FALL WRITING RETREAT CRAFT SESSIONS

Inspiration, that Orphic moment of detached awareness can only be charmed by one who has practiced the craft of writing in times of expiration—when the muse has passed.

Faculty will present a one-hour craft lecture covering an element of creative writing. Topics might include: character development, tracing the narrative path, working in the reflective mode, structure, viewpoint, dialogue, style, tone, sound and rhythm, images, order, etc.

Each of the faculty members bring their own unique approaches and experiences to the writing craft topic areas which will, in turn, afford participants an exciting opportunity to gain valuable insight into the processes and mechanisms that are the foundation of the creative writing practice.

SATURDAY

9:00 am

Tony Morris presents The Creative Imagination:  The role of imagery to evoke powerful responses in your readers and give your work the breath of life to will awaken readers to your stories and poems.

10:00 am

Lenore Hart presents Free-For- All: An in-depth and straight-forward analysis of what makes writing click, providing writers with a bag of tools, including character development, dialogue, setting and style, to tell stories that keep readers engaged.

Christina Olson presents Weird Science: the various and sundry fun ways in which scientific fact can shape/inform poems.

11:00 am

Lee Griffith presents Summary Writing: To keep the story interesting and alive, and the reader reading, we must Show, Not Tell. Often this happens by letting your story unfold through a series of scenes. But the same rule (showing, not telling) applies as well in summary. By choosing revealing details, vivid descriptions, scenes that are not much longer than a snapshot, you can economically give all the background information needed to bring your piece to the time and events in which your story takes place.

Amy Condon presents The Job of the Beginning: Whether you are writing a biography, a memoir, speculative or literary fiction, you will spend more time getting the beginning right than any other part of your story. This short session homes in on the key ideas you need to focus on to craft a beginning that sings and makes the reader turn the page.

1:00 pm

Jessica Lebos presents Starting Where You Are: Why Local Writers Matter: Writing takes place not just at the writer’s desk, but in the super market, at the gym, walking the dog. How to stay alert to the writing that goes on in our life as we live.

Chad Faries presents Re-collecting Memory: This seminar explores the ethics of truth and its expectation in poetry and creative non-fiction. Are writers accountable for accuracy in reporting non-fiction experiences? How can we account for gaps and still remain true to the experience? Strategies will be contemplated and explored.

2:00 pm

Publishing Panel with David Poyer, Leigh Rich, Alexa Orgera, Frank Mandelson presents Getting Published: An essential part of any desire to write is publication. This panel will outline some of the essential ideas and tools you will need to develop in order to raise your chances of securing an agent and finding a home for your work.

3:00 pm

Laura Valerie presents Plot is Not A One Way Street: Got an idea but don’t know where to start or how to tell the story? Think you might have a good start but don’t know where to take your idea next? This lecture will explore the interconnectedness of narrative structures and plot, reviewing different methods for plotting short stories and how these may be influenced by your narrative style. From the long story to the 25 word-long hint fiction, we will review several ways of thinking about plot and narrative structure that will expand your notion of what a story can be.

Danelle Lejeune presents Variations on Voice: A close-up review of the role of voice to shape the driving force of the ethical narrative imperative to speak truth to the reader.

PAST RETREAT SESSIONS

Nonfiction Craft Session:

Sue William SilvermanFrom Image to Metaphor: A Generative Lecture. To write creative nonfiction, you need more than a merely good story. More important is to discover, through writing, your metaphors. What does this experience mean?  How can your story become universal? How can your reader relate to a story that, after all, only happened to you? This lecture (with writing exercises and informal discussion) will explore how the writer achieves this by savoring the images from a particular life (think of William Carlos Williams’s adage “no ideas but in things”), and then slanting them, expressing the details, so that they illuminate shared experience of the world around us.

Poetry Craft Session:

Susan Meyers: The Song of Syntax. The syntax of a piece of writing—poetry or prose—is crucial to its music, as well as its meaning. Syntax affects pacing, tension, tone—almost every aspect of the writing. During this hour we’ll take a look at numerous syntactical approaches and at published poems and excerpts of prose chosen for syntactical variety. Bring a draft of a poem or prose piece you’re working on. A class packet is included.

Fiction Craft Session:

Craig Johnson: Character: The Easy way. An in-depth and straight-forward analysis of what makes characters click, providing writers with tools to tell the stories that engage readers.


Savannah Book Festival Armstrong Atlantic State University The Poetry Society of Georgia Southern Poetry Review