Monday, October 20, 2014

Write Angles Conference 2014

Another Write Angles Conference has come and gone. It's amazing how months of planning is done in an instant.

Here is a list of this year's panels:

Doing What You Love: Sustaining Your Writerly Practice
Panelists: Liz Bedell (moderator), Áine Greaney, Christian McEwen, Holly Wren Spaulding
Do you ever struggle to find time to write, or to make best use of the time and space you have to write? Do you wrestle with burnout, writer’s block, or the muse’s fickle attention? This panel will explore what is really at the heart of the matter: how to nourish and sustain your writing self, amidst the perils of both external responsibilities (job, family, community) and internal distractions (self-doubt, dithering, curiosities).

The Essay: A Genre for All Reasons
Panelists: Daniel Jones, Alison Lobron, Bill Newman, Darlene Smith-Ash (moderator)
We read them everywhere – op-eds, reviews, on-line commentary, and profiles of the famous and the unknown. The length varies as much as the subject matter. This panel promises to be scintillating and surprising as we consider the many facets of the essay.

“Who’s Speaking and Why Does it Matter?”
Workshop leader: Ellen Meeropol
Choosing the point of view(s) for your fiction is critical. Through discussion and writing exercises, this workshop will consider who speaks, to whom, and at what distance from the action. Bring pen and paper!

Building a Platform: What Is It, Do You Need It, and How Do You Create It?
Panelists: Linda Cardillo, Avital Norman Nathman, Jean Stone, Julie Winberg (moderator)
In the evolving publishing climate, it has become more and more important for authors to engage with their readers and create a “platform” that demonstrates visibility, creativity and reach to a defined audience. Panelists will discuss what it means to build a platform, whether we need one, and how to develop it?

Pen in the Sickroom: Getting the Illness/Caretaking Experience on Paper
Panelists: Jeanne Borfitz (moderator), Joanna Lillian Brown, Jan Freeman, Nell Lake, Suzanne Strempek Shea
Why does experience with illness and caregiving turn ordinary folks into writers, novelists and poets into memoirists, and writers of prose into poets? What pulls at us from the depths of our souls and compels us to translate intensely personal experiences and conflicted emotions into words? How do we unload such heavy emotional burdens while continuing to hold their meaning close? How can our words provide inspiration, strength, and hope to readers? Panelists will discuss why and how they write about their own and others’ experiences with illness and caregiving.

Read & Weed: Critiquing for Growth
Workshop Leaders: Liz Bedell, Cheryl Malandrinos, Jean Marie Ruiz, Darlene Smith-Ash
Plucking through garden weeds and flowers takes knowledge, tools, and a gentle hand. This applies to writing as well. Some words or phrases are unnecessary weeds, while others are exotic, beautiful flowers meant to blossom and enhance a narrative. In this experiential workshop facilitators will guide participants in the art of helpful critique. Using one-page, blind samples of participants’ writing, we will focus on the writer’s words and concept, resisting the temptation to re-write. Honest critiquing, like earnest weeding, is beneficial, but knowing where to stop can be tricky. This session focuses on the art of giving constructive critique, giving you strategies you can apply to your own writing to become an active editor in your own garden of words. You will be asked to submit a single page of writing (in any genre) immediately after registration. Please be sure to mark the box on your registration form, indicating your interest in this workshop. The workshop size is limited to 24.

Muse or Method? The Poetry Process in Perspective
Panelists: Sally Bellerose, Terry S. Johnson (moderator), Gail Thomas
A lively presentation about how poets work, and an opportunity for the audience to try out various approaches. A handout will be available with options and prompts.

The Agents
Literary agents tell what they look for in a publishable manuscript.

I took in the panel on essay writing first thing in the morning. Then I worked with a group of others on the critiquing workshop panel. After lunch I sat down and listened to what the agents had to say. This is the first year I didn't leave with a handful of books--only because of the limited space in my office.

The planning committee wrapped up the fun by going out to eat.

I can't wait to see what we do next year!

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