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Spokane Writers Conference - Introduction to Learning Circles for writers

10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
North Spokane
Conference Room West
Presenter: Library staff 

We’re trying something new and invite you to try it with us! Discover how you can learn with and meet other local writers interested in honing their craft. Learning Circles are free study groups for people who want to take online classes at the same time and in the same room with others.
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Spokane Writers Conference - Re-envisioning fiction: Drafts refocused & reimagined

10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
North Spokane
Conference Room East
Presenter: Polly Buckingham 

What happens after that first, inspired draft of a story? Get ideas for refocusing, restructuring, and further developing your drafts. We run through a series of exercises that asks you to think about your drafts in ways you might not yet have considered. For example, what happens when you think about your story as a dream narrative or consider major world events that might be happening at the same time as your story? Work with writing prompts that allow you to flesh out scenes that might feel flat or dialogue that feels dull. If you have a draft, bring it with you (but a draft is not necessary). 

POLLY BUCKINGHAM was the recipient of a 2014 Washington State Artists Trust fellowship. Her fiction collection The Expense of a View was the 2016 winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize and her chapbook A Year of Silence won the Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award for Fiction in 2014. Her work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Threepenny Review (reprinted at poetrydaily.org), Hanging Loose, Witness, North American Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She is the founding editor of StringTown Press (stringtownpress.org) and teaches creative writing at Eastern Washington University, where she is the editor of Willow Springs Magazine. Learn more at pollybuckingham.com.
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Spokane Writers Conference - Your words on the silver screen: Introduction to screenwriting

10:15 AM - 11:30 AM
North Spokane
Lab
Presenter: John Bladek 

Have you ever wondered what a movie looks like before it’s a movie? In this workshop, we take a look at what makes a screenplay and go over the basics of screenwriting with an emphasis on writing for a visual medium where words come alive. 

JOHN BLADEK holds a PhD in history and is the author of three novels, Roll up the Streets! and Lost in Ghostville for kids and Winterbay Abbey for adults, written with Davonna Juroe and which John has adapted into a screenplay. He has previously presented writing workshops for the library and works with writers and at the EWU Writers’ Center.
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Spokane Writers Conference: All the feels quicker! Deepen emotions in early drafts & become more prolific

10:15 AM - 11:30 AM
North Spokane
Meeting room
Presenter: Asa Maria Bradley 

Most writers have a clear picture of who their protagonists are, but portraying their true emotional depth may take us a few drafts. In this workshop, we’ll explore how to maximize the emotional punch of early drafts and thereby write our way to the final product quicker. We’ll learn tips for understanding the characters’ arcs earlier in the writing process and still leave openings for surprises along the way. Handouts and practical exercises will show you how to increase your productivity by spending a short bit of extra time to get to know your characters before you set them on their adventure. Whether you are a pantser, plotter, or a plantser, this workshop will give you the tools to get to your final draft quicker.

ASA MARIA BRADLEY grew up in Sweden surrounded by archaeology and history steeped in Norse mythology, which inspired her sexy modern-day Viking Warriors paranormal romance series. She also writes urban fantasy that features kick-ass heroines and tension-filled supernatural suspense. Her work has been twice nominated for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA contest and a Romantic Times Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award and has won a Holt Medallion and a Booksellers’ Best Award. In her day job as a college physics professor, she tries to mold young minds into clever scientists and engineers who are excited about learning—with mixed results. You can connect with her at www.asamariabradley.com.
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Spokane Writers Conference - “Snappy dialogue,” they said.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
North Spokane
Conference Room West
Presenter: John Bladek 

In this workshop, we’ll practice writing dialogue for any genre, making it fast-paced and punchy.

JOHN BLADEK holds a PhD in history and is the author of three novels, Roll up the Streets! and Lost in Ghostville for kids and Winterbay Abbey for adults, written with Davonna Juroe and which John has adapted into a screenplay. He has previously presented writing workshops for the library and works with writers and at the EWU Writers’ Center.
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Spokane Writers Conference - Anatomy of Romantic Relationships

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
North Spokane
Conference Room East
Presenter: Asa Maria Bradley 

The most common complaint readers have about fictional relationships is that the romance is not believable. Whether you write romance or science fiction, mystery, young adult, or any genre of fiction, this workshop helps you build the romantic relationship between your characters so that your readers not only believe they should be together but feel like they’re falling in love right along with them. We explore the “12 Steps to Intimacy” to find the appropriate and believable moments for the heat level of your story. Develop your characters’ romantic relationships by “showing”—rather than “telling”—their motivation based on how they interact. Discover how to use the buildup of the romantic relationship to complement the development of the external and internal conflict—upping the stakes and increasing the tension of your story.

