Writers Conference


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Below is the full schedule for the Writers Conference for Saturday, 11/3, 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 Friday and/or Sunday, please register for those days separately

 

9:00 - 9:50 am, Location: Carmack -  5 Steps to Compelling Characters

This workshop opens with interpersonal exercises in which participants associate their friends with other things. We will learn about the aspects of someone’s personality that make them distinct from others and walk through five important steps: Recording Concrete Details, Observing Behaviors, Witnessing Events of Singular Intention, Experimental Witness of Alternative Intentions, and finally, Interacting with Your Character! Going through these five steps in the early stages of a project will allow participants to create memorable, iconic characters for any story.

Ayah Adbul-Rauf 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 works full-time as a MakerSpace librarian and 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. Connect with her: @shethewriter

 

9:00 - 9:50 am, Location: Logan - What We Write About When We Write About Sex

This will be a fun (and maybe a little racy) exploration of writing about sex, whether that’s an erotic poem, a sex scene in an essay, or a piece of fiction in which your characters get busy. We’ll talk about common pitfalls (“what to call it?”) and obstacles, as well as some ways to make your - or your characters’ - oh-so-intimate encounters come alive in language. You should come away with some ideas about how to improve your own work—or maybe discover a way to finally bring a special “shared moment” to the page.

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.comTwitter: kim_addonizio, Facebook: Kim Addonizio

 

9:00 - 9:50 am, Location: Pickard - Starting and Facilitating Writing Groups with Underserved Populations

Daldorph will share his many years of experience teaching at jails and detention facilities (including the Adolescent Treatment Center in Olathe), making suggestions about what participants can do to get involved in this work.

Brian Daldorph teaches at the University of Kansas and Douglas County Jail in Lawrence, Kansas.  He edits the literary journal Coal City Review (founded in 1989). His most recent book of poems is Ice Age/Edad de Hielo (Irrupciones Press, 2017), about his father’s life and his struggle in his late years with Alzheimer’s.

Brian has taught in England, Japan, France, Senegal, Zambia.  He has published five full-length books of poems, and also short stories, analytical essays, book reviews, etc.

Since 2001 he has been teaching a writing class at Douglas County Jail in Lawrence, Kansas.  His work there led to the publication of Douglas County Jail Blues (Coal City P, 2010), an anthology of inmate poetry, and Jail Time (Original Plus P, 2008), poetry based on his experience teaching at the jail.  He also occasionally teaches at a writing class in Lansing Prison.

briandal@ku.edu, briandaldorph@gmail.com

Coal City Review website

 

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 - Steps to Traditional Publication

Jessica Conoley takes you on a behind the scenes look at traditional publication. Using her writing career as a case study, Conoley guides you through a novel's first critiques, to finding an agent, and submitting a final manuscript with the Big-5 publishers. Conoley brings five years of managing editor experience and nine years of professional writing experience with her, allowing insight into both the writer's and editor’s perspectives on publication.

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.

http://jessicaconoley.com, Twitter: @jaconoley​m, Facebook: https://facebook.com/jessica.conoley

 

10:00 - 10:50 am, Location: Logan - The Three Practices: For Anyone Serious About Writing

This session will be a clarifying inquiry into what it would take for anyone, and for each of us, to actually write. Specifically, there is an outer, an inner, and a secret practice, and all three need to be in place—but most would-be writers never examine their relationship to each. Maybe you’ve been at this a while—perhaps you did an MFA—but have yet to get traction. Maybe you’re a newcomer, curious about what you’re getting into.

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

 

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 - 11:50 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

 

11:00 - 11:50 am, Location: Carmack - Using Scene and Structure to Create an Un-put-downable Novel

Ever wonder what it is that makes some books page-turners, and other books . . . not? Join award-winning author Heather Snow as she teaches you to craft quality scenes that flow one-into-the-other so seamlessly that the reader has no choice but to keep reading.

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.

 

11:00 - 11:50 am, Location: Logan - Copyright 101 for Writers: Establishing and Protecting Creative Rights

This presentation will take a look at what creative rights are and what you can do to establish your rights.  In addition, we will look at how you can protect them. Finally, we will look at some common mistakes people make and what you can do to avoid them.  By the end of the program you should have a basic understanding of copyright laws and what you can vs. need to do.

