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Workshops and Readings

Morning Keynote / Tracy Daugherty

“Magpiety,” a Meditation on the Nature of Literary Inspiration

This talk will explore the impulses and the thought processes behind the elusive concept of inspiration, moving beyond abstractions toward pragmatic approaches to beginning new literary projects, and transforming the objects of the world into poetry or prose.

Afternoon Keynote / Fonda Lee

The Creative Career—Lessons from the First Five Years

Five years ago, Fonda Lee left a decade of working in corporate strategy to become an author. With three award-winning novels published and a fourth book coming out this summer, she reflects on transition and shares valuable lessons learned in the early years of a creative career.

Heather Arndt Anderson

A Feast for the Senses: Applying Literary Devices to Food Writing

Culinary writing can be as beautiful and witty as any literature. This presentation examines successful applications of common literary devices to culinary writing, exploring the works of cookbook authors M.F.K. Fisher, Helen Evans Brown, and more.

José Angel Araguz

Creating the Moon: Poetic Authority and Hybrid Forms

Through a series of exercises and readings of poetry and short prose, this workshop focuses on discussing and identifying ways we can discover what a piece of writing wants us to do through expansive reading and writing. Forms to be discussed include haibun, pillow books (zuihitsu), prose poems, and haiku.

Debby Dodds

Bringing the Funny to Your Writing

We’ll look at a variety of examples of funny writers with varying styles, from different genres. In-class exercises, including some from my background in Improv Comedy, will be taught. I’ll share strategies to magnify humor. Get ready to laugh, chortle, and sniggle and to make others giggle, cackle and guffaw!

Barbara Drake  

What We Can Learn from Ursula Le Guin

Ursula Le Guin helped launch the Terroir Writing Festival nearly ten years ago. She was a prophetic voice in the Oregon literary community, and her example, encouragements, and exhortations continue to speak to us through her written words. Join Barbara Drake in exploring what we can learn from Ursula Le Guin.

Emily Grosvenor

Writing in Real Time: How to Grow an Audience Before Your Project Sees the Light of Day

What if you could use public comments to shape a writing project as it is created? This workshop will look at several best practice examples of writers who have used feedback from the crowd to shape their books – while building an audience for that work in the process.

Lisa Ohlen Harris

The Artifact as Axis

In our conversations and thought life we naturally remember the past, think about the future, and live in the present. But how can the nonfiction writer move around in time without disorienting the reader? Let’s see how a location or artifact can become a concrete axis point that allows timelines to layer and intersect in surprising and delightful ways. Yes, in nonfiction!

Henry Hughes

Writing Above the Crowd

In an age when it seems like there are as many poetry journals as poets, a sea of self- and industry-published books, and thousands of writing workshops, conferences, retreats, and programs, how do writers cultivate and keep faith in their own original work? Does this “crowd” of writers affect the way you write? Do you think your voice matters? Why does it matter?

Gina Ochsner

Drawing From a Deep Well: Tapping into the Source of Your Stories, Essays, and Poems

Writing is an act of faith. But what can a writer do when the words don’t arrive? We will talk about where ideas come from, how to “jump-start” writing when ideas seem absent, and how to develop ideas. Don’t be surprised if you leave this session with several story, essay, or poem starts in hand.

Matthew Robinson

Resisting Defaults: Ways of Unsettling a Narrative

When we write, we naturally fall into familiar patterns of storytelling. The resulting work can become predictable and lacking in tension. In this workshop, we will discover new paths as we study non-linear narratives, practice defamiliarizing all-too-common story elements, and experiment with the physical forms within which we construct our narratives.

Sam Roxas-Chua

Illuminating the Invisible Poem Using Visual Art and Asemic Writing

Learn skills to deeply listen to a poem using visual art and asemic writing. Asemic writing is a unique and open form of script that can awaken and strengthen the relationship with your work. You will be guided in writing exercises with a companioning and contemplative approach.

Marjorie Sandor

Haunted Borders: Exploring the Uncanny through Creative Writing

Playful, productive, and slightly disturbing: the uncanny blurs the line between the real and the imagined, the familiar and the unknown. We’ll get acquainted with the concept and generate some new writing. Our exploration will begin in memories of the domestic interiors of childhood and adolescence. Fiction writers, essayists, and poets all welcome.

Laura Stanfill

From Manuscript to Shelf: The Magic of Small Press Publishing

Small presses often take a hands-on approach, especially when it comes to working with their authors and launching innovative marketing efforts. Laura Stanfill, publisher of Forest Avenue Press, will share how a book moves from the acquisitions phase onto bookstore shelves with an emphasis on building community, supporting other authors, and recruiting allies along the way.

Lolly Ward

Discover your Play: 21 Questions to Ignite your Ideas

Put fresh eyes on a draft or writing concept with techniques that progress your theme toward your goal. A discussion of Aristotle’s 6 dramatic elements lays the groundwork for diving into your own piece. Answer 21 questions that will illuminate your story.


18 Comments leave one →
  1. March 14, 2015 5:47 pm

    I’d like to add I am children’s book author with seven books in publication through traditional publishing houses (Tiger Tales, Sleeping Bear Press and Simon & Schuster UK). I am also published through Highlights for Kids. — Stephanie Shaw

  2. March 14, 2015 5:53 pm

    The Path to Publication Presenation is geared toward the unpublished children’s book writer who is interested in the ins and outs of traditional publication of kid lit. Using my experience as a published author, I will touch on the writing process and then address issues such as resources for polishing work, submitting to publishers, working with an agent, relationships with illustrators and more.

    I welcomes your curiosity about the children’s book industry.

  3. Dorothy Louis permalink
    February 21, 2017 4:11 pm

    There is no description for the Lisa Olen Harris workshop, The Artifact as Axis, what is it about?

    • March 13, 2017 9:51 am

      Hi Dorothy, Lisa Ohlen Harris is not giving a workshop this year.

      • March 14, 2017 1:11 am

        The online registration form and the printable one say different things–that’s where the confusion about Harris comes from.

      • March 28, 2017 9:48 am

        Sorry, I’m confused. Can you send me a link to what you are looking at?

      • April 7, 2017 10:29 am

        It’s been fixed now. It’s just that the online schedule and the printable schedule were slightly different and one had the Harris workshop listed. 🙂

  4. March 31, 2017 4:07 pm

    Hello, is it possible to view the schedule for this event? I cannot seem to find the schedule of the presentations. Many thanks!

    • April 17, 2017 10:16 am

      The schedule is on the registration form here:

      See you soon!

      • nese delzell permalink
        April 13, 2018 11:46 am

        The following is the response when clicking on the link you so kindly provided. 😦 “We are terribly sorry, but the URL you typed no longer exists. It might have been moved or deleted, or perhaps you mistyped it. We suggest searching the site:” Please advise.
        Thank you so much for all the work you are doing, Emily!

  5. March 31, 2017 4:08 pm

    Hello, is it possible to view the schedule for this conference? I cannot seem to find the schedule of these presentations. Thank you!

  6. April 10, 2017 10:07 am

    Thanks for understanding! We are a very small group of volunteers putting this on and sometimes wires get crossed.


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