2016 Creative Writing Conference Schedule

It’s finally here! The full schedule for the 2016 Creative Writing Conference is now available. Please see below for details!

Registration information can be found here: http://www.mtsu.edu/write/conference.php

We look forward to seeing you next month!


Morning Breakout Sessions: 9:30-11:00

Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor

“Writing the “Not Me”: Dramatic Monologue and Persona Poems”

When we think of “portraits” we often think of paintings–Mona Lisa or Picasso’s Blue Man with Guitar. But most literary artists also spend creative time meditating on others’ lives as they loom larger than the individuals themselves and become symbolic of a complicated interrelated life. Keats’ term “negative capability,” referred to the poet’s ability to suspend one’s ego and imagine others from the inside out. We will review the affordances, risks, and ethics of writing in the “not me” voice. Sharing examples of persona poems and dramatic monologues, we discuss how these forms may shape greater connections to the diversity of what it means to be human as well as connections to animal, vegetable, and mineral worlds. Participants will learn ethnographic techniques of observation and interview to gain access to others’ stories, vocabularies and vernaculars with respect and aesthetic care.


Kim Teter

“Secrets of the Heart: a Deeper Look at Character”

You think you know your characters, but do you really? We’ll take a look at not only putting flesh on the bones of the characters in your work, but also putting meaning and motivations in their hearts and minds. Interactive writing exercises will bring you to a whole new level of creating multi-dimensional characters who will intrigue your readers.


Roy Burkhead

“Living a Proactive Literary Life”

Wanting a literary career is not enough. The aspiring must take steps to make it happen, to force the dream’s bits and pieces to knock at the door. Use this 45 minutes to discover those first steps.


Afternoon Breakout Sessions: 3:00-4:30

Gregory Plemmons

“Shifting Points of View: The Optical Illusions of Writing”

“True judgment of depth is only possible because each of our eyes sees the world from a slightly different angle,” Michael Marmor writes in The Eye Of The Artist. Even the most gifted director or artist, however, still remains confined to two dimensions. Literature allows us to explore multiple points of view in a way in which film-makers cannot. Telling a story from multiple points of view remains a popular form of narration and has some surprising parallels in the science of vision and optical illusions. In this session, we’ll examine several famous works of literature by past writers (Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, Carson McCullers) as well as contemporary ones (William Trevor, Russell Banks, Alice Munro) and what they achieve (and risk) by telling their stories from multiple viewpoints, and how several optical illusions (and the science behind them) achieve a similar magic. No 3-D glasses required.


Amber Hart

“Finding Your Literary Voice”

Whether you’re writing a novel, short story, flash fiction or a blog post, finding your writing voice can be a challenge. Come join other writers as we explore ‘finding your voice.’ Bring your questions, suggestions, and a pen and paper. The session will include an exercise that will bring you closer to your unique literary voice.


Karen Alea Ford

“The How-Tos of Traditional Publishing”

 Are you ready to submit your work to agents, publishers, literary journals, or magazines? Whether you are new to writing or have been submitting for years, it’s important to be briefed on the ever-changing industry.

This session will cover the formats for pitching short and long fiction and non-fiction (queries, pitches, and proposals), and where to send your work. Participants will leave with a bucket of resources and a personalized plan of attack.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s