Craft Talks

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Not a Good Fit: Overcoming Rejection and Learning to Thrive in the Literary World
Sep
19
6:00 PM18:00

Not a Good Fit: Overcoming Rejection and Learning to Thrive in the Literary World

  • L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

We’ve all faced it: the heart-sinking rejection letter informing us that our work is “not a good fit.” How, though, might we turn this dispiriting moment of the writing process into an opportunity?  Join local writers for an evening of back-to-back events on the subject.

6PM: If At First You Don’t Succeed: A Conversation on Persevering Beyond Rejection

 How might we best cope with literary rejection?  And how do we find the path forward?  Join writers and editors Eric Rasmussen, Elizabeth de Cleyre and Katie Venit for a candid conversation on strategies and best practices for transforming “literary lemons” into lemonade.  Moderated by B.J. Hollars.

 7PM: Befriending Failure: Lessons from the Whitman School of Condemnation, Defamation, Denunciation, and Vilification, or So You Think You’ve Been Rejected?

In 1855, only one person on earth considered Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass worthy of publication. That person was Whitman, who printed the book himself. Early reviewers compared the writer to a pig, a goat, a lunatic, and those were the polite reviews.  Two hundred years after Whitman’s birth, the book is widely regarded as one of the great works of American literature. Given that failure is a writer’s constant companion, maybe Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and others can teach us something about not necessarily accepting, but at least befriending failure. Presented by former Wisconsin Poet Laureate Max Garland.  

Special thanks to our co-sponsor, the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library.

Presenter Bios:

Max Garland is the author of The Word We Used for It, winner of the 2017-18 Brittingham Poetry Prize. Other books include The Postal Confessions, winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry; Hunger Wide as Heaven, which won the Cleveland State Poetry Center Open Competition, and a chapbook, Apparition, from the University of Wisconsin Press. His poems, essays, stories, and interviews have appeared in journals such as Poetry, New England Review, Gettysburg Review, and many other journals, anthologies, and newspapers. His poetry has been regularly featured on Wisconsin Public Radio. Garland is a graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and is a former Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing.

Eric Rasmussen didn’t used to get rejected so often, with a nearly perfect record on a lifetime’s worth of job, school, and scholarship applications. But then he started writing. He earned his MFA in fiction from Augsburg University, founded the regional literary journal Barstow & Grand, and was recently hired as the fiction editor for the online journal Sundog Lit. His work has been featured in various publications, including Fugue, Gulf Stream, Pithead Chapel, South Carolina Review, and frequently appears in Volume One. These endeavors, along with his attempts to publish a novel, have earned him somewhere north of 1,300 rejections.

Elizabeth de Cleyre is a writer, editor, creative consultant, clothing designer, personal stylist, bookstore co-founder, and somewhat hard to keep up with.

Katie Venit is a writer in Eau Claire. Her work has been published in Volume One, Wisconsin Life, and many other venues.



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The Surprises of Poetry: Reading and Discussion with Poet Jennifer L. Knox
Apr
10
6:00 PM18:00

The Surprises of Poetry: Reading and Discussion with Poet Jennifer L. Knox

  • L.E. Phillips Mewmorial Public Library (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The New York Times Book Review hailed Jennifer L. Knox’s most recent work, Days of Shame and Failure, as a book that “hits with deceptive ease, all the poetic marks a reader could want: intellectual curiosity, emotional impact, beautiful language, surprising revelation and arresting imagery.” Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, among many other publications. On April 10, join Jennifer for a reading and discussion on the surprises of poetry.

Co-sponsored by the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library and the UW-Eau Claire English Department.

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Everything You Want to Know About Writing for Children (But Were Too Afraid to Ask)
Nov
15
7:00 PM19:00

Everything You Want to Know About Writing for Children (But Were Too Afraid to Ask)

How do you pen the perfect children's book?  And how do you find the perfect press to publish it?  Join children's and middle grade authors Caroline Akervik, Julie Bowe and Becky Wojahn (W.H. Beck) for a panel discussion on a range of topics in the children's writing world: from who hires the illustrator to how to make a living in stories. Moderated by author Rob Reid.

Caroline Akervik is an elementary school librarian and an author of middle grade and young adult fiction. She agrees with C.S. Lewis that "A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest." Her works include White Pine, A Horse Named Viking, and the soon-to-be released young adult novella, Summer Snow. Caroline and her sister, Ruth Rankin, are coauthors of the Halcyon: A Sentinel Novel, a young adult science fiction novel.