As an attorney and founder of Intellectual Property Center, Arthur K. Shaffer frequently speaks to local and national audiences in the areas of intellectual property law and the internet, providing guidance on its evolving legal landscape. Throughout his legal career, Mr. Shaffer has garnered significant experience in complex business transactions and litigation involving a variety of intellectual property concerns, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, trade dress, license agreements and other tangible and intangible assets.

Mr. Shaffer, a former physicist and controls engineer, has worked in cutting edge technologies utilizing computers and electrical systems in the largest and most challenging projects around the world. Currently, Mr. Shaffer focuses his practice on meeting similar challenges in the most challenging, cutting edge legal areas, like patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade dress, trade secrets, licensing, DMCA and the law of the internet. Specifically, he works to obtain, protect and litigate intellectual property rights in connection with software, computer systems, medical systems and other innovative technologies within the public and private sectors, including everything from Fortune 500 companies to entrepreneurial and small business ventures.

Facebook:  https://business.facebook.com/theIPCenter/, LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/intellectualpropertycenter/, Website: www.theipcenter.com

 

11:00 - 11:50 am, Location: Pickard - Epistle as Literary Device

Writing to someone – to “you”—is a unique literary device in that it creates immediate intimacy between reader and writer. Writing in epistle spans each genre, manifests in various forms, and allows for a writer’s voice to expand as the intended reader—the “you”—condenses. In this session, we will consider examples of epistle in prose and poetry, discuss what writing to “you” (Is “you” the reader or someone else?) means, and discuss the advantages and pitfalls of using epistle as a literary device.

Lisa Allen holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from The Solstice Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program at Pine Manor College, where she was awarded a Michael Steinberg Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction. She is currently pursuing a post-graduate certificate in Poetry, also at Solstice, and works as a freelance writer and developmental editor.

Lisalallen.com, Twitter: @backtoallen​, Instagram: @backtoallen

 

12:00 - 12:50 pm, Location: Carmack - Submission Etiquette

Brian Daldorph, editor of Coal City Review; Robert Butler, editor of New Letters; and j.d. tulloch, editor of 39 West Press will share advice on making submissions to literary journals.

Brian Daldorph teaches at the University of Kansas and Douglas County Jail in Lawrence, Kansas.  He edits the literary journal Coal City Review (founded in 1989). His most recent book of poems is Ice Age/Edad de Hielo (Irrupciones Press, 2017), about his father’s life and his struggle in his late years with Alzheimer’s.

Brian has taught in England, Japan, France, Senegal, Zambia.  He has published five full-length books of poems, and also short stories, analytical essays, book reviews, etc.

Since 2001 he has been teaching a writing class at Douglas County Jail in Lawrence, Kansas.  His work there led to the publication of Douglas County Jail Blues (Coal City P, 2010), an anthology of inmate poetry, and Jail Time (Original Plus P, 2008), poetry based on his experience teaching at the jail.  He also occasionally teaches at a writing class in Lansing Prison.

Robert Butler came to UMKC in 1976 and left in 1980; he returned in 1985, to specialize in poetry and nonfiction writing, magazine and books editing and publishing, as well as teaching, running multiple conferences and public events. In 2007, he was a finalist for the nation’s highest editorial award, the National Magazine Award; in 2008, he won the award in the essay category.  He has written and received dozens of grants from state and national arts councils.

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.​

 

 

1:00 - 1:50 pm, Location: Carmack - Me and You and I and She: Points of View

To me, voice in writing is everything. If I can’t find the voice, the piece just sits there on the page, inert and unresponsive. So what creates voice? Part of it—not the only part, but an important one—is point of view. We all know the basics of first-person, third-person, and the rest (and can quickly review if, gee, maybe we kind of forget how omniscience works); but what are the effects of choosing one point of view over another in a poem or story or essay? (Yes, even a personal essay can use something besides “I” to great effect!)  Using specific examples, I’ll discuss some of the limits and opportunities of each. We’ll do some close reading, have a lively conversation, and maybe open up some new avenues for writing and revising.

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 - 1:50 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

 

 

1:00 - 2:50 pm, Location: Logan - Nothing Happens Nowhere: A Boot Camp on Setting

More than just a pretty backdrop, setting creates characters, ideas, moods, and conflicts. Whether in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, setting includes not only location, but also time, social circumstances, historical era, and even weather. In this fast-paced workshop, participants will read and discuss pieces of writing in which setting is a key factor, and then will generate new work of their own. Writers of every level and in every genre who are interested in engaging more actively with the dynamics of place and time will benefit from this class.