ASA MARIA BRADLEY grew up in Sweden surrounded by archaeology and history steeped in Norse mythology, which inspired her sexy modern-day Viking Warriors paranormal romance series. She also writes urban fantasy that features kick-ass heroines and tension-filled supernatural suspense. Her work has been twice nominated for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA contest and a Romantic Times Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award and has won a Holt Medallion and a Booksellers’ Best Award. In her day job as a college physics professor, she tries to mold young minds into clever scientists and engineers who are excited about learning—with mixed results. You can connect with her at www.asamariabradley.com.
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Spokane Writers Conference - Finding a home for your art

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
North Spokane
Lab
Presenter: Megan Rowe 

Learn the ins and outs of submitting to literary journals, including finding the right journal for your work, avoiding common mistakes, and easy ways to set yourself apart! 

MEGAN ROWE was the managing editor for Willow Springs Magazine, a literary magazine for Eastern Washington University’s graduate creative writing program. She currently works as a reporter for The Spokesman-Review.
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Spokane Writers Conference - The alchemy of memory: Bringing lives to life

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
North Spokane
Meeting room
Presenter: Carolyne Wright 

Writers of all genres employ memory, either overtly or covertly, in fragments or in long sweeps of recollection. We explore what Honor Moore calls “the mercurial nature of memory”—life experiences, journal entries, family history, and our reflections thereon— and transform memory into a resource that we can break into, interrogate, embellish, assemble, and re-assemble. Through this creative alchemy, we will turn memories, observations, and insights into story, bringing our lives to life through exercises and suggestion, discovering how to enter the alternative dimension that is memory, and learning to summon and deepen its images, moments, and narratives. The writing we create may be poetry or prose. 

CAROLYNE WRIGHT’s latest book is This Dream the World: New & Selected Poems, from which the title poem received a Pushcart Prize and was included in The Best American Poetry 2009. Her co-edited anthology, Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace, received 10 Pushcart Prize nominations and was a finalist in Foreword Review’s Book of the Year Awards. She is the author of nine previous books and chapbooks of poetry, a book of essays, and five volumes of poetry in translation from Spanish and Bengali—the latest is Map Traces, Blood Traces / Trazas de mapa, trazas de sangre, a bilingual sequence of poems by Seattle-based Chilean poet Eugenia Toledo. She teaches for Richard Hugo House, the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA Program (through 2016), and national and international literary conferences and festivals.
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Spokane Writers Conference - Introduction to Learning Circles for writers

1:45 PM - 2:45 PM
North Spokane
Conference Room West
Presenter: Library staff 

We’re trying something new and invite you to try it with us! Discover how you can learn with and meet other local writers interested in honing their craft. Learning Circles are free study groups for people who want to take online classes at the same time and in the same room with others.
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Registration is open

Spokane Writers Conference - Listen up: Moving from page to stage

1:45 PM - 3:00 PM
North Spokane
Meeting room
Presenter: Carolyne Wright 

We all know stage fright—shaky knees, sweaty palms, stomach butterflies that grow to pterodactyls as we stumble toward the podium to read our work aloud to an audience. But we writers who love working on the page also need to venture onto the stage, to share our writing in public, whether published work or new material we’re trying out for the first time. With basic principles and a bit of practice, this workshop will cover the nuts and bolts of reading aloud—bringing our work, our voices, and ourselves—from page to stage. This workshop is for writers and poets of all ages and levels who wish to read their work aloud for audiences with flair and confidence! 

