Conversations and Connections DC 2020: Practical Advice on... has ended

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Writing Life [clear filter]
Saturday, April 18


Finding and Building Your Writing Community, In-person and Online
Deepen your writing life by socializing your writing! We'll explore what it means to be a good literary citizen and discuss ways to find both resources and your place in the literary community. Connect with other writers, support your local literary scene, and develop your craft. Leave the session with concrete tips for finding your people.

Saturday April 18, 2020 TBA


Working in the Literary World: Opportunities for Literary Nonprofits, Organizations, and Initiatives
Writing is a form of activism, and many writers have also built successful careers in advocating for the literary arts. Four panelists who have worked and/or founded organizations that lift up the role of literature in individual lives, in schools, in regional programs, and other forums will discuss their path, as well as talk about what inspires their work. The relationship between advocacy and creativity will also be discussed.

avatar for Melanie Hatter

Melanie Hatter

Melanie S. Hatter is the author of two novels and one short story collection. Selected by Edwidge Danticat, Malawi's Sisters won the inaugural Kimbilio National Fiction Prize and is published by Four Way Books, 2019. The Color of My Soul won the 2011 Washington Writers' Publishing... Read More →
avatar for Dan Brady

Dan Brady

Poetry Editor, Barrelhouse
Dan Brady is the author of the poetry collections Strange Children (Publishing Genius, 2018) and Subtexts (forthcoming from Publishing Genius, 2021), and two chapbooks, "Cabin Fever / Fossil Record" (Flying Guillotine Press) and "Leroy Sequences" (Horse Less Press). He is the poetry... Read More →
avatar for Carla Du Pree

Carla Du Pree

Executive Director, CityLit Project
Carla Du Pree is a fiction writer, consultant, state arts ambassador and advocate, and the executive director of CityLit Project, a literary nonprofit in Baltimore that nurtures readers and writers with two signature events. She’s featured regional and transnational authors at festivals... Read More →

Saturday April 18, 2020 TBA


Writing Through Trauma
Nearly all of us have experienced some form of trauma—whether it be personal, historical, or communal—from oppression, abuse, war, mental illness, loss, or disease, among other causes. While there are many methods available to help us cope with trauma, this session will explore how and why writers mine their pain, examine it up close, reflect on it, and write about it—as well as why they may sometimes choose NOT to put their traumatic experiences into writing. The process of telling our stories can offer healing and even transformation, but often, in a society keen on denial and erasure, there is power in writing our stories and owning them. We are saying, wait a minute, this thing happened. This workshop has less to do with personal healing or transformation and more with identifying which stories we have that “need” to be told and how best to tell them. We will explore various means of representing personal, historical, and communal trauma, from more expected genres like lyric poetry and memoir to less autobiographical approaches including fictionalized narratives, persona poems, and the personal academic.

Panelists will briefly discuss how they identified the traumas they needed to write about and read from their own work, followed by allow ample time for attendees to discuss their own experience with writing around trauma. We will also offer exercises for exploring traumatic experiences.

avatar for Kirsten Porter

Kirsten Porter

Kirsten Porter is a freelance editor, poet, professor, and guest lecturer. She earned an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University. Porter has taught creative writing, composition, and literature studies at Marymount University. Her poetry and teachings focus on women... Read More →

Saturday April 18, 2020 TBA