So what’s this festival look like anyway? Featuring a diverse offering of panels, workshops, readings, antics, and a day-long print fair, The Writer’s Block Festival has something for everyone. Updates to come regularly as we move closer to the festival date, with current offerings listed below. Most of these events are free and open to everyone, unless otherwise noted. Stay tuned for up-to-the-minute news via our Facebook page.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13
Opens at 9 am in the lobby of the Green Building, 732 East Market Street, and continues throughout the day. Pick up a program, purchase a 2012 Writer’s Block Festival poster from Hound Dog Press, and make plans for a great day!
Write Now! Register early for one of nine new workshops in all genres of writing.
Please check-in at registration at the Festival one half hour before your workshop to receive information about the location of your workshop. Workshop enrollment is limited to 15 per class and advance registration via PayPal is required to reserve your spot. Each workshop will last 90 minutes and is scheduled at either 9:30-11 am or 1:30- 3:00 pm. Day-of registration via cash or check only will be available if there are any remaining spots available. All workshops EXCEPT the letterpress workshop with Hound Dog Press are $25.
If you have questions or accessibility needs, please contact Lynnell Edwards: Lynnell.firstname.lastname@example.org
Making Motivation Matter: Keys to a Page-Turning Plot in Young Adult fiction
a workshop in Young Adult fiction writing with Katrina Kittle
Much like the chicken and the egg question, the answer to “Which comes first, plot or character?” troubles many writers and causes needless anxiety. This workshop will contend that character and plot are essentially the same thing—a well-structured plot will naturally unfold if the writer focus on some “simple” questions about character motivation. With an emphasis on some special requirements of a YA protagonist, this workshop will focus on “upping the stakes” to make motivation matter. Whether deep in a work-in-progress or just beginning to form an idea, writers will leave with a clear road map for their stories that will keep a plot moving forward and keep readers caring. 9:30- 11:00 am
What We Can Learn from Forgotten Poets
a workshop in poetry writing with Maurice Manning
We’ll read a number of poems by poets from days gone by who offer all the things we look for in poetry: originality, imagination, thought, and honest feeling. Then we’ll work through a few writing exercises based on the readings. 1:30-3:00 pm
Playwriting Workshop: The Beat
a workshop in playwriting with Liz Fentress
This hands-on, playwriting craft workshop will focus on a play’s basic structural component—the beat. Sometimes compared to a paragraph of prose or a verse of poetry, an understanding of the beat is essential for sound dramatic writing. Workshop participants will examine the beat and its components—stimulus, rise, climax and end—and, through writing exercises, practice crafting beats. Whether writing story, exposition, conflict, motivation, deliberation, or argument, careful analysis and use of beats keeps a play moving forward, and leads to clearer dialogue, stronger scenes, and, ultimately, better structured plays. Participants of varying experiences and abilities are welcome. 9:30-11:00 am
The Place of Opportunity in Fiction
a workshop in fiction with Kirby Gann
Some fiction writers approach the world they create as a mirror reflection of the one we inhabit—the same street names, locales, cities; others write as if the world on the page has yet to be created, though it, too, still mirrors our own: think Yoknapatawpha County in Faulkner’s work, or the town of Stay More in the novels of Donald Harrington. How does place affect the organization, the inspiration of fiction? What are the benefits, what are the drawbacks, of re-naming (even reinventing) the places you are writing about? This workshop will take a look at how other writers have approached the issue, and how a fiction is affected and deeply influenced by where it takes place. 1:30-3:00 pm
Belly & Heart: Writing Stories
a workshop in fiction with Crystal Wilkinson
This is a workshop for those who wish to improve their craft of writing fiction. We will generate new material by mining stories that are lying at the bottom of our bellies and on the top of our hearts. Everyone has within them an automatic piece of fiction. What do we tell? What do we keep to ourselves? We’ll write toward a balance of the sacred and the memorable. Each participant will leave this workshop with the impression of a new story—one that is deeply felt– ready to be crafted. 9:30-11:00 am
Writing Your Memoir
a workshop in memoir with Frederick Smock
Why wait till you’re a retired octogenarian to write your memoirs, sitting in a club chair by the fireplace with a snifter of brandy at your elbow? Begin now to hone your memories and shape your story. And, by all means, go ahead and uncork that brandy. Two issues that all writers deal with — and memoirists perhaps most of all — are permission and authority. In this workshop we will discuss these issues and others: narrative arc, tone, taking liberties, then-and-now narrator, how to write scenes (mini-dramas), the ‘truth’ of memory, etc. This workshop will include a brief exercise to kick-start your memoir, and a list of suggested readings, with time for Q-and-A. 9:30-11:00 am
Word from Image: Poems Beyond the Frame
a workshop in poetry with Lynnell Edwards
Poets have long been inspired by works of art. Think of John Keats’ “Ode to A Grecian Urn” or Anne Sexton’s “The Starry Night” from Van Gogh’s famous painting, or Yusef Komunyakaa’s “Facing It” about his encounter with the Vietnam War Memorial. Poems like these are part of the ekphrastic tradition, which refers to work that takes its cue from visual art –whether it be paintings, photographs, architecture, sculpture or other found art. In this workshop, we’ll enter that tradition by discussing a few examples of ekphrastic poetry and then drafting new poems inspired by the artwork in our gallery meeting space. 9:30-11:00 am
Art of the Letterpress
A workshop in the art of letterpress with Hound Dog Press ($40). Registration limited to six participants!
