• Young Writers Conference
  • Young Writers Conference
  • Young Writers Conference
  • Young Writers Conference

Young Writers Conference

  • Young Writers Conference
  • Young Writers Conference
  • Young Writers Conference
  • Young Writers Conference

 

Date: Friday, November 10, 2017

Time: 8:30am-3:00pm

Location: Boling University Center

Student Registration
Teacher Registration

 

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Introduction

This one-day conference, designed primarily for students in grades 9-12, offers a series of writing workshops taught by UT Martin faculty and visiting writer, Hollie Deese. Students can attend hands-in workshops in writing poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, as well as songwriting, literary analysis, film analysis, and producing resumes. Other events include a luncheon, a keynote address by Hollie Deese, and an open-min reading for students. Students will have an opportunity to read works created during the conference or other original writing created at home or in school. Throughout the day students will create pieces of writing, connect with other young writers from the region and learn from outstanding writers and teachers of writing. The conference is sponsored by the UT Martin Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages with help from the West Tennessee Writing Project.

 

The conference fee is $12 for students and free for teachers and includes all workshops, readings, and lunch. The conference is open to outstanding students recommended by their teachers on the basis of academic achievement and artistic promise. Teachers may attend the student’s workshops, along with their studnets. We do ask that recommending teachers follow their school’s policies in arranging for parent/guardian permissions for students who will be attending the conference.

 

Registration is limited to 200 participants on a first come, first served basis. Registration forms must be received by Friday, November 3rd, along with payment for the conference registration fee. Checks should be made payable to UT Martin.

 

Schedule

8:30-9:00 Check-in and Registration, Watkins Auditorium Lobby, Boling University Center

Concurrent Sessions

9:00-10:30

  • Covering Content Outside Your Comfort Zone – Hollie Deese
  • Myths about Writing – Kelle Alden
  • Writing the Narrative of Chivalry: Then and Now – Daniel Pigg
  • Decoding Mysterious Allegories – Chris Hill
  • Tales of Travelling – Lucia Florido
  • “Muses of the Heart:” a Songwriting Workshop I – David Carithers
  • Erasing Boundaries: Poetry Found Around the House – Sally Brannen

10:45am-12:15pm

  • Practical Advice: What it Takes to Write a Young Adult Novel – Merry Brown
  • Resumes: Your Key to Gainful Employment – Trisha Capansky
  • Building Tiny Poems – Leslie LaChance
  • “Muses of the Heart:” a Songwriting Workshop II – David Caithers
  • Writing from Behind the Mask – John Galyean
  • “We Wrote it Together”: a Collaborative Writing Exploration – Heidi Huse
  • Moving Pictures to the Page: Writing about Film – John Glass

12:30pm-1:45pm Lunch and Keynote Address by Hollie Deese, University Center Ballroom

 

2:00pm-3:00pm Open-mic Student Reading, Legislative Chamber, Room 111 University Center

 

Guest Writer

Hollie Deese studied magazine journalism at Columbia College in Chicago, interning at CS Modern Luxury and Chicago magazines before moving to Nashville in 2003 to work in the custom publication department of The Tennessean to help conceive and launch magazines. She spent five years within the company in a number of roles: covering community news for Rutherford AM, building the young reader publication All The Rage and working the home and style beat for The Tennessean. In 2008, she left the paper to raise her children and grow her freelance career. In that time she wrote for the Nashville Ledger, Nashville Parent, Parade, Spry Living, Out Here, AARP Bulletin, and multiple USA Today publications. She has won a number of Tennessee Press Awards for her coverage of everything from breast cancer to special occasions. She recently left her position as the editor-in-chief of Your Sumner magazine to become publisher of Nashville Interiors magazine. She still covers news for papers statewide (Knoxville Ledger, Hamilton County Times), writes features for national magazines and is a stringer for The New York Times, where she most recently wrote about the eclipse.

