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Friday, April 29
 

7:30am

Registration & Hot Breakfast
Limited Capacity seats available

Friday April 29, 2016 7:30am - 9:00am
Grand Ballroom

9:00am

Convocation: Welcome, Orientation, Introductions and Cohort Match-Ups
Limited Capacity seats available

Gather in the Imperial Ballroom to meet fellow attendees and presenters, discuss goals, and get a preview for the days ahead.

Staff
avatar for Chris Castellani

Chris Castellani

chris@grubstreet.org, Artistic Director
Christopher Castellani is the artistic director of Grub Street and the author of three novels: All This Talk of Love (2013), a New York Times Editors’ Choice and finalist for the Ferro-Grumley Award; The Saint of Lost Things (2005); and A Kiss From Maddalena (2003), winner of the Massachusetts Book Award. In addition to his work at Grub Street, Christopher teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at... Read More →
avatar for Sonya Larson

Sonya Larson

sonya@grubstreet.org, Assistant Director
Sonya Larson joined GrubStreet in 2005, and helped to grow the organization from offering 80 classes a year to over 600. Since then she has managed GrubStreet's many and proliferating programs, and served as Program Director for several years. | Now, as the Assistant Director of the Muse and the Marketplace, Sonya oversees the staff, organization, sponsorship, and execution of GrubStreet's annual conference of 800+ writers, guest... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 9:00am - 9:45am
Grand Ballroom

10:00am

1A: What’s Your Book “About”?
Limited Capacity full

This may seem like a simple question, but it’s not—and for many writers, the answer isn’t so easy to come up with either. But it’s an important question when it comes to selling your book and finding readers, and it’s even more important when you’re in the process of writing it—particularly if you’re closing in on a first draft and/or contemplating a revision. So: What IS your book about? In this dynamic session we’ll look into the three main ways of answering that question: concept, premise, and theme. We’ll discuss each of them in detail, providing a number of illustrative examples from familiar and/or recently published novels. Then you’ll have a chance to come up with the answers for your own novel or memoir, a process that can help you zero in on the core meaning of a work in progress, break creative logjams, and give you the insight needed to take your story to the next level.

Presenters
avatar for Tim Weed

Tim Weed

Author, WILL POOLE'S ISLAND
Tim Weed’s short fiction and essays have won Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction and Solas Best Travel Writing awards and have appeared in Colorado Review, Gulf Coast, Saranac Review, The Rumpus, Talking Points Memo, Writer's Chronicle, Backcountry, and many other reviews and magazines. Tim holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and has studied with great contemporary American writers including Robert Stone, Russell Banks, Antonya... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 10:00am - 11:30am
Back Bay Room

10:00am

1B: Essentials of Structure
Limited Capacity filling up

Do you have so many ideas on the page but struggle with how to arrange them? What does it mean to have a well-structured story or essay? In this class, we will go over the essentials of structure used in fiction and non-fiction. We'll talk about the narrative arc: inciting incident, the climax, the resolution. We'll discuss the importance of the first paragraph and of the last paragraph. We'll talk about what to do with backstory and with subplots, and how to know if they belong in your story/essay or if they should be chopped. We'll also learn a new trick about structure that involves a chicken, a mouse, and a snake -- this trick will help your story or essay stay well-structured while remaining a living, breathing thing.

Presenters
avatar for Annie Hartnett

Annie Hartnett

Author, RABBIT CAKE
Annie Hartnett is the author of the novel Rabbit Cake (Tin House Books, 2017), which was selected as an Indies Introduce pick by the America Booksellers Association. Annie was the 2013-2014 Writer in Residence for the Associates of the Boston Public Library. She has an MFA in Fiction from the University of Alabama, and has received awards and honors from the Bread Loaf School of English, Indiana Review, and McSweeney's. She teaches regular... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 10:00am - 11:30am
Newbury Room

10:00am

1C: Crossover Fiction: Writing Stories with Ageless Appeal
Limited Capacity seats available

The magic pixie dust for how to reach lots and lots of readers may be elusive, but two things about book discoverability are indisputable: readers are always on the lookout for good stories and writers are increasingly desperate to find their people. While the definition of crossover fiction within the industry is debatable—on this readers, writers, agents, editors, and publishers can agree—everyone wins when a novel has ageless appeal. Join novelist Lynne Griffin for a discussion about what makes a novel crossover from general fiction to young adult or vice versa. Using examples of novels that have done just that, we'll discuss how to build story worlds where something is at risk for well-developed, authentic characters of all ages and how to create the kind of intense curiosity that keeps readers turning pages.

Presenters
avatar for Lynne Griffin

Lynne Griffin

Author, GIRL SENT AWAY
Lynne Griffin is the author of the family-focused novels Girl Sent Away, Sea Escape, and Life Without Summer, as well as the nonfiction parenting guides, Let’s Talk About It: Adolescent Mental Health and Negotiation Generation—Take Back Your Parental Authority Without Punishment. Lynne teaches family studies at Wheelock College, and is the Social-Emotional Learning Specialist and Coordinator of Professional Development for an... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 10:00am - 11:30am
St. James Room

10:00am

1D: All-Conference Read in Non-Fiction: HER by Christa Parravani
Limited Capacity filling up

Our selection for the 2016 All-Conference Read in Non-Fiction is Her by Christa Parravani. During this session, Ms. Parravani will join us to discuss how she constructed the book as well as its path to publication. This writer-focused book club will be led by the author and WBUR senior correspondent Deborah Becker. 

Presenters
avatar for Deborah Becker

Deborah Becker

WBUR Senior Correspondent
Deborah Becker is a Senior Correspondent and Host at WBUR.  Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education. Deb is also a substitute host on several WBUR programs and helps produce and report for various WBUR special projects. Deb also worked on the launch of WRNI, Rhode Island’s NPR News Station, where she served as Morning Edition host and host of the weekly show “Focus Rhode Island.&rdquo... Read More →
avatar for Christa Parravani

Christa Parravani

Author, HER, Non-Fiction All-Conference Read
Christa Parravani is the author of the bestselling Her: A Memoir. Parravani’s writing has appeared in Catapult, Marie Claire, Glamour, The Washington Post, Salon, The Rumpus, The Daily Beast, The London Times, The Daily Mail, The Guardian, and in Shelia Heti's Women in Clothes, among other places. She has an M.F.A. in Visual Art from Columbia University, and an M.F.A. in Fiction from Rutgers Newark. She is an Assistant Professor of Creative... Read More →



Friday April 29, 2016 10:00am - 11:30am
Terrace Room

10:00am

1E: Your Book Starts Here:  Build a Successful Structure for Your Manuscript in Any Genre
Limited Capacity full

“You should write a book!” Maybe you’ve heard that for years. Maybe you’ve even begun to write it. Maybe you’re realizing that book manuscripts get unwieldy, fast. One out of ten writers never finish their manuscript, because most first-time book writers get lost without good structure and planning. Learn the key ingredients to build a successful book structure in any genre—memoir, fiction, or nonfiction—via the simple three-act system. Learn why Aristotle called it the “perfect structure” and why humans need a beginning, middle, and end for emotional catharsis. Mary Carroll Moore has helped over 2,000 writers get to the finish line using this method. Moore’s Your Book Starts Here won the 2011 NH Literary Award for People’s Choice; she is the author of twelve other published books in three genres and a PEN/Faulkner nominee. This simple and successful book-writing process can take your book idea to publication.

Presenters
avatar for Mary Carroll Moore

Mary Carroll Moore

Author, QUALITIES OF LIGHT
Mary Carroll Moore is the award-winning author of thirteen books in three genres, and is working on her fourteenth. Her published books include the novels Qualities of Light (nominated for a PEN/Faulkner Award and featured in the New York Times and on NPR) and Your Book Starts Here: Create, Craft, and Sell Your First Novel, Memoir, or Nonfiction Book. A writing coach, book doctor, and former editor for several publishing houses, for 12 years... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 10:00am - 11:30am
Tremont Room

10:00am

1F: Keep the Narrative Going: Effective Methods to Provide Context in Fiction [SECTION I]
Limited Capacity filling up

NOTE: THERE IS AN ADDITIONAL SECTION OF THIS SAME SESSION OFFERED ON SATURDAY. Do you struggle to offer background information on a character or place without losing narrative momentum? Are you unsure of how to include social, cultural, or political context while keeping your writing engaging and entertaining? This session will focus on that crucial element for creating socially layered, culturally nuanced, but ultimately accessible stories: context. You will be provided with a series of detailed approaches—alongside specific examples—to ensure the context you include in a piece of fiction fits smoothly into the narrative, heightens tension, enriches plot, and deepens characters. You will also be given several take-home exercises as practical tools that can be applied during the drafting and revision of a novel or short story.

Presenters
avatar for Dariel Suarez

Dariel Suarez

Author, IN THE LAND OF TROPICAL MARTYRS
Dariel Suarez is a Cuban-born writer who’s lived in the U.S. since 1997. He’s the author of the chapbook, In The Land of Tropical Martyrs, available from Backbone Press. Dariel earned his M.F.A. in fiction at Boston University, where he was a Global Fellow. He has taught creative writing at Boston University, the Boston Arts Academy, and is now an instructor at GrubStreet. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 10:00am - 11:30am
White Hill Room

10:00am

1G: Essentials of Character
Limited Capacity filling up

Developing characters - or creating “activated” characters - means writing people who are human: that is, as layered, complicated, flawed, hopeful, and contradictory as we are. Using brief examples culled from both fiction and nonfiction, this workshop will examine the techniques great writers employ to create complex characters. We’ll then do a few exercises designed to put some flesh and bones on characters you’ve already created. Please come to this session with one or two of your characters in mind.

Presenters
avatar for Lisa Borders

Lisa Borders

Author, THE FIFTY-FIRST STATE
Lisa Borders’ second novel, The Fifty-First State, was published by Engine Books in 2013. Her first novel, Cloud Cuckoo Land, was chosen by Pat Conroy as the winner of River City Publishing’s Fred Bonnie Award, and received fiction honors in the 2003 Massachusetts Book Awards. Lisa's short stories have appeared in Washington Square, Black Warrior Review, Painted Bride Quarterly and other journals. She has an essay in Soap Opera... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 10:00am - 11:45am
Whittier Room

11:45am

2A: On Endings
Limited Capacity filling up

In this session, we’ll examine published excerpts in prose (Jhumpa Lahiri, James Joyce, ZZ Packer, and others) and discuss the ways in which the authors achieve successful endings. We will consider the range of possibilities for endings in stories, essays, and yes, novels: action, flash-forward, open endings, resolved endings, and, of course, the surprising and inevitable ending. Part lecture and part discussion, this session will also provide the opportunity—time permitting—to do exercises designed to try out various approaches for writing effective endings. By the end of this hour, you should have a firm grasp on different types of endings as well as a tool kit of techniques to apply to your own work. Great for writers of both fiction and nonfiction.

Presenters
avatar for Jennifer De Leon

Jennifer De Leon

Author, WISE LATINAS
Jennifer De Leon is the editor of Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education (University of Nebraska Press, 2014). A current City of Boston Artist-in-Residence, De Leon was also named the 2015-2016 Writer-in-Residence by the Associates of the Boston Public Library where she worked on her Young Adult novel, Don't Ask Me Where I'm From. Her short story, “Home Movie,” originally published in The Briar Cliff Review, was also chosen as... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 11:45am - 12:45pm
Back Bay Room

11:45am

2B: Writing Motherhood
Limited Capacity seats available

This session, appropriate for all level of writers, emphasizes writing techniques to capture and craft personal essays that draw on our lives as mothers. Using examples of top notch personal essays written by mothers today, we will discuss finding the angle on a topic, as well as the craft of developing scenes, integrating backstory, and the use of details, word choices, and dialogue. A short writing exercise will guide participants through the craft techniques discussed in the presentation.

Presenters
avatar for Marcelle Soviero

Marcelle Soviero

Magazine Editor, Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers
Marcelle Soviero is the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers, an award-winning media property (print, online, digital) devoted to mothers. She is the author of An Iridescent Life: Essays on Motherhood, and co-editor of This is Childhood. She is an award winning essayist, editor, writing teacher, and writing coach. Her work has appeared in various media including The New York Times, Eating Well, and... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 11:45am - 12:45pm
Cabot Room

11:45am

2C: Taking the Imaginative Leap
Limited Capacity seats available

How can an author write effectively outside her or his background, and when is this an act of appropriation? Who has the right to tell a given story? As fiction writers, we are often compelled to inhabit the perspectives of characters outside our own identities or experiences, but this imaginative leap must be taken with care and precision, whether depicting lives outside the author’s gender or culture, generation or historical period. In this conversation, we will tackle complex considerations of both craft and politics as we discuss the challenges and responsibilities inherent in writing "the other.”

Presenters
avatar for Adam Stumacher

Adam Stumacher

Fiction Writer
Adam Stumacher's fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Granta, Narrative, The Kenyon Review, The Sun, Night Train, The Massachusetts Review, Five Chapters, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. He was anthologized in Best New American Voices, and won the Raymond Carver Short Story Award. He holds degrees from Cornell University and Saint Mary's College and was a fiction fellow at the University of Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. He... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 11:45am - 12:45pm
Franklin Room

11:45am

2D: The Mundane Beauty of Work: Writing about the Workplace in Fiction
Limited Capacity seats available

Given how essential employment is to our survival, it is surprising how little we see of the workplace in literary fiction. Characters’ jobs are often only mentioned, not seen, yet there is so much potential for the development and deepening of various craft elements – characterization, setting, plot, mood – through the daily work of the people who occupy those stories. In this interactive seminar, we will read and discuss excerpts from a diverse selection of short stories and novels featuring work and the workplace, and examine how it can enrich a story when it is done well. We will also do in-class writing exercises using participants’ own work experiences as well as job descriptions pulled from various sources, including help wanted ads and workplace blogs. The goal is to capture the aesthetic, beauty, and rhythm of work and render it on the page.

Presenters
avatar for Chaitali Sen

Chaitali Sen

Author, THE PATHLESS SKY
Chaitali Sen is the author of the novel The Pathless Sky, published by Europa Editions in 2015. Kirkus Reviews called it "a searingly vivid portrayal of the depths of human emotions…a poignant and sophisticated work couched in lyrical, effervescent prose."  Her short fiction, reviews, and essays have appeared in New England Review, New Ohio Review, Colorado Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Full Stop, Kweli, and other journals. She is a... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 11:45am - 12:45pm
Newbury Room

11:45am

2E: Essentials of the Personal Essay
Limited Capacity seats available

Every life is full of essay-worthy material, but how do you get readers to care what happens to you on the page? In other words, how do writers leverage the personal to strike universal notes that readers connect with? In this session we’ll discuss techniques you can use to elevate your true stories beyond the merely subjective, opening up your experiences to encompass larger ideas and themes. We’ll read work by authors who achieve such universality through evocative details, research, and leaps of imagination, and then apply what we learn in focused writing exercises. You’ll leave with practical tips for expanding the reach of your personal essays, and perhaps a head start on your next project.

Presenters
avatar for Dorian Fox

Dorian Fox

Nonfiction Writer
Dorian Fox’s essays, stories and articles have appeared or are forthcoming in december, Under the Gum Tree, Gastronomica, National Parks Magazine, Alimentum, and elsewhere. His work has also been shortlisted for awards by Ploughshares and Bellingham Review. He received his MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Emerson College and has lived and worked in Boston for many years.


Friday April 29, 2016 11:45am - 12:45pm
St. James Room

11:45am

2F: The Writer's Electronic Toolbox: Organize and Streamline Your Writing
Limited Capacity seats available

In days of yore, writers relied on card catalogs, encyclopedias, index cards, and other physical tools of the writing and reading trade. In today's world, writers are on the go, researching online, sharing manuscripts via the Cloud, blogging from their mobile device, and juggling countless bits of electronic information. This session will provide insight into Web and mobile tools that writers can use to stay organized, efficient, and be successful. Internet and social media expert, Crystal King, will share valuable tips to organize your writing and research online, write without distractions, backup your valuable work, track manuscript submissions, and to discover online tools that may help you find your next agent or editor.

Presenters
avatar for Crystal King

Crystal King

Social Media and Marketing Expert, Author, FEAST OF SORROW
Crystal King is a 20-year marketing, social media and communications veteran, freelance writer and Pushcart-nominated poet. Her debut novel, Feast of Sorrow (Touchstone Books/Simon & Schuster) about the ancient Roman gourmand, Apicius. Crystal has taught classes in writing, creativity, and social media at Harvard Extension School, Boston University, Mass College of Art, UMass Boston and GrubStreet writing center. A former co-editor of... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 11:45am - 12:45pm
Stuart Room

11:45am

2G: Essentials of Dialogue
Limited Capacity filling up

Dialogue is one of the most valuable tools we have as writers, and it's also one of the trickiest to use. In this class we'll discuss the powers of dialogue in bringing life to your characters, drama and momentum to your plot, and pleasure to your reader. We'll also examine some of the common pitfalls in writing dialogue and how to avoid them. We'll look at examples of successful dialogue from both fiction and nonfiction works, and, time permitting, we'll enjoy a short in-class writing prompt.

