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Friday, April 3
 

9:00am EDT

1A: Social Media Tough Love: Ten Tips for Authors
Limited Capacity full

Despite the fact that social media has been around for more than a decade, many authors are still resistant to using it, or have qualms in the midst of all the privacy issues and chaos of this world. Or if they are using it, they are using it wrong--pushing books annoyingly at people, targeting other writers instead of readers, or just throwing content out without engaging their audience. Social media is still the best place to reach readers and to help control one's own reputation, especially in an age when publishers aren't going to help much, if at all.

Speakers
avatar for Crystal King

Crystal King

Author, THE CHEF'S SECRET
Crystal King is the author of The Chef's Secret and Feast of Sorrow which was long-listed for the Center of Fiction's First Novel Prize and chosen as a Mass Book Awards Must Read. Her writing is fueled by a love of history and a passion for the food, language, and culture of Italy... Read More →


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

9:00am EDT

1B: Perfecting Page One
Limited Capacity full

You know the great opening lines: Ishmael, Manderley, the last camel. Why do those work? And how can you create one for your own novel? How can you set the proper expectations for the story to come, and make every word work? How do you avoid info dumps, dreaded exposition and book-killing backstory? How do you create a first page that will entice editors and enchant readers? (If they don't love the first one, they'll never get to the second one.)

In this class, suitable for any genre, we will dissect and analyze acclaimed first lines and opening paragraphs, and reveal the writing secrets these brilliant examples offer. If you are brave enough, please bring your own first line! Hank and the class will offer advice and guidance—to set you and your book off in the right direction.


Speakers
avatar for Hank Phillippi Ryan

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Author, THE MURDER LIST
Hank Phillippi Ryan is the on-air investigative reporter for Boston's WHDH-TV. She's won 36 EMMYs and dozens more journalism honors. The nationally bestselling author of 11 mysteries, Ryan's also an award-winner in her second profession—with five Agathas, three Anthonys, two Macavitys... Read More →


Friday April 3, 2020 9:00am - 10:00am EDT
Boylston Room - Mezzanine Level

9:00am EDT

1C: How to Pitch
Limited Capacity filling up

Description coming soon!

Speakers
avatar for Sandy Lu

Sandy Lu

Literary Agent, L. Perkins Agency
Sandy Lu is a literary agent at the L. Perkins Agency, which she joined in 2009.She holds BAs in psychology and sociology from Queens College, with minors in music, business, and Japanese. Prior to becoming an agent, she attended the Ph.D. Program in Social and Personality Psychology... Read More →


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

9:00am EDT

1D: Creating Graphic Novels, Memoirs, and Comics
Limited Capacity seats available

Have you ever thought about creating a graphic novel or memoir, but don’t know where to start? Never fear, citizen! In this lecture we’ll explore visual storytelling techniques from American Comics, Japanese Manga, and Franco-Belgian comics. Attendees will learn the principles of short-form comic creation and how to develop these ideas into a full length graphic novel. Writers will learn how to write visually and work with artists.

Speakers
avatar for Anjali Singh

Anjali Singh

Literary Agent, Ayesha Pande Literary
Anjali Singh is an agent at Ayesha Pande Literary. Before becoming an agent, she worked as an editor at Vintage Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Simon & Schuster and as Editorial Director at Other Press. She is best known for having championed Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis after... Read More →
avatar for Tito James

Tito James

Author, CROSSBONE JONES
Tito W. James is a self-made comic creator with a background in video game art and animation. His travels across the globe and the doors of perception informed his multi-cultural comic book aesthetic and psychedelic philosophy. Whether he’s telling people’s fortunes in speakeasy... Read More →


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

9:00am EDT

1E: Dangerous Satires
Limited Capacity seats available

Sometimes the mockery of laughter is the most subversive way to address the outrages of an outrageous society. This session will look at how to turn humor into sharp blades within your fiction.

Speakers
avatar for Rion Scott

Rion Scott

Author, THE WORLD DOESN'T REQUIRE YOU
Rion Amilcar Scott is the author of the story collection, The World Doesn’t Require You (Norton/Liveright, August 2019). His debut story collection, Insurrections (University Press of Kentucky, 2016), was awarded the 2017 PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and the 2017 Hillsdale... Read More →


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

9:00am EDT

1F: Imagining the Gap: How to Write a Story When the Story Runs Out
Limited Capacity filling up

Have you ever wanted to uncover the story behind your family's silences and secrets? Ever longed to fill holes in overheard rumors and cryptic tales? As creative nonfiction writers, autobiographical novelists, and gossip lovers of all kinds, what do we do when we try to tell a story but the story runs out? And what do we do when the gap becomes so large that it forces us to question our genre choices?

Two writers of personal narrative whose work uses imagined scenes and fictionalized moments to address "gaps" in history will discuss how to turn what might, at first glance, seem like a limitation into a source of possibility. We'll provide specific examples from authors like Loung Ung, Justin St. Germain, Jesmyn Ward, and Helen Fremont, and we'll also provide specific tips and take-home prompts for advancing narratives while engaging daringly with the complex boundaries of genre.

