Detailed
Compact
Art
Reverse
November 11, 2019
“The present moment is all you have,” as author and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle says, and nowhere is this more the case than in writing. Successful narrative writing allows the reader to virtually experience a series of present moments through the magic of language and imagination. Mary Allen shares what’s she’s learned as a writer and a writing coach about how to create present moments on the page, why it’s important to do so, and what learning how to do so can teach us about living our lives.
October 28, 2019
No one wants your story, essay, or poem to read like Fast and the Furious 9. But Hollywood formulae reflect a kind of science of narrative satisfaction, which can be transformative for a piece that isn't coming together in precisely the right way. We'll apply a number of hallowed screenwriting maxims to works of nonfiction and fiction, from overall structure down to the level of the scene. This session will give you resources for revising work in any genre.
September 30, 2019
We’re all voyeurs when it comes to the habits and practices of other writers. Do they churn out a certain number of pages each week? Do they have a day job? A cat? A room of their own? What does the desk look like? After peeking into several artists’ practices, we’ll turn to our own—not just with our writing, but our everyday lives: doing the dishes to walking the dog; vegetable gardening to schlepping kids to hockey; playing drums to serving at the church soup kitchen. We will explore the nature of dailiness and how such activities can shape our art. What does it take to create a whole life, one that will nourish us and allow our writing to flow out of it rather than squeeze into it? Come with questions and a niggling sense of possibility.
September 16, 2019
Poets and songwriters utilize aspects of language that are essential for prose writers to know. Take the slow, repeated vowels and consonants Joyce uses in “The Dead”: “…his soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe…” or the hasty sibilance alive in Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “Oh wicked speed, to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets!” Sound and rhythm help create sense and emotion, and by paying close and purposeful attention to the words we use—the beginnings of them, the interior sounds of them, the rhythm of them—we can evoke and ignite those senses and those emotions. In this Eleventh Hour you’ll hear (and practice) how techniques used in the sung and the spoken can help us create magic on the page.
September 8, 2019
The most intimate, powerful, and fraught relationships in our lives are often with the limited inner circle we call family. For that reason, those relationships often feature heavily in our writing. However, to write about family relationships means putting its players on a public stage, and this can bring a whole set of unique issues, both practical and emotional. In this lecture and discussion, specific difficulties a writer faces in writing about family members will be addressed, including concerns about ethical treatment of your subjects, family responses to publication, the writer’s fear of repercussions, discrepancies in memory, and research challenges.
August 23, 2019
Transforming life into writing is an individual process, as individual as the art we create. Another way to think about this is how do we understand and explain the relationship of the real or actual, what some people might call, what really happened, to the stories, poems or essays we put on the page. Much of what I have to say will be a practical guide for helping writers access stories from their own lives and the lives of people they know, with pointers on bringing that material into full blossom on the page. In addition, drawing on my experience in writing a forthcoming novel/memoir, I’ll address an issue I know many ISWF students struggle with: should this be fiction or memoir.
August 14, 2019
Chiaroscuro, in art, is a technique that uses bold contrasts of light and dark in painting to create vivid scenes and evoke emotion. It renders images almost three-dimensional. In writing, the bold use of light and dark has a similar effect. The balance of the serious with the humorous allows readers the chance to enter a story more fully, to laugh and cry, and connect with writing in a way that writing straight serious prose or simply humorous doesn't allow. This Eleventh Hour talk will look at examples from writing and art that perfectly balance the dark with the light to create hilarious and heart-rending work on the page.
August 9, 2019
In creative writing, truth isn’t everything, but emotional truth almost is. Whatever the genre, however familiar or strange the situation or action, readers need to believe that the emotions in a piece of writing are true. And nothing conveys emotional truth more powerfully than mixed feelings. Combining different emotions, including conflicting emotions, can strengthen their intensity as well as deepening our sense of their authenticity. In this talk and conversation we will explore some of the ways in which mixed feelings work, looking at examples from various genres and considering occasions when mixing emotions might fail us.
