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Session I Classes: Fall Conference 2007

Saturday, November 17, 9:00-10:30 am

CREATIVE NONFICTION - The Art of the Interview, with Randall Kenan.
Interviewing is an essential skill in so much nonfiction writing. We will approach the act of interviewing from a practical and aesthetic manner, discussing pragmatic techniques a nonfiction writer should be familiar with -- the actual tools of recording while interviewing, the art of the question, and the important challenges of mining our subjects and their memories. We will also have discussions about editing and emphasis and accuracy.

FICTION - Panel - Sense of Place in Fiction Writing, with Ron Rash, Amy Knox Brown, and Sebastian Matthews, moderated by Joseph Bathanti.
This will be a free-ranging discussion of how the best writers, such as Philip Roth, Flannery O'Connor, James Joyce and Willa Cather, achieve a palpable sense of place. While the South does not have a monopoly on writing with a sense of place, our region has always offered rich possibilities, and it continues to. This is not a class on craft and technique. Rather, we will talk about the benefits - and the potential liabilities -- of writing with a sense of place. This will offer attendees a chance to bring up specific questions to three writers whose work is deeply connected to place. For writers of short and book-length fiction.

FICTION/SCREENWRITING - Panel - From Fiction to the Big Screen: Adapting Fiction for Feature Films, with Kevin Watson and Nathan Ross Freeman, moderated by Laura Hart McKinny.
Find out why production companies are growing more and more interested in adapting short stories and novels for feature films. This panel will appeal to short story, novel, and nonfiction writers who want to explore having their work adapted for features and short films, as well as to screenwriters who want to learn how to choose material, and what to do with it after completing the adaptation. We’ll discuss what kind of writing is best to adapt. We’ll also discuss the business aspects, such as how to handle rights to your original work. We’ll also present highlights about a ground-breaking national screenwriting competition adapting short stories to feature screenplays. Panelists Laura Hart McKinny, a founding member of the North Carolina School of the Arts’ film school, and Kevin Watson, co-founder of Press 53, are behind the new competition; Nathan Hart Freeman is an award-winning screenwriter and educator.

POETRY - The Story in the Poem, with Valerie Nieman.
The narrative poem - a storytelling form that links Homer to Coleridge to Robert Frost to Rita Dove - is alive and well. In this session, I'll explore techniques, forms, structures for narrative poems that can range from less than a page to book length. For a short workshop as part of the session, bring a story you'd like to recount in verse, or be inspired by postcards, photos, newspaper clippings, and other triggers.

PUBLISHING - The Perfect Pitch: Pitching Your Manuscript, with Lauren Mosko.
Here it is: Your big chance! You’ve got one minute to hook that dream editor or agent -- now all you need are the right words ... Whether your moment comes during a formal pitch session, in the conference hotel elevator, or in paragraph one of your query letter, this is no time for improv. Writer’s Digest Books editor Lauren Mosko teaches you the elements of a powerful pitch and helps you to draft and revise your own, so your next agent or editor meeting will be pitch perfect. You’ll also have the opportunity to practice articulating your pitch (and to work out your jitters) in this workshop.

WRITING MARATHON - Sparks: Light Your Own Fire!, with Al Perry.
The best sparks -- writing prompts -- come from your own life experiences. How to light those sparks is the key to greater creativity. For their own fire-starters, thousands of beginning and advanced writers have used methods developed by Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA). Al Perry, an AWA-trained facilitator and creator of Sparks(tm) workshops, leads this introduction to the AWA methods.

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