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The Writer\'s Life [clear filter]
Friday, April 3
 

9:00am EDT

1G: Bottling the Muse: The Not-So-Impossible Task of Writing on Command
Limited Capacity seats available

Many writers have a love-hate relationship with deadlines. They help us push through murky drafts and make difficult choices, and prompt us to write when we may not feel like it. But what happens when the deadline is set, the contracts are signed, the topic is set, and the Muse-- that great breath of inspiration-- is nowhere to be found? Whether you're under contract, short on time, or simply need to get that idea from your head to the page, this session will have something for you.

In this guided writing session, we will write to prompts and discuss techniques for getting your project off and running, even in the face of a painfully blank page or blinking cursor. We will disprove the existence of writer's block and help impart the confidence to slay that upcoming deadline.

Speakers
avatar for Emily Franklin

Emily Franklin

Author, LAST NIGHT AT THE CIRCLE CINEMA
Emily Franklin is the award-winning author of more than twenty novels. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the London Sunday Times, The Cincinnati Review, The Rumpus, and DIAGRAM among other places as well as featured and read aloud... Read More →
avatar for Maria Pinto

Maria Pinto

Fiction Writer
Maria Pinto is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared or will appear in Frigg, Necessary Fiction, The Butter, Word Riot, and Dostoevsky Wannabe Cities: Boston. She studied Creative Writing and Women’s and Gender Studies at Brandeis University, where her work was awarded... Read More →


Friday April 3, 2020 9:00am - 10:00am EDT
Cambridge Room - 4th Floor

9:00am EDT

1J: But How Do I Begin? Taking the First Steps to Writing a Book
Limited Capacity seats available

Description coming!

Speakers
avatar for Cherise Fisher

Cherise Fisher

Literary Agent, Wendy Sherman Associates
Cherise Fisher began her career in publishing as the assistant to the Editor-in-Chief of Dell Publishing a month after graduating from Yale University. Over the course of her twenty-five year career as an acquiring editor at Simon & Schuster and the Editor in Chief of Plume (an imprint... Read More →


Friday April 3, 2020 9:00am - 10:00am EDT
Newbury Room - 4th Floor

10:15am EDT

2A: From "Writer" to "Author": Navigating Your Debut Year(s)
Limited Capacity filling up

Congratulations—you’ve sold your first novel. Now what? What can you expect in terms of the editorial process (including those dreaded copy edits and proofreading 1st, 2nd, and 3rd pass pages and beyond), title selection, cover design, publicity and marketing meetings, pre- and post-publication events, launch parties, most-anticipated and best-of lists, social media, book festivals, etc., etc.? No matter whether they’re with a Big Five or an indie press, first-time authors seem to agree that their year is a dizzying and confusing mix of terrifying and exhilarating. Two authors who have successfully made the transition from “writer” to “author” in 2019 share their tips on how best to launch your debut novel without going crazy.

Speakers
avatar for Whitney Scharer

Whitney Scharer

Author, THE AGE OF LIGHT
Whitney Scharer holds a BA in English Literature from Wesleyan University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington. Her short fiction, essays, and interviews have appeared in numerous publications including Vogue, The Telegraph, The Tatler, and Bellevue Literary... Read More →
avatar for Angie Kim

Angie Kim

Author, MIRACLE CREEK
Angie Kim is the author of the national bestseller Miracle Creek, named a "Best Book of the Year" by Time and Amazon, a Washington Post Summer Read pick, a Top 10 AppleBooks Debut of the Year, and an IndieNext and LibraryReads pick. Kim is one of Variety Magazine’s “10 Storytellers... Read More →


Friday April 3, 2020 10:15am - 11:30am EDT
White Hill Room - 4th Floor
 
Saturday, April 4
 

9:00am EDT

5J: Balancing Act: The Writing Life, the Day Job, and Everything in Between
Limited Capacity seats available

Maintaining a writing practice when you have a demanding day job, family, and life happening can be tough. But it's doable! In this session, Melissa Rivero will discuss how she managed to write a novel while working as a lawyer in a tech startup, raising a family, and what she's learned from the publishing process. Come with your own challenges in maintaining the "balancing act," and we'll share tips, tricks, and solutions.

Speakers
avatar for Melissa Rivero

Melissa Rivero

Author, THE AFFAIRS OF THE FALCÓNS
Melissa Rivero was born in Lima, Peru and raised in Brooklyn. She is a graduate of NYU and Brooklyn Law School. She currently works as in-house legal counsel at a startup. Melissa still lives in Brooklyn with her family. Her debut novel, The Affairs of the Falcóns, won the New American... Read More →


Saturday April 4, 2020 9:00am - 10:00am EDT
Cambridge Room - 4th Floor

1:45pm EDT

7G: Building Your Communities: How to Make the Most of Residencies, Conferences, Awards, and Writing Programs
Limited Capacity filling up

Emerging writers often find themselves isolated and eager for mentors and connections, and this session will delve into what it takes to build a community that will support you in achieving your professional goals. Are residencies frivolous or invaluable—and how do you decide? Does receiving a writing award really make a difference? Do you need an MFA to make it in the cutthroat world of publishing? At what point should you start (or stop!) going to conferences and taking workshops? Even when time and money are in short supply, there are ways to be strategic and make use of these game-changing opportunities.