July 31, 2019
This lecture will consider memoirs and essays written about events that are still unfolding. How can you tell a story when you don't know how it will end? How can you write about yourself when your relationship to time, memory, language, the body, and the self are changing? We'll discuss memoirs from the middle of things by authors such as Laura Hillenbrand, Caren Beilin, Audre Lorde, Jean-Luc Nancy, Kazim Ali, Lily Hoang, and others. We'll ask how close attention to thresholds, brinks, and passing moments can lead to lasting discoveries.
July 26, 2018
In this lecture, we’ll consider some recent poems in which gratitude emerges from or exists alongside difficult experiences. How do moments of acute gratitude interact with loss, grief, memory, and ongoing complexity? What are some ways in which a poem can break into thanks, however briefly? Perhaps poetry of gratitude goes beyond “finding a silver lining;” perhaps it offers an ethics of reflection that, through ways of speaking that become ways of being, intricately connects a poem to culture and community. We’ll discuss work by poets such as Kazim Ali, Ross Gay, Lauren Haldeman, Carl Phillips, Juliana Spahr, and others, as we think closely about what it means for a poem to say thank you.
July 25, 2018
Death has haunted the work of countless authors. And even if we’re not writing about death directly, it often overshadows our creations, as we deal with the loss of loved ones and the inevitability of our own mortality. These struggles can be paralyzing, or they can usher in new insights. Lori Erickson will talk about how wrestling with questions relating to loss, grieving, and mortality can provide rich inspiration for our writing.
July 25, 2018
Death has haunted the work of countless authors. And even if we’re not writing about death directly, it often overshadows our creations, as we deal with the loss of loved ones and the inevitability of our own mortality. These struggles can be paralyzing, or they can usher in new insights. Lori Erickson will talk about how wrestling with questions relating to loss, grieving, and mortality can provide rich inspiration for our writing.
July 24, 2018
Getting a story onto the page is a necessary first step. Then the heavy lifting, both outer and inner, can begin. While the facts of a real-life or fictional event may remain static from draft to draft, the author's interpretation of those events is likely to change with each iteration. That's where the real magic comes in. The workshop setting with its directed questioning is an ideal site for new insights to emerge. This Eleventh Hour combines literary craft and narrative therapy to explain how re-vision can promote lasting artistic and personal benefits.
July 23, 2018
Getting a story onto the page is a necessary first step. Then the heavy lifting, both outer and inner, can begin. While the facts of a real-life or fictional event may remain static from draft to draft, the author's interpretation of those events is likely to change with each iteration. That's where the real magic comes in. The workshop setting with its directed questioning is an ideal site for new insights to emerge. This Eleventh Hour combines literary craft and narrative therapy to explain how re-vision can promote lasting artistic and personal benefits.
July 23, 2018
We often think about the tool of reflection in writing as a mode of thought or tone of voice we employ when we ruminate, meditate, contemplate, or explain—in short, when we provide what Phillip Gerard calls “finished thought.” But we might also think about reflection as a turning, as a sometimes distorting, but transformational power. In this talk, we’ll look briefly at four qualities of reflection that might encourage artistic transformation in our writing and try some short exercises that will give you some practical tools to “think” about yourself differently on the page.
July 23, 2018
We often think about the tool of reflection in writing as a mode of thought or tone of voice we employ when we ruminate, meditate, contemplate, or explain—in short, when we provide what Phillip Gerard calls “finished thought.” But we might also think about reflection as a turning, as a sometimes distorting, but transformational power. In this talk, we’ll look briefly at four qualities of reflection that might encourage artistic transformation in our writing and try some short exercises that will give you some practical tools to “think” about yourself differently on the page.
July 22, 2018
We often think about the tool of reflection in writing as a mode of thought or tone of voice we employ when we ruminate, meditate, contemplate, or explain—in short, when we provide what Phillip Gerard calls “finished thought.” But we might also think about reflection as a turning, as a sometimes distorting, but transformational power. In this talk, we’ll look briefly at four qualities of reflection that might encourage artistic transformation in our writing and try some short exercises that will give you some practical tools to “think” about yourself differently on the page.
July 19, 2018
During workshops, it often becomes clear how heavily the “feminine” voice—characterized by multi-angled, expansive prose and a focus on the emotional realm—is criticized in writing, and the “masculine” voice—characterized by straightforward, sparse prose and a focus on the physical realm—is pushed. Editors and the work they publish reinforce this aesthetic preference, which affects our culture in a feedback loop. Yet, male, female, and gender-neutral writers alike reflect varying degrees of traditional masculinity or femininity in their authorial voices. We will interrogate the assumptions about the masculine voice versus the feminine voice, and discuss how it relates to our writing.