CAROLYNE WRIGHT’s latest book is This Dream the World: New & Selected Poems, from which the title poem received a Pushcart Prize and was included in The Best American Poetry 2009. Her co-edited anthology, Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace, received 10 Pushcart Prize nominations and was a finalist in Foreword Review’s Book of the Year Awards. She is the author of nine previous books and chapbooks of poetry, a book of essays, and five volumes of poetry in translation from Spanish and Bengali—the latest is Map Traces, Blood Traces / Trazas de mapa, trazas de sangre, a bilingual sequence of poems by Seattle-based Chilean poet Eugenia Toledo. She teaches for Richard Hugo House, the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA Program (through 2016), and national and international literary conferences and festivals.
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Spokane Writers Conference - Polishing your nonfiction proposal

1:45 PM - 2:45 PM
North Spokane
Conference Room East

Presenters: Mary Cronk Farrell, Maureen McQuerry, & Stephen Wallenfels

To sell an agent or editor on your nonfiction book idea, you need a dynamite proposal from first line to last and an irresistible introduction to your topic and yourself. This mini-session is for writers with an idea for a nonfiction book. We go over basic elements of the nonfiction proposal, share work-in-progress proposals, and brainstorm ideas to make them shine. Bring copies of your proposal in whatever stage it may be.

MARY CRONK FARRELL writes award-winning nonfiction about surviving injustice. Her latest book Standing Up Against Hate tells how black women helped America win WWII by confronting discrimination and prejudice in the U.S. Army. Among her titles are Pure Grit, about American nurses surviving Japanese prison camp, and Irena’s Children, the story of Jewish children surviving the Warsaw ghetto. Learn more at www.marycronkfarrell.com.

MAUREEN MCQUERRY’s recent novel Between, Before & After (Blink) is set in 1919 New York and 1955 California and tells a story of resilience and surviving family relationships. Her other novels include The Peculiars, an American Library Association Best Book for YA, the middle-grade fantasy duo Time Out of Time and Beyond the Door, a Booklist Top Ten Fantasy/Sci-fi Book for Youth, and The Telling Stone, a finalist for the Washington State Book Awards. Maureen is a fan of mysteries, magic, and libraries. Learn more at www.maureenmcquerry.com.

STEPHEN WALLENFELS started as a freelance journalist. After a decade of writing nonfiction, he published short stories and novels. Stephen’s realistic fiction for teens tackles surviving the wilderness and our demons within. His novel Bad Call is set in Yosemite National Park, and his most recent novel Deadfall takes place in the mountains of southeastern Oregon. Stephen’s YA science fiction novel, Pod, was published in eight languages and has been adapted into a screenplay. Learn more at www.stephenwallenfels.com.
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Spokane Writers Conference - Querying, pitching, creating back-cover copy: How to best present your story

1:45 PM - 3:00 PM
North Spokane
Lab
Presenter: Asa Maria Bradley 

Learn simple and straightforward techniques to craft a pitch you can use in query letters, one-on-one appointments, and to create back-cover copy. Understand how to hook a reader in only one paragraph, whether they are your readers or agents and editors. Master both elevator pitches and the longer query letter pitch. See examples of how small tweaks changed a query from good to brilliant. Discover what should go before and after your pitch in a query letter and design a template for your query letter before leaving the workshop.

ASA MARIA BRADLEY grew up in Sweden surrounded by archaeology and history steeped in Norse mythology, which inspired her sexy modern-day Viking Warriors paranormal romance series. She also writes urban fantasy that features kick-ass heroines and tension-filled supernatural suspense. Her work has been twice nominated for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA contest and a Romantic Times Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award and has won a Holt Medallion and a Booksellers’ Best Award. In her day job as a college physics professor, she tries to mold young minds into clever scientists and engineers who are excited about learning—with mixed results. You can connect with her at www.asamariabradley.com.
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Spokane Writers Conference - “Where I’m From”: Lists, litanies, & letters

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
North Spokane
Conference Room East
Presenter: Carolyne Wright George Ella Lyon’s poem “Where I’m From” is a favorite prompt in many contexts. We will read this poem and write our own poem or prose about where we’re from—home, family, parents, workspaces, music, food, clothing, sports, schools—or even a letter to someone from our past or present. “Where I’m From” can be a map for our writing journey, and we will make a good start on this journey!