Presenters
avatar for Rita Zoey Chin

Rita Zoey Chin

Author, LET THE TORNADO COME
Rita Zoey Chin is the author of Let the Tornado Come (Simon & Schuster), a Boston Globe bestseller, a Kirkus Reviews "Summer Reads" pick, an ELLE Readers Prize pick, and an Oprah.com "powerful books" feature. The recipient of a Katherine Anne Porter prize, an Academy of American Poets award, and a Bread Loaf waiter scholarship, she received her MFA from the University of Maryland, and her work has appeared in Tin House, Marie... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 11:45am - 12:45pm
Tremont Room

11:45am

2H: The Art of Perspective
Limited Capacity filling up

The success of any work of fiction or narrative non-fiction depends almost entirely on its narrative strategy. Not only which character(s) tell(s) the story, from what vantage point, in the past or present, but why those choices are optimal and how they contribute to the overall effect the author is aiming for. In this session, we will begin by defining narrative strategy, then discuss its relationship to an author's choice of perspective and his/her manipulation of narrative distance. 

Staff
avatar for Chris Castellani

Chris Castellani

chris@grubstreet.org, Artistic Director
Christopher Castellani is the artistic director of Grub Street and the author of three novels: All This Talk of Love (2013), a New York Times Editors’ Choice and finalist for the Ferro-Grumley Award; The Saint of Lost Things (2005); and A Kiss From Maddalena (2003), winner of the Massachusetts Book Award. In addition to his work at Grub Street, Christopher teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 11:45am - 12:45pm
White Hill Room

11:45am

2J: Building the World of the Novel: A Conversation with Jennifer Haigh and Joanna Rakoff
Limited Capacity filling up

A novel unfolds in its own universe, a distinct microcosm with its own geography and geology, language and customs, historical and political context. Novelists Jennifer Haigh and Joanna Rakoff will discuss techniques for bringing this world into being: using concrete detail to evoke a landscape you know intimately, or not at all; the role of research, the rewards and perils of time travel, the importance of accuracy, and the pleasures of making it all up.

Presenters
avatar for Jennifer Haigh

Jennifer Haigh

Author, HEAT AND LIGHT
Jennifer Haigh’s sixth book, Heat and Light – her first novel in five years – will be published by Ecco in May 2016. In it, she returns to Bakerton, the Pennsylvania mining town at the center of two earlier books – a community now embroiled in the controversy over fracking. Haigh is the author of the short story collection News From Heaven and four critically acclaimed novels: Faith, The Condition, Baker Towers, and... Read More →
avatar for Joanna Rakoff

Joanna Rakoff

Author, MY SALINGER YEAR
Joanna Rakoff’s novel A Fortunate Age won the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction by Emerging Writers and the Elle Readers’ Prize, and was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and a San Francisco Chronicle best seller. She has written for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Vogue, and other publications. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Friday April 29, 2016 11:45am - 12:45pm
Whittier Room

12:45pm

Lunch Break
Limited Capacity seats available

Sandwiches and snacks will be available for purchase in the lobby. GrubStreet will also be providing discounts on lunch from various eateries within walking distance of the Park Plaza Hotel.

Friday April 29, 2016 12:45pm - 2:00pm
On Your Own

2:00pm

3A: Lessons from the Novel Incubator
Limited Capacity filling up

Now in its fifth year with six book contracts under its belt, the GrubStreet Novel Incubator program has helped dozens of students turn their drafts into true novels. Join the instructor in an introduction to the most important revision tactics from the early explorations of your manuscript to its final stages. From the ways in which character creates structure, through the art of establishing mystery, tension, setting, and scene, this seminar offers a practical overview of what your novel needs in order to fulfill your hopes for it.

Presenters
avatar for Michelle Hoover

Michelle Hoover

Author, BOTTOMLAND
Michelle Hoover is the Fannie Hurst Writer-in-Residence at Brandeis University and teaches at GrubStreet, where she leads the Novel Incubator program. She is a 2014 NEA Fellow and has been a Writer-in-Residence at Bucknell University, a MacDowell Fellow, and a winner of the PEN/New England Discovery Award. Her debut, The Quickening, was a Forward Magazine Best Literary Debut of 2010 pick, a finalist in the Center for Fiction's Flaherty-Dunnan... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Back Bay Room

2:00pm

3B: A User's Guide to the Imagination
Limited Capacity filling up

As the age of sixteen, Albert Einstein pictured himself zooming alongside a beam of light -- an act of imagination that led to one of the greatest breakthroughs of the 20th century. Many physicists and inventors have used the mind's eye as a kind of internal theater or laboratory. Can we writers borrow their techniques to tell better stories? In this seminar on the science of creativity, we will find out about the mind's eye from masters like Einstein, Galileo, and Tesla. We will also delve into the evidence from psychology and cognitive-science studies to answer the questions that bedevil writers. How do we conjure the vivid fantasies that lead to great scenes? And why does the mental screen "go blank" sometimes? As part of this seminar, we will perform in-class experiments that reveal how the imagination works -- and why it fails.

The session may include a guest visit from a prominent expert in brain science and creativity.

Presenters
avatar for Pagan Kennedy

Pagan Kennedy

Author, INVENTOLOGY
Pagan Kennedy is a regular contributor to The New York Times. Her most recent book, Inventology, delves into the science of the imagination. She is the author of ten previous books, several of which have been optioned by filmmakers. The First Man-Made Man – her 2008 biography of the transgender pioneer Michael Dillon – was called “devastatingly good” by Booklist and “mesmerizing” by The New... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Franklin Room

2:00pm

3C: The Strategic Writer
Limited Capacity full

There’s the muse and the marketplace, and then there’s you. Sometimes writers forget that the latter is the key driver for having not merely a winning book but a sustained, successful career. You spend countless hours working on your books and thinking about marketing, and you should. But without also being crystal clear on your goals, and making an honest assessment of your skills and resources, your path forward can be driven by tactics and anxiety instead of a thoughtful, coherent, and personal strategy. It is possible to map out a plan that draws on your strengths, aligns with your values and priorities, and gives you energy and joy. With the guidance of a literary agent and an editor of a small press, this session will get you started.

Presenters
avatar for Michelle Toth

Michelle Toth

Publisher, SixOneSeven Books
Michelle Toth is the author of Annie Begins and founder of SixOneSeven Books, a small press based in Boston which she runs together with Andrew Goldstein, author of The Bookie’s Son. Established with the idea of “writers publishing writers,” SixOneSeven Books’ titles include Hippie, Inc. by Michael Klassen, Today Is Not Your Day by Marian Thurm, Girl Sent Away by Lynne Griffin, Girls I Know by Douglas Trevor and the... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 2:00pm - 4:00pm
St. James Room

2:00pm

3D: *JUST ADDED!* Literary Expression in the Digital Age
Limited Capacity seats available

The obituary for the printed book has been written and re-written, yet the humble book persists. How do books and literary writing fit into a cultural conversation that has moved online? Andy Hunter, publisher of the innovative new imprint Catapult and co-creator of Literary Hub and Electric Literature, discusses how a writer's work can spread and gain audiences in diverse new channels, from Tumblr to Twitter to online magazines like Guernica, Electric Literature, and Literary Hub. Hunter also explores the explosion of creativity associated with the democratic reach of self-publishing and the internet, including the future implications of the impression that "everyone is a writer now, but no one is reading books."

Presenters
avatar for Andy Hunter

Andy Hunter

Editor, Catapult
Andy Hunter is publisher at Catapult, co-creator of Literary Hub, and founder of Electric Literature.


Friday April 29, 2016 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Stuart Room

2:00pm

3E: Writers of Color Roundtable
Limited Capacity seats available

Join fellow Muse attendees, authors, agents, and editors to discuss questions unique to writers of color, from both the "muse" and "marketplace" perspectives. We'll discuss craft issues that writers of color may encounter differently than white writers-- such as indicating characters' racial identities, explaining cultural references, italicizing non-English words, and addressing readerly assumptions that are based on one's identity.
We'll also discuss what a lack of diversity in publishing industry means for writers of color. Agents and editors will share their perspectives on how such a writer might best find a home for her work, and the unique challenges she may face in her book's marketing and promotion.
Come for a lively, interesting, and important conversation. We'll begin with prepared questions and will then open to Q&A. Designed for attendees of color, but all are welcome. 

Presenters
avatar for Regina Brooks

Regina Brooks

Literary Agent, Serendipity Literary Agency
Regina Brooks is the founder and president of Serendipity Literary Agency LLC, based in Brooklyn, New York. She represents a diverse base of award-winning clients in adult and young adult fiction, nonfiction, and children's literature, including: three-time National Book Award finalist, Newberry Honor Winner and the Coretta Scott King Honor and the 2006 Michael Printz Honor Award-winning author Marilyn Nelson; winner of the Coretta Scott... Read More →
avatar for Alexander Chee

Alexander Chee

Author, THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT
Alexander Chee is the author of the novels Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night. He is a recipient of a 2003 Whiting Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in prose, and a 2010 MCCA Fellowship, and residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the VCCA, and Civitella Ranieri. His essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Tin House, Slate, Guernica, NPR, and Out, among others. He is a contributing editor at The New Republic... Read More →
avatar for Kaitlyn Greenidge

Kaitlyn Greenidge

Author, WE LOVE YOU, CHARLIE FREEMAN
Kaitlyn Greenidge received her MFA from Hunter College. Greenidge was the recipient of a Hertog Fellowship while at Hunter and the Bernard Cohen Short Story Prize. She was a Bread Loaf scholar, a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace artist-in-residence, and a Johnson State College Visiting Emerging Writer. Her work has appeared in the Believer, The Feminist Wire, At Length, Fortnight Journal, Green Mountains Review, Afrobeat Journal, the... Read More →
avatar for Emi Ikkanda

Emi Ikkanda

Editor, Henry Holt & Company
Emi Ikkanda pursues a diverse list at Holt, and she most recently edited New York Times bestselling author Richard Reeves’s Infamy, about the Japanese American internment during WWII, and journalist Carla Power’s National Book Award longlisted memoir If The Oceans Were Ink, about her journey through the Quran. Her forthcoming titles include disabled comedian and TV star Zach Anner’s memoir If At Birth You Don’t Succeed... Read More →
avatar for Mira Jacob

Mira Jacob

Author, THE SLEEPWALKER'S GUIDE TO DANCING
Mira Jacob is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing, which was shortlisted for India’s Tata First Literature Award, honored by the APALA, and named one of the best books of 2014 by Kirkus Reviews, the Boston Globe, Goodreads, Bustle, and The Millions. She is currently drawing and writing her next book, a graphic memoir called Good Talk (Random House, 2017).
avatar for Jennifer De Leon

Jennifer De Leon

Author, WISE LATINAS
Jennifer De Leon is the editor of Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education (University of Nebraska Press, 2014). A current City of Boston Artist-in-Residence, De Leon was also named the 2015-2016 Writer-in-Residence by the Associates of the Boston Public Library where she worked on her Young Adult novel, Don't Ask Me Where I'm From. Her short story, “Home Movie,” originally published in The Briar Cliff Review, was also chosen as... Read More →
avatar for Celeste Ng

Celeste Ng

Author, EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU
Celeste Ng is the author of the novel Everything I Never Told You (Penguin Press), which was a New York Times bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book for 2014, and Amazon's #1 Best Book of the Year 2014. She grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Shaker Heights, Ohio, in a family of scientists. Celeste attended Harvard University and earned a MFA from the University of Michigan (now the Helen... Read More →

Staff
avatar for Sonya Larson

Sonya Larson

sonya@grubstreet.org, Assistant Director
Sonya Larson joined GrubStreet in 2005, and helped to grow the organization from offering 80 classes a year to over 600. Since then she has managed GrubStreet's many and proliferating programs, and served as Program Director for several years. | Now, as the Assistant Director of the Muse and the Marketplace, Sonya oversees the staff, organization, sponsorship, and execution of GrubStreet's annual conference of 800+ writers, guest... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Terrace Room

2:00pm

3F: Non-Fiction Career Building: From Article to Book and Back Again
Limited Capacity filling up

How does a nonfiction book emerge from an essay or article? And how can publishing that book lead to more work as a writer and create a bigger platform for your career? In this seminar, Michael Blanding and Ethan Gilsdorf -- two seasoned authors and journalists -- will discuss how to establish your expertise by writing essays and articles, and how these publications can lead to nonfiction book deals. They'll also look at how having published a book becomes a springboard for more short-form nonfiction work, and how the ability to write for newspapers, magazines, and online publications is an essential skill in marketing and promoting your book, establishing your credentials in a niche area, and potentially making a living as a journalist/freelancer/author. Come with questions, and you'll emerge with concrete ideas for building your own nonfiction writing career. 

Presenters
avatar for Michael Blanding

Michael Blanding

Author, THE MAP THIEF
Michael Blanding is a Boston-based investigative journalist whose work has appeared in WIRED, Slate, The Nation, Consumers Digest, The Boston Globe Magazine, and Boston Magazine. His first book, The Coke Machine: The Dirty Truth Behind the World's Favorite Soft Drink, was published by Avery/Penguin in 2010. His latest, The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps, was published by... Read More →
avatar for Ethan Gilsdorf

Ethan Gilsdorf

Author, FANTASY FREAKS AND GAMING GEEKS
Journalist, memoirist, essayist, critic, poet, teacher and geek Ethan Gilsdorf is the author of the award-winning travel memoir investigation Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms. A former Paris-based food and film critic and travel writer, and now based in Providence, RI, Gilsdorf covers and comments on pop culture, the arts, travel, media, and... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Tremont Room

2:00pm

3G: A Marketplace Primer for the Aspiring Writer of Literary Fiction
Limited Capacity full

In this session, editor Peter Blackstock (Grove Atlantic) and Soumeya Roberts (Writers House), as well as additional guests TBA, discuss the publishing of debut fiction at a traditional house—the challenges and opportunities, what to do and what to avoid as a first time fiction writer. They will talk through the trajectories of some of the debuts they have agented and published, discuss the general publishing climate, and take questions from the audience.

Presenters
avatar for Peter Blackstock

Peter Blackstock

Senior Editor, Grove Atlantic
I began my career as a literary scout in London, working for foreign publishers and a film company, and moved to New York and to Grove Atlantic in 2011. I am now a Senior Editor, working on fiction and nonfiction, books in translation, and drama, as well as our backlist. I am particularly interested in international settings and voices in literary fiction and serious nonfiction. My fiction acquisitions include Viet Thanh Nguyen's The Sympathizer... Read More →
avatar for Soumeya Bendimerad Roberts

Soumeya Bendimerad Roberts

Literary Agent, Writers House
Soumeya Bendimerad Roberts joined Writers House in 2015 and represents a diverse list of non-fiction, memoir, literary fiction, upmarket/book club fiction, and select realistic young-adult and middle-grade. Prior to joining Writers House, she was Director of Foreign Rights at the Susan Golomb Literary Agency, handling translation rights for best-selling, award-winning authors such as Jonathan Franzen, Rachel Kushner, William T. Vollmann, as... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 2:00pm - 4:00pm
White Hill Room

2:00pm

3H: Notes on the Dramatic Image
Limited Capacity filling up

Looking at work by Sherwood Anderson, Janet Kauffman, Wright Morris, and others, Charles Baxter's six-part lecture investigates dramatic images which carry the weight of a story’s emotions—which “stop time altogether for the sake of an almost mythic intensity.” Note: This session will conclude at 3:30PM. 

Presenters
avatar for Charles Baxter

Charles Baxter

Author, THERE'S SOMETHING I WANT YOU TO DO, Fiction All-Conference Read
Charles Baxter is the author, most recently, of Gryphon: New and Selected Stories, published by Pantheon in January, 2011. There’s Something I Want You to Do will be published in February, 2015. He is also the author of The Soul Thief, published in 2008 by Pantheon and Saul and Patsy, published in 2003 by Pantheon. His third novel, The Feast of Love (Pantheon/Vintage), was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2000 and has been made... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Whittier Room

4:15pm

4A: Writing Across Time
Limited Capacity filling up

How do writers span time periods in a work of fiction? What are the techniques needed to move a narrative backward and forward through time? Through close reading of select passages and a series of writing exercises, we will explore how to shift through time in fiction writing.

Presenters
avatar for Kaitlyn Greenidge

Kaitlyn Greenidge

Author, WE LOVE YOU, CHARLIE FREEMAN
Kaitlyn Greenidge received her MFA from Hunter College. Greenidge was the recipient of a Hertog Fellowship while at Hunter and the Bernard Cohen Short Story Prize. She was a Bread Loaf scholar, a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace artist-in-residence, and a Johnson State College Visiting Emerging Writer. Her work has appeared in the Believer, The Feminist Wire, At Length, Fortnight Journal, Green Mountains Review, Afrobeat Journal, the... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 4:15pm - 5:15pm
Back Bay Room

4:15pm

4B: Anonymous: Writing Without Identity
Limited Capacity seats available

What happens when we write without our names attached? To my great surprise as a teacher of writing, I've discovered that the answer is: quite a bit. In this lecture, I will discuss the often wondrous results of writing without identity and offer various ideas, theories, and exercises on the topic.

