Below is information from the 12th Annual Winter Wheat Festival.
Friday, November 16, 2012
FIRST SESSION -- 1:00-2:15
A1. Videopoems, Hypertexts, and Book Trailers: Creative Writing Goes Multimedia with Miranda Roehler, Tabatha Wolph, Alisha Neumann, and Dave Essinger
Faculty and students from the University of Findlay will present and discuss poems reborn into video, hypertext treatments of traditional narratives, and novels reimagined as movie trailers. Multimedia can be a great way to promote and enliven your writing, and we'll address problems and opportunities of the translation process, and share handy how-to tips you can apply to your own work.
A2. Creative Topics: Beating the Blank Page with Heather Jordan and Christine Garbett
This workshop focuses on the often dreaded and sometimes paralyzing assignment of topic development when staring at the blank page or screen. Led by two second-year composition instructors, this session will be a series of exercises that will explore new ways of generating ideas for writing assignments. By encouraging student writers to embrace their creativity and their existing knowledge as well as experience, these exercises are designed with a rhetorical twist to ensure that they fit within a composition curriculum as well as a creative writing course. Attendees will take away a handout that describes each of the exercises with ideas for additional lessons along with a few new ideas for their own writing that will have been started during the workshop. A list of other possible topics or pieces will be generated for future projects to consider as time and necessity require.
A3. It's a Bird, It's a Plane! No, It's... a Superhero in Short Fiction? with Melissa Mickael
In this panel, we will learn more about how superheroes have infiltrated popular, literary, and genre fiction, straying from their traditional place on the comic book page. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a prose-based superhero over one that can be colored and inked? Then, we try our hand at writing our superheroes into their tights.
A4. The Use of Pastoral in Contemporary Poetry with Casey Nichols and Katrin Tschirgi
This workshop will focus on the presence of the pastoral in contemporary poetry. We will share a little history of the genre or mode, incorporate the senses into the discussion, have writing time (examples could include scents and sounds specific to rural landscapes), and share our work.
A5. The Dark Absurdist Elsewhere with Jade Ramsey
By studying dark absurdist artwork we may allow ourselves to take our poetry and fiction in directions we weren't intending, creating an "elsewhere" that could be out of this world or into the dirt. We'll examine the bizarre paintings of Andy van Schyndle, whose nightmarish scenes conjure a grim childhood-- rich fodder for our own art.
A6. 10 Ways to Impress an Editor with PageSpring Publishing
Katherine Matthews and Rebecca Seum, editors at PageSpring Publishing, will share their inside perspective from the acquisitions desk. You'll learn what really makes an editor take notice and how to vault your submission from slush-pile query to book contract.
A7. Leave Your Inhibitions at the Door: How to Write the Erotic (Tastefully and Tactfully) with Anna Rose Welch
Have you ever wanted someone rip off their (or your) clothes because of your poems? Well, here is your chance to fulfill that fantasy. In this session, we will read works of erotic poetry by various contemporary authors and get down-and-dirty with several writing exercises that will help you write about sex in ways you've never even thought of.
A8. Epi-All with Dara Wier
Epi-All: a defining speculation about qualities anything epi will have; a chance to write 9 epiphanies (epigrams or epithets) in 27 minutes, a sharing of these & conversation
SECOND SESSION -- 2:30-3:45
B1. Blackout Poetry with Suzanna Anderson
Inspired by Austin Kleon's "Newspaper Blackout," we'll create our own blackout poetry. We'll also discuss what blackout poetry is and give a brief history. Free books will be provided!
B2. The Seven Basic Plots with Lawrence Coates
Novelists frequently make use of archetypical plots to structure their works. In this lecture/workshop, Lawrence Coates will discuss seven basic plot structures and how to make use of them in your work. The talk is based on Christopher Booker's monumental work The Seven Basic Plots.
B3. From Prompt to Poem with LewEllyn Hallett
Prompts and exercises, triggers and visuals. A poet can discover new territories, or new pathways into familiar regions, by way of these staged beginnings. And sometimes that's just what we need. Prompts lead us to poems we would never discover otherwise. Examining a painting or other visual can provide vivid imagery, or hit us with insight on themes we often try to write about. In this workshop we will make use of two prompts or exercises to put words on the page, and then together we will practice steps to take this choreographed writing toward a poem. An important part of our time will be working with the words inspired by the prompt in order to find kernels of poem and determine what direction that poem wants to go. We will also discuss how to generate our own prompts or inspiration when we want to be writing more or writing something new. Our goal will be to have the beginnings of two new poems by end of workshop.
