Block 6 [clear filter]
Saturday, April 4

10:15am EDT

6B: Narrative Unbound: Experimental Structures in Essays and Stories
Limited Capacity seats available

Are you struggling to tell a story in a traditional narrative structure? Sometimes it’s not you-- it’s the form that’s got you down. See how a more experimental form can illuminate the story you’re trying to tell, and how leaving your comfort zone can bust open your writing style. 

We’ll explore several approaches to narrative structure for both short stories and essays, such as collage and fragmentation, borrowed forms, and associative structures, and see how writers have used them in surprising and moving ways. We’ll provide guidelines to help you work with these structures on your own, as well as a writing prompt to get you started. You’ll come out of this session with new ways to approach narrative writing.

avatar for Ron MacLean

Ron MacLean

Ron MacLean teaches writing at GrubStreet. His short fiction has been anthologized, and has appeared widely in magazines including GQ, Narrative, Fiction International, Night Train, Other Voices, Drunken Boat, Best Online Fiction 2010, and elsewhere. He is author most recently of... Read More →
avatar for Sari Boren

Sari Boren

Playwright, TO REST
Sari Boren is an essayist and playwright who has published in Copper Nickel, Lilith Magazine, The Southeast Review, Alimentum, Hobart, and Pangyrus, among others. She teaches creative nonfiction at GrubStreet and co-manages Boston’s Four Stories reading series. In 2019 she was... Read More →

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

10:15am EDT

6C: Social Media Hack: Utilizing Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to Authentically Engage (and Not Annoy) Readers
Limited Capacity filling up

Whether you love it, loathe it, or have yet to even join it, social media is a necessary, effective, and FREE tool you can use to meet and connect with readers. Having a solid platform on social media and a legion of loyal followers will not only make you more attractive to agents and publishers, it will also ultimately help you sell more books regardless if you go the indie or traditional path. 

Join authors (and self-confessed social media addicts) Jenna Blum and Sara DiVello as they share their favorite hacks on how to build your author brand on all three social platforms (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter) and authentically engage with your community/followers. They will share the unique pros of cons of each platform and demystify how you can powerfully leverage each to best meet your goals. You'll have the chance to craft & share a post in-class for feedback.

avatar for Sara DiVello

Sara DiVello

Sara DiVello is the author of the best-selling book Where in the OM Am I? One Woman’s Journey from the Corporate World to the Yoga Mat, NIEA winner for Best Memoir, selected by Shape Magazine as a best book, and chosen by Working Mother as one of the top eight memoirs of the year... Read More →
avatar for Jenna Blum

Jenna Blum

Jenna Blum is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of novels Those Who Save Us (Harcourt, 2002) and The Stormchasers (Dutton, 2010) and novella “The Lucky One” in the collection Grand Central (Berkeley/ Penguin, 2014). Jenna is also the author of the audiobook... Read More →

Saturday April 4, 2020 10:15am - 11:30am EDT
Franklin Room - 4th Floor

10:15am EDT

6D: Your Nonfiction Book Proposal: Key Questions to Answer
Limited Capacity seats available

You may have been told that a nonfiction book proposal is a marketing tool, and it is. But it is also a narrative about why your book should be published. To tell this story, you will need to answer important questions: Why are you telling this story? Why is this book important now? Who is your ideal reader? What books do your readers already love and why?

In this session, we’ll talk about how the answers to these question will help you craft every section of a proposal so that it is more compelling. These answers can even help you sharpen the focus of your book and create the outline of chapters. We will look at excerpts from successful proposals and discuss how the writers answered these questions to build their proposals.

avatar for Michelle Seaton

Michelle Seaton

Michelle Seaton’s short fiction has appeared in One Story, Harvard Review, Sycamore Review, and The Pushcart Anthology among others. Her journalism and essays have appeared in Robb Report, Bostonia, Yankee Magazine, The Pinch and Lake Effect. Her essay, “How to Work a Locker... Read More →
avatar for Paul Levine

Paul Levine

Literary Agent, Paul S. Levine Literary Agency
Paul S. Levine “wears two hats”–he is a lawyer and a literary agent.Mr. Levine has practiced entertainment law for over 38 years, specializing in the representation of writers, producers, actors, directors, composers, musicians, artists, authors, photographers, galleries, publishers... Read More →

Saturday April 4, 2020 10:15am - 11:30am EDT
Newbury Room - 4th Floor

10:15am EDT

6H: Stealth Description
Limited Capacity filling up

We’ve all had the experience of reading a book or story and finding ourselves skimming—perhaps even skipping—a stagnant paragraph of scene-setting description. Yet there are ways to describe actively, to incorporate exposition organically, even to set a scene without “describing” at all. This seminar will present effective, original, and artful approaches to “stealth description”: keeping the reader engaged and the story moving forward without drawing undue attention to the act of describing. 

We’ll learn how to put descriptions to work in ways that serve multiple story elements at once, while addressing common pitfalls (the unincorporated block of prose; the flashy detail that calls too much attention to itself; generic depictions of the familiar). This is a combined lecture-discussion, so bring a pen and paper for note-taking and exercises.

avatar for Daphne Kalotay

Daphne Kalotay

Daphne Kalotay’s books include the bestselling novels Sight Reading and Russian Winter—winners of the 2014 New England Society Book Award and the 2011 Writers’ League of Texas Fiction Award, respectively—and the fiction collection Calamity and Other Stories, shortlisted for... Read More →

Saturday April 4, 2020 10:15am - 11:30am EDT
Whittier Room - 4th Floor

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