Presenters
avatar for Stacey D'Erasmo

Stacey D'Erasmo

Author, WONDERLAND
Stacey D’Erasmo is the author of the novels Tea, A Seahorse Year, The Sky Below, and Wonderland, and the nonfiction book The Art of Intimacy: The Space Between. She is a former Stegner Fellow, the recipient of a 2009 Guggenheim  Fellowship in Fiction, and the winner of an Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize from the Lambda Literary Foundation. Her essays, features, and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 4:15pm - 5:15pm
Cabot Room

4:15pm

4C: Essentials of Freelancing
Limited Capacity seats available

This is a practical, brass tacks look at how a freelance writer makes a living. We'll cover topics like getting started, pitching, financial concerns, where to find potential markets, and how to build relationships that result in steady work over a period of years. If you've ever considered carving out a part- or full-time career earning money from your words, this session is a must.

Presenters
avatar for Calvin Hennick

Calvin Hennick

Fiction and Non-Fiction Writer
Calvin Hennick’s stories, essays, and journalism have appeared in dozens of publications, including Bellevue Literary Review, Baltimore Review, Esquire Weekly, and The Boston Globe. He teaches writing at Grub Street and at UMass Boston, where he earned his MFA in fiction.


Friday April 29, 2016 4:15pm - 5:15pm
Constitution Room

4:15pm

4D: The Lyric Essay
Limited Capacity seats available

The personal essay is currently enjoying an exciting renaissance. Suddenly, everyone seems attuned to the apparently limitless possibilities of creative nonfiction. One of the most exciting new developments in this field is the lyric essay—a form that expresses an almost jubilant sense of freedom as it moves between genres, often borrowing the condensed language and associative explorations of poetry, the plot-driven narrative force of fiction, and the love of facts and careful scrutiny that have always been the hallmarks of classic nonfiction. In this session, we will read and discuss several excellent examples of this kind of writing and generate our own lyric explorations. Expect to leave with plenty of ideas for how to approach this more experimental mode of creative nonfiction.

Presenters
avatar for Kim Adrian

Kim Adrian

Author, THE 27th LETTER OF THE ALPHABET
Kim Adrian is the author of Sock, part of Bloomsbury’s Object Lesson Series (2017) and the editor of The Shell Game: Writers Borrow Readymade Forms, scheduled for publication in 2017 by the University of Nebraska Press. Recently, she completed a memoir called The 27th Letter of the Alphabet. Grants and awards received in support of this project include a scholarship from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, a Fellowship from the Edward Albee... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 4:15pm - 5:15pm
Franklin Room

4:15pm

4E: Essentials Of: Cultivating a Persona in Essays and Memoirs
Limited Capacity seats available

How to characterize the person speaking about true things? How to locate the version of ourselves that can give the most illuminating perspective to a particular subject? In nonfiction, as we develop a voice to work through ideas on the page and narrate events from the past, we must also decide how to characterize our present-tense selves. Whether in dramatic scenes or through the endless, subtle ways in which we define our own narrative point of view, each essay or memoir requires us to carefully cultivate a version of ourselves that is best suited to the writing at hand. This doesn't mean fabricating a persona, but finding ways to sketch focused versions of our own character, just as we work to focus our characterizations of others.

Presenters
avatar for Jason Tucker

Jason Tucker

Nonfiction Writer
Jason Tucker's essays have appeared in The Southeast Review, River Teeth, Cream City Review, Waccamaw, The Common, Prime Number, and Sweet, among other places. He teaches writing at Suffolk University and at GrubStreet.


Friday April 29, 2016 4:15pm - 5:15pm
Newbury Room

4:15pm

4F: The Author as Publicist: Strategies from the Real World of Book Publicity
Limited Capacity full

What exactly is book publicity? Why do some books land on NPR, the pages of the New York Times Book Review, and that holy grail—Oprah—while others just seem to...languish? In this session, we’ll first walk through a day in the life of a book publicist. We’ll discuss the creative strategies she uses to garner as much media attention for your book as possible, as well as some of the challenges she faces (and how even the most winning publicity campaigns can’t predict those nebulous market forces!). On the flip side: we will discuss what you as the author can do to improve your chances of exposure--from writing original content to building your platform to setting up your own book tour (or not). By the end of the session, you’ll learn how to start thinking like a publicist and apply strategies to your own work. Led by Patricia Park, author of Re Jane (Penguin/Viking) and a former Random House publicist. 

Presenters
avatar for Patricia Park

Patricia Park

Author, RE JANE
Patricia Park is the author of the debut novel Re Jane (Penguin/Viking), a modern-day interpretation of Jane Eyre, named a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice. She graduated from Swarthmore College and received her MFA from Boston University. She has written for New York Times, Guardian, Salon, Daily Beast, and has appeared on MSNBC, NPR, WBUR, and others. A former publicist with the Random House Publishing... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 4:15pm - 5:15pm
St. James Room

4:15pm

4G: Spend Money To Make Money: How to Budget for Indie Publishing
Limited Capacity seats available

Indie publishing is the trend of the future. If you’re considering going indie for your next book, begin with a solid plan, including a budget that takes into account the costs you’ll incur in producing a top-quality book. Editing, designing, formatting, producing, distributing, and promoting your book are essential tasks that need to be done well to give your book its best chance of success. In this workshop we’ll discuss how to identify, estimate, and track these costs, and will review a range of budgets, resources, and approaches for achieving success in indie publishing.

Presenters
avatar for April Eberhardt

April Eberhardt

Literary Agent, April Eberhardt Literary
April Eberhardt, a self-described "literary change agent” and author advocate, is passionate about helping authors be published in the best way possible for them. After 25 years as a corporate strategist and consultant, April joined the literary world, where she saw strategic opportunity to play a role in the changing world of publishing. April advises and assists authors as they choose the best pathway to publication for their work, be... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 4:15pm - 5:15pm
Stuart Room

4:15pm

4H: Blurred Boundaries: Blending Fiction & Non-Fiction
Limited Capacity filling up

As writers, we often feel pressured to label our work, filing it under fiction or non-fiction, journalistic, commercial, or literary -  but few readers have tastes that can be categorized by a single keyword. Life isn’t split up into mutually exclusive compartments, and it isn’t always possible, or even preferable, to write as if it were. Most of us live in a space where genres overlap, and it is only natural that our books follow suit. Increasingly, fiction is veering into realms that have traditionally been the province of non-fiction, and vice versa. Novels are being used to communicate concepts, becoming idea driven rather than plot driven, while non-fiction becomes less journalistic, and more personal and experiential. In this seminar, we will deconstruct the characteristics of conventional fiction and non-fiction and discuss various ways of combining these elements, so as to best fit our unique, individual style, or to serve the particular project at hand.

Presenters
avatar for Tasneem Zehra Husain

Tasneem Zehra Husain

Author, ONLY THE LONGEST THREADS
Tasneem Zehra Husain is a fiction and nonfiction writer, educator, and Pakistan’s first female string theorist. She has written numerous articles for newspapers and magazines, both in print and online, has contributed to anthologies of science writing for adults and children, and is a regular columnist for the highly acclaimed award-winning blog 3quarksdaily.com. Tasneem teaches writing at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 4:15pm - 5:15pm
Tremont Room

4:15pm

4J: Contracts 101
Limited Capacity seats available

Members of the Authors Guild, as well as an experienced attorney, offer expert advice to authors on the all-important topic of contracts and rights. 

Presenters
avatar for Michael Gross

Michael Gross

Senior Staff Attorney, Authors Guild, Inc
Michael Gross completed his undergraduate education at Syracuse University where he graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Management, majoring in Law and Public Policy.  He then went on to complete his legal education at New York Law School, where he graduated in June of 1999.  Mr. Gross has been with the Authors Guild Inc. ever since, where he currently serves as their Senior Staff Attorney. He... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 4:15pm - 5:15pm
White Hill Room

4:15pm

4K: Essentials of Specificity
Limited Capacity full

The fictive dream. As writers of both fiction and nonfiction, we know that the success our stories have with readers relies, fundamentally, on this: the sense the reader has of leaving their world behind and entering the world of the story. Alice LaPlante calls how you create this “crowding,” or providing so much specificity to the created world that you crowd the reader out of their own space and they have no choice but to surrender to your words. But how do you know where specificity is needed, and where it’s just a red herring, calling the reader’s attention to unnecessary things? And how do you see where you’re being truly specific and where you’re not, when what you mean is already clear in your head? Join us for a jam-packed hour of specific tools for specificity, including Roy Peter Clark’s ladder of abstraction and Carol Bly’s technique of empathic questioning. We’ll analyze specificity in examples taken from both fiction and nonfiction and, as time allows, in our own prose. Please bring 1 printed-out page of your own draft prose.

Presenters
avatar for Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Author, THE FACT OF A BODY
Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich is the author of The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir, which will be published by Flatiron Books (Macmillan) in May 2017. It is also forthcoming from publishers internationally. A National Endowment for the Arts fellow and Rona Jaffe Award recipient, she has twice been a fellow at both MacDowell and Yaddo. Her essays appear in The New York Times, Oxford American, Iowa Review, and many other publications, and were... Read More →


Friday April 29, 2016 4:15pm - 5:15pm
Whittier Room

5:30pm

Shop Talk Happy Hour ***SOLD OUT!***
The Shop Talk Happy Hour is an opportunity to network and socialize with invited literary agents and editors, and you may reserve a seat in advance so that you’ll know exactly with whom you’ll be sitting. 

To reserve a spot, you must request a 1st and 2nd choice of table and pay an additional $75 tax-deductible fee as you register for the conference. Full info is here.

Friday April 29, 2016 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Emerald Lounge 200 Stuart Street, Boston, MA 02116

5:30pm

Happy Hour with the Authors
Limited Capacity seats available

Mingle with guest authors and your fellow attendees over complimentary appetizers and a cash bar. A limited number of drink tickets will be given on a first-come, first-served basis! Hosted with fabulousness by The Authors Guild.

Friday April 29, 2016 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Statler Room
 
Saturday, April 30
 

7:30am

Registration & Hot Breakfast
Limited Capacity seats available

Saturday April 30, 2016 7:30am - 9:00am
Grand Ballroom

9:00am

5A: Media Training: How to Put Your Best Foot Forward
Limited Capacity seats available

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 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 and what doesn't. 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 correct an interviewer; and how to handle tricky questions/situations.

Presenters
avatar for Lynne Griffin

Lynne Griffin

Author, GIRL SENT AWAY
Lynne Griffin is the author of the family-focused novels Girl Sent Away, Sea Escape, and Life Without Summer, as well as the nonfiction parenting guides, Let’s Talk About It: Adolescent Mental Health and Negotiation Generation—Take Back Your Parental Authority Without Punishment. Lynne teaches family studies at Wheelock College, and is the Social-Emotional Learning Specialist and Coordinator of Professional Development for an... Read More →
avatar for Katrin Schumann

Katrin Schumann

Author, THE SECRET POWER OF MIDDLE CHILDREN
Katrin Schumann is the co-author of The Secret Power of Middle Children (Hudson Street, 2011), Mothers Need Time-Outs, Too (McGraw-Hill, 2008), and has written and edited numerous other titles, both commercially and independently. Katrin has been featured multiple times on TODAY, Talk of the Nation, and in The London Times, as well as other national and international media outlets. Current works-in-progress include a novel, a book on parenting... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 9:00am - 10:30am
Back Bay Room

9:00am

5B: Writing on the Hyphen: Capturing the Authentic and Avoiding the Stereotype
Limited Capacity seats available

How do we write fiction that captures specific cultural experiences without giving in to stereotypes and branding? How do we explore the authenticity of a culture without falling into the trap of being an “ethnic” or ghettoized writer? In this session, three authors whose books successfully straddle different cultures and/or identities will explore the many ways to balance writing on the hyphen. You will walk away with ideas on how to address ethnicity and "difference" in your own work, and how to position yourself as a writer of authenticity, not just ethnicity. 

Presenters
avatar for Marjan  Kamali

Marjan Kamali

Author, TOGETHER TEA
Marjan Kamali is the author of the novel Together Tea (Ecco/HarperCollins), which was a Massachusetts Book Award Finalist, an NPR WBUR Good Read Pick, and a Target Emerging Author Selection. She attended U.C. Berkeley and earned an MBA from Columbia Business School and an MFA from NYU. Her short stories have appeared in the anthologies Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been and Tremors and her non-fiction has been published in The Wall Street... Read More →
avatar for Henriette Lazaridis

Henriette Lazaridis

Author, THE CLOVER HOUSE
Henriette Lazaridis' debut novel, The Clover House, was a Boston Globe best-seller and a Target Emerging Authors selection for April 2013. Her work has appeared in Narrative Magazine, New England Review, the New York Times online, The Millions, the Huffington Post, and elsewhere, and she was the recipient of a 2006 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artists Grant. In 2010, she launched The Drum, a... Read More →
avatar for Jennie Wood

Jennie Wood

Author, FLUTTER & A BOY LIKE ME
Jennie Wood is the creator of Flutter, a graphic novel series published by 215 Ink. Featured on Law & Order: SVU and in the New York Times, Flutter is one of the best LGBT graphic novels of 2013 and 2015, according to The Advocate. Bleeding Cool lists Flutter as one of the 15 best indie comics of 2014. Comic legend Gail Simone says that Flutter is "a truly thrilling graphic novel." Flutter, Volume Two: Don't Let Me Die Nervous is a 2015... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 9:00am - 10:30am
Beacon Hill Room

9:00am

5C: How to Bust Through Blocks and Boost Creativity
Limited Capacity seats available

Creativity: everyone’s talking about it, reading about it, and wanting a whole lot more of it! Whether you consider yourself an innately "creative" person, wish you had more creative energy, or are wondering how to maintain your creativity through the marathon of writing a book (from the initial idea to surviving and thriving the dreaded editing phase), this is the place for you.  
Join award-winning author and noted yoga teacher Sara DiVello to learn the number-one thing that holds you back from accessing and utilizing your creativity, as well as tools to bust through blocks and unlock your innate, unlimited creative potential. Participants will learn (and actually do in-session!) simple techniques to zap limiting beliefs and tap into sources of inspiration. Then you will actually write. You will leave feeling energized, supported, and empowered. A handout will be provided with all the techniques so you can continue the block-busting, creativity-boosting at home.

Presenters
avatar for Sara DiVello

Sara DiVello

Author, WHERE IN THE OM AM I?
Sara DiVello is an acclaimed yoga teacher and author of the best-selling book, Where in the OM Am I? One Woman’s Journey from the Corporate World to the Yoga Mat, which was selected by Shape Magazine as a best summer read and Working Mother Magazine as one of the top eight memoirs of the year. Sara teaches and speaks nationally on using yoga tools to find life balance, direction, and fulfillment. She has appeared on CBS and the... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 9:00am - 10:30am
Cabot Room

9:00am

5D: Writers of a Certain Age: A Survivor's Guide To Starting 'Late'
Limited Capacity filling up

Calling all Emerging Middle-Aged Writers! This past October a dozen or so authors met in the Pennsylvania countryside to discuss the special considerations of mentoring writers who take to this pursuit in their forties and beyond. It can be difficult, in a profession that emphasizes and often rewards youth, to understand one's own role once youth is a thing of the distant past. In this class, we will discuss the results of that gathering, including how to understand the challenges faced by "older" writers, ways to locate established authors who want to mentor "late" starters, and how to develop an attitude that transcends the nonsensical notion that younger is better, with as little bitterness and as much good humor as possible.

Presenters
avatar for Robin Black

Robin Black

Author, CRASH COURSE: 52 ESSAYS FROM WHERE WRITING AND LIFE COLLIDE
Robin Black came to writing at nearly forty years old, while in the thick of raising three children. She has written a book of short stories, a novel, and now a book of short essays that demonstrate how writing and daily life influence and strengthen each other. Those books are the award winning If I loved you, I would tell you this; the critically acclaimed, Life Drawing; and the newly published Crash Course: Essays From Where Writing and Life... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 9:00am - 10:30am
Cambridge Room

9:00am

5E: Co-Operative-Style Self-Publishing & Marketing For Independent Authors
Limited Capacity seats available

An overview of how to effectively self-publish and market your book via publishing-cooperative with an honest description of the challenges and successes to expect in the real world of self-publishing. The session will present an introduction on how to market an independently published book for the best sales results.
Students will get an overview of how to sell books online and offline, hold events, signings, build an author platform, build relationships with bookstores, use social media, Amazon, Goodreads, Bookbub, and Wikipedia for best results, and why selecting the right keywords can drive better sales. Using the media and internet to market your books is a crucial part of this marketing discussion.