CAROLYNE WRIGHT’s latest book is This Dream the World: New & Selected Poems, from which the title poem received a Pushcart Prize and was included in The Best American Poetry 2009. Her co-edited anthology, Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace, received 10 Pushcart Prize nominations and was a finalist in Foreword Review’s Book of the Year Awards. She is the author of nine previous books and chapbooks of poetry, a book of essays, and five volumes of poetry in translation from Spanish and Bengali—the latest is Map Traces, Blood Traces / Trazas de mapa, trazas de sangre, a bilingual sequence of poems by Seattle-based Chilean poet Eugenia Toledo. She teaches for Richard Hugo House, the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA Program (through 2016), and national and international literary conferences and festivals.
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Registration is open

Spokane Writers Conference - Introduction to Learning Circles for writers

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
North Spokane
Conference Room West
Presenter: Library staff 

We’re trying something new and invite you to try it with us! Discover how you can learn with and meet other local writers interested in honing their craft. Learning Circles are free study groups for people who want to take online classes at the same time and in the same room with others.
View More
Registration is open

Spokane Writers Conference - The stakes must be death: Fueling the emotional core of your story

3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
North Spokane
Meeting room
Presenters: Mary Cronk Farrell, Maureen McQuerry, & Stephen Wallenfels 

Every story is a survival story. To hook your reader and keep them turning the pages, the stakes must be death, whether physical, emotional, or metaphorical. We cover how conflict, micro-tension, and subtext fuel your character’s emotional survival journey. 

With examples from current literature, we’ll discuss how to pinpoint a death threat to your character and strengthen your story’s emotional core. Be prepared for short writing exercises. Come with the seed of a story you’ve always wanted to write, opening pages, or a work in progress. 

MARY CRONK FARRELL writes award-winning nonfiction about surviving injustice. Her latest book Standing Up Against Hate tells how black women helped America win WWII by confronting discrimination and prejudice in the U.S. Army. Among her titles are Pure Grit, about American nurses surviving Japanese prison camp, and Irena’s Children, the story of Jewish children surviving the Warsaw ghetto. Learn more at www.marycronkfarrell.com.

MAUREEN MCQUERRY’s recent novel Between, Before & After (Blink) is set in 1919 New York and 1955 California and tells a story of resilience and surviving family relationships. Her other novels include The Peculiars, an American Library Association Best Book for YA, the middle-grade fantasy duo Time Out of Time and Beyond the Door, a Booklist Top Ten Fantasy/Sci-fi Book for Youth, and The Telling Stone, a finalist for the Washington State Book Awards. Maureen is a fan of mysteries, magic, and libraries. Learn more at www.maureenmcquerry.com.

STEPHEN WALLENFELS started as a freelance journalist. After a decade of writing nonfiction, he published short stories and novels. Stephen’s realistic fiction for teens tackles surviving the wilderness and our demons within. His novel Bad Call is set in Yosemite National Park, and his most recent novel Deadfall takes place in the mountains of southeastern Oregon. Stephen’s YA science fiction novel, Pod, was published in eight languages and has been adapted into a screenplay. Learn more at www.stephenwallenfels.com.
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Spokane Writers Conference - Who said that?: Crafting quality dialogue

3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
North Spokane
Lab
Presenter: Kailee Hoang 

How can we create realistic conversations that feel both believable and vibrant? Often, dialogue can make or break a scene in a story. In this workshop, we take a look at some examples of “good dialogue” and “bad dialogue.” We talk about “said” versus “yelled” versus “cried,” and any other way a character can say or exclaim spoken words, including the positives and negatives of using different dialogue tags. This workshop will provide you with some tools to get your characters conversing in a way that is meaningful and unforgettable. 

KAILEE HAONG is a queer woman of color who primarily writes fiction. She holds an MFA in fiction from Eastern Washington University’s creative writing program. She has held writing workshops for the Spokane County Library District, the Palouse Writers’ Guild, and the Spokane Public Montessori School. For more information, please visit kaileehaong.com.
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Spokane Writers Conference - Don’t you want me baby? Query letters that work

1:15 PM - 2:30 PM
North Spokane
Meeting room
Presenter: Kelly Milner Halls 

In 25 years of writing for magazine and book markets, Kelly Milner Halls has drafted hundreds of successful query letters. Learn her time tested formulas, complete with a take-home handout, in that you can refer to once you get home.

