Writers Conference


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Below is the full schedule for the Writers Conference for Friday 11/2, with details about the programs and presenters. For our schedule at a glance, see the main Writers Conference page. Please register for this event, and then come and go as you please, attending whichever panels and programs you wish. If you are going to attend on Saturday and/or Sunday, please register for those days separately

 

9:00 - 9:50 am, Location: Carmack - The Gentle Art of Writing Fight Scenes

Get solid advice for writing fight scenes, with special attention to techniques used by smaller fighters, using ambient weapons, and negotiating period clothing.

Holly Messinger is a writer, costumer, and martial artist with a fetish for the Old West and late 19th century Americana. All of these interests come to play her in her gothic Western Novel, The Curse of Jacob Tracy, (Thomas Dunne/St Martin's Press) about a psychic cowboy who gets sucked into the sinister vendetta of a British bluestocking against a Russian necromancer.

Besides being a writer, Holly has worked as a land title researcher, a copyeditor for motorcycle magazines, a liquor store clerk, an insurance agent, and a costume designer. She is a 20-year student of kung fu and appeared as a judge on SyFy's Heroes of Cosplay in 2013. Sometimes she teaches parasol self-defense in a corset and petticoats.

Holly's short fiction has appeared in Baen's Universe and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. The second Jacob Tracy novel, CURIOUS WEATHER, is due out from St. Martin's Press in 2019.

 

 

9:00 - 9:50 am, Location: Logan - Research

Author Max McCoy will talk about the art of research. In Elevations: A Personal Exploration of the Arkansas River, McCoy explored 742 miles of river, from the headwaters down to the Oklahoma line, and every mile of that journey was informed by research – observation, interviews, newspaper archives, historic maps, and many books. He’ll talk about how to bring structure and organization to a project that seems overwhelming.   

Max McCoy is an award-winning author and journalist. He's the author of more than twenty books, including four original Indiana Jones adventures and three Ophelia Wylde paranormal mysteries. Of Grave Concern, the first mystery, was named a Kansas Notable Book by the State Library of Kansas.

He won the Spur Award in 2011 from the Western Writers of America for Damnation Road, the last book in the Hellfire western noir trilogy. Set in Oklahoma Territory at the turn of the last century, the book concludes the story of irascible outlaw Jacob Gamble, who is now nearing fifty and confronted by a new west of telephones, smokeless powder, and moving pictures. The first book in trilogy, Hellfire Canyon, which introduced Jacob Gamble at age 13 and is set largely during the Civil War, also won a Spur and was also named a Kansas Notable Book.

He wrote the novelization of Steven Spielberg’s epic miniseries Into the West. He's also the author of The Moon Pool, which Publishers Weekly called an “intelligent thriller… tightly drawn characters, a vile villain and a satisfying, thought-provoking conclusion make this a compelling read.”

McCoy is a professor of journalism at Emporia State University and the director of the Ad Astra Writers Conference, which will be held Oct. 28-29, 2017, at the ESU-KC Metro campus. He got his start at an ESU writing workshop, the second annual Tallgrass workshop, in 1987, and met local author Don Coldsmith, and Greg Tobin, then an editor with Doubleday. Tobin later signed McCoy as a Doubleday author. McCoy’s first novel, The Sixth Rider, inspired by the 1892 Dalton raid on Coffeyville, won the 1992 Medicine Pipe/Spur Award for best first novel from WWA.

McCoy grew up in Baxter Springs and most of his books are set in Kansas or Missouri. He began his career in journalism at the Pittsburg Morning Sun. Most recently, he was the investigative writer for The Joplin (Mo) Globe. He has won first-place awards in investigative reporting for his longform narratives on serial killers and hate groups. He has also written for The New Territory, The Wilson Quarterly, American Photographer, True West, and Fortean Times.

 

9:00 - 9:50 am, Location: Pickard - Characterization - The Key to Your Reader’s Heart

Character. Is. Everything. An author’s number one goal is to create characters people want to read about. In this workshop by award-winning author Heather Snow, you will learn several techniques that will help you not only create memorable characters, but how to reveal and transform those characters throughout your story so that readers are left so satisfied, they can’t wait to pick up your next book!

Heather Snow is an award winning historical romance author with a degree in Chemistry who discovered she much preferred creating chemistry on the page, rather than in the lab.

Her books have been published in six languages around the world, and have won numerous award including: The Golden Quill, the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, The Write Touch Readers Award and the Book Buyers Best Top Pick.

She lives in the Midwest with her husband, two rambunctious boys, three insanely huge dogs and a pair of very put upon cats.

