
avatar for Matthew Ferrence

Matthew Ferrence

Matthew Ferrence is the author of Appalachia North: a memoir, an exploration of geology, region, and the author's recovery from brain surgery. He teaches creative writing at Allegheny College and, with his family, divides time between Northwestern Pennsylvania and Prince Edward Island... Read More →
avatar for Jessica Hendry Nelson

Jessica Hendry Nelson

Jessica Hendry Nelson is the author of the memoir If Only You People Could Follow Directions (Counterpoint Press, 2014) and the forthcoming textbook and anthology Advanced Creative Nonfiction (Bloomsbury, 2021). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Tin... Read More →
avatar for Melissa Scholes Young

Melissa Scholes Young

Melissa Scholes Young is the author of the novel Flood, winner of the Literary Fiction Category for the 2017 Best Book Award. Her writing has appeared in the Atlantic, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Narrative, Ploughshares, Poet Lore, and Poets & Writers. She’s a Contributing... Read More →


Saturday April 27, 2019 9:30am - 10:30am

9:30am

What You Show: How to Chose What and When
Scribbled on a cave wall, or drawn in hieroglyphics in a pyramid, are the words passed down to writers since the beginning of time: show, don’t tell. But once writers have this mantra tattooed across their hearts, how do they choose what to show, and when?

This workshop will discuss the creation of characters and the selection of settings and situations into which the writer places them. How do characters move naturally throughout their worlds? How does getting-to-know-you translate to the page?

Imagine if Cather in the Rye had taken place over several years instead of days, or if To Kill a Mockingbird had been narrated by Jem instead of Scout. The deliberate choices a writer makes shapes the narrative under their control, and every story you know and love would be different if the author had made different choices. This equation of (background) x (current context) = (meaning). Writers will leave this workshop with a new approach to the traditional formats of a character sketch and plot outline, and the ability to bend them to their will.

While this talk will focus on fiction, these methods can apply across genres, and writers of nonfiction and/or poetry are welcome. A “character” could equally be the voice of a poem or the subject of investigative reporting.


Speakers
avatar for Stephanie King

Stephanie King

Stephanie King is a fiction writer and public school advocate from Philadelphia. Her stories have won the Quarterly West Novella Prize and the Lilith Short Fiction Prize, and have also appeared in Loch Raven Review, Lumen, and Every Day Fiction. She received her MFA from Bennington... Read More →


Saturday April 27, 2019 9:30am - 10:30am

9:30am

The Massive Power of Instagram for Authors
This session will discuss the rapid growth of of Instagram, the rise of bookstagrammers and the massive opportunity this presents for authors to promote their work and connect with their audience. Learn how to create a community, promote your book and reach out to bookstagrammers and book reviewers. Don’t forget about Instastories. They are a must. Learn all about relevant hashtags, tagging and tips and best practices for creating compelling posts and stories that will generate a high level of engagement.

Speakers
avatar for Natasha Tynes

Natasha Tynes

atasha Tynes is an award-winning Jordanian-American author and communications professional based in Washington, DC. She currently works as a social media lead for an international development organization. She has appeared on a number of national and international TV programs, including... Read More →


Saturday April 27, 2019 9:30am - 10:30am

9:30am

What We Mean When We Talk About Literary Patience
The internet can make it seem like publication is easy and fast to attain with fellow writers publishing frequently. Reality is often much different. On this panel we'll discuss how taking your time can be beneficial to long-term writing success, examine strategies for knowing when your work is ready and when it requires more revision, and we'll use our real-world knowledge to help you practice literary patience even when you feel like giving up.