 

Student Workshops: 9:00-10:30

Covering Content Outside Your Comfort Zone – Hollie Deese

It is absolutely a benefit in your writing career to have a “beat” for many reasons – the ability to cultivate longtime sources and gain a deep understanding of the subject matter, and of course, just getting into a groove. After all, the more you write the better you get. However, it’s imperative to reach outside your comfort zone to work on stories that are completely different and probably a bit intimidating. It pushes your skills, breaking you out of what can turn into almost a formulaic way of writing. It also broadens your network in an ever-changing media landscape. In this workshop, we will go over how to build trusted sources in your preferred beat and how to leverage that into gaining the trust of new sources. Each student will then conduct an interview and work on a news or feature article outside their comfort zone.

Myths about Writing – Kelle Alden

We’ve all seen the stereotypical descriptions of writers: men of genius who, despite suffering from mental illness, barricade themselves in their New York City studios with their drink and their typewriters, churning out works of genius on their first drafts. But what do real writers look like, and how do they work? In this workshop, we will look at real writers’ descriptions and their process and develop a better understanding of the effort that goes into planning, drafting, and revising works of fiction. We will also try out one of the writing exercises recommended by these authors.

Writing the Narrative of Chivalry: Then and Now – Daniel Pigg

The world of knights with the chivalric behavior has fascinated readers from the Middle Ages to today. From the works of Sir Thomas Malory to one of the latest modern chivalric novels by Jay Rudd, Fatal Feast, readers can find the world of the medieval romance, focusing on adventure and a cast of characters that fill an imaginary world. In this session, we will not only learn some of the key characteristics of this genre of writing-some of its formulas-but we will also be able to engage in this kind of writing. After our period of writing, we can share our developing chivalric stories. Please note that chivalric stories often developed over centuries, so in our brief time, we are merely getting a start on a new decade or century of adventure writing!

Decoding Mysterious Allegories – Chris Hill

In this workshop, we will encounter various ancient and modern examples of a unique and powerful intersection of imagery, symbol, and purpose: the allegory. We find allegory in old poems, long stories, fairy tales, science fiction, and all kinds of visual arts. What can seem difficult when looking at allegory as if it were a set of riddles can be much more fun when we look at it as an opportunity to make connections between all kinds of things we already know. And the best part is, we know a lot more that we think! We will even try our hand at making little allegorical “frames” of our own.

Tales of Travelling - Lúcia Flórido

Be it Paris, Tennessee, or Paris, France, everybody has been somewhere. You don’t need to cross an ocean to have a story to tell. After all, the way a story is told is often more interesting than the place visited. With this in mind, students will look at some examples (from blogs to classic texts, from funny to philosophical tales) and consider what makes a compelling travel narrative. Following that, they will be asked to write and share the first paragraphs of their own travel story, building on the points we have seen and discussed.

“Muses of the Heart:” a Songwriting Workshop I – David Carithers

Musically- inclined people often have pieces of songs in their hearts and ideas for original arrangements in their heads, but how do we bring these fragments together to form a whole song for others to hear and enjoy? This workshop will begin to tackle that question with Carithers discussing his creative influences, offering advice to aspiring songwriters, and sharing one of his original songs. Participants will then have time to create new songs (in groups or individually) or to revise materials in progress and share their works with the group. Participants are also encouraged to share their new material from the workshop at the open mic session at 2:00 p.m. A limited number of instruments will be available (e.g. one or two guitars), so musicians are encouraged to bring their own. No musical training is required for this session and all styles of music and songwriting are welcome.

Erasing Boundaries: Poetry Found Around the House – Sally Brannen

You’ll take familiar (and not so familiar) texts and like a rogue graffiti artist, transform them into your own new poetic works that you’ll have an opportunity to share. You’ll never look at a stack of words the same way again as the thoughtful process can add new meaning and can mock, celebrate, counter, or refine original text.