 

9:00 - 9:50 am, Location: Learning Lab - Prompts to Jumpstart  Your Writing

A few of the exercises we will be using:

Create a word-cloud from lines of poetry and prose read out loud from current poetry collections. Create a poem or short prose piece from fragments chosen in the participants' clouds.

Using exercises from Kim Addonizio’s book, Ordinary Genius, participants will engage in some stream of consciousness writing.

Ekphrasis: A visual prompt using a piece of artwork to create a poem or short prose narrative.

Chell Navarro grew up on a farm outside of the KC metro area. She would spend hours hiding in the attic or barn reading and dreaming of the poetry she would write once she escaped to the city only to realize the farm is the best place to thrive. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. As the program coordinator at The Writers Place she is living her best life surrounded by writers and artists. Her publications include: Bear Review, I-70 Review, Sprung Formal, and Typishly. Chell lives in Kansas City but considers Taos, New Mexico and the surrounding Sangre de Cristo Mountains her spiritual home.

 

10:00 - 10:50 am, Location: Carmack - Work-Write Balance

Three busy writers will share how they’ve maintained healthy work and family relationships while nurturing their commitments to a writing life.  Featuring journalist Diana Reese, filmmaker and writer Ayah Adbul-Rauf, and fantasy author Jessica Conoley.

Diana Reese likes to write about anyone or anything that she finds interesting. The award-winning journalist, writer and editor has had hundreds of articles published in magazines and newspapers and on the web. She has specialized in writing about health and medicine as well as women's issues, relationships and politics, but most of all, she wants to tell a good story.

When she started her career, her dream job was editor of a regional magazine. At age 23, she was named editor of Missouri Life.

Reese never imagined she would someday write for The Washington Post. Her interest had been in feature writing, not breaking news or politics. But in 2012 a piece she did about her husband's layoffs led to a three-year gig as a contributing writer to the Post's women's blog, "She the People," covering politics and current events.

Her articles have appeared online or in print for Parade, WebMD, Parents, Family Circle, Better Homes & Gardens, NextAvenue.org,  LifeScript.com, The Kansas City Star and more. She was a contributing writer to The Duke Encyclopedia of New Medicine (Rodale) and other book projects. She's also done theatre and restaurant reviews, greeting card sentiments, packaging copy and video scripts.

Reese earned her bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri and spent a semester in Paris, France. A Missouri native, she lives in Overland Park, Kansas, 1,124 miles from her favorite beach.

Ayah is a writer and filmmaker with a lifelong fascination for metafiction. Her favorite moments in life include opening a new pen and shouting “action” on set. She holds a double BFA in Filmmaking/Creative Writing.

In the last several years, Ayah has authored and produced several metafictive stories, including Fearsome Pole, Real Boy: an Allegory, and “Say You’re Sorry.” She was a producer on the Emmy-nominated documentary Beyond Belief. Her short film Five Apples Today later led to Delta Phi, her first feature.

Ayah is seeking representation for Cope Syndrome: a five part scripted series about a boy from a broken home who accidentally enters the world of his older brother’s imagination after being kidnapped. She aspires to be a full-time novelist and showrunner.

Jessica Conoley was raised on 80’s action films, Jem and the Holograms, X-Men, and older-brother mandated Star Wars. Sitting in the back of class, she never felt like she fit in with the other kids and escaped reality by reading. Decades later she started writing for all of the people who don’t belong - the ones living on the outskirts filled with otherness. She writes YA fantasy novels, flash fiction, and essays to help her readers escape their own realities. From 2011 to 2017, Jessica served on the board of Whispering Prairie Press (a non-profit dedicated to art and literature) in various roles ranging from president to executive board member. In 2012 she became Managing Editor of Kansas City Voices arts and literary magazine, and spent the next five years publishing emerging artists and writers. Her creative non-fiction piece “I Am Descended From Giants” won 1st place in the Bacopa Literary Review’s annual contest in 2016. Learn more about her work and read samples at http://jessicaconoley.com.

 

10:00 - 10:50 am, Location: Logan - Explaining the Unexplainable: Writing to Dispel Myths and Stereotypes

Good writing done well uses words and simple sentences that most people know to help explain to readers what they may never have encountered or absolutely disbelieved. This interactive, participatory, writing workshop will help explain to participants how to convey complex thoughts, using simple declarative sentences. Keen logic and emotion combined make the unexplainable possible. Those attending should come with ideas they want to share with readers and challenges they may have faced in putting their thoughts into words.

