Skip to Main Content

2017 Writing Intensive Workshops


Writing Poetic Truth: The Lyric Essay

James Allen Hall

Memory has been called the ultimate mythmaker; still, the creative nonfiction writer must be dedicated to the act of delivering these memory-myths in as true – and as beautiful – a way as possible. This workshop will focus on the Lyric Essay, a newer form that borrows from the poet’s toolbox in order to tell true stories. We will see how writers marry and mix subject matter with formal and linguistic daring, metaphor, and the silence of white space in order to tell their poetic truths.

Create the Perfect Title, Tagline and Pitch for Your Book  

Sam Horn

Quick. What do you say when people ask, “What’s your book about?” Your response is either a deal-maker or a deal-breaker. Sam Horn, former Executive Director of the world-renowned Maui Writers Conference, literally wrote the book on this topic and has helped thousands of people (really) create winning titles, taglines and pitches for their books. This is a hands-on session so you can instantly apply these POP! techniques to create a concise, compelling 60 second “elevator speech” for your project that motivates agents, editors and readers to say, “Tell me more.”

From Novel to Graphic Novel: Exploring Visual Narrative

Caroline Preston

Publishers are increasingly interested in new approaches and formats for fiction including the graphic novel. In this workshop, Preston will discuss how after publishing three traditional novels she switched to graphic novels. She will show the step-by-step process of creating a graphic novel and getting it published. The workshop will also explore other recent novels that have used visuals and other nontraditional formats.

That Elusive Feeling of Story-ness

Eric Puchner

How many times have you shown someone the draft of a short story, and they’ve responded with “This is great, but it’s not a story”? What does this even mean? In this discussion-based workshop, we’ll talk about what makes a story a story, trying to locate that sweet spot where plot scratches the “story” itch in our brains without feeling canned or predigested. How do you create a sense of completion while imbuing your plot with the complexity, surprise, and open-endedness of life?

Writing Characters That Root Into A Reader’s Soul

Christopher Scotton

Character development isn’t just an important element of great story telling…it’s THE most important element—even more critical than plot! However, many aspiring writers fail to craft compelling, multi-dimensional characters who stick with readers long after the last page is turned. This hands-on seminar will focus on the nuts and bolts of creating characters that leap off the page and burrow into readers’ hearts. Afterwards, you’ll be armed with a toolbox of techniques and ideas to make your characters come alive.

Writing—and Righting—History’s Foundation

David Willman

Willman will discuss essential lessons learned for writers interested in composing non-fiction that is both authoritative and compelling. He’ll share how researching a book about the biggest unsolved mystery from the nation’s post-September 11 trauma led him to confront and challenge official and journalistic narratives that proved erroneous. In so doing, Willman will demonstrate how bucking conventional wisdom in a relentless pursuit of the truth produced an exciting and true story that was named one of the year’s “outstanding books” by the American Library Association’s Booklist.


Why Write?

Christopher Tilghman

In the spirit of fellowship with scribblers everywhere, I ask what drives us to do it. Why, when others may be heading to the beach for the weekend, we stay home in the dark corners of our houses and write? I suggest some reasons for this odd behavior that have made sense to me. I also suggest that there may well be some good reasons not to write. In the end, this is one person’s view of the pleasures and rewards, and the frustrations, of the life with the written word.