Speakers
avatar for Christopher Gonzalez

Christopher Gonzalez

Christopher Gonzalez is a former Clevelander now living and writing in New York. His short stories appear in Third Point Press, X–R-A-Y Literary Magazine, Cosmonauts Avenue, jmww and Pithead Chapel, among others. He serves as a fiction editor at Barrelhouse and a contributing editor... Read More →
avatar for Ivelisse Rodriguez

Ivelisse Rodriguez

Ivelisse Rodriguez’s debut short story collection is Love War Stories (Feminist Press, 2018). She is the founder and editor of an interview series focused on contemporary Puerto Rican writers. She earned an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College and a Ph.D. in English-creative... Read More →
avatar for Tyler Barton

Tyler Barton

Tyler Barton is the author of the flash fiction chapbook, The Quiet Part Loud (2019), which won the Turnbuckle Chapbook Contest from Split Lip Press. His stories are forthcoming in The Iowa Review, Wigleaf, Subtropics, and Paper Darts. He's the co-founder of Fear No Lit, the organization... Read More →
avatar for Kaitlyn Andrews-Rice

Kaitlyn Andrews-Rice

Kaitlyn Andrews-Rice is the Editor-in-Chief of Split Lip Magazine. Her short fiction appears or is forthcoming in Copper Nickel, Indiana Review, SmokeLong Quarterly, Booth, and Paper Darts. Find her online @thelegitKAR or thelegitkar.com


Saturday April 27, 2019 9:30am - 10:30am

10:45am

Dynamic Descriptions: Breathing Life Into Prose and Poems
Often, writers struggle with descriptions. As readers, we might have skimmed over too many long, boring descriptions that seemed only to slow the narrative down. Perhaps we’ve decided we don’t like descriptions, dismissing them as flowery and superfluous. But as Rebecca McClanahan says, “if description is the flowering, it is also the root and stem of effective writing.” Concrete images which engage the senses are anything but boring. In fact, descriptions can convey a great deal about character while also building tension, atmosphere, and tone. In this workshop, participants will discuss and practice techniques to breathe life into their prose and poems through dynamic descriptions.

Speakers
avatar for Kate Finegan

Kate Finegan

Kate Finegan's work has won contests with Thresholds, Phoebe Journal, Midwestern Gothic, and The Fiddlehead; been runner-up for The Puritan's Thomas Morton Memorial Prize; and been shortlisted for the Cambridge Short Story Prize. She is a reviewer for Humber Literary Review and reads... Read More →


Saturday April 27, 2019 10:45am - 11:45am

10:45am

Brave New Worlds: Tips on Writing Horror, Crime, Sci-Fi and Noir
Some people call it “genre” writing, but publishers call it gold. Horror, crime, sci-fi, and noir have always been popular, but what challenges do they present for writers? Novelists will discuss their own experiences writing and being published in these genres, as well as tips on how to overcome genre expectations, establish your own distinct voice, create suspense, and more.  

Speakers
avatar for Laura Ellen Scott

Laura Ellen Scott

Laura Ellen Scott is the author of the standalone novels Death Wishing and The Juliet, as well as The New Royal Mysteries series, which includes The Mean Bone in Her Body and Crybaby Lane. Book three, Blue Billy, is due out next year.
avatar for Gabino Iglesias

Gabino Iglesias

Gabino Iglesias is the author of ZERO SAINTS and COYOTE SONGS. He is a book reviewer for NPR, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Criminal Element, and other venues as well as the book reviews editor for PANK Magazine.  
avatar for Nik Korpon

Nik Korpon

Nik Korpon is the author of Old Ghosts, Wear Your Home Like a Scar, and Queen of the Struggle, among others. He lives in Baltimore.  
avatar for S.A. Cosby

S.A. Cosby

Shawn "S.A." Cosby is an author from Southeastern Virginia.  His work has been published on numerous anthologies and magazines  including  Thuglit,  Tough , Crime Syndicate and others. His story Slant-six  was honored as a Distinguished story in the 2016 Best American mystery... Read More →


Saturday April 27, 2019 10:45am - 11:45am

10:45am

Invite, Beg, Snare, Broadcast, Brag: How to Open Short Stories
Have you got what it takes to hook your reader with the first line of your story and keep them reading until the end? Or do you spend too long staring at a blank screen and dreading writing the first sentence, or even the first draft?

This generative workshop will look at different ways to open stories by looking at a range of examples and analyzing them. Using these findings, we will try to create some fresh story openings full of tension and conflict which will compel your audience to read on. Having these tools as part of our writing tool kit should enable us to let go of our inner tensions and feel freer to create great story beginnings.