Lewis W. Diuguid is the recipient of the 2017 Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism at Harvard University. With the honor, he was named a 2017 Knight Visiting Fellow, at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. Diuguid was an editorial board member and columnist with The Kansas City Star until October 2016. He started with the newspaper as a reporter/photographer in May 1977 after graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism. He is the author of A Teacher’s Cry: Expose the Truth About Education Today (2004), Discovering the Real America: Toward a More Perfect Union (2007) and Our Fathers: Making Black Men (2017). He is a founding member and president of the Kansas City Association of Black Journalists. He is the winner of many awards, including the 2000 Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism.

 

10:00 - 10:50 am, Location: Pickard - I’m Not Throwing Away My . . . Plot

But mysteries are more than that. They’re plot, character, setting and voice. Come to learn about each element of mystery and leave with a few writing hacks and a clearer vision of the story you want to tell.

Rachel Howzell Hall is a New York Times bestselling author of seven novels, including The Good Sister, co-written with James Patterson, and the critically-acclaimed Detective Elouise Norton series. The third in series, Trail of Echoes, received a coveted Kirkus Star and was one of Kirkus Reviews “Books That Kept Us Up all Night.” Land of Shadows and Skies of Ash (forge) were included on the Los Angeles Times “Books to Read This Summer”, and the New York Times called Lou Norton “a formidable fighter--someone you want on your side.” Lou was also included in the Guardian’s Top 10 Female Detectives in Fiction. Her next novel, They All Fall Down (forge), will be published April 2019 and pays homage to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.

A featured writer on NPR’s acclaimed “Crime in the City” series and the National Endowment for the Arts weekly podcast, Rachel has also served as a mentor in AWP’s Writer to Writer Program and is currently on the board of directors of the Mystery Writers of America. She was named one of Apple iBooks’ “10 Authors to Read in 2017.” She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.

www.rachelhowzell.com, @RachelHowzell (Twitter)

 

 

10:00 - 10:50 am, Location: Learning Lab - Tell Your Own Story: An Introduction to Perzines

Everyone has a story to tell — make your voice heard at this interactive writing workshop! Through guided free-writing exercises, word mapping, and collage, you’ll write and assemble an 8-page perzine. Perzines are handmade, DIY publications that feature personal narrative storytelling. Each participant will receive 3-copies of their newly-created zine, as well as a workshop-specific workbook.

Dayna Meyer is a digital marketer and designer by day and a zinester by night, with a passion for storytelling, diy ethics, and removing barriers to participation in the arts. She is one of the organizers of KC Zine Con, an annual DIY publishing festival that shares the work of over 100 writers, artists and makers. The author of over 20 zines, her work has been distributed by Pioneer’s Press and Neither/Nor Zine Distro. When she is not publishing zines or planning the festival, she facilitates zine-making workshops for fine arts nonprofits, gallery spaces and private parties, with an emphasis on helping her students craft personal narratives. She is a member of the Cherry Pit Collective, and the secretary of the KC Live Arts group. Find her online at catmothcrow.com, or on Twitter and Instagram @catmothcrow.

www.catmothcrow.com, Twitter @catmothcrow​, Instagram @catmothcrow​

 

10:00 am - 1:00 pm, Location: Makerspace, Green Room - Author Photos

Do you need a nice portrait for your book jacket, blog or website? Jacob Meyer, Videographer at Great Plains SPCA, will be available to take your photo in our Green Room. Appointments are in 15 minute increments.  Sign up at http://signup.com/go/AqaVRms

Jacob Meyer’s involvement with Great Plains SPCA started with volunteering in January 2014, taking professional portraits of shelter animals looking for homes at our Merriam location. Jacob officially joined as a staff member working in Animal Care in November 2014. Wanting to learn as much as he could about general shelter operations, Jacob was very quickly promoted to Intake Coordinator before moving departments again and joining the HERO Outreach Team.

Jacob began working on promotional videos for Great Plains SPCA and documented a lot of the HERO Team’s work in the field. Jacob’s work highlighted programs, events and captured the core stories of people and pets at Great Plains SPCA. In January 2016, Jacob was moved to full-time Videographer for the marketing team where he was able to combine both of his biggest passions: animal rescue and making films. Since then, he has gone on to win numerous awards for his work and has been recognized both locally and nationally for his story telling talents.

Jacob discovered his passion for film and storytelling at the University of Kansas; he graduated with a BGS in Film Studies with a minor in Creative Writing in 2007.

Jacob realized his passion for helping animals when a four-month-old retriever came into his life that his wife found abandoned by a dumpster in Harrisonville, MO. The two quickly fell in love and kept the little girl and named her Sofie. Sophie inspired Jacob to start New Friends Photography & Video (est. October 2012), which is a creative platform to promote shelters and their programs, as well as to help homeless pets find homes through portraiture. “She made me realize, very abruptly, the amount of stray animals in need that aren’t as lucky as she was to be picked up by a loving family from where they were abandoned,” Jacob said. Sofie also inspired him to quit a career of restaurant management and devote his life to his two passions of helping animals and telling their stories through film.

