July 2014

Kate Aspengren -- Who Are These People and Who Invited Them?

July 9, 2014
Sometimes when we look at what we’ve written we realize we’ve created characters who are basically all some version of ourselves. It’s like multiple clones of the writer only with different haircuts. Or we find that we have a group of wonderful, quirky characters but that our protagonist is dry and uninteresting, exactly the kind of person you’d dread getting stuck next to at a dinner party. In this session we’ll talk about some of the problems inherent in constructing character and some of the strategies that are useful in crafting characters who are unique and real and three-dimensional.

Nancy K. Barry -- The Sixth “W” in Nonfiction Writing and Research

July 8, 2014
From its beginning in the 1960s, literary journalism and its writers typically acknowledged their contextual debt to the traditional questions journalists ask about the five “W's”—the who, what, where, when and why that lie at the heart of any good reportage. The difference for creative nonfiction writers lies in their ability to create a narrative arc that describes how those 5 “W’s” come into focus, which means that virtually any memoir or nonfiction work becomes a type of quest story.

Carolyn Lieberg -- Write What You Know: The Scary Truism That Haunts Writers

July 7, 2014
What you know is the here and now and past of your own life, your own family, your own travels and some things about your friends. What you don’t know is everything else, which is a lot. What exactly are we to make of those oft-tossed words: “Write what you know.” They can feel like a stop sign, but let’s look behind them.