July 18, 2018
During workshops, it often becomes clear how heavily the “feminine” voice—characterized by multi-angled, expansive prose and a focus on the emotional realm—is criticized in writing, and the “masculine” voice—characterized by straightforward, sparse prose and a focus on the physical realm—is pushed. Editors and the work they publish reinforce this aesthetic preference, which affects our culture in a feedback loop. Yet, male, female, and gender-neutral writers alike reflect varying degrees of traditional masculinity or femininity in their authorial voices. We will interrogate the assumptions about the masculine voice versus the feminine voice, and discuss how it relates to our writing.
July 18, 2018
Writers frequently confront taboos—cultural, religious, and sexual—in their work. These taboos are also reinforced by the publishing process. When is it OK to offend? When is it gratuitous? Are you being honest, or are you being a jerk? Who decides? In this Eleventh Hour presentation, Charles Holdefer will talk of recent trends and describe some of his own experiences in regard to these thorny questions.
July 16, 2018
In this lecture, we’ll consider some recent poems in which gratitude emerges from or exists alongside difficult experiences. How do moments of acute gratitude interact with loss, grief, memory, and ongoing complexity? What are some ways in which a poem can break into thanks, however briefly? Perhaps poetry of gratitude goes beyond “finding a silver lining;” perhaps it offers an ethics of reflection that, through ways of speaking that become ways of being, intricately connects a poem to culture and community. We’ll discuss work by poets such as Kazim Ali, Ross Gay, Lauren Haldeman, Carl Phillips, Juliana Spahr, and others, as we think closely about what it means for a poem to say thank you.
July 16, 2018
Giving a piece of writing a title is a proper and necessary act—otherwise we’d have, “Untitled,” by Homer, not to be confused with Leo Tolstoy’s great work, “Untitled.” Yet titling is not generally spoken of at any length or depth. Naming anything—a book, a boat, a racehorse, or a child—is at once a craft and an art. There are spectacular titles, serviceable titles, and failed titles; but beyond that there are types of titles we can look at. Usually there’s only one best title for something, and new writers often shirk the task of finding it, or override it with cleverness or extravagance. This Eleventh Hour talk will be full of examples, suggestions, and exercises designed to help us think about titles.
July 16, 2018
Giving a piece of writing a title is a proper and necessary act—otherwise we’d have, “Untitled,” by Homer, not to be confused with Leo Tolstoy’s great work, “Untitled.” Yet titling is not generally spoken of at any length or depth. Naming anything—a book, a boat, a racehorse, or a child—is at once a craft and an art. There are spectacular titles, serviceable titles, and failed titles; but beyond that there are types of titles we can look at. Usually there’s only one best title for something, and new writers often shirk the task of finding it, or override it with cleverness or extravagance. This Eleventh Hour talk will be full of examples, suggestions, and exercises designed to help us think about titles.
July 15, 2018
In this lecture, we’ll consider some recent poems in which gratitude emerges from or exists alongside difficult experiences. How do moments of acute gratitude interact with loss, grief, memory, and ongoing complexity? What are some ways in which a poem can break into thanks, however briefly? Perhaps poetry of gratitude goes beyond “finding a silver lining;” perhaps it offers an ethics of reflection that, through ways of speaking that become ways of being, intricately connects a poem to culture and community. We’ll discuss work by poets such as Kazim Ali, Ross Gay, Lauren Haldeman, Carl Phillips, Juliana Spahr, and others, as we think closely about what it means for a poem to say thank you.
July 14, 2018
Giving a piece of writing a title is a proper and necessary act—otherwise we’d have, “Untitled,” by Homer, not to be confused with Leo Tolstoy’s great work, “Untitled.” Yet titling is not generally spoken of at any length or depth. Naming anything—a book, a boat, a racehorse, or a child—is at once a craft and an art. There are spectacular titles, serviceable titles, and failed titles; but beyond that there are types of titles we can look at. Usually there’s only one best title for something, and new writers often shirk the task of finding it, or override it with cleverness or extravagance. This Eleventh Hour talk will be full of examples, suggestions, and exercises designed to help us think about titles.