You’ll get the perspective of a novelist who runs programming, scholarships and awards for a literary nonprofit, and a memoirist and writing professor who, through trial and error, have learned how to determine what actually works for them, and will share resources and tricks of the trade.

Speakers
avatar for Katrin Schumann

Katrin Schumann

Author, THIS TERRIBLE BEAUTY
Katrin Schumann is the author of the Washington Post bestseller The Forgotten Hours, and This Terrible Beauty, a recently released novel about art, politics and love set in communist East Germany, as well as numerous nonfiction titles. She teaches writing at GrubStreet, was an instructor... Read More →
avatar for Rani Neutill

Rani Neutill

Nonfiction Writer
Rani was a professor of Ethnic American and Postcolonial Literature at institutions such as Harvard, Yale, and Johns Hopkins University. Her work has appeared in Catapult, Salon, The New York Times Book Review, The Rumpus, Longreads, Redivider, amongst other places. She has work forthcoming... Read More →


Saturday April 4, 2020 1:45pm - 3:00pm EDT
Cambridge Room - 4th Floor

1:45pm EDT

7I: Public Speaking for Writers
Limited Capacity seats available

As your writerly prominence grows, opportunities to read, present, and promote your work in public become ever-more important. In this interactive class, participants will learn how to enunciate, project, and command a room. With examples from prose and poetry, participants will learn the importance of speaking with confidence to engage various audiences. You'll craft a basic 30-second elevator pitch of your work and receive helpful critiques. Come ready to listen, read, discuss the art of public speaking, and expect to leave with improved presentation skills and boosted confidence.

Speakers
avatar for Shirley Jones-Luke

Shirley Jones-Luke

Essayist
Shirley Jones-Luke is a poet and a writer. Ms Luke lives in the Dorchester section of Boston. Shirley is an English teacher for the Boston Public Schools. She teaches ELA and Humanities at the middle and high school levels. Ms. Luke is also a public speaker. Shirley has spoken at... Read More →


Saturday April 4, 2020 1:45pm - 3:00pm EDT
Franklin Room - 4th Floor

3:30pm EDT

8E: Writing Great Artist Statements for Fellowships, Residencies, MFA programs, & More
Limited Capacity seats available

Whether you want to enhance your craft or win more writerly time and support, chances are that someday you'll face a competitive application process. At such times, a well-written artist statement can go a long way to make you stand out from the pack. In this session, we'll discuss the key components that every artist statement should include, as well as other ways to make your application as strong as can be.

Speakers
avatar for Jonathan Escoffery

Jonathan Escoffery

Fiction & Nonfiction Writer
Jonathan Escoffery’s writing has appeared in The Paris Review, AGNI, Pleiades, Salt Hill, The Caribbean Writer, Creative Nonfiction, Solstice Literary Magazine, Pangyrus, and elsewhere. His most recent honors include a Distinguished Story citation in The Best American Short Stories... Read More →
avatar for Shubha Sunder

Shubha Sunder

Fiction Writer
Shubha Sunder's prose has appeared in The Bare Life Review, Lenny Letter, Crazyhorse, Narrative Magazine, Michigan Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. Two of her stories were named as notable in The Best American Short Stories 2016 anthology. In 2016 she was named a Massachusetts Cultural... Read More →


Saturday April 4, 2020 3:30pm - 4:45pm EDT
Cambridge Room - 4th Floor
 
Sunday, April 5
 

10:15am EDT

9A: What Booksellers Want Writers to Know
Limited Capacity filling up

It’s happened to every author at some point: the bookstore event with the stack of your books and one person in the audience. While there are no guaranteed formulas, there are sound ways to build relationships with bookstores! Booksellers are an author's front-line sales team who know their customers and hand-sell books they love. We’ll cover ways to connect with, and support, indie bookstores to help them help you!

Get insider tips on how stores choose and market the books they shelve while working with authors and publishers to promote new titles. Gearing up for a bookstore event? Learn what to expect before, during, and after your event and how to make your events part of the narrative of your writing identity.

Whether you’re pre-published or an established author, you'll learn marketing strategies to increase your audience and partner with your local indies to up your odds of success.