Presenters
avatar for Jane Karker

Jane Karker

President, Boston Writers Publishing & Cooperative
Jane Karker is the president of Boston Writers Publishing & Cooperative in Waltham, MA. She comes to publishing after over 20 years in the printing and publishing industry. Since 2009 she has offered a totally different, cooperative approach to indie publishing, making marketing and distribution more effective than online options. Her model includes marketing training, support, distribution, and a trade catalog–a model that is... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 9:00am - 10:30am
Charles River Room

9:00am

5F: How To Use Social Media for Self Promotion And Not Be Annoying
Limited Capacity seats available

When the Internet began it was an amazing place for individuals to meet each other, share information, and learn. Today it has become an overwhelming barrage of advertising combined with a hefty dose of narcissism. How can you make sure you and your book don’t get lost in the midst of all that me-me-me talk? Social Media expert Crystal King will provide you with a handy list of what not to do in your social channels so you don't turn off your audiences and hinder potential book sales. She'll also share best practice tips of the most successful authors using social media today, helping you build an audience of engaged and interested followers.

Presenters
avatar for Crystal King

Crystal King

Social Media and Marketing Expert, Author, FEAST OF SORROW
Crystal King is a 20-year marketing, social media and communications veteran, freelance writer and Pushcart-nominated poet. Her debut novel, Feast of Sorrow (Touchstone Books/Simon & Schuster) about the ancient Roman gourmand, Apicius. Crystal has taught classes in writing, creativity, and social media at Harvard Extension School, Boston University, Mass College of Art, UMass Boston and GrubStreet writing center. A former co-editor of... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 9:00am - 10:30am
Franklin Room

9:00am

5G: Reconstructing Childhood in Memoir
Limited Capacity seats available

How do memoirists re-enter the mysteries of childhood experience?

The answer, for many of us, rests in our ability to 'play' with the past and find enjoyment in exciting literary techniques memoirists and fiction writers have passed down to us. To that end, our session will focus primarily on imagery and perspective: imagery, because a few carefully curated sensory details can often illuminate the past in extraordinary and surprising ways; perspective, because speaking about the past with authority always involves looking at it from a unique angle. The combined force of these two tools can offer up a fresh take on the past that gives us the distance and freedom to play with our stories and shape them into what they need to become.

We will be considering excerpts from memoirs and other nonfiction pieces. While examples will be provided during the session, class discussion will be open and wide-ranging, with the purpose of fostering a healthy dialogue that will inspire us to rush home to our sandboxes.

Presenters
avatar for Garrard Conley

Garrard Conley

Author, BOY ERASED
Garrard Conley is the author of a memoir on conversion therapy, Boy Erased, out from Riverhead (Penguin) May 2016. His work can be found in TIME, VICE, CNN, Buzzfeed Books, Virginia Quarterly Review, and others. He has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and Elizabeth Kostova Foundation Writers' Conferences and has facilitated craft classes for Catapult, GrubStreet, Sackett Street Writers Workshop, and the Fine Arts Works Center... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 9:00am - 10:30am
Newbury Room

9:00am

5H: Fiction's Inner Landscape
Limited Capacity filling up

The reason fiction continues to thrive as an art form is that its dramas play out in the singular realm of the human imagination, where the exterior and interior worlds meet. Novels and stories are imaginative interfaces. Together, the author and the reader create a living landscape that is more complete, immersive, and charged with meaning than the expensively produced moving images on even the most high fidelity flat screen. But how does a writer go about triggering this magical act of co-creation? The answer, at least in part, is that we allow the reader to experience the exterior world from inside a particular character. This concept is known as interiority. In this dynamic session, a discussion of selected passages from great works of fiction and memoir will highlight a range of approaches to interiority, including the free indirect style, the objective-correlative, psychologically slanted descriptive writing, flashback and backstory, dreams and visions, how to use conflicting feelings and micro-tension to create an irresistibly fraught internal experience, and more.

Presenters
avatar for Tim Weed

Tim Weed

Author, WILL POOLE'S ISLAND
Tim Weed’s short fiction and essays have won Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction and Solas Best Travel Writing awards and have appeared in Colorado Review, Gulf Coast, Saranac Review, The Rumpus, Talking Points Memo, Writer's Chronicle, Backcountry, and many other reviews and magazines. Tim holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and has studied with great contemporary American writers including Robert Stone, Russell Banks, Antonya... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 9:00am - 10:30am
Stuart Room

9:00am

5J: All-Conference Read in Fiction: There's Something I Want You To Do by Charles Baxter
Limited Capacity filling up

Charles Baxter will join us to discuss how he constructed his most recent book of short stories, There's Something I Want You To Do. Think of it as a book club from a writer's perspective, with the author in the room to provide insight into his craft choice. Christopher Lydon, host of WBUR's Open Source, will facilitate the discussion with Mr. Baxter and the audience. 

Presenters
avatar for Charles Baxter

Charles Baxter

Author, THERE'S SOMETHING I WANT YOU TO DO, Fiction All-Conference Read
Charles Baxter is the author, most recently, of Gryphon: New and Selected Stories, published by Pantheon in January, 2011. There’s Something I Want You to Do will be published in February, 2015. He is also the author of The Soul Thief, published in 2008 by Pantheon and Saul and Patsy, published in 2003 by Pantheon. His third novel, The Feast of Love (Pantheon/Vintage), was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2000 and has been made... Read More →
avatar for Christopher Lydon

Christopher Lydon

Radio Host, WBUR
Christopher Lydon covered politics for The New York Times from the Washington bureau in the 1970s. He hosted The Ten O’Clock News on WGBH TV through the 1980s, and he co-founded and hosted The Connection on WBUR in the ’90s. He recorded the original podcast in 2003 with Dave Winer. The rest is history in the making.  


Saturday April 30, 2016 9:00am - 10:30am
Terrace Room

9:00am

5K: Sell Your Story in a Single Sentence
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Called “The Book Whisperer” by CNN, prolific producer Lane Shefter Bishop has the answers for how to sell what you write.  During this "Loglines" session, Lane will give insider information only found in her book Sell Your Story in a Single Sentence (being released in May by WW. Norton and Company) which teaches writers the secret to selling their work to agents, editors, publishers, and producers.  After all, you can have the best material in the world but that doesn’t matter if you can’t sell it!

Presenters
avatar for Lane Shefter Bishop

Lane Shefter Bishop

Film Producer/Director, Vast Entertainment
Lane Shefter Bishop is a multi-award winning producer/director who has received numerous accolades for her work including an EMMY, six Telly Awards, a Videographer Award, three Communicator Awards, a Sherril C. Corwin Award, an Aurora Award, a Davey Award, a New York Festivals Award and the DGA Fellowship Award for Episodic Television.  | | Currently Ms. Bishop is the CEO of Vast Entertainment, THE go to book-to-screen company, with... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 9:00am - 10:30am
Tremont Room

9:00am

5L: Ready for Representation?
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How polished does your manuscript really need to be prior to querying agents, and more importantly -- how will you know if your work is ready? In this discussion/workshop, agent Carrie Howland and freelance editor Rebecca Heyman will detail the realities of what it means for a manuscript to pass muster. We'll also look at first pages from session attendees to point out red flags -- and agent-ready writing. Due to time constraints, not all submitted samples will be used in the presentation, but all authors who submit will receive feedback.

Presenters
avatar for Rebecca Heyman

Rebecca Heyman

Book Editor and Coach, Rebecca Faith Editorial
Rebecca Faith Heyman is a freelance book editor whose no-nonsense, compassionate, creative critique and astute book coaching have been helping authors tell their stories for almost a decade. Her clients have found representation with Penguin Destiny Romance, D4EO Literary Agency, New Leaf Literary & Media, the Jennifer Lyons Agency, Miller & Browne, Donadio & Olson, Literary Arts Representatives, and more, as well as achieved... Read More →
avatar for Carrie Howland

Carrie Howland

Literary Agent, Donadio and Olson, Inc.
Carrie Howland joined Donadio & Olson, Inc., Literary Representatives, in 2005. She represents literary fiction, narrative non-fiction, young adult, middle grade, and picture book authors. In addition to her own clients, Carrie handles foreign, first serial, and audio rights for the agency. Carrie is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives and writes for its newsletter. She also enjoys speaking at various writing... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 9:00am - 10:30am
White Hill Room

10:45am

6A: Writing the Group: How to Tackle Multiple POV's in Fiction
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In real life, our experiences intersect and overlap with those of other people all the time, but it can be difficult to similarly channel multiple viewpoints in fiction. During this session we will examine techniques to successfully manage a large cast of characters, whether they are family members, coworkers, or members of the same military squadron. We'll look at how to shift from one POV to the next, how to manipulate narrative distance to make some voices more prevalent than others, and how to keep all of these voices distinct.

Presenters
avatar for Angela Flournoy

Angela Flournoy

Author, THE TURNER HOUSE
Angela Flournoy is the author of The Turner House, which is a finalist for the National Book Award and the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, a Summer 2015 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and a New York Times Sunday Book Review Editors’ Choice. She is a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” Honoree for 2015. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, and she has written for The New York... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 10:45am - 12:00pm
Back Bay Room

10:45am

6B: Non-Fiction Idea Clinic
Limited Capacity seats available

In this session, the moderator (an established writer) will offer a brief preamble of the art of the non-fiction idea. Then, you will get two minutes to share your own idea for a non-fiction book for the audience, the moderator, and a panel of experts. The experts are agents and/or editors with years of experience working with non-fiction writers to turn their book proposals into reality. After you read your idea (preferably from a text you have prepared and brought with you!), the agents and editors will ask you follow-up questions and troubleshoot your idea. You will discuss issues of platform, expertise, the viability of the idea itself, and other elements of the non-fiction market. Please note that presenters will be chosen at random from names submitted in a hat at the start of the session. Unfortunately, given the volume of submissions, we can not guarantee that your name will be called. This is a fun event that aims to be respectful of your idea and illuminate the process a writer goes through when she is developing an idea with an agent and/or editor. The point is not to get through as many writers as possible, but to thoughtfully evaluate your ideas and offer concrete suggestions from which all could benefit.

Though most people will be reading ideas for full-length books, you may also read an idea for a feature story or article to assess its viability with the panel of experts.



Presenters
avatar for Ethan Gilsdorf

Ethan Gilsdorf

Author, FANTASY FREAKS AND GAMING GEEKS
Journalist, memoirist, essayist, critic, poet, teacher and geek Ethan Gilsdorf is the author of the award-winning travel memoir investigation Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms. A former Paris-based food and film critic and travel writer, and now based in Providence, RI, Gilsdorf covers and comments on pop culture, the arts, travel, media, and... Read More →
avatar for Daniel Loedel

Daniel Loedel

Editor, Scribner
Daniel Loedel is an Associate Editor at Scribner. Prior to joining Scribner he worked at Atria Books, where he edited Damien Lewis, Kevin Costner, Crawford Award-winner Genevieve Valentine, and Lucy Cavendish Prize-winner Catherine Chanter. His forthcoming titles at Scribner include The Vanishing Velazquez by Laura Cumming, Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves, and The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts by Laura Tillman. He is interested... Read More →
avatar for Leah Miller

Leah Miller

Editor, Rodale Books
Leah Miller is a senior editor at Rodale Books. She is interested in smart, entertaining writing particularly in the fields of memoir, social issues, health, food, travel, and family. A graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars program, Leah previously worked as an editor at the Crown Publishing Group, Simon & Schuster, and also at Sterling Lord Literistic in both domestic agenting and foreign rights. Among the bestselling and... Read More →
avatar for Ayesha Pande

Ayesha Pande

Literary Agent, Pande Literary
Ayesha Pande launched her literary agency ten years ago. Before that she held editorial positions at HarperCollins, Crown, and Farrar Straus. She is a member of AAR (Association of Author’s Representatives) and PEN. She is proud to represent international bestselling author Shilpi Somaya Gowda, Pen/Bingham Prize winner Danielle Evans, YA author Sheba Karim, thriller writer Layton Green, and others. Her interests include literary and popular... Read More →
avatar for Jessica Papin

Jessica Papin

Literary Agent, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management
Jessica Papin first joined DG&B in 2003, after spending eight years as an editor at Warner Books (now Grand Central). In 2004, she moved to Egypt, where she spent three years working for the American University in Cairo Press. Upon her return to the United States, she rejoined DG&B. With a background on both sides of the desk, she loves working collaboratively with clients to shape and refine their work. Her stay in the Middle East has... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 10:45am - 12:00pm
Beacon Hill Room

10:45am

6C: Taming the Unruly First Draft
Limited Capacity seats available

There are two main types of novel writers: those who write a short, skeletal first draft and must then flesh it out; and those who write a sprawling, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink draft, and must then excavate the story from within a mass of extraneous pages. Through examples, exercises, and in-class structural assignments, this workshop will provide strategies for both types of writers to tame their unruly beasts, be they stubborn, skinny drafts or the extra-wide, expansive variety.

Presenters
avatar for Lisa Borders

Lisa Borders

Author, THE FIFTY-FIRST STATE
Lisa Borders’ second novel, The Fifty-First State, was published by Engine Books in 2013. Her first novel, Cloud Cuckoo Land, was chosen by Pat Conroy as the winner of River City Publishing’s Fred Bonnie Award, and received fiction honors in the 2003 Massachusetts Book Awards. Lisa's short stories have appeared in Washington Square, Black Warrior Review, Painted Bride Quarterly and other journals. She has an essay in Soap Opera... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 10:45am - 12:00pm
Cabot Room

10:45am

6D: Is Your Agent Right For You?
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Join Gail Hochman, one of the most experienced and sought-after agents in the business of literary fiction, as she helps to answer that question virtually every published writer has asked him/herself: how do I know if my agent is the right one for me? This is not a "how-to" session, but a chance to discuss the role of the agent and how to gauge whether the one you seek -- or currently have -- is the right fit, and why. 

Presenters
avatar for Gail Hochman

Gail Hochman

Literary Agent, Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc.
After a short stint at a publishing house, Gail Hochman became a literary agent in 1977. Her primary areas of expertise are literary fiction and memoir, middle grade fiction and young adult. She joined a venerable old agency, Brandt & Brandt Literary agents, Inc. in 1983 and is currently the President of the agency, now called Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc. She is also the President of the AAR, the professional association of... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 10:45am - 12:00pm
Cambridge Room

10:45am

6E: What Sex Can Do
Limited Capacity seats available

If sex scenes are so hard to write, as everyone seems to agree they are, why do writers keep bothering with them? In this session, we’ll consider some of the things sex scenes can do in fiction—how they offer uniquely powerful tools for exploring character and theme. We’ll do this by considering some excellent examples of recent, fierce writing of sex, including work by Merritt Tierce, Lidia Yuknavitch, Kim Fu, Amy Gall, and Colm Tóibín.

Presenters
avatar for Garth Greenwell

Garth Greenwell

Author, WHAT BELONGS TO YOU
Garth Greenwell's debut novel is What Belongs To You (FSG 2016). He is also the author of a novella, Mitko, which won the Miami University Press Novella Prize and was a finalist for the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award and a Lambda Literary Award. His short fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, A Public Space, VICE, and StoryQuarterly, and is included in the anthology The Unprofessionals: New American Writing from The Paris Review... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 10:45am - 12:00pm
Charles River Room

10:45am

6F: Ask Amazon
Limited Capacity seats available

An open session with Amazon’s director of author and publishing relations, Neal Thompson, who will give a brief overview of how Amazon is working to support writers at all stages of their careers with programs aimed at helping them prepare, publish, and promote their books. Followed by an open Q&A session.

Presenters
avatar for Neal Thompson

Neal Thompson

Director of Author and Publishing Relations, Amazon.com
Neal is a former journalist and the author of four nonfiction books, most recently "A Curious Man: The Strange & Brilliant Life of Robert ‘Believe It or Not’ Ripley" (a PEN Center USA Literary Award finalist in nonfiction). Neal has appeared on NPR, PBS, The Daily Show, CNN, The History Channel, ESPN, and more, and has written for Outside, Esquire, Men’s Health, and Sports Illustrated. He previously taught creative... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 10:45am - 12:00pm
Franklin Room

10:45am

6G: The Three Layers of Character
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In his writing guide How Fiction Works, critic James Wood uses Dostoevsky as a model for how writers must show the three crucial layers of a character to make them feel real. This class will show how to tap into the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious layers of a great modern character - whether fictional or nonfictional. Using exercises based around essays and stories by Flannery O'Connor, Virginia Woolf, and more, students will be able to create rich, multi-faceted characters who are as real as can be.

Presenters
avatar for Kristopher Jansma

Kristopher Jansma

Author, WHY WE CAME TO THE CITY
Kristopher Jansma is the winner of the 2014 Sherwood Anderson Award for Fiction and the author of Why We Came to the City (Viking/Penguin). His first novel, The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards, received an Honorable Mention for the 2014 PEN/Hemingway Award and was longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence and the Flaherty-Dunnan Debut Novel Prize.  | | He has written for The New York Times, Story, Zyzzva, Slice Magazine... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 10:45am - 12:00pm
Newbury Room

10:45am

6H: How to Build a Successful Social Media Strategy
Limited Capacity seats available

Using social media is crucial for a successful branding strategy for authors. Although most people use the terms “social media” and “social networking” interchangeably, they are not the same. In this session you will learn the difference between social media and social networking so you can develop an effective social media strategy, attract readers, and learn what content works best where. Once you have your social media and social networking strategies working in harmony, you will be more connected with your audience and be able to promote your books more effectively.