July 12, 2018
Lord Byron said, "We of the craft are all crazy." Maybe, maybe not. This talk will examine the forces that influence what we write, why we write, when we write, and where we write. Drugs, drink, depression, joy, compulsion, imagination, dreams, secrets, dollars—we'll cover the bitter and the sweet aspects of the act of creation. Caution: Gordon Mennenga is a writer not a doctor.
July 11, 2018
Lord Byron said, "We of the craft are all crazy." Maybe, maybe not. This talk will examine the forces that influence what we write, why we write, when we write, and where we write. Drugs, drink, depression, joy, compulsion, imagination, dreams, secrets, dollars—we'll cover the bitter and the sweet aspects of the act of creation. Caution: Gordon Mennenga is a writer not a doctor.
July 11, 2018
Much of my favorite work to read and to teach can be considered “resistant narratives”—work that responds to and rewrites the narratives we have received from a culture that often wishes to reduce and limit our very souls. To become an artist is to write oneself back into being. A book can be a place where the individual remakes the world. In this talk, we will consider writing as political resistance, a tool to counter the limitations of cultural, societal, and familial expectation. Contemporary writers have long created literary spaces of resistance and possibility, taking the status of outsider and expanding the project of literature.
July 11, 2018
Much of my favorite work to read and to teach can be considered “resistant narratives”—work that responds to and rewrites the narratives we have received from a culture that often wishes to reduce and limit our very souls. To become an artist is to write oneself back into being. A book can be a place where the individual remakes the world. In this talk, we will consider writing as political resistance, a tool to counter the limitations of cultural, societal, and familial expectation. Contemporary writers have long created literary spaces of resistance and possibility, taking the status of outsider and expanding the project of literature.
July 9, 2018
Beneath our writing is a deep sense of self that informs the way we organize experience and shape meaning. Autobiographical writing heightens our awareness of life's patterns and themes, concepts that in turn feed fiction, creative nonfiction, essay, and poetry. This discussion will draw on contemporary thinking in narrative psychology and narrative theory, as well as models from literature, in the framework of incorporating the story lens of life experience into our creative work.
July 9, 2018
Beneath our writing is a deep sense of self that informs the way we organize experience and shape meaning. Autobiographical writing heightens our awareness of life's patterns and themes, concepts that in turn feed fiction, creative nonfiction, essay, and poetry. This discussion will draw on contemporary thinking in narrative psychology and narrative theory, as well as models from literature, in the framework of incorporating the story lens of life experience into our creative work.
June 28, 2018
Talent is important in creative writing, but resilience is critical. Writing is a lonely endeavor with much rejection. Even worse, our projects are often so long-term that they require the staying power of a marathon runner. So how do we develop that sort of endurance—that stubborn persistence? Tim Bascom will discuss tried-and-true habits from practicing writers who have refused to quit.
June 27, 2018
Talent is important in creative writing, but resilience is critical. Writing is a lonely endeavor with much rejection. Even worse, our projects are often so long-term that they require the staying power of a marathon runner. So how do we develop that sort of endurance—that stubborn persistence? Tim Bascom will discuss tried-and-true habits from practicing writers who have refused to quit.
June 21, 2018
This lecture will consider the act of naming. How do we choose the names we give to the characters and figures in our stories and poems? How does a name give a character charge, or mark it, or erase it, or illuminate it? How can a name be used as a veil or a cape? An echo or a halo? What are the joys and pitfalls of using the names of the living and the dead inside acts of the imagination?
June 20, 2018
This lecture will consider the act of naming. How do we choose the names we give to the characters and figures in our stories and poems? How does a name give a character charge, or mark it, or erase it, or illuminate it? How can a name be used as a veil or a cape? An echo or a halo? What are the joys and pitfalls of using the names of the living and the dead inside acts of the imagination?
June 19, 2018
The best essays, according to John D’Agata, Director of the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program, are a “mind on a page.” According to Bernard Cooper, they magnify “some small aspect of what it means to be human.” But what does this mean, exactly? It means the best essayists harness a very particular and personal truth to speak to larger experience. Amy Butcher shares how a New York Times Sunday Review Op-Ed on the startling lack of diversity in our universal emoji set (while male emojis engaged in work and industry, female avatars had their nails painted, received haircuts, or enjoyed flamenco dancing) inspired Google technicians and international change.