When not at work, Jacob spends most of his time writing or with his wife, Britney, dogs Sofie, Conrad and Ruskin, as well as volunteering for other local animal welfare organizations.

 

11:00 - 11:50 am, Location: Carmack - Ask the Agent with Lisa Bankoff

Lisa Bankoff, of Bankoff Collaborative, will introduce the basics of Literary Agency with time for Q&A.

Lisa Bankoff established BANKOFF COLLABORATIVE, LLC after attracting an award-winning list of fiction and non-fiction writers during her years at ICM Partners. Her agency numbers among its prized clients Nancy Horan, whose debut novel LOVING FRANK has sold in excess of a million copies; Julie Schumacher, the first woman to be awarded the Thurber Prize for American Humor for her satirical novel DEAR COMMITTEE MEMBERS; Christa Parravani, whose haunting memoir HER was an Oprah, People Magazine and NPR must-read book, now being developed as a feature film starring Rooney Mara; Harriet Washington, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in the nonfiction category for MEDICAL APARTHEID, a seminal history of medical experimentation on Black Americans; Thomas Dyja, whose Heartland Prize-winning history of mid-century Chicago, THE THIRD COAST, was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; and Kathleen Rooney, author of LILLIAN BOXFISH TAKES A WALK, which Publishers Weekly called “a glorious paean to a distant literary life and time—and an unabashed celebration of human connections that bridge the past and future” in its starred review of her universally-loved novel.

 

11:00 - 11:50 am, Location: Logan - Writing Plausible Computer Hacks for Your Novel

Even in a world where technology touches every facet of life, and where writers live and die by their computers, the portrayal of computer hacking in literature is so inaccurate, it’s criminal.

This class is a simple, plain-English overview of the motives and methods used by “Black Hat” hackers, Cyber Terrorists, and jealous, tech-savvy boyfriends, as well as the Security Professionals determined to stop them.

Armed with a basic understanding of core principles, your depictions of Cybersecurity can become powerful, plausible elements of your story.

Don Carey has been a computer nerd, IT professional, and software developer for over forty years. He has no special power to make computers do magical things, and understands why no-one else does, either.

Don Carey writes both Contemporary Realism and Science Fiction Adventure. He has long been fascinated by human nature, and loves trying to understand the thoughts and motivations of those around him. That interest has served him well as he writes stories about his “imaginary friends.” Don currently lives in Kansas with his family. His day job involves writing computer programs, which is almost the same as writing fiction, but with a lot more semicolons.

 

11:00 - 11:50 am, Location: Pickard - Cooking Up a Good Chicken Soup Story

Chicken Soup for the Soul has been producing books full of heartfelt true stories for decades and is still going strong. Have you ever wondered what it takes to have a story accepted?  Maril Crabtree, poet and personal essayist, has had four stories published and will share some tips on how to turn your life’s experiences into the kind of creative nonfiction that Chicken Soup seeks.  Bring a notebook and pen – you’ll have a chance to start on your own story that you can later submit.

Maril Crabtree grew up in Memphis and New Orleans but calls the Midwest home. A former French teacher, lawyer, peace activist, environmentalist, energy healer, and yoga instructor, she is grateful for writing – hers and others’ – as the loom that weaves her life-threads together.

In addition to poetry, short stories, essays, and other creative nonfiction, she has had five Chicken Soup stories published. Her poetry book, Fireflies in the Gathering Dark, was named a Kansas Notable Books 2018 selection and a Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award Finalist. In addition to three chapbooks, she edited four anthologies of poetry and essays published by Adams Media and published an e-book, Sacred Messengers: True Stories of the Power of Nature, a compilation of her essays, poems, and meditations. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Kalliope, I-70 Review, The DMQ Review, Coal City Review, Main Street Rag, Persimmon Tree, Third Wednesday, and Poet’s Market. She previously served as poetry editor for Kansas City Voices and is a contributing editor for Heartland! Poems of Love, Resistance & Solidarity. More of her work can be seen at www.marilcrabtree.com

 

Email: maril@prodigy.net Twitter: @marilc​ Website: www.marilcrabtree.com

 

 

12:00 - 12:20 pm, Location: Carmack - Diana Goetsch Reading

A devoted poet, author, and teacher, Diana Goetsch will share some of her work.