Learn the art of handset type and letterpress printing with Hound Dog Press. Participants will have the opportunity to design and print their own bookmark keepsake from metal and wood type on one of our tabletop platen presses. We will discuss the history and process of letterpress while demonstrating with our collection of printing presses that range from 1892-1960. 9:30-11:00 am
On the Road: Travel Writing and Character
Good travel writing does more than simply tell readers about a place. Good travel writing invites readers to sit with you in that booth at that barbecue joint in Alabama or to pedal wildly along next to you on that unexpectedly grueling bike tour of Argentina’s wine country. Part of transporting readers is giving them a character to travel with. In a travel essay, that character is you. This workshop will explore what it means to create yourself as a character through a series of short exercises and discussions. We’ll look at the basics of prose writing: dialogue, the details you choose to include, setting the scene, description. We’ll also talk about structuring short writings, how to give them a narrative arc and create meaning for readers, versus simply giving a chronological account of “what happened next.” 1:30-3:00 pm
PRINT FAIR OF INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS: Green Building
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Between readings and before your workshop and after a panel discussion, check out the variety of journals, books, broadsides and chapbooks offered by independent publishers in the region (click here to see a current list of vendors). Interested in finding a publication for your work? This is the place to meet editors and talk to them about what they’re really looking for!
PANEL DISCUSSIONS: Green Building Gallery
Join the conversation! Panels feature writers discussing a variety of craft and professional topics
10:00 – 11:15: Making Matter: An Editors’ Discussion
The wild world of publishing is in the midst of a radical evolution, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the advent of the printing press. Join Tony Fasciano (Digital Americana Magazine), Jen Woods (Typecast Publishing), M. Bartley Seigel ([PANK]), and Matt Dobson (The Paper) for a panel discussion moderated by Wesley Fairman (Fiction Editor, Sawmill) as they hash out what it takes to make publishing matter from the ether in this modern life.
11:30-12:45: Writer’s Block Conversation with Cornbread Mafia author Jim Higdon
Graham Shelby, writer and journalist, talks with Jim Higdon about the perils of telling the truth, protecting the innocent, and not getting shot in the process of writing his book about America’s largest homegrown marijuana syndicate in Kentucky, during the 1980s.
Thanks to Louisville Magazine and Louisville.com for their sponsorship of The Writer’s Block Conversation.
1-2:15: Younger Games: The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Writing Young Adult Fiction
Young adult fiction is hot! Consider the recent Twilight and Hunger Games series, which have been enthusiastically received by both young and adult readers. Join our versatile panel of contemporary young adult fiction writers: Gwenda Bond (Blackwood); Katrina Kittle (Reasons to Be Happy), and Kelly Creagh (the Nevermore series) moderated by YA novel and short story writer, Matt Jaeger (The Creation of Lilith Pomegranate and The Care Takers). Our panelists will discuss their writing lives and the challenges and the benefits of writing fiction for a young adult audience.
2:30-3:45: Blog In
Blogging, schmogging. Is it real writing? Or just a collection of blurbs with a bunch of pretty pictures? Our panel on blogging will wrestle with these provocative, timely questions while discussing the joys and pitfalls of the blogging life. You won’t be able to find more fun in one room–food, bourbon, music, preacher’s wives. Please join us for a panel moderated by Martha Bourlakas, “Martha Muse” (marthamuse.tumblr.com) and featuring bloggers Amy Miller, “ADDled” (addledmother.blogspot.com); Donna Ison, “The Bourbonista” (thebourbonista.com); Elizabeth Orrick, “Epicurious Louisville” (epicuriouslouisville.tumblr.com) and others.
LITERARY LOUISVILLE READINGS: Swanson Gallery, 638 East Market
Enjoy brief readings with your favorite Louisville writers.
Jerriod Avant, poetry
Sena Jeter Naslund, fiction
John Gamel, non-fiction
Martha Greenwald, poetry
Frank Bill, fiction
Sonja DeVries, poetry
Adriena Dame, fiction
Chris Mattingly, poetry
Angela Elson, creative non-fiction
Thanks to Spalding University’s Brief Residency Master of Fine Arts Program for their sponsorship of Literary Louisville
WITH TWO TIME NATIONAL POETRY SLAM WINNER ANIS MOJGANI
6 pm, Cressman Center, 100 East Main Street
Reserve your free ticket for this event (required) at registration area in Green Bldg. lobby
Anis Mojgani is a two time National Poetry Slam Champion and winner of the International World Cup Poetry Slam. A National Book Award Nominee and former resident of the Oregon Literary Arts Writers-In-The-Schools program, Anis has performed at numerous universities, festivals, and venues around the globe. He has performed for audiences as varied as the House of Blues, the United Nations, and TEDx and his work has appeared on HBO, NPR, and in the pages of such journals as Rattle, Used Furniture, and The Lumberyard. A founding member of the touring Poetry Revival, Anis is also the author of two poetry collections, both published by Write Bloody Publishing: Over the Anvil We Stretch (2008) and The Feather Room (2011). Originally from New Orleans, he currently lives in Austin, TX, in a little house with his wife.
Mojgani will deliver an electrifying reading and discussion of his work in this very special venue. He will be available to sign books following the event.
LATE NIGHT, ALL RIGHT – An Open Mic After Party
Green Building Gallery
Join us back at the Green Building after the keynote reading for an afterhours open mic event hosted by InKY’s own Jerriod Avant. Sign ups will be held in the lobby of the Green Building and will begin immediately following the keynote. Space will be very limited and readings will be given out on a first come, first served basis.