June 18, 2018
The best essays, according to John D’Agata, Director of the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program, are a “mind on a page.” According to Bernard Cooper, they magnify “some small aspect of what it means to be human.” But what does this mean, exactly? It means the best essayists harness a very particular and personal truth to speak to larger experience. Amy Butcher shares how a New York Times Sunday Review Op-Ed on the startling lack of diversity in our universal emoji set (while male emojis engaged in work and industry, female avatars had their nails painted, received haircuts, or enjoyed flamenco dancing) inspired Google technicians and international change.
July 20, 2017
F. Scott Fitzgerald famously praised the ability to hold in mind two opposing ideas (without cracking up). He could have been talking about stories—they do it all the time. The opposition of ideas can be obvious, such as when good is battling evil, or Goofus is slacking, while Gallant does the chores. In this Eleventh Hour, we’ll take a whirlwind tour of some of the other, more subtle ways that stories hold the line between conflicting viewpoints, and talk as well about how such tensions might shape the end of a story.
July 19, 2017
F. Scott Fitzgerald famously praised the ability to hold in mind two opposing ideas (without cracking up). He could have been talking about stories — they do it all the time. The opposition of ideas can be obvious, such as when good is battling evil, or Goofus is slacking, while Gallant does the chores. In this Eleventh Hour, we’ll take a whirlwind tour of some of the other, more subtle ways that stories hold the line between conflicting viewpoints, and talk as well about how such tensions might shape the end of a story.
July 19, 2017
We often think of writing as something we’ll really get to do later, when life slows down and we have more time to devote to it. Writing retreats, those programs or places that offer endless space to write and think, couldn’t be nicer. But we don’t have to wait for an official writing retreat to make a peaceful opening for writing in our daily lives. Not only that, we can use writing itself as a way to slow down and become more aware, so that our daily lives can become less hurried and cramped and more open and spacious. Mary Allen will share what she’s learned about creating everyday writing retreats as well as using writing to make the most of every vacation, retreat, and ordinary moment.
July 19, 2017
We often think of writing as something we’ll really get to do later, when life slows down and we have more time to devote to it. Writing retreats, those programs or places that offer endless space to write and think, couldn’t be nicer. But we don’t have to wait for an official writing retreat to make a peaceful opening for writing in our daily lives. Not only that, we can use writing itself as a way to slow down and become more aware, so that our daily lives can become less hurried and cramped and more open and spacious. Mary Allen will share what she’s learned about creating everyday writing retreats as well as using writing to make the most of every vacation, retreat, and ordinary moment.
July 17, 2017
This lecture will consider what is at the heart of critique and discuss the relationship between the workshop and places of worship, confessional boxes, crying rooms, hospitals, wombs, therapist offices, museums, and trash cans. When the writer brings her stories and poems into workshop, should she disappear? Replace her body with the page? And why do we bring our poems and stories into workshop anyway? To air them out? To rescue and repair? To heal them from our loneliness? What are we after and what are we given back? Sabrina Orah Mark will share her experiences with the traditional academic workshop, and the workshop she leads out of her garage.
July 17, 2017
This lecture will consider what is at the heart of critique and discuss the relationship between the workshop and places of worship, confessional boxes, crying rooms, hospitals, wombs, therapist offices, museums, and trash cans. When the writer brings her stories and poems into workshop, should she disappear? Replace her body with the page? And why do we bring our poems and stories into workshop anyway? To air them out? To rescue and repair? To heal them from our loneliness? What are we after and what are we given back? Sabrina Orah Mark will share her experiences with the traditional academic workshop, and the workshop she leads out of her garage.
July 12, 2017
In this Eleventh Hour, poet Michael Morse will discuss how a work of writing can inhabit its contemporary situation by addressing a distant practitioner or piece—as an inspiration, a model, or even a foil. We’ll look at and discuss some model poems and engage in an invigorating circuit of generative exercises suitable for writers of any genre.