B4. Rhythm and Muse: Using Music to Establish Tone in Your Writing with Suzanne Hodsden and Gabrielle Hovendon
This workshop will discuss establishing tone and rhythm in writing by using music. Participants will spend time freewriting to global music selections with varying beats, then talk about the differences created in sentence length and word choices, and explore editing tools.
B5. Beating the Blank Page: Working with the 5 Senses with Heather Jordan and Christine Garbett
In this workshop, writers will be led through a series of exercises designed to help explore the many word choices and options we have for description using all of our five senses. This will be a truly sensory experience designed to stretch the vocabulary and language muscles.
B6. Not Quite Time Travel with Eric Schlich
Dealing with the idea of "time travel" in a non-sci-fi sense, this session will examine how poets and fiction writers control pacing, slowing down, speeding up, or traveling across time to reveal character or theme. We'll explore examples by Sharon Olds, Tobias Wolff, and Dino Buzzati, then have some fun creating our own time machines.
B7. Invented Languages of Aliens and Elves: How to Fake It Like a Linguist with Sherri Wells-Jensen, Jason Wells-Jensen, and Pauline Baird.
From Tolkien's Elvish to HBO's Dothraki (courtesy of original author George R.R. Martin and linguist David Peterson), writers have given their alien civilizations the added wonder and verisimilitude of new and original languages. These never-before-heard tongues add a sense of depth to a culture and can, if done cleverly, draw the reader more deeply into the created world, reinforcing subjective impressions of who these people are and what they are like. Messing about with alien sounds and alien syntax is dangerous, however, and, if done clumsily, can be confusing or even off-putting to your readers. Using the invented language in The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley as a well-wrought and accessible example, we will walk you through the selection of sounds, word-formation, and basic syntax to match the kind of subjective impression you'd like your language to provide. We will also offer some guidelines for getting started on your own.
B8. On Demand: Publishing Your Work in the Digital Age with Sarah White
Want to get published? We'll examine all of the ways that writers can put their work "out there": social networking, blogging, on-demand publishing, etc.
Roundtable Discussion, 4:00-5:00, Open to All
So What Are You Doing for the Rest of Your Life?
with the Greenville Poets
The Greenville Poets, a well published poetry group from Southern Ohio, will discuss: how to manage a writing career once you are out of the academic setting, how to start a writering group that will last 20+ years, how to get first books into print, and how to keep words coming without the help of a due date.
Saturday, November 17, 2012
FIRST SESSION -- 9:00-10:15
C1. You Have Some Writing...Now What? with Abigail Cloud
So you have some stories or poems. What do you do with them? In this session, designed for writers who haven't yet attempted to get their work published, MAR's Editor-in-Chief will talk about techniques, organizational systems, and search strategies aimed to help find markets for your work.
C2. For Epiphany? Against Epiphany? Not so Fast... with Brad Felver
James Joyce is famous for his use of epiphany throughout Dubliners. Charles Baxter claims that these "Promethean Gestures" are ill-advised for most writers. This session will investigate these dueling philosophies. It will further complicate the issue with a discussion of reader-centric epiphany vs. character-centric epiphany vs. false epiphanies. Do any of these epiphanies really exist, or do we just wish they existed? Which most accurately depicts the world we live in? How would famous stories change as the manipulation of epiphany changes? How can writers manipulate an audience's desire for epiphany? Ultimately, we will take time to try our hands at new endings to our own work. Perhaps a true epiphany is what is needed for that story you've written. Perhaps it should be reader-centered rather than character-centered. Or perhaps you should aim for a false epiphany.
C3. Proof! with Rachel Gast
A panel on the dos and don'ts of editing short stories and articles. Tips, tricks, spotting "the goods," and basic grammatical and stylistic rules will be included! An excellent presentation for emerging writers looking to send work to magazines and journals for editing.