Diana Goetsch is the author of eight poetry collections, most recently Nameless Boy (2015, Orchises Press) and In America, a 2017 Rattle Chapbook Prize selection. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, Gettysburg Review, The Iowa Review, Best American Poetry and The Pushcart Prize anthology. She has also published extensively as a literary journalist, at various magazines and newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Chicago Tribune. From 2015-16 she wrote “Life in Transition,” a series of 31 essays now archived at the American Scholar, chronicling her transition, alongside issues of gender in America. Goetsch is a recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Donald Murray Award for writing pedagogy, from the National Council of Teachers of English.

Goetsch is known as a dynamic and innovative writing teacher—“a born teacher,” William Zinsser once said. She has taught at many conferences, colleges, MFA programs, New York City public schools, and was the 2017 Grace Paley Teaching Fellow at The New School. Ten years ago she designed The Free-Writing Intensive, a corpus of teachings around a fundamental skill all writers rely on—filling a blank page—yet is seldom practiced with any precision. She has since led Free-Writing Intensives across the country, in writing conferences, libraries, art centers and living rooms. She discusses the teaching of writing in a recent New Yorker article, “Teaching William Zinsser to Write Poetry” and on her website: www.dianagoetsch.com

 

12:20 - 12:50 pm, Location: Carmack - Writing Contest Winners Reading

Johnson County Library is pleased to present six of our Writing Contest winners reading their work. Each writer has won JCL’s writing contest in various categories over time.

Lisa Allen won in the open category of AIN’T IT THE TRUTH for her poem Adoration.

Maps by Marcia Hurlow won the poetry category of AIN’T IT THE TRUTH.

Diversity Club by Charlotte Henderson took the short story category of our MANY IN ONE theme.

In the theme BEAR WITNESS, #488689 by Jemshed Khan stood out in the poetry category.

The Summer We’re All 16 by Frank Higgins won in the poetry category of TIME.

Kayla Wiltfong won the poetry category of BUILD A BETTER WORLD with Politics.

 

 

1:00 - 1:50 pm, Location: Carmack - Don’t Bore Me to Death

Just because you’re writing a mystery doesn’t mean that it will be interesting. Learn how to look for the interesting--in setting, voice, dialogue, in your own life and the lives of others--to keep the mystery interesting and the reader turning the page.

Rachel Howzell Hall is a New York Times bestselling author of seven novels, including The Good Sister, co-written with James Patterson, and the critically-acclaimed Detective Elouise Norton series. The third in series, Trail of Echoes, received a coveted Kirkus Star and was one of Kirkus Reviews “Books That Kept Us Up all Night.” Land of Shadows and Skies of Ash (forge) were included on the Los Angeles Times “Books to Read This Summer”, and the New York Times called Lou Norton “a formidable fighter--someone you want on your side.” Lou was also included in the Guardian’s Top 10 Female Detectives in Fiction. Her next novel, They All Fall Down (forge), will be published April 2019 and pays homage to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.

A featured writer on NPR’s acclaimed “Crime in the City” series and the National Endowment for the Arts weekly podcast, Rachel has also served as a mentor in AWP’s Writer to Writer Program and is currently on the board of directors of the Mystery Writers of America. She was named one of Apple iBooks’ “10 Authors to Read in 2017.” She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.

 

1:00 - 1:50 pm, Location: Logan - Music and the Word

Kim Addonizio will share some of the exciting work she’s done in collaboration with musicians, and offer tips for writers on how to enliven their own performances with music. Addonizio will also suggest some ideas for using music to inspire your own poems or essays or fiction. Bring writing materials, as you should have time to get something started in class!  You’ll leave with a handful of writing ideas, as well some ways to get out there and make some magic happen.

Kim Addonizio is the author of seven poetry collections, two novels, two story collections, and two books on writing poetry: The Poet’s Companion (with Dorianne Laux) and Ordinary Genius. Her poetry collection Tell Me was a finalist for the National Book Award. She also has two word/music CDS: Swearing, Smoking, Drinking, & Kissing (with Susan Browne) and My Black Angel, the companion to My Black Angel: Blues Poems and Portraits, a collaboration with woodcut artist Charles D. Jones. Her poetry has been translated into several languages including Spanish, Arabic, Italian, and Hungarian. Translated collections have been published in Spain, Mexico, Lebanon, and the UK. Addonizio’s awards include two fellowships from the NEA, a Guggenheim, two Pushcart Prizes, and other honors. She also plays harmonica with the word/music group Nonstop Beautiful Ladies. Her new books are a poetry collection, Mortal Trash (W.W. Norton), and a memoir, Bukowski in a Sundress: Confessions from a Writing Life (Penguin).