For 10 years, KELLY MILNER HALLS sold magazine nonfiction to children’s magazines and newspaper sections. As a single mother, she had to sell 12 articles a month to pay the bills. After selling more than 1,500 articles, she turned to writing for young reader book markets and has sold more than 50 books, including Tales of the Cryptids, Alien Investigation, Ghostly Evidence, Death Eaters, and her latest book Cryptid Creatures: A Field Guide. She makes her home in Spokane. For more about Kelly, visit her website at www.wondersofweird.com.
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Spokane Writers Conference - The surprise of poetry: Concentration & abandonment

1:15 PM - 2:30 PM
North Spokane
Lab
Presenter: Polly Buckingham 

We enter into that space where everything in language is up for grabs, into a greater state of uncertainty and unknowing. Garcia Lorca writes in his essay “Theory and Function of the Duende,” “Very often intellect is poetry’s enemy because it is too much given to imitation, because it lifts the poet to a throne of sharp edges and makes him oblivious of the fact that he may suddenly be devoured by ants, or a great arsenic lobster may fall on his head.” We will work on reaching a state of deep concentration and abandonment, that space from which the real surprises begin and with them the energy of poetry.

POLLY BUCKINGHAM was the recipient of a 2014 Washington State Artists Trust fellowship. Her fiction collection The Expense of a View was the 2016 winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize and her chapbook A Year of Silence won the Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award for Fiction in 2014. Her work has appeared in The Gettysburg ReviewThe Threepenny Review (reprinted at poetrydaily.org), Hanging LooseWitnessNorth American ReviewAlaska Quarterly ReviewThe Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She is the founding editor of StringTown Press (stringtownpress.org) and teaches creative writing at Eastern Washington University, where she is the editor of Willow Springs Magazine. Learn more at pollybuckingham.com.
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Spokane Writers Conference - Using visual art for inspiration

1:15 PM - 2:15 PM
North Spokane
Conference Room East
Presenter: Erin Pringle Visual artists are often speaking to the same concerns, desires, and problems that writers are in our work. We cover ways of viewing contemporary visual art that inspire ideas on days when creativity feels beyond reach. Be ready to engage in several writing activities.

ERIN PRINGLE is the author of the novel Hezada! I Miss You (forthcoming from Awst Press) and two book-length story collections, The Floating Order and The Whole World at Once. She’s the recipient of an Artist Trust Fellowship in 2012, and her stories have been published in over 100 journals, including Willow Springs MagazineNew York Tyrant, and War, Literature & the Arts. She earned her MFA in fiction writing from Texas State University.
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Spokane Writers Conference - Get. Some. Writing. Done.

3:00 PM - 4:15 PM
North Spokane
Lab
Presenter: Phoebe Brinkley 

It’s tough to get words on the page. Writers often get caught in finding a zillion other things to do instead of actually writing. Sometimes even pre-writing exercises are just another way to not actually write. We get down to the nitty-gritty and get chapters started, right now. Plus, get tips and tricks to keep the momentum going. 

PHOEBE BRINKLEY reads regularly at Auntie’s Bookstore to practice being unafraid of public speaking. She loves to read and write. And she writes what she wishes was available to read. When she thinks of the characters she has made come to life, she smiles. You can read about these characters in her novel Silver Strings.
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Spokane Writers Conference - Introduction to Learning Circles for writers

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
North Spokane
Conference Room West
Presenter: Library staff 

We’re trying something new and invite you to try it with us! Discover how you can learn with and meet other local writers interested in honing their craft. Learning Circles are free study groups for people who want to take online classes at the same time and in the same room with others.
View More
Registration is open

Spokane Writers Conference - Writing with grief

3:00 PM - 4:15 PM
North Spokane
Meeting room
Presenter: Erin Pringle 

Mourning is a long and varied process, which may restrict or dampen creativity. We look at strategies for writing after the loss of a loved one and ways to write with the grief instead of fighting it or feeling overtaken by it. 

ERIN PRINGLE is the author of the novel Hezada! I Miss You (forthcoming from Awst Press) and two book-length story collections, The Floating Order and The Whole World at Once. She’s the recipient of an Artist Trust Fellowship in 2012, and her stories have been published in over 100 journals, including Willow Springs Magazine, New York Tyrant, and War, Literature & the Arts. She earned her MFA in fiction writing from Texas State University.
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