July 12, 2017
In this Eleventh Hour, poet Michael Morse will discuss how a work of writing can inhabit its contemporary situation by addressing a distant practitioner or piece—as an inspiration, a model, or even a foil. We’ll look at and discuss some model poems and engage in an invigorating circuit of generative exercises suitable for writers of any genre.
July 11, 2017
Readers and writers often refer to novels in a binary way. They think of them as being either commercial (popular) or literary (artful). It’s a false dichotomy that sets you up to feel defensive, no matter what you write. It fails to recognize the extreme (and exciting) diversity in contemporary writing. And it underestimates readers. Quality of writing and quality of story make magic when they are the right mix at the right time, but quality is as hard to pin down as beauty or talent. Wherever your tastes and talents are on the continuum, from bestselling romance to winners of Le Prix Goncourt, there’s something to be learned at every interval, from Elmore Leonard to Paul Auster, from Shades of Gray to The Underground Railroad.
July 10, 2017
Readers and writers often refer to novels in a binary way. They think of them as being either commercial (popular) or literary (artful). It’s a false dichotomy that sets you up to feel defensive, no matter what you write. It fails to recognize the extreme (and exciting) diversity in contemporary writing. And it underestimates readers. Quality of writing and quality of story make magic when they are the right mix at the right time, but quality is as hard to pin down as beauty or talent. Wherever your tastes and talents are on the continuum, from bestselling romance to winners of Le Prix Goncourt, there’s something to be learned at every interval, from Elmore Leonard to Paul Auster, from Shades of Gray to The Underground Railroad.
July 10, 2017
If sex scenes are so hard to write, as everyone seems to agree they are, why do writers keep bothering with them? In this session, Garth Greenwell will consider some of the things sex scenes can do in fiction, the uniquely powerful tools they offer for exploring the inner and exterior lives of characters. We’ll discuss passages from Flaubert, Lawrence, Acker, and Mary McCarthy.
June 29, 2017
A novelist has it easy—his characters, sprung from imagination, don’t talk back when they are not happy with the way they’re depicted on the page. But what if your character is your ex-husband, your twin brother, your mother? Are familial loyalty and literary integrity necessarily at odds?
June 28, 2017
How to Write the Ten-Minute Play: Kelly Dwyer
June 28, 2017
How to Write the Ten-Minute Play: Kelly Dwyer
June 27, 2017
Where Experience Starts: The Image: Juliet Patterson
June 26, 2017
Where Experience Starts: The Image: Juliet Patterson
June 26, 2017
Nerve: Some Kinds of Courage Necessary for Writing: Lon Otto
June 26, 2017
Nerve: Some Kinds of Courage Necessary for Writing: Lon Otto
June 22, 2017
Same Content / Different Form: Jim Heynen
June 21, 2017
Same Content / Different Form: Jim Heynen
June 20, 2017
Work Smarter: Power Up Your Writing Routine, Amp Up Your Output: Lauren Haldeman
June 19, 2017
The Art of Play: Jeffery Renard Allen
June 19, 2017
The Art of Play: Jeffery Renard Allen
July 27, 2016
From Conception to Delivery: The Birth of One Novel w/ Amy Hassinger
July 26, 2016
Clarity and Depth: Writing between the Lines w/ Venise Berry
July 25, 2016
Ghosts, Battlefields and Hallucinations: Creative Writing from Research w/ Lauren Haldeman
July 21, 2016
Writing for Strangers: A Question of Audience w/ Lon Otto
July 20, 2016
Mysteries of Love and Grief: The Long Way from Impulse to Family Story w/ Sandra Scofield
July 18, 2016
Hybrid Writing w/ Elizabeth Robinson
July 14, 2016
Writing in the Digital Age w/ Ned Stuckey-French
July 13, 2016
Actually Writing: The Outer, Inner & Secret Practice w/ Diana Goetsch
July 12, 2016
Against Ideas w/ Paula Morris
June 23, 2016
The Power and the Place of Place w/ Eric Goodman
June 22, 2016
Please, Just Don’t Call It Journaling: Writing for Self Versus Others w/ Sarah Saffian
June 21, 2016
This is Your Brain on Literature: The Brain-Science of Writing to Reach Readers w/ BK Loren
June 20, 2016
The Poet As Collector w/ Sabrina Orah Mark
June 20, 2016
The Poet As Collector w/ Sabrina Orah Mark
June 16, 2016
Writing for Strangers: A Question of Audience w/ Lon Otto
June 15, 2016