Speakers
avatar for Caitlin McGill

Caitlin McGill

Nonfiction Writer
Caitlin McGill’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Blackbird, The Chattahoochee Review, Crab Orchard Review, Consequence, Iron Horse Literary Review, The Southeast Review, Vox, War, Literature, & the Arts, and several other magazines. Her writing has been supported by the... Read More →
avatar for Alex Marzano-Lesnevich

Alex Marzano-Lesnevich

Author, THE FACT OF A BODY
Alex Marzano-Lesnevich is the author of The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir (Flatiron Books), which received a Lambda Literary Award, the Chautauqua Prize, the Grand Prix des Lectrices ELLE, and the Prix France Inter-JDD, an award for one book of any genre in the world. Named... Read More →


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

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

1H: Self-Portraits as Self-Transformation: Poetry Workshop
Limited Capacity seats available

Audre Lorde wrote, “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” In this generative poetry workshop, participants will explore what it means to define and represent who they are on the page—and how complicated it is to navigate “other people’s fantasies” for the self. After all, our perceptions and descriptions of ourselves don’t exist in a vacuum but are shaped by family, social groups, culture, history, and politics. Works from both visual art and poetry will be our guides as we dive into the mess of ourselves and strive toward transformation.  

Speakers
avatar for Chen Chen

Chen Chen

Author, GESUNDHEIT!
Chen Chen is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017), which was longlisted for the National Book Award and won the Thom Gunn Award, among other honors. Bloodaxe Books has recently published the UK edition. Chen's new chapbook... Read More →


Friday April 3, 2020 9:00am - 10:00am EDT
Charles River Room - 4th Floor
  Block 1

9:00am EDT

1I: Moral Villains and Sinning Heroes: Creating Complex Characters
Limited Capacity full

Heroes sin and villains are occasionally good. Struggles of good vs. evil are happening within, so why not write our characters that way? This two-day course will look at various technical approaches to building realistic characters in fiction, challenging the binary form. Characters are as complex on the page as they are off the page, and we will explore this tension through theory, discussion and a writing exercise.

Speakers
avatar for Wayétu Moore

Wayétu Moore

Author, SHE WOULD BE KING
Wayétu Moore’s debut novel She Would Be King was named a best book of 2018 by Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Entertainment Weekly & BuzzFeed. Her writing can be found in The Paris Review, Frieze Magazine, Guernica, The Atlantic Magazine and other publications. She’s a graduate... Read More →


Friday April 3, 2020 9:00am - 10:00am EDT
Beacon Hill 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

9:00am EDT

1K: Self-Translation: Writing from a Non-English Perspective
Limited Capacity seats available

Conveying a non-English world, piece of dialogue, and or a sentiment through English for the sake of a majority English readership is something writers have wrestled with in numerous ways. Choices in how we present languages besides English-- whether in dialogue, description, and more-- can vary from deliberately removing any contextual "clues," offering just enough explanation to English readers, or to suspend disbelief and suggest that all English dialogue is, in fact, being spoken in another language. 

The cultural, socio-economic, and racial implications of these various choices determine who a book is meant for, who has access to what information, and to recreate or reverse a linguistic exclusion that many non-English speakers encounter in contemporary and canonical works of fiction and non-fiction. Come for a thoughtful discussion, examples of how other authors have tackled this problem, and your own questions and ideas. This session is particularly useful for attendees who are writing in a non-English language (or who want to).

Speakers
avatar for Melody Moezzi

Melody Moezzi

Author, THE RUMI PRESCRIPTION: HOW AN ANCIENT MYSTIC POET CHANGED MY MODERN MANIC LIFE
Melody Moezzi is an Iranian-American Muslim writer, activist, attorney, and award-winning author. A United Nations Global Expert and an Opinion Leader for the British Council’s Our Shared Future initiative, she is a visiting professor of creative nonfiction at the University of... Read More →
avatar for Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

Author, CHILDREN OF THE LAND
Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is the author of Cenzontle, winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. prize (BOA editions 2018), winner of the 2019 Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award in poetry, The Foreword Indies bronze prize, The Golden Poppy Award from N.C.B.I.A, and a finalist for... Read More →


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

9:00am EDT

1L: Building & Layering Tension
Limited Capacity full

If there's no tension in your story, then there's really no story. But how do you create and build and sustain tension? In this class for committed prose writers, we will explore the many different ways to add and build tension in your work. We'll look at various examples of masters in the art of creating tension and we'll practice with in-class exercises the different ways you can tighten the screws for your characters and your readers, too.

Speakers
avatar for Manuel Gonzales

Manuel Gonzales

Author, THE REGIONAL OFFICE IS UNDER ATTACK!
Manuel Gonzales is the author of the collection, The Miniature Wife and other stories, for which he received the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction, and the novel, The Regional Office is Under Attack!, for which he received an Alex Award from the YALSA. His work has been published... Read More →


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

9:00am EDT

1M: Paths to Publishing: Where Do I Start?
Limited Capacity seats available

From seeking your first publication to building your publishing career, it may seem as if there's one "right path" to become an author. In fact, the "best" way to publish is complicated, and different for everyone depending on your project and goals.

Author and Writing Coach Annalisa Parent helps authors to publish everyday. She will walk you through some of the important considerations to investigate as you discover the best publication path for you. She works closely with publishing industry professionals to get the most current information, and will share with you the ins and outs of publishing today: from self publishing to hybrid to traditional--and everything in between.

Speakers
avatar for Annalisa Parent

Annalisa Parent

Date With the Muse
Annalisa Parent helps writers to finish, publish and sell their novels. She owns and operates Date with the Muse, LLC, which helps storytellers to publish traditionally at the highest level possible.A Teacher of the Year nominee for her use of neuroscience principles, she applies... Read More →


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