Writers will leave this workshop with ideas or prompts to help them generate opening lines and paragraphs for flash fiction and short stories. While this workshop will focus on writing fiction, these techniques could be applied to creating alluring openings of essays and poems as well. Openings for any form of creative writing must invite, beg, snare, broadcast, brag to catch the busy readers attention. Let’s work together to keep them reading.



Speakers
avatar for Tommy Dean

Tommy Dean

Tommy Dean lives in Indiana with his wife and two children. He is the author of a flash fiction chapbook entitled Special Like the People on TV from Redbird Chapbooks. He has been previously published in BULL Magazine, The MacGuffin, The Lascaux Review, Split Lip Magazine, Spartan... Read More →


Saturday April 27, 2019 10:45am - 11:45am

10:45am

"Do I Have Anything New To Say?" A Craft Workshop on Developing Fresh, Exciting Angles for Personal Essays
This generative workshop will help participants dig deeper into their ideas for personal essays to identify what they have to say about a topic that's fresh, new, and exciting. Through a series of brief exercises, participants will write their way into the fiery core of an experience they feel compelled to write about, stripping away layers of cliche and tired tropes until they find the thing that only they can say. We'll also talk more generally about how to know when your idea is moving a conversation forward, and when you're repeating ideas that are already out there.

This be useful for is anyone who writes (or wants to write) personal essays. This will be useful because one of the biggest challenges of personal essay writing is finding a fresh and exciting angle through which to explore universal experiences so that editors (and readers) feel like they're getting something brand new.

Speakers
avatar for Lilly Dancyger

Lilly Dancyger

Lilly Dancyger is the Memoir Editor of Narratively, a Contributing Editor and Writing Instructor at Catapult, and Assistant Books Editor at Barrelhouse. Her essays and journalism on sex, politics, and culture have appeared in Rolling Stone, The Rumpus, the Washington Post, Psychology... Read More →


Saturday April 27, 2019 10:45am - 11:45am

10:45am

Poetry and the News
"All this is reportage," wrote George Oppen. In this session, we'll consider techniques for using the "all this" of poetry to respond to the news. How can poetry engage with events that are still unfolding? How can it augment and counter other media? What are the ethics of writing about "news from elsewhere"? Participants will practice techniques for writing about current events and explore poetry's relationship to journalism, advocacy, and contemporary politics. We'll take inspiration from poems by Ghayath Almadhoun, Cortney Lamar Charleston, Adrienne Rich, Juliana Spahr, and others.

Speakers
avatar for Zach Savich

Zach Savich

Zach Savich is the author of six books of poetry, including Daybed (Black Ocean, 2018), and a memoir, Diving Makes the Water Deep (Rescue Press, 2016). His work has received the Iowa Poetry Prize, the Colorado Prize for Poetry, and the CSU Poetry Center's Open Award, among other... Read More →


Saturday April 27, 2019 10:45am - 11:45am

2:15pm

Reading and QA with featured authors Kyle Dargan, Gabino Iglesias, Ivelisse Rodriguez, and Randon Billings Noble, moderated by PEN/Faulkner Executive director Gwydion Suilebhan.
Reading and Question and Answer session with our featured authors, moderated by PEN/Faulkner Executive director Gwydion Suilebhan.

Speakers
avatar for Gabino Iglesias

Gabino Iglesias

Gabino Iglesias is the author of ZERO SAINTS and COYOTE SONGS. He is a book reviewer for NPR, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Criminal Element, and other venues as well as the book reviews editor for PANK Magazine.  
avatar for Kyle Dargan

Kyle Dargan

Kyle Dargan is the author of the recently released poetry collection Anagnorisis (TriQuarterly/Northwestern UP, 2018). His four previous collections, Honest Engine (2015), Logorrhea Dementia (2010), Bouquet of Hungers (2007) and The Listening (2003)--were all published by the University... Read More →
avatar for Ivelisse Rodriguez