Presenters
avatar for Fauzia Burke

Fauzia Burke

PR Consultant, Founder, FSB Associates
Fauzia Burke is the founder and president of FSB Associates, an online publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. Fauzia started her career at Wiley and Henry Holt before starting FSB, and has promoted the books of authors such as Alan Alda, Arianna Huffington, Deepak Chopra, Melissa Francis, S. C. Gwynne, Mika Brzezinski, Charles Spencer and many more. She’s also the author of Online Marketing... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 10:45am - 12:00pm
Stuart Room

10:45am

6J: Where I'm Calling From--Narrative Voice in Memoir
Limited Capacity seats available

Find your voice, we’re told, but where to look? The truth is we’re all gifted with various voices, and they arise, as necessary, for the various roles we play and the various audiences we have. Your memoir’s narrator has a particular role as well, formed by where they are speaking from, why they are speaking, and to whom.

In this session, we’ll talk about how to tune your memoir’s voice: how your narrator’s address (in both senses of the word) can help clarify more than the voice itself. We’ll look at two short published excerpts, discuss the question of listener versus audience, and do a quick writing exercise, designed to put the lessons of the session into practice.

Presenters
avatar for Howard Axelrod

Howard Axelrod

Author, THE POINT OF VANISHING
Howard Axelrod’s memoir, The Point of Vanishing, about the two years he lived in solitude in northern Vermont, was published by Beacon Press in September 2015.  His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Salon, Virginia Quarterly Review, Shambhala Sun, and The Boston Globe.  He received the Michael C. Rockefeller fellowship from Harvard, and has been awarded residencies from the Blue Mountain Center, Ucross, and the... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 10:45am - 12:00pm
Tremont Room

10:45am

6K: Those Scaffolds Aren't for the Hanging: Using Dramatic Structure in Fiction
Limited Capacity filling up

Story structure is a taboo subject in a discussion of literary fiction, and yet is (sadly) all too often lacking in beginning manuscripts. Using tools from multiple genres and forms, this session will set out to demystify the process of dramatic structure. What makes a novel go? How do we know characters by what they do (rather than what we are told about them)? What do your characters want, specfically? And how do their efforts to get what they want go horribly, spectacularly, entertainly wrong? What are the four ways to end a scene? What does "scene and sequel" mean? You can expect to leave the session with practical tools to work on your story engine, as well as a confidence about tackling that novel you've always wanted to write. A novel-in-progress is not a prerequisite--you only need a healthy imagination and a willingness to sail into unfamiliar waters.

Presenters
avatar for Sunil Yapa

Sunil Yapa

Author, YOUR HEART IS A MUSCLE THE SIZE OF A FIST
Sunil Yapa’s debut novel Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist is the lead title for Lee Boudreaux’s eponymous new imprint, Lee Boudreaux Books at Little, Brown & Company. The publication date is January 2016.  | | Sunil Yapa holds a BA in economic geography from Penn State University, and received his MFA in Fiction from Hunter College in New York City in 2010, where he worked with Peter Carey, Colum McCann, Claire... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 10:45am - 12:00pm
White Hill Room

10:45am

6L: Transforming Real Life Stories into Fiction
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From stories about historical figures to those based on family histories, this session will explore how to breathe life into true events and offer them the flexibility to work in your fiction. We will discuss how to weave research, imagination, and personal experience to create a strong story arc and compelling characters. Through guided writing exercises, class discussion, and Q and A, students will gain a firmer grasp of their personal vision and discover creative energy in the tension between the lives in our histories and those unfolding on the page.

Presenters
avatar for Michelle Hoover

Michelle Hoover

Author, BOTTOMLAND
Michelle Hoover is the Fannie Hurst Writer-in-Residence at Brandeis University and teaches at GrubStreet, where she leads the Novel Incubator program. She is a 2014 NEA Fellow and has been a Writer-in-Residence at Bucknell University, a MacDowell Fellow, and a winner of the PEN/New England Discovery Award. Her debut, The Quickening, was a Forward Magazine Best Literary Debut of 2010 pick, a finalist in the Center for Fiction's Flaherty-Dunnan... Read More →
avatar for Dawn Tripp

Dawn Tripp

Author, GEORGIA: A NOVEL OF GEORGIA O'KEEFFE
Winner of the Massachusetts Book Award for fiction, Dawn Tripp is the author of Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O'Keeffe, and three previous novels: Moon Tide, The Season of Open Water, and Game of Secrets, a Boston Globe bestseller. Her essays have appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review, The Believer, The Rumpus, Psychology Today, and on NPR. She graduated from Harvard and lives in Massachusetts with her family.


Saturday April 30, 2016 10:45am - 12:00pm
Whittier Room

10:45am

6M: Keep the Narrative Going: Effective Methods to Provide Context in Fiction [SECTION II]
Limited Capacity seats available

NOTE: THIS IS AN ADDITIONAL SECTION OF THE SAME SESSION OFFERED ON FRIDAY. Do you struggle to offer background information on a character or place without losing narrative momentum? Are you unsure of how to include social, cultural, or political context while keeping your writing engaging and entertaining? This session will focus on that crucial element for creating socially layered, culturally nuanced, but ultimately accessible stories: context. You will be provided with a series of detailed approaches—alongside specific examples—to ensure the context you include in a piece of fiction fits smoothly into the narrative, heightens tension, enriches plot, and deepens characters. You will also be given several take-home exercises as practical tools that can be applied during the drafting and revision of a novel or short story.

Presenters
avatar for Dariel Suarez

Dariel Suarez

Author, IN THE LAND OF TROPICAL MARTYRS
Dariel Suarez is a Cuban-born writer who’s lived in the U.S. since 1997. He’s the author of the chapbook, In The Land of Tropical Martyrs, available from Backbone Press. Dariel earned his M.F.A. in fiction at Boston University, where he was a Global Fellow. He has taught creative writing at Boston University, the Boston Arts Academy, and is now an instructor at GrubStreet. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 10:45am - 12:00pm
Winthrop Room

12:00pm

Lunch Break
Limited Capacity seats available

Sandwiches and snacks will be available for purchase in the lobby. GrubStreet will also be providing discounts on lunch from various eateries within walking distance of the Park Plaza Hotel.

Saturday April 30, 2016 12:00pm - 1:00pm
On Your Own

1:15pm

7A: Novel Plot and Structure: In Search of the Inciting Incident
Limited Capacity filling up

Have a great idea for a novel but don't know how to start it? Stuck in the middle of novel-drafting and stalling out? Much of writing a novel through to its end is about what is set up by its premise. A novel, a great writer once said, is a structural machine. That structure begins at the beginning. Agents and editors want to see the first 50 pages of the novel for a reason--a lot has to happen in those 50 pages to sustain a book-length work of fiction. What exactly makes an inciting incident, though? Exploring that question will help the writer set the groundwork for a novel.

Presenters
avatar for Matthew Salesses

Matthew Salesses

Author, THE HUNDRED-YEAR FLOOD
Matthew Salesses is the author of The Hundred-Year Flood (Little A/Amazon Publishing), an Amazon Best Book of September and a Kindle First pick, and a season’s best selection at Buzzfeed, Refinery29, Gawker, and elsewhere. His other books include I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying (Civil Coping Mechanisms), Different Racisms (Thought Catalog Books), and The Last Repatriate (Nouvella).  | | Matthew was adopted from Korea and... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 1:15pm - 2:30pm
Back Bay Room

1:15pm

7B: Star Literary Idol
Limited Capacity filling up

A dynamic reader will anonymously perform the first page of your unpublished manuscript for the audience and a panel of his distinguished fellow writers: Steven McCauley, Mameve Medwed and Anita Shreve. When one author hears a line that would prompt her to stop reading, she will raise her hand. The reader will keep reading until a second author raises his hand. The authors will then discuss why the lines gave them pause and offer craft-based and constructive suggestions to the writer. All excerpts are read and evaluated anonymously.

Note to participants: Please bring the first 250 words of your manuscript double-spaced, titled, with its genre (fiction or narrative nonfiction only, please; short stories and essays are perfectly fine) marked clearly at the top. Given the volume of submissions, we can’t guarantee that yours will be read aloud. This session is not for the thin-skinned!

Presenters
avatar for Stephen McCauley

Stephen McCauley

Author, INSIGNIFICANT OTHERS
Stephen McCauley is the author of eight novels, two published under the name Rain Mitchell.  He is Associate Director of Creative Writing at Brandeis University. His books include The Object of My Affection and, most recently, Insignificant Others. Three of his novels have been made into feature films.
avatar for Mameve Medwed

Mameve Medwed

Author, OF MEN AND THEIR MOTHERS
Mameve Medwed-- Bangor, Maine's other writer-- is the author of five novels, Mail, Host Family, The End of an Error, How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life (2007 Massachusetts Book Award Honors in Fiction), and Of Men and Their Mothers. She has published essays in three anthologies: How to Spell Chanukah (Algonquin), My Bookstore (Black Dog and Leventhal), and What My Mother Gave Me (Algonquin). Her short stories, essays, and book... Read More →
avatar for Anita Shreve

Anita Shreve

Author, STELLA BAIN
Anita Shreve is the author of sixteen novels. She lives in both Maine and Boston.
avatar for Sebastian Stuart

Sebastian Stuart

Sebastian Stuart has written novels, plays, screenplays, and has ghostwritten in every genre imaginable. As a playwright, he was dubbed “the poet laureate of the Lower East Side” by Michael Musto in The Village Voice. His first novel, The Mentor, is a psychological thriller. 24-Karat Kids, written with Dr. Judy Goldstein, was published in eight countries. Charm! by Kendall Hart was aNew York... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 1:15pm - 2:30pm
Beacon Hill Room

1:15pm

7C: Lessons from the Memoir Incubator
Limited Capacity seats available

Each year, GrubStreet’s Memoir Incubator program helps writers develop, deepen, revise, and finish their memoirs—and along the way, we’ve learned a few tricks we’re eager to share with you. Join the instructor of this program as she breaks down a year’s worth of craft concepts into 10 simple lessons you can get started applying to your memoir tomorrow. From situation vs. story, to how to turn real people into characters, to handling time and why you need a narrator, this seminar will provide an extensive overview of the strategies involved in turning life into art. As time allows, we’ll even try our hand at some of these concepts together.

Presenters
avatar for Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Author, THE FACT OF A BODY
Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich is the author of The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir, which will be published by Flatiron Books (Macmillan) in May 2017. It is also forthcoming from publishers internationally. A National Endowment for the Arts fellow and Rona Jaffe Award recipient, she has twice been a fellow at both MacDowell and Yaddo. Her essays appear in The New York Times, Oxford American, Iowa Review, and many other publications, and were... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 1:15pm - 2:30pm
Cambridge Room

1:15pm

7D: Seven Key Questions You Need to Answer to Successfully Publish Your Nonfiction Book
Limited Capacity seats available

It’s a truism by now that it’s harder than ever to get books published. But if you’re writing narrative or idea-driven nonfiction, self-help, or memoir, do you really have to be Ben Bernanke or Kim Kardashian to beat the odds? No—truth is, agents and editors are eager for great nonfiction stories because they sell. In this session, we’ll address seven key questions that will greatly improve your likelihood of finding success. In so doing, we’ll look at what "understanding your readers" (and how to reach them) really entails. We’ll see why it’s important to have one main conflict or theme, and what that means in terms of developing an entire book. We’ll ask ourselves: So what? and discover what tricks to employ to make our stories more compelling. There will be plenty of time for Q & A and some on-the-spot exercises that will help you avoid common pitfalls.

Presenters
avatar for Katrin Schumann

Katrin Schumann

Author, THE SECRET POWER OF MIDDLE CHILDREN
Katrin Schumann is the co-author of The Secret Power of Middle Children (Hudson Street, 2011), Mothers Need Time-Outs, Too (McGraw-Hill, 2008), and has written and edited numerous other titles, both commercially and independently. Katrin has been featured multiple times on TODAY, Talk of the Nation, and in The London Times, as well as other national and international media outlets. Current works-in-progress include a novel, a book on parenting... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 1:15pm - 2:30pm
Charles River Room

1:15pm

7E: Living History: Waking the Dead
Limited Capacity seats available

Bringing a historical figure to life in fiction can feel a little like biography, a little like heresy, and a little like witchcraft. A fiction writer is in pursuit of details that historians and biographers typically don't or can't use--and don't mention--but that can still be found. In this session I will outline a research-based approach to imagining historical figures into life that makes appeals to the intuition and the imagination, and teaches writers how to search for what they need. And then, having found that research, how to use it as food for the imagination. Some of the topics we will cover: the ethics of writing about the dead; the ethics of writing difference; best uses of special collections libraries; the magic of JSTOR; the construction of idiom and tone; anachronism; research travel; and the most common tactical errors.

Presenters
avatar for Alexander Chee

Alexander Chee

Author, THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT
Alexander Chee is the author of the novels Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night. He is a recipient of a 2003 Whiting Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in prose, and a 2010 MCCA Fellowship, and residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the VCCA, and Civitella Ranieri. His essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Tin House, Slate, Guernica, NPR, and Out, among others. He is a contributing editor at The New Republic... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 1:15pm - 2:30pm
Franklin Room

1:15pm

7F: Rewind, Fast Forward, Pause, Play: Negotiating Time in Fiction
Limited Capacity filling up

In fiction, as in life, timing is everything. When should you pause the dramatic action to dwell on a moment and linger? When should you speed things along? How should flashbacks be introduced? Too many allusions to the past and you risk losing the reader; too few, and your characters may not feel real. We will examine different examples of timing in fiction, and will specifically look at flashbacks (“rewinds”), scenes where time slows (“pause”), and accelerated action (“fast forward”), with an eye towards how these affect pacing and voice.

Presenters
avatar for Maya Lang

Maya Lang

Author, THE SIXTEENTH OF JUNE
Maya Lang’s debut novel, The Sixteenth of June, was long listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. She received the 2012 Bread Loaf-Rona Jaffe Foundation Award in Fiction, and was a finalist for Glimmer Train‘s Short Story Award for New Writers.  | | Lang has appeared on television and radio, and been a guest speaker at conferences, college campuses, and literary festivals. A graduate of Swarthmore College, she earned... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 1:15pm - 2:30pm
Newbury Room

1:15pm

7G: Finding Your Form: Exploring Storytelling through Fiction and Memoir
Limited Capacity seats available

The techniques of powerful storytelling are similar in all varieties of the stories we tell -- whether in fiction or memoir. In this discussion class, we’ll explore how to choose the form that’s best suited to your material, and we’ll use exercises, published stories, and essays to explore elements such as image, voice, and narrative arc, that are essential to all storytelling.

All you need to bring is a family photo. You'll come out of this class with a completed story or essay.

Presenters
avatar for Molly Antopol

Molly Antopol

Author, THE UNAMERICANS
Molly Antopol’s debut story collection, The UnAmericans, won the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, a “5 Under 35” Award from the National Book Foundation, and the Ribalow Prize. The book was longlisted for the National Book Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, the Barnes & Noble Discover Award, the National Jewish Book Award, the California Book Award, and... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 1:15pm - 2:30pm
St. James Room

1:15pm

7H: Mapping Your Story: Place, Movement, and Territory
Limited Capacity seats available

Whether the setting is a real location, entirely invented, or somewhere in between, exploring the possibilities of your territory and the movements of characters can help you handle aspects of plot like coincidence and chance, and heighten the tension and significance of characters’ actions. We’ll look at how the map of your story (short story, novel, play, memoir, or narrative nonfiction) can open up scenic invention, make change plausible, and build underlying coherence and meaning.

Presenters
avatar for Lynne Barrett

Lynne Barrett

Author, MAGPIES
Lynne Barrett’s most recent story collection is Magpies (Gold Medal, Florida Book Awards). What Editors Want, a guide to submitting to literary magazines based on her widely recommended essay in The Review Review, is now out in book form. She edited Tigertail: Florida Flash, co-edited Birth: A Literary Companion, and is editor of The Florida Book Review. She has received the Edgar Award for best mystery story and a National Endowment for... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 1:15pm - 2:30pm
Tremont Room

1:15pm

7J: Query Lab
Limited Capacity full

Important: Please read this description carefully before signing up, and bring all necessary materials to the session if you wish to share your query letter.

Most agencies receive at least a hundred query letters each week, yet respond positively to a very select few. Do you know the secrets to writing a winning query? Do you want to know the most common reasons for rejection? In this session, agents Sorche Fairbank and Rachel Letofsky will give direct feedback on audience query letters and use them as examples to discuss both effective and ineffective strategies for getting an agent or editor interested in your work. The goal will be to make your query letters as powerful as possible. If you want your query letter considered, please bring a ONE-PAGE hard copy to the session. Query letters will be chosen at random by a volunteer and put on an overhead projector. After your query letter is read by the agents and the audience, the agents will discuss it, troubleshoot, and offer advice that is both specific to your project and general enough for the rest of the audience to benefit. Given the volume of submissions, we cannot guarantee that your query letter will be read. The point is not to get through as many queries as possible, but to thoughtfully evaluate your ideas and offer concrete suggestions from which all will benefit.

