This workshop will explore the theme of home, envisioning through sensory detail and memory, the origin of many of our stories. Through a series of short readings and writing prompts, you will have the opportunity to start several short fiction or creative nonfiction pieces with the author of the short story collection, Carry Her Home.
Caroline Bock’s debut short story collection, Carry Her Home, is the winner of the 2018 Washington Writer’s Publishing House Fiction Prize. She is the author of the young adult novels: Lie (2011) and Before My Eyes (2014) from St. Martin’s Press. Educated at Syracuse University where she studied creative writing with Raymond Carver and Tobias Wolff, she then spent two decades as a cable television executive, and notably, was part of the executive team that launched The Independent Film Channel and IFC Films. For her second act, she earned an MFA in Fiction from The City College of New York, and she was honored with the college’s prize for children’s literature upon graduation in 2011. Recently, her stories have been published in Bethesda Magazine, Delmarva Review, Little Patuxtent Review, Fiction Southeast, Gargoyle, 100 Word Story, and Vestal Review. In 2016, her story won The Writer Magazine short story competition judged by Colum McCann. In 2018, the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County awarded an Artists & Scholars Grant to her for her novel-in-progress. Currently she is a lecturer in the English Department at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. More at www.carolinebockauthor.com or at Twitter @cabockwrites.
“It’s All About Us: Diversity in Speculative Fiction”
Science Fiction Is not just about men in a lab or robots in space ‒ it’s also about us, all of us, our families and our communities. Developments in science and technology affect people of all genders, races, and nationalities, so we should all have a voice in exploring the changes we’ll face. What lies in your future? How will climate change, genetic manipulation, or artificial intelligence affect you in the decades to come? Join us to start imagining ‒ and writing ‒ the world of the future!
Tara Campbell (www.taracampbell.com) is a writer, teacher, Kimbilio Fellow, and fiction editor at Barrelhouse. Prior publication credits include SmokeLong Quarterly, Masters Review, Monkeybicycle, Jellyfish Review, Booth, Strange Horizons, and Escape Pod/Artemis Rising. She is the author of a novel, TreeVolution (2016), a hybrid fiction/poetry collection, Circe’s Bicycle (2018), and a short story collection, Midnight at the Organporium (2019). She received her MFA from American University in 2019.
“Writing the Memoir during a period of Climate Change and Personal Transformation”
E. Ethelbert Miller
When does writing a memoir come with a degree of urgency? How do we write truthfully about the vanishing self? How do we use words to discuss aging, grief, and spiritual growth? What changes for the writer after the memoir is written?
E. Ethelbert Miller is a writer and literary activist. He is the author of two memoirs and several books of poetry including The Collected Poems of E. Ethelbert Miller (2016), a comprehensive collection that represents over 40 years of his work. For 17 years Miller served as the editor of Poet Lore, the oldest poetry magazine published in the United States. His poetry has been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Miller is a two-time Fulbright Senior Specialist Program Fellow to Israel. He holds an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature from Emory and Henry College and has taught at several universities. Miller is host of the weekly WPFW morning radio show On the Margin with E. Ethelbert Miller and host and producer of The Scholars on UDC-TV. In recent years, Miller has been inducted into the 2015 Washington, DC Hall of Fame and awarded the 2016 AWP George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature and the 2016 DC Mayor’s Arts Award for Distinguished Honor. In 2018, he was inducted into Gamma Xi Phi and appointed as an ambassador for the Authors Guild. Miller’s most recent book, If God Invented Baseball (2018), published by City Point Press, was awarded the 2019 Literary Award for poetry by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.
“Making Memoir Matter”
One challenge for many new and experienced memoir writers is how to make their own stories resonate beyond the personal. We will explore artful strategies for pulling history, cultural context, and larger meaning into personal remembrances. We will read and discuss some successful excerpted examples, and try our hand at writing mini-memoirs.
Margaret Talbot has been as a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2004, and was formerly a Contributing Writer at The New York Times Magazine and Executive Editor of The New Republic. Her articles and essays have been anthologized in collections including The Best of the Best American Science Writing and The Art of the Essay. She is a recipient of a Whiting Writers Award and was a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation. Her memoir/biography of her father, stage and screen actor Lyle Talbot, and his times, The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and My Father’s Twentieth Century, was published in 2012. USA Today called The Entertainer a “fascinating social history of America…at the same time, a warm father/daughter story;” and according to Slate, “Talbot has woven a tale as romantic and vivid as any film could hope to be, while still seeing every bit of it plain. She is as clear-eyed about her father as she is about history—no easy feat.”
“How Far Can One Word Take You?”
Mary Kay Zuravleff
Though we try not to repeat ourselves when we write, repetition can be revealing and even profound. Think of songs or the books we read to toddlers. In this workshop, you’ll study examples of one-word wonders—and write your own.
Mary Kay Zuravleff is the author of Man Alive! (2013), which was named a Notable Book by the Washington Post, and two earlier novels, The Bowl Is Already Broken (2005) and The Frequency of Souls (1996). She has won awards from the American Academy of Arts, the James Jones Society, and numerous fellowships from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, including one for 2019. After teaching fiction writing at American, Johns Hopkins, and George Mason Universities, she founded NoveltyDC to coach novelists through their first or final draft. https://noveltydc.com/