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/
 

 

1:00 - 2:50 pm, Location: Learning Lab - Identity, Place, and Immigration Workshop

Identity, place, and immigration: Participants will be encouraged to explore their own immigration narratives, whether personal or familial, in order to find common ground. If we are indeed a country of immigrants then our shared experiences should serve to unite us. Attendees will create a series of narratives from prompts exploring the importance of place (the old and the new) identity (who are we in a changing landscape) and immigration (what do we leave behind, what do we value, and what do we willingly give up to become part of something new). These narratives will be captured as flash fiction, short prose pieces, letters, or poetry. The workshop is interactive, part composition and part discussion, and is open to all. This workshop is meant to foster a dialogue that will illuminate the many layers and forces behind immigration. 

José Faus is writer, performer and visual artist. He is a founder of the Latino Writers Collective and sits on the boards of the Writers Place, UMKC Friends of the Library, The Latino Writers Collective and Charlotte Street Foundation.

His writing appears in Primera Página: Poetry From the Latino Heartland, Cuentos del Centro: Stories from the Latino Heartland, Whirlybird Anthology of Kansas City Writers, Poets & Writers, Luces y Sombras Journal, Raritan, Plug Project  8x10. His chapbook This Town Like That was released by Spartan Press. His second book of poetry The Life and Times of Jose Calderon was published by West 39 Press.

 

 

1:00 - 2:50 pm, Location: 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.

 

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 - Craft and Vision: A Live Editing Session

When people show me poems that are stuck, a question I often ask myself is, “Craft or vision?” (“Vision” loosely defined as a poem’s “revelation” about some facet of experience; and craft: the vehicle to deliver that revelation.) It’s usually one more than the other, and it’s best to diagnose right away—for no refinement in craft can fix a vision problem, while no level of “profundity” can overcome faulty craft. This live editing session will use poems by participants to demonstrate how to revise constructively, with the goal of seeing our own work with new eyes. Submit here: https://readlocal.submittable.com/submit.

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

 

2:00 - 2:50 pm, 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.

 

3:00 - 3:50 pm, Location: Carmack - Literary Citizenship: Not Only a Star, but Part of a Constellation

Writing is often perceived as a solitary occupation, but most of us write in the hope of connecting with an audience of other people. This talk will discuss the concept of “literary citizenship” -- how to be an active and positive participant in your literary community and the community at large -- and will offer a variety of strategies to take your writing and reading off the page and into the world.

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/

 

 

3:00 - 3:50 pm, Location: Logan - Writing from the Central Channel

The “central channel,” a somatic and energetic space well-known in contemplative disciplines, is rarely discussed in connection with writing. Understanding the central channel, and how to apply it to writing, can reveal much about us, and open up our craft.

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.

Website: https://www.dianagoetsch.com/, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/diana.goetsch.2, Twitter: @DianaGoetsch

 

3:00 - 3:50 pm, Location: Pickard - Open Records

Max McCoy, an author and professor of journalism at Emporia State, and Kelsey Ryan, a Kansas City Star investigative reporter and Pulitzer finalist, will talk about using state Open Records laws to gain access to documents in the public interest. It can be intimidating asking public entities for information, especially on sensitive or controversial topics, but McCoy and Ryan will show you the best ways to ask, when to file written requests, and—more importantly—how to respond when you feel public agencies have improperly denied your requests. While this session will help writers with their public records searches, it is also for anyone with an interest in keeping public records open.

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.

Kelsey Ryan is an investigative reporter at The Kansas City Star, where she focuses on data-driven journalism in the public interest, helps reporters use data on their beats, and curates the paper’s databases.

A native Kansan, she worked at The Wichita Eagle for four and a half years before joining The Star, covering special projects, city government and health care.

Kelsey began her career as the education reporter at The Joplin Globe in 2011, starting the day after an EF-5 tornado destroyed one-third of the city.

She was editor-in-chief of her college paper, Emporia State University’s The Bulletin, for two years and led it to win statewide awards. She also interned at the Student Press Law Center, a Washington D.C.-based First Amendment advocacy group.

Kelsey is on the board of directors for the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government and is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE).

 

4:00 - 4:50 pm, Location: Carmack - First Page Reads

Find out what makes an editor keep reading or move on. Submit one double-spaced page with no identifying information. We’ll randomly select pages for our panel of literary experts 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.​