Presenters
avatar for Sorche Fairbank

Sorche Fairbank

Literary Agent, Fairbank Literary Representation
Since establishing Fairbank Literary Representation in 2002, Sorche Elizabeth Fairbank has had the pleasure of working with a dynamic and varied list, representing best-selling authors, Edgar recipients, award-winning journalists, and of course one of her favorite kinds of client – the debut author. Tastes in novels tend toward literary fiction, international voices, and women’s voices. On the nonfiction side, books that tackle... Read More →
avatar for Rachel Letofsky

Rachel Letofsky

Literary Agent, The Cooke Agency
Rachel Letofsky is a graduate of both the Humber Creative Book Publishing Program and the University of Toronto, where she specialized in English literature. She joined The Cooke Agency in 2010 and is currently an Associate Agent. She frequently travels throughout Canada and the U.S. to various writer’s festivals and literary events such as Bloody Words, PNWA, CanSCAIP, SiWC, VWF, NorthWords and Quick Brown Fox Writer’s Workshops to... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 1:15pm - 2:30pm
White Hill Room

1:15pm

7K: How To Be Your Own Best Editor
Limited Capacity filling up

Truman Capote famously said he revised not with a pen but with a sword. In this session, we will discuss how to do that. How do you turn a cold eye on your own novel, memoir, essay, or short story so that you can revise it to a publishable work? Hood will share her own stories of revisions and offer practical, helpful tips so you can be your own best editor.

Presenters
avatar for Ann Hood

Ann Hood

Author, THE BOOK THAT MATTERS MOST
Ann Hood is the author of the bestselling novels The Book That Matters Most, The Obituary Writer, The Knitting Circle, The Red Thread, and Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine. Her memoir, Comfort: A Journey Through Grief, was a NYT Editor's Choice and was named one of the top ten non-fiction books of 2008 by Entertainment Weekly. Hood has won two Pushcart Prizes, two Best American Food Writing Awards, a Best American Travel Writing Award, and a Best... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 1:15pm - 2:30pm
Whittier Room

2:45pm

8A: A Map in the Wilderness: Unsticking Your Plot Using Cinematic Structure
Limited Capacity full

The only thing worse than staring at the first blank page is to be staring at the fiftieth, hundredth, or hundred and fiftieth page with no idea what should happen next. The author peers into the fog ahead, lost in a wilderness of options. 

Fortunately, there is a map that not only tells us what to do at any point in our story, but also guides us, step-by-step to a thrilling showdown and satisfying conclusion. The cinematic three-act structure is the cornerstone of storytelling in our society, and once we understand it, we can find our way out of any story. 

In this hands-on workshop in we'll compare our work-in-progress to the cinematic map. We'll figure out where we are, set plot goals, and develop a clear path to a thrilling conclusion that will leave our readers dying to read our next book.

Presenters
avatar for Ray Daniel

Ray Daniel

Ray Daniel is the award-winning author of Boston-based crime fiction. His short stories “Give Me a Dollar” won a 2014 Derringer Award for short fiction and “Driving Miss Rachel” was chosen as a 2013 distinguished short story by Otto Penzler, editor of The Best American Mystery Stories 2013. Daniel’s short fiction has been published in the Level Best Books anthologies Thin Ice, Blood Moon, Stone Cold... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Back Bay Room

2:45pm

8B: You're the Boss! Taking Control of your Book's Promotion Plan
Limited Capacity filling up

Whether your book is out with a large, traditional house, a smaller indie press, or through your own publishing efforts, it’s likely you’ll be involved in a large portion of its marketing and promotion. This may terrify or excite you. Either way, getting your book out there can be a major endeavor. In this session, we’ll look at how you as the author can take control of the process (or complement the work of a publicist). We’ll think creatively beyond the bookstore setting for readings and events, and discuss how to plan your own version of a book tour, how to use social media to make genuine connections, how and where to ask for help without feeling awkward, and how to keep it all organized and enjoyable.

Presenters
avatar for Anjali Duva

Anjali Duva

Author, FAINT PROMISE OF RAIN
Anjali Mitter Duva is an Indian-American writer raised in France. She is the author of Faint Promise of Rain (She Writes Press, October 2014). Trained as an urban planner, she switched careers when the call of storytelling became too great to resist. Additionally, she is a co-founder of Chhandika, a non-profit organization that teaches and presents India's classical storytelling kathak dance. In delving into the dance and its history, Anjali... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Beacon Hill Room

2:45pm

8C: Essentials of the Sentence
Limited Capacity filling up

A piece of literary work succeeds, in part, because of the strength of the language, the beauty of the writing. And what is good writing if not one good sentence followed by another? But how do you define a sentence—at its essence —and what makes a sentence good?

A sentence without logic fails to do the work it has been assigned by confusing the reader and arresting the reader experience, or by taking the reader on a different path than the writer intended. But good sentences are like music; they not only make sense, they are beautiful to hear. Good sentences also propel the reader forward, building on one another, creating their own narrative momentum.

In this seminar we will study successful sentences and why they work. In the process we will build a tool kit to make our sentences the best they can be.

Presenters
avatar for Alysia Abbott

Alysia Abbott

Director, Boston Literary District
Alysia Abbott is the author of the award-winning memoir Fairyland, A Memoir of My Father (WW Norton) now being made into a movie by Sofia Coppola. She's also a journalist whose work has appeared in Vogue, TriQuarterly, Slate, Salon, Real Simple, The Boston Globe and The New York Times. She is the director of the Boston Literary District and a co-founder of the Boston Lit Crawl.


Saturday April 30, 2016 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Cambridge Room

2:45pm

8D: Politics and Prose
Limited Capacity seats available

How can we write fiction about an important historical or political event without sounding pedantic or didactic? How can we place our characters at a “famous” time and place without having the history and/or politics take over the story? Many challenges exist in writing fiction about important, past political events. In this session, we’ll study examples from published works to learn strategies that can help our characters stand out from the politics that may shape them. We’ll focus on how to be engaged in inventing a story, rather than reporting the political event around which the story is based. Then through exercises, we will look at how to make our own fiction informed, but not overwhelmed, by its politics.

Presenters
avatar for Marjan  Kamali

Marjan Kamali

Author, TOGETHER TEA
Marjan Kamali is the author of the novel Together Tea (Ecco/HarperCollins), which was a Massachusetts Book Award Finalist, an NPR WBUR Good Read Pick, and a Target Emerging Author Selection. She attended U.C. Berkeley and earned an MBA from Columbia Business School and an MFA from NYU. Her short stories have appeared in the anthologies Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been and Tremors and her non-fiction has been published in The Wall Street... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Charles River Room

2:45pm

8E: Eavesdrop Like You Mean It
Limited Capacity seats available

"Any place is good for eavesdropping, if you know how to eavesdrop." - Tom Waits

In this session, we will discuss the time-honored traditions of eavesdropping, people watching, and passive listening. How can the observations we glean from these activities enhance our writing? How can eavesdropping lead to better scenes, character development, dialogue? And how do we translate our observations into purposeful prose?

Paying particular attention to how the reader processes -- "sees" and "hears" -- a scene, we will examine several examples of successful scene-building through the use of observed details. We will also look at scenes in which the main characters are engaging in similar observational acts, and how these acts themselves mirror the readers' position and point of view.

Lastly, we will explore the pitfalls and trip points inherent in including too much texture through too much observation, and how we can best balance world-building with meaningful details. Through a mix of short exercises and discussion, participants will learn to eavesdrop like the pros.

Presenters
avatar for William Belcher

William Belcher

Author, LAY DOWN YOUR WEARY TUNE
W.B. (Bill) Belcher is the author of Lay Down Your Weary Tune (Other Press). He grew up in western Massachusetts and earned his MFA from Goddard College. As a teacher, Belcher has led fiction writing and grant writing workshops for colleges, libraries, and not-for-profit arts organizations in New York and Massachusetts. From 2006-2008, he served as community workshop facilitator and reading series coordinator for Inkberry, a not-for-profit... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Franklin Room

2:45pm

8F: The Right To Write: Who Owns the Story?
Limited Capacity seats available

Stories come from different sources: dreams, overheard conversations, our own lives, watching and listening, feeling and perceiving. So, when you overhear someone’s conversation, or someone tells you about something she’s just been through, or when you suddenly feel engaged by the story of someone in the newspaper, or of a whole group of people, where do you draw the line between yours and theirs? When is the story yours, and when does it belong to someone else? What are the lines you shouldn’t cross, out of decency, respect, family loyalty, political correctness, or any other rule of civilization? All writers encounter this question. Roxana will be reading from an essay that addresses the topic and then leading a discussion of it.




Presenters
avatar for Roxana Robinson

Roxana Robinson

Author, SPARTA
Roxana Robinson is the author of Sparta, four earlier novels including Cost, three story collections, and the biography, Georgia O’Keeffe: A Life. Four of these were New York Times Notable Books. Robinson’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, and elsewhere. She was named a Literary Lion by the New York Public Library and has received fellowships from the NEA, the MacDowell Colony, and the Guggenheim... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Newbury Room

2:45pm

8G: 'But That Really Happened': Avoid the Pitfalls of Fictionalizing Your Life
Limited Capacity seats available

Many writers shape excellent novels and stories from raw experience, and our lives as writers will always feed texture and circumstance to our fiction. But when something incredible, moving, or poignant happens to you for real, it does not mean that the same experience or stakes will translate cleanly onto the story page. This session introduces participants to a custom framework for fictionalizing autobiography: a series of questions a writer might ask herself, and principles she might apply, in order to best dramatize her real-life material. Wisdom from cross-genre writers like Dorothy Allison and Jeanette Winterson, who have so successfully interpreted their lives in both novels and memoirs, will inform our close reading and discussion. The session will then conclude with brief, exploratory writing prompts to summon and frame the lived experiences that pester you to get on the page.

Presenters
avatar for Dawn Dorland

Dawn Dorland

Fiction and Non-Fiction Writer
Dawn Dorland teaches on the faculty of Writing Workshops Los Angeles and at the Downtown Women’s Center, serving the homeless women of Skid Row. Her debut novel-in-progress, Econoline, about generational poverty and American class ascent, has been recognized with fellowships and other support from Ragdale, the Vermont Studio Center, the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, the New York... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 2:45pm - 3:45pm
St. James Room

2:45pm

8H: Essentials of Place
Limited Capacity seats available

Setting is undeniably a crucial aspect of fiction. How does a strong sense of place help define a story, influence the characters, enhance the world you have created for the reader? This session will focus, through specific examples and exercises, on the different ways place can be successfully used in storytelling. Attendees will be provided with fundamental approaches to maximize the impact setting can have as it relates to character, plot, and the overall context of your writing, while making sure it reads as a necessary and organic element of your story.

Presenters
avatar for Dariel Suarez

Dariel Suarez

Author, IN THE LAND OF TROPICAL MARTYRS
Dariel Suarez is a Cuban-born writer who’s lived in the U.S. since 1997. He’s the author of the chapbook, In The Land of Tropical Martyrs, available from Backbone Press. Dariel earned his M.F.A. in fiction at Boston University, where he was a Global Fellow. He has taught creative writing at Boston University, the Boston Arts Academy, and is now an instructor at GrubStreet. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Tremont Room

2:45pm

8J: Making Things Happen
Limited Capacity filling up

We all know plot is important, but creating movement in stories that feels both intuitive and surprising is harder in some moments than others. In this plot intensive for writers at all levels, we will write short scenes, read others, and take a look at narrative arcs in scenes, stories, and novels. 

Presenters
avatar for Mira Jacob

Mira Jacob

Author, THE SLEEPWALKER'S GUIDE TO DANCING
Mira Jacob is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing, which was shortlisted for India’s Tata First Literature Award, honored by the APALA, and named one of the best books of 2014 by Kirkus Reviews, the Boston Globe, Goodreads, Bustle, and The Millions. She is currently drawing and writing her next book, a graphic memoir called Good Talk (Random House, 2017).


Saturday April 30, 2016 2:45pm - 3:45pm
White Hill Room

2:45pm

8K: How NOT to Sabotage Your Chances With an Agent
Limited Capacity filling up

Authors who want to publish via the traditional model know that an agent can be an ally, editor, partner, and advocate. But what authors don't realize is there are countless ways to sabotage an agent-author relationship before it ever begins. During this interactive lecture and Q&A, we'll explore common pitfalls new authors are particularly susceptible to that can keep agents from making an offer. We'll look at various aspects of "author life" that can help -- and harm -- your chances with an agent, including critique partnerships/writing groups, social media/blog presence, your personal reading list, pitch contest participation, and more.

Presenters
avatar for Rebecca Heyman

Rebecca Heyman

Book Editor and Coach, Rebecca Faith Editorial
Rebecca Faith Heyman is a freelance book editor whose no-nonsense, compassionate, creative critique and astute book coaching have been helping authors tell their stories for almost a decade. Her clients have found representation with Penguin Destiny Romance, D4EO Literary Agency, New Leaf Literary & Media, the Jennifer Lyons Agency, Miller & Browne, Donadio & Olson, Literary Arts Representatives, and more, as well as achieved... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Whittier Room

4:00pm

Keynote Tea with Colum McCann
Limited Capacity seats available

We are thrilled to have Colum McCann, the author of nine works of fiction and one of the world's greatest raconteurs, with us to deliver the 2016 keynote address. Refreshments will be served during the talk in the Imperial Ballroom, and a book-signing will follow. Mr. McCann is the author of nine works of fiction, including Let The Great World Spin, winner of the National Book Award. Among his numerous international honors are Dublin Impac Prize, a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French government, election to the Irish arts academy, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, and an Oscar nomination. His most recent book is Thirteen Ways of Looking. 

Presenters
avatar for Colum McCann

Colum McCann

Author, THIRTEEN WAYS OF LOOKING, Keynote Speaker
Colum McCann is the author of six novels and three collections of stories. Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, he has been the recipient of many international honours, including the National Book Award, the International Dublin Impac Prize, a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French government, election to the Irish arts academy, several European awards, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, and an Oscar nomination. His work has... Read More →


Saturday April 30, 2016 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Grand Ballroom

5:30pm

Lit Lounge
Limited Capacity seats available

After a long and stimulating day in sessions, gather with your fellow writers and presenters for complimentary hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar. 

Saturday April 30, 2016 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Statler Room

6:30pm

Dinner Break
Limited Capacity seats available

Saturday April 30, 2016 6:30pm - 7:30pm
On Your Own

8:00pm

Grub Gone...Drag ***SOLD OUT!***
Limited Capacity seats available

Leave your preconceptions about stuffy writers' conferences -- and about drag -- at the door. On this very special night, GrubStreet welcomes the acclaimed Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret for an evening of live music and literary gender-bending. The event begins with a few three-minute readings by prominent authors -- including keynote speaker Colum McCann , much-buzzed debut novelist Kaitlyn Greenidge, and playwright/actress Melinda Lopez -- and Robin McLean the winner of our first annual "Alter Ego" writing contest. Your host and main performer will be Martha Graham Cracker herself, The Drag Queen King of Philadelphia, who regularly sells out Joe's Pub in NYC and has been profiled by PBS, TimeOut New York and Philadelphia magazine. There's no lip synching here, just Martha's incredible voice, dancing, and larger-than-average...vocabulary.  More on Martha here. This show is a can't-miss. Held at Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, a 15-minute walk or short cab ride from the hotel. NOTE: This event is now sold out. Only those who have already purchased a separate $12 or $18 ticket may attend! 

PROGRAM: 
7:30 - 8:15: DJ Brent Covington
8:15 - 8:30: Dancers Marcus Alexander Cartier, London Escada, Dex Escada & Courtney Ebony
8:30 - 9:00: Readings by Colum McCann, Kaitlyn Greenidge, Robin McLean & Melinda Lopez
9:00 - 11:00: The Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret  

Presenters
avatar for Martha Graham Cracker

Martha Graham Cracker

Drag Icon
Backed by a four-piece live band, Martha Graham Cracker, hailed as "The Drag Queen King" by the Philadelphia Inquirer and an icon on the Philadelphia arts and theater scene for over 10 years, performs new arrangements and mashups of songs by artists ranging from Prince and Crowded House to Motley Crue and Nina Simone. Martha Graham Cracker is played by Dito van Reigersberg, co-founding co-artistic director of Philadelphia's... Read More →
avatar for Kaitlyn Greenidge

Kaitlyn Greenidge

Author, WE LOVE YOU, CHARLIE FREEMAN
Kaitlyn Greenidge received her MFA from Hunter College. Greenidge was the recipient of a Hertog Fellowship while at Hunter and the Bernard Cohen Short Story Prize. She was a Bread Loaf scholar, a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace artist-in-residence, and a Johnson State College Visiting Emerging Writer. Her work has appeared in the Believer, The Feminist Wire, At Length, Fortnight Journal, Green Mountains Review, Afrobeat Journal, the... Read More →
avatar for Colum McCann

Colum McCann

Author, THIRTEEN WAYS OF LOOKING, Keynote Speaker
Colum McCann is the author of six novels and three collections of stories. Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, he has been the recipient of many international honours, including the National Book Award, the International Dublin Impac Prize, a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French government, election to the Irish arts academy, several European awards, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, and an Oscar nomination. His work has... Read More →


 
Sunday, May 1
 

8:30am

Breakfast
Limited Capacity seats available

Sunday May 1, 2016 8:30am - 10:00am
Grand Ballroom

10:00am

9A: Why Literary Magazines Matter and How to Get Published in Them
Limited Capacity filling up

With over 600 literary magazines in print and hundreds more online, how can you find the journal that's a perfect match for your work? This session will introduce you to the world of literary magazines, demystify their operations and goals, help you develop practical strategies for getting your work into them, and send you home with invaluable submissions resources.

