Writing Outside the Box: Playing with the Page - Meg Eden
Writers are discovering that nothing is off limits on the page. Novels are coming out that emulate video games, choose-your-own-adventures, text messages, tweets, emails, and more. What can we learn from the text mediums in our daily lives, and how can we apply the strengths of these mediums to our writing? Come to this workshop to take part in a lively discussion on the possibilities for the page, as well as practice writing in unconventional mediums through a writing exercise.
Meg Eden’s work is published or forthcoming in magazines including Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Crab Orchard Review, RHINO, and CV2. She teaches creative writing at Anne Arundel Community College. She is the author of five poetry chapbooks, the novel Post-High School Reality Quest (2017), and the forthcoming poetry collection, Drowning in the Floating World (2020). She runs the Magfest MAGES Library blog, which posts accessible academic articles about video games. Find her online at www.megedenbooks.com or on Twitter at @ConfusedNarwhal.
How to Write in the Voice of the Opposite Sex - John DeDakis
Emotions are not gender specific. We all have them. It just takes a little work (okay, a LOT), to get into the head of the opposite sex. In this session, we'll explore techniques for how it can be done. But the emphasis of this class goes beyond gender. The goal is also to learn ways to follow one's curiosity about people of other races, ages, cultures, and socioeconomic backgrounds with an eye on creating interesting and varied characters.
John DeDakis - Journalist, novelist, and writing coach John DeDakis is a former Senior Copy Editor on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer." DeDakis is the author of five novels in the Lark Chadwick mystery-suspense series. His fourth novel, Bullet in the Chamber, is the winner of Reviewers Choice, Foreword INDIES, and Feathered Quill book awards. In his most recent novel, Fake, Lark is a White House correspondent dealing with “fake news” in the era of #MeToo. DeDakis regularly teaches novel writing at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda and the Politics & Prose Bookstore in D.C. He is also a jazz drummer. For more info, visit: www.johndedakis.com
How to Hook Readers: It's a Brain Thing - Laura J. Oliver
The human brain has evolved to biologically respond to story in specific ways savvy writers use to captivate readers. This workshop teaches writers to fulfill and exceed readers’ hard-wired expectations from the first sentence to the last.
This fun and dynamic workshop fascinates as it informs. Participants leave armed with a new understanding of the concrete elements stories must deliver and why. Learn the difference between good stories and stories readers (agents and publishers) just can’t put down.
Crossing the Length Bridge: Working with Short and Long-Form Fiction - Kris Faatz
Are you a novelist eager to explore short fiction, or a short-story expert who would like to write a novel but isn’t sure where to start? This session is for you! We’ll explore how to cross the bridge from short to long form and back again, and we’ll look at common ground between the two forms, especially two specific story elements essential to both: well-developed, unique characters and “bottom story.” The session will include lecture, discussion, and one or more writing exercises. You’ll leave with a starting point and ideas for your next project.
Kris Faatz’s short fiction has appeared in various journals including Kenyon Review, The Baltimore Review, and 100 Word Story, and has received recognition in competitions run by Glimmer Train, The Woven Tale Press, and NYC Midnight. Her first novel, To Love a Stranger (released 2017 by Blue Moon Publishers), was a finalist for the 2016 Schaffner Press Music in Literature Award. Kris has been a teaching fellow at the Kenyon Review Writers Workshops and a preliminary round judge for the Flannery O'Connor Short Fiction Award. She teaches creative writing with the Baltimore County Public Library system, Writopia Lab DC, and Baltimore Bridges.
Flash Fiction: Fantastic New Forms - Tara Campbell
Have you ever looked at an order form or a recipe and thought, “There’s a story there”? No? Well, it’s time to change that. In this workshop, we’ll explore different forms of flash fiction and use them as the basis for our own, off-kilter creations. These stories are often called "hermit crab" stories, because they hide in unexpected shapes. Come ready to read, write, and uncover new stories of your own!
Tara Campbell (www.taracampbell.com) is a writer, teacher, Kimbilio Fellow, and fiction editor at Barrelhouse. Prior publication credits include SmokeLong Quarterly, Masters Review, Jellyfish Review, Booth, and Strange Horizons. She's the author of a novel, TreeVolution, a hybrid fiction/poetry collection, Circe's Bicycle, and a short story collection, Midnight at the Organporium. She received her MFA from American University in 2019.
SESSION SUMMARIES by TRACK