Taking Your Writing to the Next Level
Saturday, October 16, 2021 ~ 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. CDT
To register, go here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Tickets are limited; register early! After the event, recordings of all sessions will be available to registrants unable to attend all sessions.
All times listed are Central Time. Please adjust as necessary for your own time zone.
Opening Keynote Speaker ~ Leslie C. Youngblood 9:15a.m.-9:45a.m.
A former assistant professor of creative writing at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, Leslie C. Youngblood has received a host of writing honors, including a 2014 Yaddo Elizabeth Ames Residency and the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Prize. She saw her critically acclaimed debut middle-grade novel, Love Like Sky, publish in 2018 with Disney Books. Her current MG novel, Forever This Summer, published in July 2021 with Little Brown Books for Young Readers. Born in Bogalusa, Louisiana, Leslie currently lives in Rochester, New York, and is at work on her third novel. She will share her personal writing story along with her path to publishing.
Closing Keynote Speaker ~ Alex Kiester 3:45p.m.-4:15p.m.
After graduating from Rhodes College with a degree in creative writing, Alex Kiester worked as a copyeditor for the Journal of the Texas House of Representatives then as a book editor for a boutique romance publisher. Her debut novel, In Her Skin, came out as an Audible Original in fall, 2019. It was listed as one of November’s Top Ten Trending Audible Originals and was included in Audible’s roundup of “Rave-Worthy Listens” for winter 2019 and August 2020. Her forthcoming novel, The Truth About Ben and June, will be out February 2022. She currently lives in Austin, TX with her husband.
INFORMATIVE & INTERACTIVE WORKSHOPS
Memoir vs Fiction: Did That Really Happen? ~ Eileen Sanchez 10:00a.m.-11:00a.m.
In this workshop you will learn how to decide to tell an important life event. When your writing is based on personal experience, you can choose to present it as fiction or non-fiction. When the presenter realized she was a witness to a unique event in Civil Rights history she felt a responsibility to share her experience. It seemed to be a memoir. As the memoir unfolded on the page unexpected issues arose. What was the best way to tell the story? Why was this an important story to tell? Who would the audience be? From point of view to privacy, participants will learn the decision points between memoir and fiction. Tell your story.
Eileen Harrison Sanchez is now retired after a forty-year career in education. She started as a teacher and ended as a district administrator. A reader, a writer and a perennial—a person with a no-age mindset—Sanchez considers family and friends to be the most important parts of her life, followed by traveling and bird watching from her gazebo. Freedom Lessons is her first published novel.
Eileen is an administrator of Prose and the Pandemic and blogs as Gram’s Book Club, recommending books to inform young people of the small stories that make up our history. Before retirement she presented numerous workshops to educators at district, state and national levels. She continues to present in person and virtually, to readers and educators at conferences, book clubs and in libraries on using historical fiction to teach social justice.
The Building Blocks of a Story: How to Craft Scenes With Purpose and Power ~ Barbara Linn Probst 11:15a.m.-12:15p.m.
Scenes are the building blocks of fiction, memoir, and screenplays. This hands-on, step-by-step workshop will take participants through the components of an effective scene, why each component is important, and how to spot (and correct) weaknesses. A framework, with examples, will be used to illustrate different kinds of scene structure. Together, we will examine some scenes that work and some that don’t. Participants will have an opportunity to apply the framework to one of their own scenes-in-progress, which they are asked to bring to the session.
Barbara Linn Probst is a writer of award-winning fiction and non-fiction, whose debut novel Queen of the Owls (April 2020) is the powerful story of a woman’s search for wholeness, framed around the art and life of iconic American painter Georgia O’Keeffe. Queen of the Owls was a medalist or finalist for seven awards, including the Sarton Award. Barbara’s second book, The Sound Between the Notes (April 2021) explores timeless questions of identity and belonging through the unique perspective of a musician and is the recipient of a starred Kirkus Review, given only to books “of remarkable merit.”
Barbara has a PhD in clinical social work and is a former researcher, teacher, and advocate. She has conducted numerous workshops and webinars for writers’ organizations including Author Learning Center, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, National Organization of Memoir Writers, Jane Friedman, and Story Circle Network. She has also published nearly fifty essays on the craft of writing and the writing life.
Accessing Memory: Writing into the Gaps ~ Sandell Morse 1:30p.m.-2:30p.m.
In this interactive workshop, you will learn to “see” an image, move your writing into an event and then to reflection. You will begin with two warmup exercises to get you settled, present, and ready to write. You will proceed to a more complex exercise that will help you go deeper into your writing and reflect.
Sandell Morse is the prize-winning author of the memoir The Spiral Shell: A French Village Reveals Its Secrets of Jewish Resistance in World War II (Schaffner Press, April 2020). Morse’s nonfiction has been noted in The Best American Essays series and published in Creative Nonfiction, Ploughshares, the New England Review, Fourth Genre ASCENT, Solstice, and Tiferet, among others. The Spiral Shell is a Silver Medal winner in the Story Circle Women’s Book Awards, 2020.
Morse has been a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, an Associate Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, a resident at the Hewnoaks Artists’ Colony, a Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, an instructor in the English Department at the University of New Hampshire, and a visiting lecturer in the English Department at the University of Maine, Farmington. She has also taught workshops for the New Hampshire Writers’ Project and the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, and has been a presenter at the Ocean Park Writers’ Conference, Maine, Chautauqua by the Sea. She holds degrees from Wilson College, the University of New Hampshire, and Dartmouth College.
Cultivating Creative Momentum ~ Jen Knox 2:45p.m.-3:45p.m.
Creative living is not always about quitting the day job and having endless time. It’s a way of life, and it looks different for everyone. Herein lies the beauty of being a writer. We cultivate creative momentum by finding a different way of interacting with the world. It’s a practice, and this workshop is a simple guide to establishing that practice. By the end of the session, we will learn new tools for breaking creative blocks, establishing realistic goals, and finding deeper emotional resonance in our writing. We will share, laugh, write, and strategize in ways that best support our personal creative vision.
Jen Knox is an award-winning author and speaker who teaches writing, meditation, and leadership. She is passionate about sharing techniques for linking breath, mind, and movement to help people break blocks and tap into the power of their personal stories. After teaching creative writing for over a decade, Jen began to coach writers 1:1 and offer idea-to-publication services through Unleash Creatives, a holistic arts organization she founded and co-owns.
Jen earned her BA in English at Otterbein University and her MFA from Bennington College. Her short fiction can be found in The Best Small Fictions (edited by Amy Hempel), The Adirondack Review, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Quarterly Review, Gargoyle Magazine, Little Fictions, Literary Orphans, Lunch Ticket, The New Guard, Poor Claudia, Room Magazine, and The Saturday Evening Post. Her collections include The Glass City (Prize Americana winner), Resolutions (AUX Media), and After the Gazebo (Pen/Faulkner nominee). Jen’s chapbook of flash fiction, Dandelion Ghosts, will be out later this year.
Q&A WITH OUR 2020 SARTON AND GILDA AWARD-WINNING AUTHORS
~ Len Leatherwood, Moderator 12:30p.m.-1:15p.m.
Join us for this informative session with Dani Alpert, whose book The Girlfriend Mom won the Gilda Award; Jennifer Smith Turner, author of Child Bride, the Sarton Award winner for historical fiction; Debra Thomas, whose novel Luz won the Sarton Award for contemporary fiction; Susan Cerulean, author of I Have Been Assigned the Single Bird, the Sarton Award winner for memoir; and (tentatively) Doris Weatherford, whose book Victory for the Vote won the nonfiction Sarton Award.