Presenters
avatar for Jenn Scheck-Kahn

Jenn Scheck-Kahn

Fiction and Non-Fiction Writer
Jenn Scheck-Kahn is a writer who founded Journal of the Month. Her prose has placed in contests hosted by the Atlantic Monthly and Glimmer Train, and appeared in a number of literary journals. She earned her MFA from Bennington College.


Sunday May 1, 2016 10:00am - 11:15am
Back Bay Room

10:00am

9B: After Acquisition: The Long Term Author/Publisher Relationship
Limited Capacity seats available

It's an exciting moment when a writer signs a contract with a publisher, but it's just the first step in the process of transforming a manuscript into a book. This session will cover the basic ways in which writers and the staff members of publishing companies work together to polish the manuscript, launch the book, and keep it in print. Helpful for all emerging writers of any stripe, and for those seeking to understand the process they hope they will soon be undertaking. 

Presenters
avatar for Fiona McCrae

Fiona McCrae

Editor, Graywolf Press
Fiona McCrae has been publisher of Graywolf Press since 1994. During her tenure at Graywolf, the Press has expanded its lists of poetry, literary nonfiction and criticism, fiction, and works in translation. Recent authors who have enjoyed notable successes include Jeffery Renard Allen, Eula Biss, Leslie Jamison, Per Petterson, Claudia Rankine, Vijay Seshadri, and Tracy K. Smith. Graywolf won the AWP Best Small Press of the Year Award in 2015.


Sunday May 1, 2016 10:00am - 11:15am
Beacon Hill Room

10:00am

9C: Breaking into Ghostwriting
Limited Capacity seats available

In our celebrity-obsessed culture, the juicy tell-all has become as de rigueur for Hollywood hotties as the VH1 Behind the Music is for washed up hair metal bands. And for the author brought in to serve as ghostwriter or cowriter, the experience of helping stars tell their tales of riches to rags melodrama, or guide the next generation with their attitude-laden self help tomes, actually offers an important lesson in storytelling, authenticity, and the power of memoir to engage readers with their own dreams and desires. Not only will this lecture offer insights into how ghostwriting really works, it will also provide memoirists and other authors with new ways of approaching their own stories and craft.

Presenters
avatar for Sarah Tomlinson

Sarah Tomlinson

Author, GOOD GIRL
Sarah Tomlinson has more than a decade of experience as a ghostwriter, journalist, music critic, writer, and editor. She is the author of the father-daughter memoir, Good Girl, which was released by Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster) in 2015. She has ghostwritten or co-written thirteen books, including The New York Times bestseller, Fast Girl, with Suzy Favor Hamilton, and two un-credited New York Times bestsellers. Her music criticism... Read More →


Sunday May 1, 2016 10:00am - 11:15am
Cabot Room

10:00am

9D: Essentials of Style
Limited Capacity seats available

What's your writing style and how do you improve it? What makes Michael Ondaatje or George Saunders or Barry Hannah a Stylist? Using examples from fiction and non-fiction, Matthew Salesses will show you how (and when and why) to add music to your sentences. You'll do this in part through micro-editing, choosing the right verbs, using common words in new ways, cutting out unnecessary words and phrases, adding precision and specificity, and looking at how word order can transform a sentence. We'll also borrow poetic techniques, paying attention to the rhythm and cadence of a sentence, to meter and stressed syllables, and to the persona, or attitude, of the narrator. You'll leave with a cheat sheet of handy techniques. Time permitting, we'll do a quick exercise to try out some of what we've learned.

Presenters
avatar for Matthew Salesses

Matthew Salesses

Author, THE HUNDRED-YEAR FLOOD
Matthew Salesses is the author of The Hundred-Year Flood (Little A/Amazon Publishing), an Amazon Best Book of September and a Kindle First pick, and a season’s best selection at Buzzfeed, Refinery29, Gawker, and elsewhere. His other books include I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying (Civil Coping Mechanisms), Different Racisms (Thought Catalog Books), and The Last Repatriate (Nouvella).  | | Matthew was adopted from Korea and... Read More →


Sunday May 1, 2016 10:00am - 11:15am
Cambridge Room

10:00am

9E: Taking Yourself Seriously, Whatever Life You Have Lived
Limited Capacity seats available

Everyone's life is interesting. Everyone has wisdom, insight, experience, and maybe humor to share, whether in memoir or fiction. But it can sometimes feel like writing what you know isn't enough. Where's the excitement? We'll look at how to "own" your experiences and mine your own individual understanding for compelling work, no matter what those experiences have been.

Presenters
avatar for Robin Black

Robin Black

Author, CRASH COURSE: 52 ESSAYS FROM WHERE WRITING AND LIFE COLLIDE
Robin Black came to writing at nearly forty years old, while in the thick of raising three children. She has written a book of short stories, a novel, and now a book of short essays that demonstrate how writing and daily life influence and strengthen each other. Those books are the award winning If I loved you, I would tell you this; the critically acclaimed, Life Drawing; and the newly published Crash Course: Essays From Where Writing and Life... Read More →


Sunday May 1, 2016 10:00am - 11:15am
Charles River Room

10:00am

9F: Setting as Character
Limited Capacity seats available

How do you write descriptions of landscape, setting, and weather that, rather than being parts readers "bloop" over, carry narrative weight in the story and drive the plot and character development? How do you mine the locations you've been to for material as well as creating fictional locations not found on any map? We will do close readings of literary fiction and nonfiction stories that lean heavily on the setting or weather and then get to work writing our own. Perfect for fiction writers looking to create more interdependence between setting and character or nonfiction writers looking to make settings more vivid and meaningful.

Presenters
avatar for Val Wang

Val Wang

Author, BEIJING BASTARD
Val Wang is an author and multimedia storyteller. Evan Osnos has called her book Beijing Bastard “a memoir perfectly suited to the Beijing that she brings to life so well: heedless, pungent, and proudly insubordinate.”  | | Her multimedia projects work at the edge of digital innovation in journalism. She most recently created and produced Planet Takeout, an interactive, multiplatform documentary on the role of Chinese takeouts... Read More →


Sunday May 1, 2016 10:00am - 11:15am
Franklin Room

10:00am

9G: The Pros and Cons of Writing and Publishing Without an Agent
Limited Capacity seats available

An author, who got her first book contract without an agent, and an editor cover the pros and cons of navigating the publishing world without an agent. Linda K. Wertheimer, the author, talks about the highs, the lows, the why, and how she did it when she landed a nonfiction book deal with Beacon Press, which published her book in 2015. Yes, no agent means you have to negotiate a contract on your own or hire legal help. But it also makes you the main contact for your publisher. The editor, Lissa Warren of Da Capo Press, talks about the issue from the insider perspective. Under which circumstances would she consider a proposal or manuscript from an unagented author? What role do agents play that an author struggles with or what can an agent do that an author cannot? How does book promotion and publicity weigh into the equation? How do you know which path to take - if you have the option? The author and editor will describe lessons learned, questions to ask yourself, and include plenty of time for questions and answers from the attendees.

Presenters
avatar for Lissa Warren

Lissa Warren

Editor, Da Capo Press
Lissa Warren is Vice President, Senior Director of Publicity, and Acquiring Editor at Da Capo Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group. She serves on the advisory boards of Bookbuilders of Boston and Beacon Press, and has taught in Emerson College's graduate Writing, Literature, and Publishing program for over a decade. Her most recent book is the memoir The Good Luck Cat: How a Cat Saved a Family, and a Family Saved a Cat. She's also the... Read More →
avatar for Linda K. Wertheimer

Linda K. Wertheimer

Author, FAITH ED, TEACHING ABOUT RELIGION IN AN AGE OF INTOLERANCE
Linda K. Wertheimer, a former education editor of The Boston Globe and veteran journalist, is the author of Faith Ed, Teaching About Religion In An Age of Intolerance, published in 2015 by Beacon Press. Linda, a 2014 nonfiction finalist in the Massachusetts Cultural Council artist fellowship awards competition, will be a prose writer-in-residence in August 2016 at The Chautauqua Writers’ Center. Her writing has... Read More →


Sunday May 1, 2016 10:00am - 11:15am
Newbury Room

10:00am

9H: The Truthful Lie: Writing Historical Fiction
Limited Capacity seats available

This lecture takes on the practical challenge at the core of writing historical fiction: the seamless integration of fictive imagination and historical fact. Truth relies on historical research. However, the evidence of historical reality must be finely woven into the verities of any good novel—point of view, plot, character, setting, structure. The lecture includes (brief) deconstruction of exemplary historical fiction scenes (Russell Banks, Geraldine Brooks, Tracy Chevalier, Edwidge Danticat, E.L. Doctorow) focusing on specific craft elements.

Presenters
avatar for LaShonda Barnett

LaShonda Barnett

Author, JAM ON THE VINE
Novelist and playwright LaShonda Katrice Barnett grew up in Park Forest, Illinois. Her debut novel Jam on the Vine (Grove Atlantic 2015), was an Editor's Choice pick at the Chicago Tribune; won ElIe Magazine's Belle Lettres 2015 Reader's Prize and earned Barnett the Emerging Writers Award at the 2015 Tennessee Williams Literary Festival. In 2015, Barnett was twice-nominated for the Pushcart prize.  She is also the editor of I Got Thunder... Read More →


Sunday May 1, 2016 10:00am - 11:15am
St. James Room

10:00am

9J: Showing & Telling: Putting Description to Work
Limited Capacity seats available

Long after most of the details of a plot are forgotten, descriptive passages can define a particular book in our memory, or even an author’s entire work. What makes an image indelible? How much description is too much? More importantly: how can we put description to work in furthering character development, theme, and plot? We’ll think about this through examples of great description ranging from Proust to Marilynne Robinson.

Presenters
avatar for Garth Greenwell

Garth Greenwell

Author, WHAT BELONGS TO YOU
Garth Greenwell's debut novel is What Belongs To You (FSG 2016). He is also the author of a novella, Mitko, which won the Miami University Press Novella Prize and was a finalist for the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award and a Lambda Literary Award. His short fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, A Public Space, VICE, and StoryQuarterly, and is included in the anthology The Unprofessionals: New American Writing from The Paris Review... Read More →


Sunday May 1, 2016 10:00am - 11:15am
Tremont Room

10:00am

9K: Literary Idol: Fiction
Limited Capacity filling up

Important: Please read this description carefully before signing up, and bring all necessary materials to the session if you wish to have your work read aloud.

In this freewheeling session, a trained actor will perform the first page of YOUR unpublished manuscript for the audience and a panel of three judges. The judges are agents with years of experience reading unsolicited submissions. When one of the agent judges hears a line that would make her stop reading, she will raise her hand. The actor will keep reading until a second judge raises his hand. The judges will then discuss WHY they would stop reading, and offer concrete (if subjective) suggestions to the anonymous author. If no agent raises his/her hand, the judges will discuss what made the excerpt work so well. All excerpts will be evaluated anonymously, though, at the end of the session, a winner will be chosen from the group of excerpts that did not elicit any raised hands, and that winner will receive a free Grub Street membership. Please bring THE FIRST 250 WORDS of your manuscript (fiction only, please) double-spaced, to the session, TITLED, with its GENRE marked clearly at the top. You will leave it in a box at the front of the room, and the manuscript will be chosen randomly by the actor. (Unfortunately, given the volume of submissions, we can not guarantee that yours will be read aloud).

This is a fun event that aims to be respectful of your work and illuminate the process an agent goes through when she receives a new piece of fiction. The point is not to get through as many writers as possible, but to thoughtfully evaluate the work at hand and offer concrete suggestions from which all could benefit. Please be aware that some lines may cause laughter or scorn; in other words, this session is not for the thin-skinned!

Presenters
avatar for Noah Ballard

Noah Ballard

Literary Agent, Curtis Brown, Ltd.
Noah Ballard is an agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd. He received his BA in English from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, and began his career in publishing at Emma Sweeney Agency where he sold foreign rights for the agency in addition to building his own client list. Noah specializes in literary debuts, upmarket thrillers, and narrative nonfiction, and he is always on the look-out for honest and provocative new writers. Noah has appeared... Read More →
avatar for Sorche Fairbank

Sorche Fairbank

Literary Agent, Fairbank Literary Representation
Since establishing Fairbank Literary Representation in 2002, Sorche Elizabeth Fairbank has had the pleasure of working with a dynamic and varied list, representing best-selling authors, Edgar recipients, award-winning journalists, and of course one of her favorite kinds of client – the debut author. Tastes in novels tend toward literary fiction, international voices, and women’s voices. On the nonfiction side, books that tackle... Read More →
avatar for Erin Harris

Erin Harris

Literary Agent, Folio Literary Management
Erin Harris is a literary agent at Folio Literary Management who champions the careers of both debut and established authors, bringing a strong editorial eye and hands-on approach to her agenting practice. She received an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School and is a co-curator of the Brooklyn-based literary event series H.I.P. Lit.  | | At Folio, Erin represents literary and book club fiction, narrative non-fiction, and YA. Some... Read More →
avatar for Steve Macone

Steve Macone

Non-Fiction Writer
Steve Macone is a former headline contributor at The Onion. His essays, humor writing, and reporting have also appeared in the American Scholar, The New York Times, Atlantic Online, New Yorker, Boston Globe, Boston Globe Magazine, Morning News, Drum, Christian Science Monitor, and Salon.com. His work has been featured on NPR, Longreads, and received notable essay mentions in The Best American series.


Sunday May 1, 2016 10:00am - 11:15am
White Hill Room

10:00am

9L: Secrets and Lies
Limited Capacity filling up

Secret, lies, evasions, deceptions: what’s hidden and how it emerges fuel narrative drive and tension in stories, whether the subject is concealment within a relationship or who committed a murder, the outcome comic or tragic. In this workshop we’ll look at the set up of secrets and some of the many options for when and how they come out, partially or fully. We’ll discuss clues, misinterpretations, discoveries, revelations, suspense, surprise, and what’s known when by which characters and the reader. We’ll focus, especially, on how this relates to the writer’s choices about structure and presentation: point of view, placement of information about the past, what’s onstage and off, narrative disclosure, and outcome. Though this class will use examples from fiction, film, and drama, the content is also useful to those writing memoir or narrative non-fiction.

Presenters
avatar for Lynne Barrett

Lynne Barrett

Author, MAGPIES
Lynne Barrett’s most recent story collection is Magpies (Gold Medal, Florida Book Awards). What Editors Want, a guide to submitting to literary magazines based on her widely recommended essay in The Review Review, is now out in book form. She edited Tigertail: Florida Flash, co-edited Birth: A Literary Companion, and is editor of The Florida Book Review. She has received the Edgar Award for best mystery story and a National Endowment for... Read More →


Sunday May 1, 2016 10:00am - 11:15am
Whittier Room

10:00am

9M: What’s Your Book “About”? [SECTION II]
Limited Capacity seats available

NOTE: THIS IS AN ADDITIONAL SECTION OF THE SAME SESSION OFFERED ON FRIDAY. "What is Your Book About?" may seem like a simple question, but it’s not—and for many writers, the answer isn’t so easy to come up with either. But it’s an important question when it comes to selling your book and finding readers, and it’s even more important when you’re in the process of writing it—particularly if you’re closing in on a first draft and/or contemplating a revision. So: What IS your book about? In this dynamic session we’ll look into the three main ways of answering that question: concept, premise, and theme. We’ll discuss each of them in detail, providing a number of illustrative examples from familiar and/or recently published novels. Then you’ll have a chance to come up with the answers for your own novel or memoir, a process that can help you zero in on the core meaning of a work in progress, break creative logjams, and give you the insight needed to take your story to the next level.

