All Levels General Session

Flash Sessions: Lightning Round Talks


Heritage C September 10, 2017 8:45 am - 10:00 am

Bookmark and Share

Lisa Cottrell
Rebecca Fish Ewan
Elane Johnson
Kate Meadows
Lisa Romeo
Sam Schindler

Think flash essays, but in person. A small group of presenters grace the stage and share their passion and knowledge in brief, seven- to ten- minute talks; it’s like PechaKucha.

The Kick-Ass Book Proposal: Sooo Much Easier Than You Thought - Elane Johnson

You’ve got a book proposal to write. You’ve studied the templates. You’ve read the how-to’s. But, it still seems so…daunting, right? Shew, have I got good news for you! After a trillion hours of research, I’ve discovered some easy-to-adapt methods that will have you polishing off a kick-ass book proposal in no time.

View Handout

View Slides

I'll Take Titles for a Thousand, Alex - Lisa Romeo

Do you usually have a perfect title of your short piece of CNF before you type a word of the first draft? Does something spot-on often jump out at you somewhere along the way? Once you’re done? Or are you nearly ready to submit, and–you got nothing?

Titling a piece of literary work can be a lot of fun. But not for everyone. Maybe for you, it’s torture. Titling, though, is worth working on. A fabulous title can transform, enhance, elevate your work. And a lousy title might torpedo it. While editors may change your title, you still need one–and the best are compelling, intriguing, and highly integral to the piece.

In this quick presentation, the act of creating titles will take center stage, including various techniques and tricks that reliably deliver interesting titles that grab editors’ and readers’ attention. Focus will also be on examples, tips, and shortcuts.

View Slides

What We Will Abide: Podcasting My Worldview Through the Stories of Others - Sam Schindler

What We Will Abide is creative nonfiction storytelling through podcasting. In it, Sam Schindler interviews people who address systemic, cultural, political and social problems with local solutions. He asks his subjects: how does the work that you do match (or fail to match) your worldview? In curating these stories that include the realities, missions and experiences of others, Sam is telling own story as well. Increasingly, his story is about connecting with people in varied walks of life. To that end, he’s begun to step outside of his comfort zone to gain a better understanding of the world around him.

This session will introduce the purpose and method of the podcast and will convey the crux of what he’s learned by working on it: By allowing people space to discuss their own ideas, you will almost surely learn something significant about yourself.

How to Build Your Own Writing Community - Lisa Cottrell

Do you wish you had access to a nearby writing community? Do you attend conferences and retreats to bask in the glory of communing with other artists for a few days, only to return home to the solitary life of most writers? Learn how to build your own writing community, make friends, make connections, and maybe even make a few dollars while you’re at it! You’ll learn to leverage your skills as a writer and how to use the free resources that are already available in your area.

When Lisa Cottrell found herself traveling to New York for all things literary and wondering how she could “scratch the itch” a little more conveniently and economically, here’s what she did, what she has built, how and why it worked, and how much she enjoyed every minute of it. You can do it too!

View Slides

Memory and Memoir: How to Navigate Your 'Wiggly Mind' - Kate Meadows

Mary Karr admits in The Art of Memoir that she does not trust her ‘wiggly mind’. Yet memory is one of the primary tools of the memoirist. How does memory work? Why can we often vividly recall some details but not others? How can we use both the elusiveness and the pin-point clarity of memory to our advantage as creative nonfiction writers? This talk will dive into the mysteries of memory, its reliability, and its tensions with truth. We’ll look at how memory has shaped the work of several creative nonfiction writers, including Mary Karr and William Zinsser. Attendees will come away with four ways to handle memory in a creative nonfiction narrative.

View Slides

Drawing Out Words - Rebecca Fish Ewan

As the grand-niece of a Disney animator, Rebecca Fish Ewan grew up drawing cartoons. Her drawings not only distilled the world for her, they created moments of pause in which she could process experiences. She’s been drawing ever since. Drawing is a great tool for writers to help pull out stories, sketch scenes, organize thoughts, remember. Sadly, many writers don’t even doodle, because at one point in their lives they proclaimed: “I can’t draw!” Rebecca says, to quote her favorite Star Trek character, “irrelevant.” For this quick session, Rebecca will share a few ways to sidestep self-judgement and reunite with the pencil as a wonderful drawing instrument for writers.

View Handout