Web site:  www.kimaddonizio.com, Twitter: kim_addonizio, Facebook: Kim Addonizio

 

1:00 - 2:50 pm, Location: Pickard - A Flash in the Pan: Getting Started on Short Short Stories

The flash fiction, the short short story, the micro-tale, the mini-essay: whatever you call them, it is in these tightly compressed forms that the techniques of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction meet and merge to create exciting new modes of expression. Through brief (under 1,000 words, and in many cases under 500) in-class readings of works by such authors as Robert Shapard, Kim Chinquee, Deb Olin Unferth, Shouhua Qui, and Pamela Painter, students will see how such tiny stories can pack a huge punch. After discussing how these narratives-in-miniature are structured, as well as what they can teach us about longer forms, students will have the chance to do in-class exercises, and will walk out with rough drafts of a few very short stories that they can continue to hone, as well as with a new sense of how to bring economy to their sentences in writing of all lengths and genres.

A founding editor of Rose Metal Press, a publisher of literary work in hybrid genres, and a founding member of the typewriter poetry on demand collective Poems While You Wait, Kathleen Rooney is the author, most recently, of the novel Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk (St Martin’s Press, 2017) and The Listening Room: A Novel of Georgette & Loulou Magritte (Spork Press, 2018). With Eric Plattner, she is the co-editor of Rene Magritte: Selected Writings (University of Minnesota Press, 2016). Married to the writer, Martin Seay, she lives in Chicago and teaches at DePaul University. Her reviews and criticism appear regularly in the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, and the Poetry Foundation website. Follow her @KathleenMRooneyFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/kathleen.rooney.18, Tumblr: http://poemswhileyouwait.tumblr.com/

 

1:00 - 2:50 pm, Location: Gallery - Zine Harvest

Zinesters, writers, artists and creatives... come harvest some zines! This casual, drop-in workshop will walk you through the process of creating a 6-page zine from a single sheet of paper. Each participant will receive a zine-making mini-guidebook, as well as black-and-white copies of the zine they create. Come get creative, socialize, and trade zines. You'll walk away with your own zine harvest... plus, the skills and inspiration to continue making zines, a great activity for the winter months ahead!

Dayna Meyer is a digital marketer and designer by day and a zinester by night, with a passion for storytelling, diy ethics, and removing barriers to participation in the arts. She is one of the organizers of KC Zine Con, an annual DIY publishing festival that shares the work of over 100 writers, artists and makers. The author of over 20 zines, her work has been distributed by Pioneer’s Press and Neither/Nor Zine Distro. When she is not publishing zines or planning the festival, she facilitates zine-making workshops for fine arts nonprofits, gallery spaces and private parties, with an emphasis on helping her students craft personal narratives. She is a member of the Cherry Pit Collective, and the secretary of the KC Live Arts group. Find her online at catmothcrow.com, or on Twitter and Instagram @catmothcrow.

www.catmothcrow.com, Twitter @catmothcrow​, Instagram @catmothcrow

 

2:00 - 2:50 pm, Location: Carmack - How to Get and Use Quotes to Spice Up Your Stories

Lively, descriptive quotes from subjects can mean the difference between a ho-hum article and an interesting read. How do you get those quotes? Participants will learn some of the tricks and techniques for interviewing people to get them to talk and to say something worth repeating. We'll cover issues surrounding quotes such as checking for accuracy, paraphrasing, secondary sources and email interviews. Finally, we'll discuss what makes a good quote and how to use them in your article, with examples provided.

Diana Reese likes to write about anyone or anything that she finds interesting. The award-winning journalist, writer and editor has had hundreds of articles published in magazines and newspapers and on the web. She has specialized in writing about health and medicine as well as women's issues, relationships and politics, but most of all, she wants to tell a good story.

When she started her career, her dream job was editor of a regional magazine. At age 23, she was named editor of Missouri Life.

Reese never imagined she would someday write for The Washington Post. Her interest had been in feature writing, not breaking news or politics. But in 2012 a piece she did about her husband's layoffs led to a three-year gig as a contributing writer to the Post's women's blog, "She the People," covering politics and current events.

Her articles have appeared online or in print for Parade, WebMD, Parents, Family Circle, Better Homes & Gardens, NextAvenue.org,  LifeScript.com, The Kansas City Star and more. She was a contributing writer to The Duke Encyclopedia of New Medicine (Rodale) and other book projects. She's also done theatre and restaurant reviews, greeting card sentiments, packaging copy and video scripts.

Reese earned her bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri and spent a semester in Paris, France. A Missouri native, she lives in Overland Park, Kansas, 1,124 miles from her favorite beach.

