The following are the presenters and workshops for the 2022 West Virginia Writers Fall Conference, Saturday, November 5 at the Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library along with the event schedule.
Renée K. Nicholson is the author of Fierce and Delicate: Essays on Dance and Illness, as well as co-editor of Bodies of Truth: Personal Narratives of Illness, Disability, and Medicine and two collections of poetry: Roundabout Directions to Lincoln Center, and the forthcoming Postscript. She directs the Humanities Center at West Virginia University. Renée’s writing can be found at Electric Literature, The Millions, Poets & Writers, Bellevue Literary Review, The Gettysburg Review, and elsewhere. You can find her online at www.reneenicholson.com and on Twitter @summerbooks1.
Revising the Problem Poem
Everyone has that poem, full of potential, good but not ready yet, the kind that frustrates writers because it's so close and at the same time never seems to get "done." Learn strategies for revising those tricky poems. Please bring a copy of a poem presenting problems to get the most out of this session.
The List Becomes a Poem
As humans, we're natural list makers, and we can use this inclination to write poems that use lists in new and surprising ways. Learn techniques to create compelling list poems, look at unique and inspiring examples, and draft a list poem in this session.
Art Stringer is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Asbestos Brocade (Salmon Poetry, 2017), as well as the chapbook time lapse (2020). His work has appeared in journals and anthologies including Backcountry: Contemporary Writing in West Virginia, edited by Irene McKinney. He has also edited and introduced an edition of Paradox Hill by West Virginia poet Louise McNeill. He taught writing and literature at Marshall University for 24 years and lives in Huntington.
Poetry: Sound and Sense
We will explore the voicing of words and how saying poems impart a physicality to the experience that amplifies content, creates form, and suggests meanings beyond the literal. Time for writing and sharing small drafts of participants' work.
In our vast visual environment, poetry inspired by images and other art forms has become widely practiced. We will briefly explore the ekphrastic tradition and elements, then choose an image (selection provided) to create and share a draft.
Emeritus Professor of English at Marshall University, John Van Kirk is the author of the novel Song for Chance. His short stories have been awarded the O. Henry Prize and the Iowa Review Fiction Prize. He is known for his inspiring writing prompts and has taught hundreds of writers, many of whom have gone on to publish their work—including a few best-sellers.
Jumpstart that story you’ve been waiting to write, or fire up the opening of a story. Using examples from literature and writing exercises, we will examine how the right choice of tense grabs the reader’s attention. By the end of the workshop, participants should have an engaging opening paragraph in hand.
Three Kinds of Endings
Every story has three endings. Understanding what they are and how to work with them will help you find the right ending for your story. Using short writing exercises and examples from literature, we will move quickly from theory to practice in writing a final paragraph that leaves your reader feeling satisfied.
West Virginia native Marie Manilla was Shepherd University’s 2021 Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence. Winner of the Weatherford Award, her novel The Patron Saint of Ugly was the 2021 One Book, One West Virginia common read. Shrapnel, set in Marie’s hometown of Huntington, received the Fred Bonnie Award for Best First Novel. Stories in her collection, Still Life with Plums, first appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Prairie Schooner, Mississippi Review, and other journals. Her essays have appeared in Word Riot, Cossack Review, Hippocampus, Under the Sun, Gargoyle, and elsewhere. Learn more at www.mariemanilla.com.
Creative Nonfiction – Micro Memoirs
Session One will explore micro memoirs, which are potent nuggets of short prose, often less than 100 words. Where do we find those gems? How do we craft them into powerful jolts that will leave readers going Oh! We’ll look at several examples and try our hand at writing our own micro memoirs.
Creative Nonfiction – Story Braiding
Explore the craft element of braiding, which is the weaving together of seemingly unrelated material that, by the end, is inextricably bound. Braiding adds layers and texture that enrich any piece of writing. We’ll look at examples and try our hand at this essential skill all writers should have in their toolkits.