 

Student Workshops: 10:45 -12:15

Practical Advice: What it Takes to Write a Young Adult Novel – Merry Brown

Are you interested in learning about the process of writing a young adult book? Do you want to know what makes a book a “young adult” book instead of something else? Do you want to know how long your book should be? What should you do if (when!) you get stuck and/or bored with your story? What do you do once you’ve finished your book? (For that matter, how do you know when you’re done?) How do you get published? If you answer yes to any of the preceding questions, join our session!

Resumes: Your Key to Gainful Employment – Trisha Capansky

At this point in your life, the most important form of technical communication that you’ll be writing is your resume. Think about it. That single sheet of paper can determine what kind of car you drive, neighborhood you live in, clothes you wear, food you eat, vacations you take, and the overall quality of life you have. You submit a resume because you are looking for a particular position within a particular profession, right? Well, if the reader (i.e. your potential employer) rejects the resume for whatever reason, you won’t be called in for an interview. Thus, there goes your chance at getting the job! This session will provide you with tips on resume development.

“Muses of the Heart:” a Songwriting Workshop II – David Carithers

Musically- inclined people often have pieces of songs in their hearts and ideas for original arrangements in their heads, but how do we bring these fragments together to form a whole song for others to hear and enjoy? This workshop will begin to tackle that question with Carithers discussing his creative influences, offering advice to aspiring songwriters, and sharing one of his original songs. Participants will then have time to create new songs (in groups or individually) or to revise materials in progress and share their works with the group. Participants are also encouraged to share their new material from the workshop at the open mic session at 2:00 p.m. A limited number of instruments will be available (e.g. one or two guitars), so musicians are encouraged to bring their own. No musical training is required for this session and all styles of music and songwriting are welcome.

Writing From Behind the Mask – John Galyean

The main character of your story is right in the room. However, that character is hiding behind a mask. Is “hide” the right word? Do we use masks to hide, to mislead, or to protect our precious identities? What is it about masks that intrigue us, frustrate us, even scare us? Interview the masked subject. Ask them any and all things about themselves except what their face looks like. Then write a description of the person’s face in detail, as well as the opening of a story based on the character you have created. Justify your character’s behavior based only on what you have imagined they look like- behind the mask.

“We Wrote it Together”: a Collaborative Writing Experience – Heidi Huse

Everyone hates collaborative projects. Well, let’s have some fun writing with other writers for a change, to see how merging your own creative genius with others’ words can sometimes soar beyond what you might have crafted individually. You’ll have a chance to write with classmates, friends, or teachers, as well as with total strangers. And the sky’s the limit for what you can write with others in this workshop: poetry, a short story, a persuasive essay or inspiring speech, and/or even a one-act screenplay! Then you and your artistic co-creator(s) will have the opportunity to share your work together at the open-mic session after lunch.

Moving Pictures to the Page: Writing about Film – John Glass

In a world…where the moving image is everywhere what do you need to know to understand and write about film? Writing well about film means recognizing and conveying in words the complexity of what we see on the screen. In this workshop we’ll look at some famous scenes from movies we probably all know, and we’ll talk about how those scenes are constructed to create specific effects on audiences. We’ll discuss some approaches to and strategies for writing about visual images, and then analyze a scene or two on our own. This should be fun.

Building Tiny Poems – Leslie LaChance

Currently, there is an architectural trend in the U.S. favoring tiny homes, those little one-room houses in which residents aim to do more with less. In this workshop, we’re going to study the architecture of tiny poems to discover how poets do more with less. Then, we will try our hands at building some time poems of our own, such as the haiku, fibonacci, cinquain, diamante, epigram, and others. Our task will be to create poems that live in small spaces, doing more with less.

 

Workshop Leaders

Kelle Alden is an Assistant Professor of English and the Director of the Writing Center at UTM. She enjoys writing both fiction and non-fiction, and she often takes the opportunity to shamelessly plug the UTM Writing Center, which is free for students and a great place to go for assistance with any part of the writing process.