 

2:00 - 2:50 pm, Location: Logan - How to Find (and Be) a Great Critique Partner

In this session writers will learn how to be a critique partner other writers clamor to work with and how to build a support group for their writing. Learn how to offer constructive feedback and hone your critique skills. From finding critique partners and beta readers, to the value of accountability partners and emotional support groups, successful writers have a support network. Learn how to build yours to become the best writer you can be.

Workshop participants actively looking for critique partners can provide their information in the session, and after the conference Conoley will email potential matches to the group.

Jessica Conoley was raised on 80’s action films, Jem and the Holograms, X-Men, and older-brother mandated Star Wars. Sitting in the back of class, she never felt like she fit in with the other kids and escaped reality by reading. Decades later she started writing for all of the people who don’t belong - the ones living on the outskirts filled with otherness. She writes YA fantasy novels, flash fiction, and essays to help her readers escape their own realities. From 2011 to 2017, Jessica served on the board of Whispering Prairie Press (a non-profit dedicated to art and literature) in various roles ranging from president to executive board member. In 2012 she became Managing Editor of Kansas City Voices arts and literary magazine, and spent the next five years publishing emerging artists and writers. Her creative non-fiction piece “I Am Descended From Giants” won 1st place in the Bacopa Literary Review’s annual contest in 2016. Learn more about her work and read samples at http://jessicaconoley.com.

 

3:00 - 3:50 pm, Location: Carmack - First Page Reads

Find out what makes a reader keep reading or move on. Submit one, double-spaced page with no identifying information. We’ll randomly select pages for our panel to read and discuss.

Submit here: https://readlocal.submittable.com/submit  (hint: scroll to the bottom to get past contest links) Panelists: Lisa Bankoff, Jessica Conoley, j.d. tulloch

Lisa Bankoff established BANKOFF COLLABORATIVE, LLC after attracting an award-winning list of fiction and non-fiction writers during her years at ICM Partners. Her agency numbers among its prized clients Nancy Horan, whose debut novel LOVING FRANK has sold in excess of a million copies; Julie Schumacher, the first woman to be awarded the Thurber Prize for American Humor for her satirical novel DEAR COMMITTEE MEMBERS; Christa Parravani, whose haunting memoir HER was an Oprah, People Magazine and NPR must-read book, now being developed as a feature film starring Rooney Mara; Harriet Washington, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in the nonfiction category for MEDICAL APARTHEID, a seminal history of medical experimentation on Black Americans; Thomas Dyja, whose Heartland Prize-winning history of mid-century Chicago, THE THIRD COAST, was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; and Kathleen Rooney, author of LILLIAN BOXFISH TAKES A WALK, which Publishers Weekly called “a glorious paean to a distant literary life and time—and an unabashed celebration of human connections that bridge the past and future” in its starred review of her universally-loved novel.

Jessica Conoley was raised on 80’s action films, Jem and the Holograms, X-Men, and older-brother mandated Star Wars. Sitting in the back of class, she never felt like she fit in with the other kids and escaped reality by reading. Decades later she started writing for all of the people who don’t belong - the ones living on the outskirts filled with otherness. She writes YA fantasy novels, flash fiction, and essays to help her readers escape their own realities. From 2011 to 2017, Jessica served on the board of Whispering Prairie Press (a non-profit dedicated to art and literature) in various roles ranging from president to executive board member. In 2012 she became Managing Editor of Kansas City Voices arts and literary magazine, and spent the next five years publishing emerging artists and writers. Her creative non-fiction piece “I Am Descended From Giants” won 1st place in the Bacopa Literary Review’s annual contest in 2016. Learn more about her work and read samples at http://jessicaconoley.com.

j.d.tulloch is the founder/managing editor of 39 West Press and the author of four books of poetry, including his most recent title, Undiscovered Paladins: Westward Rhymes Revisited. A graduate of the University of Kansas, j.d has worked in broadcast radio and for the music management team of the late Godfather of Soul, James Brown.

 

3:00 - 3:50 pm, Location: Logan - Extraordinary Seeing: A Poetry Workshop

The notion that some special insight or wisdom is required in order to begin has short-circuited many a writer. Insight, however, is not what goes into a piece of writing—it’s what comes out of it. What goes into a piece of writing is work. Just as, when climbing a mountain, we first need to do some climbing (work) before it is possible to stop and take in the view (insight), writing needs to be worked before it can yield insight. The insight or “view” that results, which is nothing we could have begun with, has been called extraordinary seeing. In this workshop we’ll look at examples to understand this key facet of craft, and then we will practice how to lay the ground for extraordinary seeing.

