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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.

avatar for Crystal King

Crystal King

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.

avatar for Hank Phillippi Ryan

Hank Phillippi Ryan

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

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.

avatar for Rion Scott

Rion Scott

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.

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

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

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).

avatar for Melody Moezzi

Melody Moezzi

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

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