 

Sally Brannen is a lecturer in English at UT Martin and a recipient of a Kentucky Arts Council grant for her poetry. Her poetty has appeared in journals such as Alligator Juniper and Nibble. She received her B.S. in English (technical writing) and M.A. in English (creative writing) from Murray State University. Her hobbies include collecting antique radioactive Vaseline glass, caring for her semi-feral boyfriend and cats, and practicing a dedicated and passionate avoidance of spiders.

 

Merry Brown was born and raised in Bakersfield, California, and now lives in the northwest corner of Tennessee with her husband and three boys. She teaches philosophy at UT Martin, where she counts it a great privilege and joy to introduce students to perennial questions about the nature of the universe, meaning, morality, and the human condition. Merry Brown’s love of philosophy and young adult paranormal fiction inspired her to write her first novel, The Knowers, published in 2012. She is the author of six YA novels and is working on the fourth (and final) book in the Four Families series.

 

Trisha Capansky teaches technical communication and business writing at UT Martin. Before entering academia, Capansky’s career involved working for several newspapers as a government reporter, and more recently as an urban planner for a municipality, where she regulated land use and developed a cleanup program for blighted residential areas. Capansky’s interest in government also involves the application of nation building through communication platforms. Her studies have led to articles about cellular phone and internet usage in South Sudan, and she has a forthcoming book chapter, which expands the study to Uganda.

 

David Carithers has taught at UT Martin since 2004, where he is an Associate Professor of English, Chair of the Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages, and Director of the West Tennessee Writing Project. David received his M.A. from Western Carolina University and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. David is a member of two local bands, the UT Martin House Band and the Ivory Tower of Power.

 

Lúcia Flórido, Associate Professor of French. Dr. Flórido’s main academic interests are the literatures from French speaking countries and the existential conflicts Francophone authors convey through their writings. When she is not teaching, reading or doing research, Flórido spends time with her four dogs and bird. She loves animals and, in her spare time, she volunteers with a dog rescue organization.

 

John Galyean is a Consultant in UTM’s Hortense Parrish Writing Center. His background is in Communication and Theatre, with B.A.’s from Ohio Wesleyan University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Bowling Green State University. He has recently performed his children’s book, Musk Ox, Marmot, and Pika, Too, to children in his native Graves County, Kentucky. John likes to draw cartoons, play guitar and percussion instruments, and worry.

 

John Glass teaches English and, when they let him, French at UTM. His French degree work is on Medieval French epic poetry, and his English degree work focused on Southern and Modernist literature. He still teaches and reads a lot of older stuff too, like Homer and Virgil. For the past three years, Glass has organized the Young Writers Conference, and this year he’s glad to be helping out with a workshop on writing about film. He hopes vurrrrry much that he can live up to the standards for that YWC workshop set by Dr. Longacre in past years.

 

Chris Hill has been at UT Martin for nine years, teaching Shakespeare and Spenser and lot of other old books. He received his Ph.D. in English Literature at the University of North Carolina in 2005. He is the faculty sponsor for UT Martin’s student publication, Beanswitch. Other interests include bicycles, barbecue, and the beach.

 

Heidi Huse has been teaching writing and rhetoric courses in the UT Martin Department of EMFL for 16 years. She is currently the First-year Composition Coordinator and faculty advisor of the UT Martin chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, an international English honor society. Her own writing centers in reflective and persuasive essays, blogging, and rhetorical analysis. Heidi is a peace and animal advocate and a vegan. She supports civic engagement and sustainable living on campus, in the local community, and globally.

 

Leslie LaChance is a poet, essayist, editor, and educator. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee and teaches film, literature, and writing classes at Volunteer State Community College.

 

Dan Pigg is a Professor of English at UT Martin. His Ph.D. work at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and at the University of York (UK) focused on medieval British literature. Long an admirer of King Arthur and the mythic tales that developed in Europe during the high and late Middle Ages, he regularly teaches a first-year writing course that focuses on chivalry from the fourteenth century to the present. In that class, students begin the course with writing their own chivalric narrative. He will lead his session today in writing a chivalric narrative—the world of knights, ladies, noble quests, high ideals, and human realities.

 

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