Ivelisse Rodriguez

Ivelisse Rodriguez’s debut short story collection is Love War Stories (Feminist Press, 2018). She is the founder and editor of an interview series focused on contemporary Puerto Rican writers. She earned an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College and a Ph.D. in English-creative... Read More →
avatar for Randon Billings Noble

Randon Billings Noble

Randon Billings Noble is an essayist. Her full-length collection Be with Me Always was published by the University of Nebraska Press in March 2019 and her lyric essay chapbook Devotional was published by Red Bird in 2017. Individual essays have appeared in the Modern Love column... Read More →
avatar for Gwydion  Suilebhan

Gwydion Suilebhan

Gwydion Suilebhan is a writer, innovator, and arts advocate who serves as both the Executive Director of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and the chief architect and evangelist of the New Play Exchange for the National New Play Network. A founding member of The Welders—a Helen Hayes... Read More →


Saturday April 27, 2019 2:15pm - 3:30pm

3:45pm

No One Plug, No One Outlet: The New Circuitry of Emergent and Continued Authorship
The digital era has opened many new pathways into published authorship for writers and it has reduced the importance of certain gateways through which writers traditionally might have had to pass to begin a literary career. How do contemporary writers balance exploring all these new opportunities while attending to their creative demands? Four writers from various genres will share what they have learned and what they wish they had known while navigating this changing environment for literary content creators.

Speakers
avatar for Kyle Dargan

Kyle Dargan

Kyle Dargan is the author of the recently released poetry collection Anagnorisis (TriQuarterly/Northwestern UP, 2018). His four previous collections, Honest Engine (2015), Logorrhea Dementia (2010), Bouquet of Hungers (2007) and The Listening (2003)--were all published by the University... Read More →


Saturday April 27, 2019 3:45pm - 4:45pm

3:45pm

Who We Write For: Queer Writers on Their Intended Audience
In this panel, four queer writers discuss their ideal audience. Do we feel a responsibility to any community? Do we write for a queer or a non-queer audience? Questions of audience are complex for  any writer, but particularly for writers who are part of any marginalized group. There’s the broader question of whether we want to educate people who don’t share our (or parts of our) identity, or if we want people who do to feel seen. But the reasons behind who we write for are also highly personal. This will be a fascinating discussion amongst great, thoughtful writers.

Speakers
avatar for Saida Agostini

Saida Agostini

Saida Agostini is a queer afro-guyanese poet and activist. Her work is featured in Origins, Drunk in theMidnight Choir, the Black Ladies Brunch Collective's anthology, Not Without Our Laughter, the Baltimore Sun, pluck!, The Little Patuxent Review, and other publications. She has received support for her poetry from Cave Canem, the Blue Mountain Center and other institutions. Other honors include the award of a 2017 Ruby grant to s... Read More →
avatar for Alexis Smithers

Alexis Smithers

Alexis Smithers is a black nonbinary person who writes for Autostraddle. A 2015 Pink Door Fellow, 2016 LAMBDA LITERARY Emerging Young Adult Fiction Writing Fellow, and 2018 #GrowWithGoogle Web Development Scholarship recipient, they've performed their work at Busboys and Poets and... Read More →
avatar for Anthony Moll

Anthony Moll

Anthony Moll is a queer poet, essayist and educator. Their work has appeared in Little Patuxent Review, Gertrude Journal, Assaracus, jubilat and more. Moll holds an MFA in creative writing & publishing arts and is completing a PhD in poetry and cultural studies. Their debut memoir... Read More →
avatar for Rahne Alexander

Rahne Alexander

Rahne Alexander is a multimedia artist, producer, musician, performer, and occasional comedian and essayist, with publication credits ranging from the Baltimore City Paper to the Lambda Literary Award-winning anthology Take Me There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica, and the newly... Read More →
avatar for Jessica Jackson

Jessica Jackson

Jessica Jackson is a Maryland based writer currently working on a novel based on her families 100 years of history in Baltimore. When she’s not writing (and frankly, even when she is) Jessica is also a student of criminal law and a mother of two. In her not so spare time she plays... Read More →