C4. Found Characters: Getting Your Fiction Started with Krista Hilton
Some sources include newspaper/magazine articles, obituaries, history on the Internet, snapshots of people I don't know, an overheard snippet of conversation, etc. This workshop will explore the possibilities of the found character.
C5. Fiction and Food: You Are What You Eat with Paul Morin and Melissa Mickael
We all have to eat--even our characters. Join us in a discussion of how the description of food and food consumption can be utilized in fiction to provide context, subtext, and delicious text. At the end of the panel, writers will have a chance to produce grief, love, and villainy at the dinner table themselves.
C6. The Haunt: Writing Poetry After Dreams with Erin Miller
This session will discuss the haunting nature of dreams, especially those that give us a peculiar, textured feeling in the morning, and the mythology of dreams. This will lead into a discussion of the difficulties of writing creatively about dreams and what this involves (sticking to the storyline of the dream or straying, thinking about how the dream relates to your waking life, the purpose of writing about this particular dream, etc.). After this, participants will take 15-20 minutes to write about a dream, and we will come back as a group and share.
C7. Finding Inspiration in Found Poems with Elizabeth Mitchell
Participants will look at examples of how poets have used the lines of other poets, newspaper clippings, and other sources to jumpstart a poem or fuel its words. After reading and discussing some works, participants will have some time to write and share.
C8. Place in Poetry with Brett Sipes
This workshop will focus on writing about place in poetry. We will examine some examples of poems/poets that are concerned with a specific location, focusing on specific techniques poets use to bring a place to life, how the setting of a poem can be important, and how we can address place in our own writing. Writing time will be provided so we can practice the ideas and techniques we have examined.
SECOND SESSION -- 10:30-11:45
D1. Creative Approaches to Teaching Grammar: Using a Grammar RAFTT with Holly Bird
Oftentimes a big problem composition instructors face is how to teach grammar in an engaging way that also does not take away from precious class time needed to discuss higher order concerns. Grammar RAFTT(S) are a great way to help solve this problem. RAFTT (Role. Audience. Format. Topic. Tone.) is a creative writing tool to assess students' learning. The student takes on an assigned role and writes in a particular genre for a specific audience. For example, in a history class, the instructor may want to assess the students' learning of WWII by asking them to imagine themselves as soldiers and write letters to their mothers about the hardships of WWII. This same kind of concept can be used with grammar that both engages students and helps them learn and improve errors. In this workshop, participants will learn about Grammar RAFTT(s), see examples, have an opportunity to create their own Grammar RAFTT(s), and finally brainstorm other RAFTT ideas that could be useful to teach grammar.
D2. Flarf! with Justin Carter
What is Flarf poetry? We'll discuss examples of work by K. Silem Mohammad, Gary Sullivan, Steve Roggenbuck, and others. Then, we'll look at spam emails, etc., and create our own poems from them.
D3. Getting God into (or out of) the Poem with Jeff Gundy
"Religious" poetry is staging a comeback, even as many Americans flee organized religion. We'll look at recent poems with wildly various religious and spiritual content, and write in response. Devout believers, convicted atheists, conflicted seekers, and interested others are equally welcome.
D4. Radio Girls: Our Journey as Book Podcasters with Renee Nicholson and Natalie Sypolt
Looking for a way to broaden your experience in books or arts culture? Join SummerBooks literary podcast co-hosts Natalie Sypolt and Renee Nicholson as they discuss how a love of reading, a history of discussing books informally, and a nifty mp3 recorder started an arts-entrepreneurship project that grew from an idea to over 700 hits in one short summer. Get ideas on how to expand your own projects, how to talk about books and reviewing, and roundtable discussions on how to use the Internet to connect to and create literary community.
D5. Boys Who Cry, Girls Who Brawl with Eric Schlich & Jade Ramsey
In this session we will begin with George Saunders' satirical essay, "My Amendment," to deconstruct the false dichotomy of male vs. female. Then we'll take a look at a few fiction shorts and poems that champion the effiminate man and the masculine woman and discuss any other gender-bending topics these works provoke. Finally, you will have time to write to stir up a little gender trouble of your own.