From Conception to Delivery: The Birth of One Novel w/ Amy Hassinger
June 8, 2016
Please, Just Don’t Call It Journaling: Writing for Self Versus Others w/ Sarah Saffian
June 2, 2016
The Power and the Place of Place w/ Eric Goodman
May 31, 2016
Against Ideas w/ Paula Morris
May 23, 2016
Actually Writing: The Outer, Inner & Secret Practice w/ Diana Goetsch
May 19, 2016
Writing in the Digital Age w/ Ned Stuckey-French
May 9, 2016
Hybrid Writing w/ Elizabeth Robinson
May 4, 2016
Mysteries of Love and Grief: The Long Way from Impulse to Family Story w/ Sandra Scofield
May 2, 2016
Ghosts, Battlefields and Hallucinations: Creative Writing from Research w/ Lauren Haldeman
April 26, 2016
Clarity and Depth: Writing between the Lines w/ Venise Berry
July 30, 2015
Until the early 20th Century, almost all literary artists, including essayists, felt compelled to picture recognizable figures and images that seemed “factual.” The famous surrealist artist René Magritte began to break down that barrier by putting two unrelated objects in juxtaposition, challenging viewers to see an object differently than how it was originally perceived. We’ll look at images from Magritte and others to see how visual art might be used as inspiration for text on the page, and allow writers to recognize freedoms they may not have fully realized.
July 23, 2015
Until the early 20th Century, almost all literary artists, including essayists, felt compelled to picture recognizable figures and images that seemed “factual.” The famous surrealist artist René Magritte began to break down that barrier by putting two unrelated objects in juxtaposition, challenging viewers to see an object differently than how it was originally perceived. We’ll look at images from Magritte and others to see how visual art might be used as inspiration for text on the page, and allow writers to recognize freedoms they may not have fully realized.
July 21, 2015
A single lecture compressed from a popular weekend workshop: you have your favorite story, poem, limerick, song, theater piece, and you keep getting close—so close—to completing it. Then the dog gets the measles, you worry that your mom will read it, you get divorced, married, a new job, you take up fantasy football or water polo, you give up smoking, you try to live without the internet and everything grinds to a halt. You never finish the thing. Beau O’Reilly will use his psychic bulk, creative moxie, and his own experiences in playwriting to help you Finish the Thing.
July 21, 2015
A single lecture compressed from a popular weekend workshop: you have your favorite story, poem, limerick, song, theater piece, and you keep getting close—so close—to completing it. Then the dog gets the measles, you worry that your mom will read it, you get divorced, married, a new job, you take up fantasy football or water polo, you give up smoking, you try to live without the internet and everything grinds to a halt. You never finish the thing. Beau O’Reilly will use his psychic bulk, creative moxie, and his own experiences in playwriting to help you Finish the Thing.
July 20, 2015
In this Eleventh Hour, authors Hope Edelman and Naomi Jackson will engage in an informal conversation about the joys and challenges of writing about family relationships. With many years of experience between them writing about family in both fiction and nonfiction, the Hope and Naomi will address the landmines that many writers face, or attempt to avoid, when writing about family and loss. They will explore the sticky issues of truth and responsibility germane to writing about real people in nonfiction and contrast it against writing fiction inspired by real-life events. This conversation will help writers navigate the rocky terrain of using family content—including ethical concerns—and move you toward completion of your own family-related writing project.
July 16, 2015
Has anyone ever told you, “I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing with you,” only to discover that you are not laughing at all? While some people don’t realize just how much of a joke they are to us, the vast majority of people who consider themselves to be funny are not funny. Amber Dermont is that rare genius and comic wit who is actually funnier than she thinks she is (I know this because I am Amber Dermont). In this craft talk, Amber will offer up a variety of strategies for creating occasions of narrative delight by injecting your writing with unexpected humor.