Saturday April 27, 2019 3:45pm - 4:45pm

3:45pm

Crafting Revelation in Fiction One Detail at a Time
Revelation in fiction comes in many forms. In a murder mystery, the curtain is pulled back on the identity of the culprit; in other narratives, the curtain is pulled back on the self—the true nature of a character is revealed. For any moment of revelation to work in fiction, it must feel surprising and inevitable to the reader. At first glance, these qualities seem self-contradictory, but in the hands of great writers, the tension between the inevitable and the surprising is always present; it is the only way a revelation is truly earned. In this workshop, we’ll look at several examples that model this tension, discuss how these writers work their magic, and then do a brief exercise to get us thinking about how to implement these strategies in our own writing.

In this workshop for fiction writers of all levels, I will offer instruction on how to write compelling and significant details, and discuss how the accumulation of those details will give a revelation its power. I'll also share effective examples of revelation as well as a packet full of helpful materials.

Speakers
avatar for John Copenhaver

John Copenhaver

John Copenhaver is the author of the historical crime novel Dodging and Burning (Pegasus, 2018). He writes a crime fiction review column for Lambda Literary called “Blacklight,” and he is the five-time recipient of Artist Fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities... Read More →


Saturday April 27, 2019 3:45pm - 4:45pm

3:45pm

Level Up Your 30/30
Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November, all the rest have thirty-one. February has twenty-eight..

Writing 30 poems in a single month can certainly be its own reward, but its sustained effort can benefit your writing routine well after the month’s over! We’ll talk about keeping pace during what some call “a sprint,” forming useful strategies you can continue using after that month-long rush, and ways to tap into that momentum again once the month’s over.

Leave with a daily action plan, a bundle of resources and prompts to extend the impact of your next 30/30!


Speakers
avatar for Sarah Ann Winn

Sarah Ann Winn

Sarah Ann Winn’s first full length poetry collection, Alma Almanac (Barrow Street, 2017), was selected by Elaine Equi as the winner of the Barrow Street Book Prize. She is the author of five chapbooks, the most recent of which is Exhibition Catalog Pamphlet to the Grimm Forest Open... Read More →


Saturday April 27, 2019 3:45pm - 4:45pm

3:45pm

The Editor's Panel
What do editors hate? What do they love? What are they wishing they saw more often. This panel features veteran editors talking about what happens behind the scenes. 

Speakers
avatar for Venus Thrash

Venus Thrash

Venus Thrash is a co-editor of Beltway Poetry Quarterly. She is the author of the poetry collection, The Fateful Apple (Hawkins Publishing, 2014), nominated for the 2015 Pen America Open Book Award. Her poetry has been published in Public Pool, Torch, The Arkansas Review, and in the... Read More →
avatar for Jessica Fischoff

Jessica Fischoff

Jessica Fischoff is the Managing Editor of [PANK] Magazine and Books. Her chapbook, TheDesperate Measure of Undoing, will be published this fall by Across the Margin.
avatar for Christopher Gonzalez

Christopher Gonzalez

Christopher Gonzalez is a former Clevelander now living and writing in New York. His short stories appear in Third Point Press, X–R-A-Y Literary Magazine, Cosmonauts Avenue, jmww and Pithead Chapel, among others. He serves as a fiction editor at Barrelhouse and a contributing editor... Read More →
avatar for Monica Prince

Monica Prince

Monica Prince received her M.F.A. in poetry from Georgia College & State University and her B.A. from Knox College, and is currently an assistant professor of activist and performance writing at Susquehanna University. Her choreopoem, How to Exterminate the Black Woman, premiered... Read More →
avatar for Marisa Siegel

Marisa Siegel

Marisa Siegel lives, writes, and edits near NYC but thinks twenty times a day about heading back west. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Mills College in Oakland, CA. Her essay “Inherited Anger” will appear in the anthology Burn It Down, forthcoming from Seal Press in October... Read More →


Saturday April 27, 2019 3:45pm - 4:45pm