D6. The Big Fat Writing Journal and Other Ways of Keeping Your Creative Life Organized with Sophfronia Scott
A good note keeping system is essential for any writer who hopes to regularly produce good work. As creative writing professor Louis Catron once wrote, "The well-maintained writer's journal is the writer's constant companion, confidant, receptacle for ideas, storehouse of projects, and stimulus for further writing." But how do you find, design and maintain the right system for you? We'll examine old school (binders, notebooks) and new school (Evernote, Dropbox) methods as well as different ideas about what constitutes useful material for an effective writing journal.
D7. A Visit from the Geek Squad: How Your Fiction Can Embrace Technological Advances with Heather Startup
In this seminar, we will discuss how to incorporate new technologies into our fiction in a way that enriches the story and enhances its themes.
D8. Lights, Camera, Fiction! The Positive Influence of Movies on Novel and Short Story Writing with Eric Wasserman and Chris Drabick.
Are you tired of stuffy purists telling you to only study great fiction in order to solve problems in your own stories? So are we! Join this panel of fiction writers (both of whom also just happen to be movie junkies) for an unapologetic look at techniques in film that can be directly applied to crafting dynamic fiction. For a long time there have been serious, and quite valid discussions concerning the negative effects movies have had on the art of serious fiction, particularly in the workshop setting. However, over the course of the 20th century movies developed into a serious art form. The contemporary fiction writer is also a sponge of sorts. There is a great deal that aspiring fiction writers can and should learn and absorb from other artistic mediums, especially film.
THIRD SESSION -- 1:00-2:15
E1. Historical Fiction: Writing as Time-travel with Susan Carpenter
For those with an urge toward historical fiction: following the tracks of well-known novelists, this workshop will set you up with the means to revisit and re-create a fascinating event in a long-gone era. Among other things, we will focus on choosing place, time, and main character, getting the details right, and handling information.
E2. The Overlap: Teaching Creative Writing and Developmental English with James Demonte and Tobin Terry
In this session, we will discuss the overlap involved in teaching both creative writing and developmental English. How can we use the skills from each of these realms to enhance the other? How can this overlap strengthen our own writing outside of the classroom?
E3. What Catches a Judge's Eye? with The Greenville Poets.
The Greenville Poets will discuss contest entries from the judge's point of view. Should you enter; should you pay a fee? Are contests "fair"? What helps your submission, what detracts?
E4. From Poet to Publisher: Starting Your Own Small Press with Paula Lambert
This session discusses the perils, pitfalls, and yes, pure joy of starting an independent small press. Paula J Lambert, poet, has this year morphed into Paula Perkins, publisher (Full/Crescent Press), and will discuss that dual identity. Topics will include costs, format, design, advertising, social media, etc. The emphasis is on book publishing, but some elements will apply to self-publishing as well.
E5. Up Close and Personal with Your Characters with Nathen Martin and Lauren Veith
We'll begin with a short rundown on developing a character, and attendees will have some time to outline and develop their own character. Then, with a given "event" for context, everyone will interview their own characters, and share their favorite answers.
E6. Piece by Piece, Putting It Together: A Reading and Discussion of How to Order a Manuscript with Kathleen McGookey and Susan Blackwell Ramsey
Kathleen McGookey (October Again, Whatever Shines, We'll See) and Susan Blackwell Ramsey (A Mind Like This) will read from their books, then discuss their different approaches to turning a lapful of poems into a book. Since McGookey's work includes prose poems and translations, and since Ramsey, on the other hand, really does have a mind like that, the discussion and Q & A should be lively and give a notion of the wide range of useful approaches.
E7. Persona Poetry Unmasked with Qiana Towns and Jonterri Gadson
Through close readings and writing exercises, participants will gain an understanding of contemporary persona poems to aid them in using persona in their own work.
E8. For Those About to Write, We Salute You: Music's Influence on Creative Writing with Eric Wasserman, David Giffels, and Chris Drabick
There's a reason the New York Times ArtsBeat Blog has guest authors showcase their Living With Music playlists. Join this panel as they discuss the monumental impact music has had on their own writing and the techniques that you too can use to channel those influences into your own work. From Jack Kerouac attempting to capture the rhythms of Jazz on the page in On the Road to Nick Hornby's Rock N' Roll as romantic metaphor musings in High Fidelity, music has played a significant part in creative writing, particularly in the post WWII creative area. This panel is particularly meant for young, aspiring writers in attendance that might be initially embarrassed that music has influenced their own work.