July 15, 2015
New technologies, such as iPhones, free editing software, and YouTube, have made possible a new literary form: the video essay. In this Eleventh Hour, Ned Stuckey-French will screen some video essays and discuss their form, as well as ways to consider how text might be used as interplay with image, and how video essays might be employed across genres, such as in print, film, and documentary. We will review the elements of composing your own essay, including how to develop a script, edit, use animation, sound, incorporate found footage, and chose a strong title. We will also consider how to share your video essays, in classrooms, curated for online magazines, as well as other ideas for pairing visuals with your literary text.
July 13, 2015
All good fiction is built around a writer’s fascination with made-up people. And as practicing writers, we’re well aware that our characters should be more than “talking heads”; they should have depth and range and complexity. But how does this happen? Part of it—the unteachable part—has to do with our own self-awareness. We understand our own flaws, contradictions, and virtues so well that we begin to understand people who are not ourselves. But another part comes down to technique. In this Eleventh Hour, John Dalton presents an array of helpful rules, suggestions, craft examples, and innovative ideas. Some of the ideas are John’s, but others have been harvested from a diverse range of writers: Gustave Flaubert, Emily St. John Mandel, Joyce Carol Oates, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. One example of vivid characterization comes from the life of a Titanic survivor.
July 8, 2015
Writing is neither good nor bad; it’s only finished or unfinished. It’s in the finishing that it becomes fully realized. It may seem to take a different set of skills—even using a different part of the brain—to shape, prune, and polish the work we’ve opened our hearts to generate, but if we try to edit without keeping at least one toe in the stream of creativity inside us, we can end up dismantling powerful first drafts. In this Eleventh Hour, Mary Allen will share what’s she’s learned as a writer and a writing coach about maintaining peace, confidence, and inner balance during the editing process.
July 7, 2015
Good stories are often referred to as spellbinding. Of course they are not witchcraft, but the deft hand of the writer, who concocts a magical combination of the familiar and the unknown, of surprise and recognition, of enchanting prose. Drawing from the ideas of Kate Bernheimer and Bruno Bettelheim, among others, we’ll investigate the history of fairy tales, their story structures, the ways in which they’re rooted in a knowable world, and the elements that give them a sense of urgency, surprise, and wonder. We will connect fairytale techniques to those used in contemporary stories, and consider exercises that might bring enchantment and magic to your prose.
June 18, 2015
When story is not the main concern, what keeps us reading? How can voice, structure, or research provide a pressurizing frame—and a pleasing shape—for nonfiction material? We will explore these questions through readings that rely on elements other than narrative for forward momentum, in the tradition of the idea-driven essay. In the course of our discussion, we’ll look at a few quick examples from writers who have published nonfiction that depends on something other than narrative and unpack some of their “alternative” strategies of making.
June 16, 2015
In this Eleventh Hour, poet Michael Morse will explore how ideas and images work off of and with each other. We’ll consider some poems that use striking examples of imagery, and then we’ll play with some exercises where we allow our natural tendencies of associative thinking to generate vivid images that in turn can lead to surprise and delight in metaphor.
June 15, 2015
There’s often a crucial distinction between our whole life experience and the narrower story, or stories, that we create from it. In this Eleventh Hour, Sarah Saffian—a memoirist, teacher, and mental health therapist—will explore the concept of journal writing and its usefulness both creatively, as the raw material that we draw from to craft our stories, and personally, as a means of achieving deeper, clearer self-reflection, processing, and discovery. Please bring materials to participate in writing prompts during this lecture.
June 11, 2015
When we’re learning to write (the learning that takes a lifetime), it’s smart to focus on high-percentage moves, choices most likely to result in writing that will engage, convince, and move the reader. It’s worth remembering, however, that sometimes things normally worth avoiding perversely succeed. This Eleventh Hour will look at some examples of that phenomenon, in hopes of understanding both why the bad bet was bad, and what might account for its unexpectedly paying off.
June 10, 2015
Susan Taylor Chehak, an ardent and successful writer, blogger, and self-publisher, will discuss the who, what, why, where, when and how of doing it yourself. Susan is the driving force behind Foreverland Press, where ten of her own books have been made available to readers, both digitally and in print, along with twenty-five books from other authors. In this hour, Susan will review the rewards and risks of taking publishing into your own hands.
Loading earlier episodes...
    15
    15
      0:00:00 / 0:00:00