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Using Role-Playing Games to Generate Ideas for Writing - Scott Boyd 

photoIn this workshop I will introduce a technique that I have used to generate a piece of flash fiction; develop a character, scene, or action idea; and move past momentary writer’s block. The technique consists of using role playing games. I will open the session with a “hook”-- the problem, the role playing game as a solution, and the various benefits of that solution.  

When Sexy Isn’t: Why “Hot” Writing Leaves Your Reader Cold  - Paula J. Lambert 


Even very experienced writers can find it difficult to write erotic poetry and prose. It’s all too easy for romantic writing to take a wrong turn, resulting in something flat, dull, clichéd or cold. In this session, we’ll learn one simple tip for heating things up. Class time will be divided between sample poems (the session is equally applicable to prose), and writing time.  





Making a Scene - Mary Quade 

photoThis workshop will consider what happens in that basic narrative unit: the scene. What makes a scene? Where do you begin a scene? When should you draw it to an end? What qualities of a scene create satisfaction for your reader or audience? We’ll consider what defines a powerful scene in fiction, scripts, nonfiction, and even narrative poetry. We’ll practice applying the elements of a strong scene to our own projects and share the results with one another.  




So You Think It’s Finished: A Tour Guide Through The Editing Process - Ethan Rivera 

photoOften times writers struggle to see the weaknesses in their own writing and aren’t sure what to look for when trying to improve their work. I will discuss different processes and keys to look for when editing your own work or the work of peers. This will also include tactics on how to present editing ideas so that peers and students are more receptive to constructive criticism. The presentation would start with an overview of what to look for in writing that can be improved. The skills involved will include replacing adverbs with images, finding sharper action verbs, finding interesting line breaks, replacing descriptors with images that encompass that descriptor (i.e. red could become fire engine), and using the language of an image to make that image come to life. The presentation would conclude with a workshop involving the editing of song lyrics. We would use Taylor Swift’s “Red” as a resource to go through and edit and come up with new, more effective lines and language.  


Find Inventive Ways to Write Memoirs and Other First-Person Nonfiction and Generate More Publishing Opportunities - Nichole L. Reber 

photoDid you know that the first-person point of view isn’t a mandate in memoir or nonfiction? More and more publishers today insist on new, unique ways of telling first-person stories. They want stories like Dinty W. Moore’s hybrid cultural memoir Between Panic and Desire, which used poetry, screenplay, epigraphs, and other techniques to create something fast-reading and funny. But how do you start? It starts with observing the larger issues behind your writing and applying techniques that take the reader on a journey.  




Bootleg MFA:  Enriching Your Unschooled Writing Life - Sayuri Ayers 

imageThis seminar is intended for the beginning to intermediate poet who doesn’t have access academic training and will provide students with local (Columbus, Ohio) resources for building their writing lives with an emphasis on community. There will be a brief introduction to poetry venues, free/inexpensive workshops, online resources (writing, workshop forums, and publication tools), and books.   





The Power of Ritual and Metaphor: Diving into the Unconscious via Writing -  Brandi Lust  

photoIn this workshop, participants will learn how to enhance inspiration and facilitate engagement between art and life via an exploration of metaphor and ritual. We will mine our own lives for rich metaphors and embedded rituals via reflection and discussion, explore and practice the writing of rituals together, and experience how ritual settings and effective metaphors can shape experiences in purposeful ways.   




Seers, Prophets and Spirit Guides: Make the Most of Your Agent of Change - Laura Matthias Bendoly

This presentation will be largely audience-based. I will begin by calling for a list of most-loved literary characters, then a list of most loved villains (there may be some crossover) and, finally, a list of advisors. Participants will then write and trade work to create absurd pairings of “prophet” terminology with other, simpler words. These combination will show how writers can vary from the generic and create fresh descriptions they may use in future works. 

Fanfiction: What it isn’t, What it is, and What to do with it - Joan Petrusky

Lev Grossman, author of the “The Magician” television series and writer for TIME Magazine, said of fanfiction, “The writers write it and put it up online just for the satisfaction. They're fans, but they're not silent, couch bound consumers of media. The culture talks to them, and they talk back to the culture in its own language.” Fanfiction is the amateur writing of stories using characters and world building that have already been created by someone else, in ways that the original authors might never have intended. It’s not new though, and arguments can be made that much of the professionally made media we consume today is some sort of fanfiction. Join us as we examine the history of fanfiction, what fanfic writers are up to today, their relationship to professional authors, and the elements of writing and learning to write fiction that come into play.

Short Forms in Poetry: Compression, Distillates, and Simplicity - Su Flatt

The simple goal of this workshop will be to introduce attendees to a variety of short forms, examples of those forms, their histories, and explanations of how to write them. Then attendees will work with those forms, share, and comment on their own work. Every attendee will leave with an extensive handout covering many short forms and a small blank book in which to collect and share their own short forms.

The Art of the Scene - Christiane Buuck and Meredith Doench

Have you ever felt that a scene in your writing hasn’t yet reached its full potential? Have you ever wondered about ways to start writing difficult scenes? In this generative workshop we will explore several strategies and scenarios for crafting strong scenes. Writers of all genres are welcome.  

Writing Art: Ekphrastic Poetry - Joshua Butts

Responding to art via the written word has roots in Ancient Greece, and the gesture has continued to this day. Some of the most important poets of the twentieth century, from Auden to Bishop to Plath to Levis, were compelled to use verse to respond to visual art. Poets like Terrance Hayes and Erika Meitner continue this tradition in the twenty-first century, and the poetry magazine Rattle even holds a monthly ekphrastic poetry contest. This presentation will provide an overview of twentieth- and twenty-first century ekphrastic examples, while discussing strategies for writing ekphrastic poetry. This presentation will discuss the powers and challenges of: relying on and relaying the image; talking back to the image; reading into the scene; and speaking for/to the characters. The presentation will conclude with an exercise that will get participants started on an ekphrastic project. At the beginning of the presentation two images will be distributed; at the end of the session participants will start drafting a poem based on one of these images with guidance from the presenter. Participants can also bring a copy of an image to work on during the exercise portion.