Speakers
avatar for Allison Pottern Hoch

Allison Pottern Hoch

Fiction Writer
Allison Pottern Hoch is a writer and marketing coach with over a decade of experience in marketing, publicity, sales, and event planning. She spent four years promoting academic titles at The MIT Press before she went to work for Wellesley Books as a bookseller and event coordinator... Read More →
avatar for Leah DeCesare

Leah DeCesare

Author, FORKS, KNIVES, AND SPOONS
Leah DeCesare is the award-winning author of Forks, Knives, and Spoons. Her writing has been featured in The Huffington Post, Eligible Magazine, Simply Woman, The International Doula, and The Key, among others. Leah is the cofounder of the nonprofit, Doulas of Rhode Island, and she... Read More →


Sunday April 5, 2020 10:15am - 11:30am EDT
Cambridge Room - 4th Floor

11:45am EDT

10A: Media Training: Being Your Best at Readings, On Radio, and On Television
Limited Capacity filling up

It's never too early or too late to prepare for your time in the spotlight, especially as you're building a long career as a professional writer. This session will teach you the most important elements to focus on when publicizing your work and representing yourself on TV and radio interviews, and at readings. 

As part of a lively critique session, we will show clips of authors in a variety of situations and invite participation in a discussion on what works to engage an audience and sell books. Topics include: What to avoid at all costs (behaviors, language, gestures, appearance); how to get your message across while plugging your work graciously; how to hide nerves and find the right mind-set; how to connect with an interviewer; and how to handle tricky questions/situations.

Speakers
avatar for Lynne Griffin

Lynne Griffin

Author, GIRL SENT AWAY
Lynne Reeves Griffin RN, MEd is the author of the acclaimed novels Life Without Summer (St. Martin’s Press, 2009) and Sea Escape (Simon & Schuster, 2010), and the parenting guide Negotiation Generation (Penguin, 2017). Her short stories, essays, and articles have appeared in Solstice... Read More →
avatar for Katrin Schumann

Katrin Schumann

Author, THIS TERRIBLE BEAUTY
Katrin Schumann is the author of the Washington Post bestseller The Forgotten Hours, and This Terrible Beauty, a recently released novel about art, politics and love set in communist East Germany, as well as numerous nonfiction titles. She teaches writing at GrubStreet, was an instructor... Read More →


Sunday April 5, 2020 11:45am - 12:45pm EDT
Cambridge Room - 4th Floor

11:45am EDT

10I: Resilience on the Winding Road to Book Publication
Limited Capacity seats available

The road to publication can be challenging, disappointing, and take longer than we want. Hear from two authors who debuted books at mid-life in conversation about how they maintained their motivation and developed resilience amidst invisibility, rejection, and self-doubt on the road to writing and publishing. 

We will do a brief writing exercise and discuss approaches to maintaining positivity, remembering why you write, and building a supportive writing community.

Speakers
avatar for Lisa Braxton

Lisa Braxton

Author, THE TALKING DRUM
Lisa Braxton is an essayist, short story writer, and novelist. Her debut novel, The Talking Drum, is forthcoming from Inanna Publications in May 2020.She is also a “debutante,” one of five debut novelists chosen for the Debutante Ball, a group blog for authors making their debut... Read More →
avatar for Grace Talusan

Grace Talusan

Author, THE BODY PAPERS
Grace Talusan was born in the Philippines and raised in New England. As a toddler, she came to the US with her parents from the Philippines. She grew up in New England and became a US citizen in her twenties. She thought she was going to be a physician, like her parents, but while... Read More →


Sunday April 5, 2020 11:45am - 12:45pm EDT
Newbury Room - 4th Floor

11:45am EDT

10J: Writing on Your Own Terms: How to Start, Promote, and Maintain a Compelling Blog
Limited Capacity filling up

For many of us writers, we often fall into the routine of writing amazing poetry and prose without it ever being read, and become discouraged when our work is rejected from countless literary journals and magazines. Well, what if I told you there's a way to publish your work on your terms, promote it the way you want, any one in the world can read it, and you'll have an online presence. Drum Roll...start a blog!

Through her experiences, Serina will give essential tips and resources on how to build and track your blog using WordPress and Google Analytics, how to find your niche topic, how you can make money off blogging, and how your blog can make you a stronger writer. She'll also share pros and cons to publishing your work, how to protect your work from plagiarism, copyright policies, how your blog can grant you opportunities, and more!

Speakers
avatar for Serina Gousby

Serina Gousby

Nonfiction Writer & Poet
Serina Gousby is the founder of her lifestyle blog, The Rina Collective, where she posts reflective, literary, and pop culture essays. She is the Development Associate and Boston Writers of Color Group Coordinator at GrubStreet, and Events Chair on her alumni council board at Suffolk... Read More →


Sunday April 5, 2020 11:45am - 12:45pm EDT
Stuart Room - 4th Floor