Diana Goetsch is the author of eight poetry collections, most recently Nameless Boy (2015, Orchises Press) and In America, a 2017 Rattle Chapbook Prize selection. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, Gettysburg Review, The Iowa Review, Best American Poetry and The Pushcart Prize anthology. She has also published extensively as a literary journalist, at various magazines and newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Chicago Tribune. From 2015-16 she wrote “Life in Transition,” a series of 31 essays now archived at the American Scholar, chronicling her transition, alongside issues of gender in America. Goetsch is a recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Donald Murray Award for writing pedagogy, from the National Council of Teachers of English.       

Goetsch is known as a dynamic and innovative writing teacher—“a born teacher,” William Zinsser once said. She has taught at many conferences, colleges, MFA programs, New York City public schools, and was the 2017 Grace Paley Teaching Fellow at The New School. Ten years ago she designed The Free-Writing Intensive, a corpus of teachings around a fundamental skill all writers rely on—filling a blank page—yet is seldom practiced with any precision. She has since led Free-Writing Intensives across the country, in writing conferences, libraries, art centers and living rooms. She discusses the teaching of writing in a recent New Yorker article, “Teaching William Zinsser to Write Poetry” and on her website: www.dianagoetsch.com

 

3:00 - 3:50 pm, Location: Pickard - Where Do You Get Your Ideas? Transforming an Idea Into a Viable Story

Tessa Gratton is the Associate Director of Madcap Retreats and the author of the Blood Journals Series and Gods of New Asgard Series, co-author of YA writing books The Curiosities and The Anatomy of Curiosity, as well as dozens of short stories. Though she’s lived all over the world, she’s finally returned to her prairie roots in Kansas with her wife. Her current projects include Tremontaineat Serial Box Publishing, YA Fantasy Strange Grace, and her adult fantasy debut, The Queens of Innis Lear, from Tor. Visit her at tessagratton.com

 

4:00 - 4:50 pm, Location: Learning Lab - Teen Bullet Journaling Meetup

Our usual Lackman Meetup comes to Central during the Writers Conference! Does opening a fresh pack of multi-colored sharpies make your heart go aflutter? Do post-it note arrows inside a book put a smile on your face? Do you write tasks that "just come up" on your to-do list just to feel the satisfaction of crossing them off? Do you love to write, take notes, doodle, or schedule your time? If you love all-things organization, join fellow teens at our bullet journaling meetup.

 

4:00 - 4:50 pm, Location: Carmack - Author-Agent Relationship

Kathleen Rooney, author of Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, will sit in conversation with her agent, Lisa Bankoff.  Find out how to get in touch with an agent, what an agent can do for your work, and ask questions of Rooney and Bankoff.

Lisa Bankoff established BANKOFF COLLABORATIVE, LLC after attracting an award-winning list of fiction and non-fiction writers during her years at ICM Partners. Her agency numbers among its prized clients Nancy Horan, whose debut novel LOVING FRANK has sold in excess of a million copies; Julie Schumacher, the first woman to be awarded the Thurber Prize for American Humor for her satirical novel DEAR COMMITTEE MEMBERS; Christa Parravani, whose haunting memoir HER was an Oprah, People Magazine and NPR must-read book, now being developed as a feature film starring Rooney Mara; Harriet Washington, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in the nonfiction category for MEDICAL APARTHEID, a seminal history of medical experimentation on Black Americans; Thomas Dyja, whose Heartland Prize-winning history of mid-century Chicago, THE THIRD COAST, was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; and Kathleen Rooney, author of LILLIAN BOXFISH TAKES A WALK, which Publishers Weekly called “a glorious paean to a distant literary life and time—and an unabashed celebration of human connections that bridge the past and future” in its starred review of her universally-loved novel.

A founding editor of Rose Metal Press, a publisher of literary work in hybrid genres, and a founding member of the typewriter poetry on demand collective Poems While You Wait, Kathleen Rooney is the author, most recently, of the novel Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk (St Martin’s Press, 2017) and The Listening Room: A Novel of Georgette & Loulou Magritte (Spork Press, 2018). With Eric Plattner, she is the co-editor of Rene Magritte: Selected Writings (University of Minnesota Press, 2016). Married to the writer, Martin Seay, she lives in Chicago and teaches at DePaul University. Her reviews and criticism appear regularly in the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, and the Poetry Foundation website. Follow her @KathleenMRooney.

Twitter: @KathleenMrooney, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kathleen.rooney.18, Tumblr: http://poemswhileyouwait.tumblr.com/

 

5:30-7:00 pm, Location: Carmack - elementia Best of Reception