Our one-day fall conference will be November 4, 2023, at First Christian Church, 119 N. Fayette St., Beckley, WV.
Registration is open--CLICK HERE to sign up!
Fall Conference 2023: Presenters and Workshops
The following is the workshop event schedule for the 2023 West Virginia Writers Fall Conference, Saturday, November 4 at First Christian Church, 119 N. Fayette Street, Beckley, WV, along with presenters' bios.
8:30 – 9:00 am – REGISTRATION / Meet and Greet / Coffee and Pastries
9:00 am – Welcome and Announcements
9:15 am – 10:30 am Workshops
Poetry Workshop – Vincent Trimboli
Throwing the Pot: Building the Central Metaphor in the Lyrical Poem: Lyric poetry is a category of poetry, encompassing many different subgenres, styles, cultures, and eras of time. The defining traits of a lyric poem are a songlike quality and an exploration of emotions and personal feelings. Often concerned with the passage of time, rather than narration, the lyrical poem asks the reader and poet to feel using strong imagery, metaphor, and sound. In this session, we will look at crafting the central metaphor of the lyrical poem by using the analogy of “throwing a pot” from the world of ceramics. This will be a generative session.
Prose Workshop - Sheila Redling/Tobi Doyle
Understanding Story: A good story is more than just some stuff happening. Join Tobi and Sheila in this workshop on finding the heart of your story and keeping it beating. Understand the difference between stories and situations. Give your characters life. Avoid cliches and sentimentality and find the high emotional stakes that keep readers hooked.
10:45 am – noon Workshops
Poetry Workshop – Eddy Pendarvis
Scaffolding: Swapping Old Forms for New Poems - Participants in this session are asked to bring one or two poems they’re working on, preferably a poem or poems they’re not satisfied with. The discussion and poetry exercises will experiment with a technique for putting old poetic forms to work to help find a new form that comes closer to expressing what the poet wants to “say.”
Prose Workshop – Mike Connick
Show, Don’t Tell: Unlock the power of immersive storytelling through 'Show, Don’t Tell'. This workshop is designed for prose writers seeking to elevate their storytelling through enriched descriptive techniques. Through engaging examples and hands-on exercises, you'll transform telling sentences into vivid scenes that captivate readers. Elevate your writing, craft unforgettable moments, and let your stories resonate. This is the key to prose that's not just read but felt. Join us and breathe new life into your prose!
Noon – 12:45 pm LUNCH
12:45 pm - 2:00 Workshops
Poetry Workshop – Eddy Pendarvis
Raising the Dead versus Playing the Fool: This session focuses on creating the verbal atmosphere needed to communicate the spirit of a poem, whether the subject is serious or comic. Examples and prompts will include quotations from the work of award-winning poets Timothy Russell and Susan Sheppard in honor of these two former members of WV Writers. Discussion will include consideration of whether the famous “duende” (with its plethora of definitions) is relevant to both serious and humorous poetry.
Prose Workshop – Sheila Redling/Tobi Doyle
Prompt-a-palooza! Get ready to write and learn! In this fun, fast-paced workshop, Sheila and Tobi will use their unique prompt style to help you develop stronger writing skills. Get behind the cliches, bring sense and setting to life, twist the tropes, and, just maybe, come away with a few new story ideas. Participants will be writing in this workshop, so come prepared.
2:15 pm – 3:30 Workshops
Poetry Workshop – Vincent Trimboli Shedding the Shame: Reclaiming the Confessional Form: The Confessional poem rose to the forefront of the world of poetics in the late 1950s and early 1960s and is associated with poets such as Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and W.D. Snodgrass. The confessional poetry of the mid-twentieth century dealt with subject matter that previously had not been openly discussed in American poetry. Private experiences with and feelings about death, trauma, depression, and relationships were addressed in this type of poetry, often in an autobiographical manner. Through the tactics of misogyny, the Confessional Poem has fallen out of favor in the current world of poetics. In this workshop, we will attempt to reclaim this form as a relevant and needed addition to the modern poetry landscape and ask the question...What must I confess?
Prose Workshop – Mike Connick Narrative 2.0: When AI Meets the Muse: Discover the fusion of AI and storytelling in this workshop. Delve into how artificial intelligence can enhance your narrative depth, refine character arcs, and offer unique plot insights. Through hands-on sessions, experience AI-powered tools designed to stimulate creativity and elevate prose. Beyond spell-checks and grammar, witness AI's capacity to be a co-pilot in your storytelling journey. Embrace the future of writing, where technology meets art, and let AI amplify your voice, ensuring your tales are not just told, but unforgettable.
Vincent Trimboli is a Queer Appalachian Artist and Poet that holds a MFA in Creative Writing from West Virginia Wesleyan College. In 2016, Trimboli published two chapbooks with Ghost City Press (Condominium Morte and other milkweed diners). His poems can be found in Connotation Press, Still Journal, The San Diego Reader, Cultural Weekly, Wussy Magazine as well as multiple print and online anthologies. Trimboli is a Pushcart Prize Nominee and has taught Writing, Literature, and Public Speaking in a Maximum Security Prison in the hills of West Virginia. Trimboli is Visiting Professor of English at West Virginia Wesleyan College and is the Director of their Honors College. Currently, Vince lives in Elkins, WV.
Sheila Redling is the author of nine novels of pure mayhem, including the bestselling thrillers FLOWERTOWN and the Dani Britton series. She was the recipient of the 2022 WVLA literary merit award and has presented at Bouchercon, Left Coast Crime, and more. A graduate of Georgetown University, a former morning radio host, and a language geek, Sheila currently lives in Huntington WV.
A hybrid romance author, Tobi Doyle writes HEAs with heat and humor, romantic suspense, and cozy mysteries. She received the 2022 Romance Writer of America PRO Mentor of the Year, and a Service Award for her work on RWA’s Pen to Paper, a guide to romance writing. She’s also the past President of RWA’s romantic suspense chapter, Kiss of Death.
Edwina Pendarvis is a poet and essayist. Her work has appeared in Café Review, Eureka, Hawaii Review and other periodicals and in anthologies, such as Wild Sweet Notes and the Southern Poetry Anthology. Her most recent book (nonfiction) is Another World: Ballet Lessons from Appalachia (2023). Past editor of Journal of Appalachian Studies and past book review editor for Now & Then: The Appalachian Magazine, she‘s currently book review editor for Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel (published by the Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative).
Michael Connick was born and raised in San Francisco, lived in Europe and the Middle East, and has lived in WV for the past 17 years. Now retired, his career included work in the US intelligence community, the Department of Defense, and the technology industry, including extensive work with AI systems starting in the 1970s. He was a Contributing Editor to the technology magazine PalmPower.
Plans are already in the works for our June 2024 conference at Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Ripley, WV.
Save the date for June 7th-9th!