Presenters
avatar for Tim Weed

Tim Weed

Author, WILL POOLE'S ISLAND
Tim Weed’s short fiction and essays have won Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction and Solas Best Travel Writing awards and have appeared in Colorado Review, Gulf Coast, Saranac Review, The Rumpus, Talking Points Memo, Writer's Chronicle, Backcountry, and many other reviews and magazines. Tim holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and has studied with great contemporary American writers including Robert Stone, Russell Banks, Antonya... Read More →


Sunday May 1, 2016 10:00am - 11:15am
Winthrop Room

11:30am

10A: Pathways to Publication: How to Choose the Right Route for You
Limited Capacity filling up

Join Literary Change Agent and author advocate April Eberhardt in a wide-ranging discussion about all the ways you can be published now. Your choices range from tried-and-true traditional to self-publishing, with partnership, cooperative, and semi-assisted publishing arrayed in between, each with its own pros and cons. How do you decide which route suits you best? Come learn about how the industry is changing, and how to devise a strategy that suits your goals, dreams, timetable and budget. 

Presenters
avatar for April Eberhardt

April Eberhardt

Literary Agent, April Eberhardt Literary
April Eberhardt, a self-described "literary change agent” and author advocate, is passionate about helping authors be published in the best way possible for them. After 25 years as a corporate strategist and consultant, April joined the literary world, where she saw strategic opportunity to play a role in the changing world of publishing. April advises and assists authors as they choose the best pathway to publication for their work, be... Read More →


Sunday May 1, 2016 11:30am - 12:45pm
Back Bay Room

11:30am

10B: How To Perfect Your Pitch
Limited Capacity seats available

So you have a book idea that you've been turning over and over in your head. Or maybe that novel you've been revising for the past three years is ready for the world. What's the first step? In this workshop, publishing veteran, Cherise Fisher, will walk you through all the steps: perfecting your pitch, the key elements of a proposal, recruiting your team, asking "is self-publishing right for me? and, perhaps most importantly, keeping the faith. 

Presenters
avatar for Cherise Fisher

Cherise Fisher

Editor, The Scribe's Window
Twenty year publishing veteran, Cherise Fisher, began her career in publishing as the assistant to the Editor-in-Chief of Dell, an imprint of Bantam Doubleday Dell. She later moved to Simon & Schuster, where she built a strong list of fiction and non fiction titles covering a broad spectrum of topics, including Christianity and spirituality, relationships, parenting, business and career development, beauty and lifestyle, sexuality, health and... Read More →


Sunday May 1, 2016 11:30am - 12:45pm
Beacon Hill Room

11:30am

10C: Who Am I As a Writer?
Limited Capacity seats available

Who am I? Not only is it a topic that philosophers and rock 'n' roll poets have wrestled with for millennia, it's also the primary concern of personal essayists, who must find a way to capture their truest self on the page. Am I funny? Am I a tearjerker, or a jerk on a tear? In this guided writing session, students will be led through a series of exercises that will help them discover their voice on the page while looking at a single personal essay topic of their choice from multiple perspectives. The goal is to complete several writing exercises that will help them find the best means of turning the stories of their lives into compelling, dynamic prose.

Presenters
avatar for Sarah Tomlinson

Sarah Tomlinson

Author, GOOD GIRL
Sarah Tomlinson has more than a decade of experience as a ghostwriter, journalist, music critic, writer, and editor. She is the author of the father-daughter memoir, Good Girl, which was released by Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster) in 2015. She has ghostwritten or co-written thirteen books, including The New York Times bestseller, Fast Girl, with Suzy Favor Hamilton, and two un-credited New York Times bestsellers. Her music criticism... Read More →


Sunday May 1, 2016 11:30am - 12:45pm
Cabot Room

11:30am

10D: Hermit Crabs: Using Form to Inspire Narrative Prose
Limited Capacity seats available

Hermit crab essays and stories adopt already existing forms as the container for the writing at hand. (The hermit crab is a creature born without its own shell to protect it so it must find an empty shell to inhabit.) By using a hermit crab form such as a “to-do” list, field guide, or set of yoga poses, one can craft a narrative where the form organizes or even dictates the content, and where these formal constraints help bypass our intellectual minds to make us more open and available to unexpected images, themes, and memories. In this class we will brainstorm a variety of forms in order to work with the tender underbelly of our own stories, and then we will use these “shells” to draft writing that aims for something new, exciting, and emotionally engaging-- for us and for the reader. You'll leave with a list of readings and additional exercises to further your study.d

Presenters
avatar for Kristiana Kahakauwila

Kristiana Kahakauwila

Author, THIS IS PARADISE: STORIES
Kristiana Kahakauwila is a 2015-16 Fellow at Harvard's Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study and an assistant professor of creative writing at Western Washington University. Her debut, This is Paradise: Stories (Hogarth 2013), was a selection of the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program. At present she is working on a historical novel, a multigenerational family saga set against the fight for water and native rights on the... Read More →


Sunday May 1, 2016 11:30am - 12:45pm
Cambridge Room

11:30am

10E: The Hazards of Writing Outside the Borders
Limited Capacity seats available

Jacqueline Sheehan has sold over half a million books and has been on the New York Times bestseller list twice. Yet when it came time to sell her fifth novel, The Center of the World, publishers were hesitant to buy it. Why? Because the novel was partly set in another country and to quote one publisher, "American readers don't like books about other countries." Her new book is set partly in Guatemala, amid the indigenous people of the highland, the Mayans.
Jacqueline will discuss the hazards of writing from the sensibility of another culture. How can an outsider ever truly understand a culture that is so different from her own? Are we underestimating American readers? Are we truly xenophobic in our reading inclinations? What happens if writers never try to experience another culture?
If there is time, we will use a short writing exercise.

Presenters
avatar for Jacqueline Sheehan

Jacqueline Sheehan

Author, THE CENTER OF THE WORLD
Jacqueline Sheehan, Ph.D., is a New York Times Bestselling author. She is also a psychologist. A New Englander through and through, she spent twenty years living far from home in Oregon, California, and New Mexico doing a variety of things, including house painting, photography, freelance journalism, clerking in a health food store, and directing a traveling troupe of high school puppeteers.  | | Her novels include, The Comet’s... Read More →


Sunday May 1, 2016 11:30am - 12:45pm
Charles River Room

11:30am

10F: Do What You Want: Submitting Work on Your Terms
Limited Capacity seats available

You know the basics of submitting your work: the cover letter, the waiting. Maybe you've had a piece of narrative nonfiction, a personal essay or short fiction published. But you want more out of submitting and publishing: perhaps to increase the frequency, or to publish in a way that gets you closer to a goal, such as a book. You may want to move up to the next tier of publication (we'll question if these tiers still exist and the very different things various publications can offer.) Or maybe you just want to publish pieces that are more fun, interesting, or longer: pieces that are less constrained by the procrustean effects of anticipating what editors want and more "you." We'll look at ways to be more strategic and successful so you're not just lobbing queries into the abyss. And we'll debate the merits of viewing publishing your work not quantitatively but qualitatively. We'll move between small tips and overarching philosophies. We'll share submission mantras, horror stories, victories, long shot dreams, nagging fears, and of course questions. (Come with all of these.) And we'll learn the important difference between simply publishing and publishing what you want. (Note: most examples will deal with nonfiction but many tips will apply to submitting short fiction as well.)

Presenters
avatar for Steve Macone

Steve Macone

Non-Fiction Writer
Steve Macone is a former headline contributor at The Onion. His essays, humor writing, and reporting have also appeared in the American Scholar, The New York Times, Atlantic Online, New Yorker, Boston Globe, Boston Globe Magazine, Morning News, Drum, Christian Science Monitor, and Salon.com. His work has been featured on NPR, Longreads, and received notable essay mentions in The Best American series.


Sunday May 1, 2016 11:30am - 12:45pm
Franklin Room

11:30am

10G: Feedback Is a Conversation
Limited Capacity seats available

Having outside readers look at your work-in-progress is an essential part of the process for every writer--essential and intimidating! How do you find a reader you can trust, and how do you work with feedback once you have it? Join Kate Racculia (author, manuscript consultant, and writing instructor) and Louise Miller (author and Novel Incubator graduate) as they discuss their approaches to reader feedback and critique, and share their own experiences–both the good and the not so good. They will talk about different options for finding readers, how to know you are ready for feedback and, critically, how to know when you have had enough. They will also discuss what to do with conflicting feedback, and other critique pitfalls that can happen along the way. You will leave the session with inspiration and a roadmap for taking feedback and transforming it into a revision plan. This lively discussion will leave ample time for Q&A.

Presenters
avatar for Louise Miller

Louise Miller

Author, THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING
Louise Miller is a writer and pastry chef who lives and works in Boston, MA. Her debut novel The City Baker's Guide to Country Living will be published by Pamela Dorman Books/Viking in August of 2016. So far The City Baker's Guide has been acquired for publication in four additional countries.  | | She was raised in urban, and then suburban Boston, where she quickly learned that in order to survive she would have to lose her thick... Read More →
avatar for Kate Racculia

Kate Racculia

Author, THE BELLWEATHER RHAPSODY
Kate Racculia is a writer and freelancer who called Boston home for many years and currently resides in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She is the author of two novels, the most recent of which, Bellweather Rhapsody, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2014 and named a 2015 Alex Award winner. Alex Awards recognize novels written for adults for having special appeal to teenagers. Her first novel, This Must Be the Place, was named a 2011 Must... Read More →


Sunday May 1, 2016 11:30am - 12:45pm
Newbury Room

11:30am

10H: Be Brave: The Character of YA Literature
Limited Capacity seats available

"Character" refers to the people in your book and keeping them real in word, deed, and circumstance.  But "character" also refers to the need for the writer to exhibit true character in the crafting of the stories s/he tells. In this talk, attendees will explore with children's literary agent Ayanna Coleman how to write through fear and with empathy and compassion to tell the stories that are either not told enough or not told at all. This requires risk-taking and a bit of bravery, especially in our highly-charged political environment. Come prepared for a frank and generative discussion. 

Presenters
avatar for Ayanna Coleman

Ayanna Coleman

Literary Agent, Quill Shift Literary Agency
Ayanna Coleman founded Quill Shift Literary Agency in 2013. With an educational background in marketing and English, Ayanna has worked within the publishing industry at publishing houses, literary agencies, as a book reviewer, programming and event director, and many years as a children’s librarian.  | | As a child, and later as a librarian, Ayanna noticed that the books that could capture a child’s imagination and create a... Read More →


Sunday May 1, 2016 11:30am - 12:45pm
Tremont Room

11:30am

10J: How to Finish: Project Management Techniques for Writers
Limited Capacity filling up

One of Neil Gaiman's writing rules is, "Finish what you're writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it." Like members of a software project team, writers often become overwhelmed by the work required to carry a project to completion. In this interactive session, Kelly Ford will guide participants though project management techniques that can help writers who struggle with focus or time management. We'll talk about a different kind of setting: that which includes goals, priorities, and deadlines. We'll also discuss common time management pitfalls: how to avoid them, and how to get back on track if you fall into them. Writers will leave the session with an action plan for how they can stay focused on the finish line, whether their goal is to complete a draft or a revision.

Presenters
avatar for Kelly Ford

Kelly Ford

Fiction Writer
Kelly Ford completed GrubStreet Writing Center’s Novel Incubator program and is an editor and contributor for Dead Darlings, a website dedicated to discussing the craft of novel writing. Her fiction has appeared in Black Heart Magazine, Fried Chicken and Coffee, and Knee-Jerk Magazine. She is a freelance editor and project manager and has over 15 years' experience managing software projects from conception to completion in industries such... Read More →


Sunday May 1, 2016 11:30am - 12:45pm
White Hill Room

11:30am

10K: How To Write a Kick-Ass Essay
Limited Capacity full

In ten steps, award winning writer Ann Hood will help you take your good essay to kick ass. We will read essays by Jonathan Lethem, Joanne Beard, and Junot Diaz and discuss why these essays are successful. Then Hood will take you through the steps that you can apply to your own essays to make them moving, resonant, and memorable.

Presenters
avatar for Ann Hood

Ann Hood

Author, THE BOOK THAT MATTERS MOST
Ann Hood is the author of the bestselling novels The Book That Matters Most, The Obituary Writer, The Knitting Circle, The Red Thread, and Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine. Her memoir, Comfort: A Journey Through Grief, was a NYT Editor's Choice and was named one of the top ten non-fiction books of 2008 by Entertainment Weekly. Hood has won two Pushcart Prizes, two Best American Food Writing Awards, a Best American Travel Writing Award, and a Best... Read More →


Sunday May 1, 2016 11:30am - 12:45pm
Whittier Room

1:00pm

Capstone Event: Discover Me!
Limited Capacity seats available

The conference comes to a dramatic close with this all-conference event. The main program is an interactive Town Hall event on the crucial issue of discoverability, in which a panel of experts in the field of book publicity, promotion, marketing and bookselling appraise and evalute case studies from the audience of aspiring, emerging and established authors. Through the lens of real up and coming projects, we will discuss the various ways authors can build, find and keep audiences and some strategies for doing so. Participants will reconvene with their cohorts to continue the conversation. The day will end with a celebration of the conference's 15th anniversary.  Expect to leave the conference with lots of information you didn't have before -- especially on the issue of finding audience -- new ideas and support from your cohort, and maybe even an action plan to complete your project. 

Presenters
avatar for Porter Anderson

Porter Anderson

Journalist and Publishing Consultant
Porter Anderson (@Porter_Anderson) BA, MA, MFA, is a journalist, speaker, and consultant  | specializing in book publishing. Formerly with CNN, the Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and other media, he is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives, the Frankfurt Book Fair-owned magazine for the international publishing industry.  | | Anderson also has guided The FutureBook’s coverage of digital publishing for The... Read More →
avatar for Fauzia Burke

Fauzia Burke

PR Consultant, Founder, FSB Associates
Fauzia Burke is the founder and president of FSB Associates, an online publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. Fauzia started her career at Wiley and Henry Holt before starting FSB, and has promoted the books of authors such as Alan Alda, Arianna Huffington, Deepak Chopra, Melissa Francis, S. C. Gwynne, Mika Brzezinski, Charles Spencer and many more. She’s also the author of Online Marketing... Read More →
avatar for Rick Burnes

Rick Burnes

Vice President of Content Products, BookBub
Rick Burnes is vice president of content products at BookBub. His focus is launching and marketing new products to BookBub's author and publisher partners. Prior to BookBub, Rick led product and marketing teams at HubSpot, a leading b2b marketing software provider. Rick has also worked at The New York Times and Google. He began his career in Russia at The Moscow Times.
avatar for Fiona Hallowell

Fiona Hallowell

Managing Editor, Radius Book Group
Fiona Hallowell is a book publishing veteran with over twenty years of experience at a range of houses, big and small. She began her career at HarperCollins Publishers, where she worked on the New York Times bestsellers, Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol, Downsize This! by Michael Moore, and The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger, among others. She then applied that training at publishers with different models, including Guideposts Books, LA... Read More →
avatar for Carole Horne

Carole Horne

Harvard Book Store
Carole Horne began her bookselling career as a frontline bookseller at Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, in 1974. She has had practically every job in the company, becoming head buyer in 1978, and general manager in 2006.  | | In her 43 year career she's seen dramatic changes in the business, from computerization, consolidation in publishing, and the decline of independent bookstores, to on-line retailing, ebooks, and the renaissance of... Read More →
avatar for Crystal King

Crystal King

Social Media and Marketing Expert, Author, FEAST OF SORROW
Crystal King is a 20-year marketing, social media and communications veteran, freelance writer and Pushcart-nominated poet. Her debut novel, Feast of Sorrow (Touchstone Books/Simon & Schuster) about the ancient Roman gourmand, Apicius. Crystal has taught classes in writing, creativity, and social media at Harvard Extension School, Boston University, Mass College of Art, UMass Boston and GrubStreet writing center. A former co-editor of... Read More →
avatar for Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Author, THE FACT OF A BODY
Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich is the author of The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir, which will be published by Flatiron Books (Macmillan) in May 2017. It is also forthcoming from publishers internationally. A National Endowment for the Arts fellow and Rona Jaffe Award recipient, she has twice been a fellow at both MacDowell and Yaddo. Her essays appear in The New York Times, Oxford American, Iowa Review, and many other publications, and were... Read More →
avatar for Leah Miller

Leah Miller

Editor, Rodale Books
Leah Miller is a senior editor at Rodale Books. She is interested in smart, entertaining writing particularly in the fields of memoir, social issues, health, food, travel, and family. A graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars program, Leah previously worked as an editor at the Crown Publishing Group, Simon & Schuster, and also at Sterling Lord Literistic in both domestic agenting and foreign rights. Among the bestselling and... Read More →
avatar for Manning Wolfe

Manning Wolfe

Author, DOLLAR SIGNS
Manning Wolfe, an author and attorny residing in Austin, Texas, writes cinematic-style, smart, fast-paced thrillers with a salting of Texas flavor. The first in her series, featuring Austin Lawyer Merit Bridges, is Dollar Signs: Texas Lady Lawyer vs. Boots King. A graduate of Rice University and the University of Texas School of Law, Manning's education and experience has given her a voyeur's pek into some shady characters' lives and a front... Read More →


Sunday May 1, 2016 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Grand Ballroom