FOURTH SESSION -- 2:30-3:45
F1. Saying Goodbye to the Fluff with Jon Boyd and Suzanna Anderson
After a discussion of some techniques for conciseness, participants will write four paragraphs of fiction. Then, they will work on trimming the paragraphs while keeping the elements of the original story intact. Great for writers who want to "essentialize" their language!
F2. Narrative Hesitation: Fantastic Disruptions, Erratic Eruptions, and Calculated Disruptions with Jason Harris.
We'll look at techniques writers use to innovate by causing narrative hesitation in the reader: dreams, surrealism, magical realism, the supernatural fantastic, unreliable narrators, conflicting perspectives, genre conflicts--including fairy tale vs. realism--and other forms of ambiguity. Then, we'll take some time to write our own examples!
F3. Writing with Pictures: An Intro to Digital Storyboarding and Short Film Production with Ethan T. Jordan
While we may consider writing and filmmaking to be separate activities, the fact is that film is writing, and as Quentin Tarantino once put it, "The final draft of the script is the first cut of the movie, and the final cut of the movie is the last draft of the script." This workshop is meant to foster multimodal writing skills using digital film as a medium. During the session, attendees will work to create a short story synopsis, storyboard, and (if time permits), shoot a short 30-second film. The story synopsis (informed by basic theories of narrative) will help writers develop characters, setting, and basic plot details, while the storyboards will be created using digital cameras or camera phones. These digital images help attendees frame and block their written stories visually, emphasizing the visual nature of storytelling in the film medium. Finally, we will shoot and edit the short films to get a feel for basic film editing as another element of the composing process. This workshop will be guerrilla filmmaking at its best, and this will be an excellent way to help attendees get their feet wet in the basics of film production.
F4. Toward Wellness: How Writing Can Help You Heal with Paula Lambert
In this session, Paula J. Lambert, author of The Sudden Seduction of Gravity (Full/Crescent Press), discusses the concept of writing as a healing process, using the works of Louise DeSalvo, James Pennebaker, as essential guides. She will talk about the development of her book--a collection of poems centered around her own history of serious illness-- as well as offering prompts and exercises to guide your writing process.
F5. Literary Art and the Political with Elizabeth Mitchell
Can art be both beautiful and controversial? We will discuss poetry and short stories with political messages or social justice undertones, or that come from "the margins." Is the balance between message and art fragile? Does the political belong in literary art? After a discussion, we will also have time to write.
F6. Cutting Room Floor Flash Battle with Kailen Nourse and Christine Chapman
Officiators of the workshop will explain the process: Writers will have 45 minutes to write as complete a story as possible based on a image prompt chosen by the officiators. The officiators will place participants in a bracket and writers will go head-to-head, reading their pieces aloud for the group, while the rest of the room votes for their favorites. Winners will advance to the next rounds until there is One Victor, who will win not only glory, but also a t-shirt! Final round is planned to take place at Saturday's Open Mic!
F7. Voltage Poetry with Michael Theune
In The Art of Syntax, Ellen Bryant Voigt states, "The sonnet's volta, or 'turn'...has become an inherent expectation for most short lyric poems." This certainly is true, but what are the great turns in poetry? In this workshop, we will explore the Voltage Poetry project, an online anthology that collects poems with great--surprising, subtle, and/or sublime--turns, and use it to inspire our own thrilling turns, which we will make through guided, collaborative exercises.
F8. Reimagining Fairy Tales with Katrin Tschirgi and Catherine Carberry
This workshop will survey tropes of the classic fairy tale and will provide attendees with the opportunity to reimagine fairy tale characters in a contemporary context. The workshop will use examples from traditional stories as well as rewritings by authors such as Angela Carter. The workshop will begin with a discussion, and then writers will be asked to respond to two prompts regarding character and setting.
F9. A Memory Not Your Own, Yet with Jessica Zinz
So many times we write what we know, what we've experienced, what we remember. We do this because we can explain it and describe those moment best. However, for this workshop, we're going to make ourselves uncomfortable, get lost in the memories of others, and work to discover a memory, rather than clarify one. Be prepared to discuss poetry written to enlighten the writer, not just the reader. Then, we'll make it happen by spending time on memory prompts like you've never seen before.