Julie Bowe is the author of the Friends for Keeps series and the Victoria Torres, Unfortunately Average series. Her first novel, My Last Best Friend, won the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People and was a 2010 Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program book. Her newest middle-grade novel, Big & Little Questions (According to Wren Jo Byrd), is receiving a warm welcome from reviewers, including a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

W.H. Beck (Becky Wojahn) is the author of award-winning humorous middle grade mysteries, like Malcolm at Midnight and Malcolm Under the Stars, and nonfiction picture books, like Glow: Animals with Their Own Night-Lights. She likes her stories with a dose of mystery and a dash of wonder.

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Rendering Reality: Writing with Honesty and Complexity in Memoir
Mar
22
7:00 PM19:00

Rendering Reality: Writing with Honesty and Complexity in Memoir

In Mary Karr’s The Art of Memoir she states, “In memoir the heart is in the brain . . . self-awareness and faith in the power of truth gives you courage to reveal whatever you unearth” regardless of how you come out looking. This craft talk will focus on how using scene, form, and revision can help memoir and nonfiction writers represent themselves, their companions, and place with honesty and complexity. Using her experience writing Daughter in Retrograde: A Memoir Courtney will share her own process and answer questions.

Courtney Kersten is the author of Daughter in Retrograde a memoir forthcoming from the University of Wisconsin Press in 2018. Her essays can be seen or are forthcoming from River Teeth, Brevity, The Normal School, Hotel Amerika, DIAGRAM, The Sonora Review, Black Warrior Review, The Master’s Review, and elsewhere.Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, an AWP Intro Award, and she was the 2016 Writer-In-Residence at the Great Basin Writer’s Residency in Baker, Nevada. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Idaho where she was awarded a Grace/Nixon Fellowship and the Writing in the Wild Fellowship. She has also been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Riga, Latvia, where she researched Baltic performing arts and literature. 

If you need a sign language interpreter for this event, contact chippewavalleywritersguild@gmail.com a week ahead and we’ll try our best to make it happen.”

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This We Believe: On the Transformative Power of Words
Dec
14
6:00 PM18:00

This We Believe: On the Transformative Power of Words

Words hold weight, and when used effectively, have the power to heal, help, and inspire.  But how do we find the right words to address the most pressing moral issues of our day?  How can we “preach the gospel” of tolerance, diversity, and inclusivity without moralizing the message? Join representatives and religious scholars from a spectrum of faiths for a conversation and craft talk on how we can change our world for the better, one word at a time.  This event made possible by the generous support of the  Mahmoud S. Taman Foundation

Featured Panelists:

Bob Lesniewski oblSB is a Benedictine Oblate. Bob now follows the daily " Rule of St.Benedict" that includes prayer, work and service, Lectio Divina, quiet time for reflection and conversation with God.  Bob is the retired Area Director for Special Olympics. Currently he is a sub Teacher and Organizer for the Inter-Faith Prayer Services.

Rev. Julianne Lepp is the Minister for the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Eau Claire. She graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1996 with a B.A. in International Studies and a minor in Psychology. Her previous professional experience was primarily in finance.Graduating from Candler School of Theology in May 2010 with a Masters in Divinity, she concentrated on themes of Leadership and Community. While in seminary she also completed her UUA ministerial internship at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Atlanta where she gained rich experiences in religious education, worship, justice work, and small group ministry. While in Atlanta, Julianne also worked as a summer chaplain at Crossroads Community Homeless Ministry.

Dr. Asha Sen is a professor of postcolonial studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.  Her recent monograph *Postcolonial Yearning: Reshaping Spiritual and Secular Discourses in Contemporary Literature* (Palgrave MacMillan, 2013) focuses on the ways in which postcolonial aesthetics are becoming more influenced by faith-based traditions like Sufism and Buddhism.  She is currently engaged in researching the adoption of spiritual traditions by postcolonial women authors in their attempts at effecting social change. 

Dr. Charlene Burns is Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where she has taught since 2001. She is the author of three books, more than forty journal articles, and editor of one volume of essays. She is currently working on her next book which explores the life and sermons of the Right Reverend Stephen Elliott, first bishop of Georgia (1841-1866) and the Presiding Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church, Confederate States of America to reveal the ways Christians have interpreted scripture to justify slavery and warfare.

 

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Write Here, Write Now: A Celebration of Local Writing
Nov
11
1:00 PM13:00

Write Here, Write Now: A Celebration of Local Writing

  • L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire will highlight the local writing scene and writer resources at an upcoming event, “Write Here, Write Now: A Celebration of Local Writing,” on Saturday, November 11 starting at 1 p.m. The library will host several panel presentations by local writers and publishers as well as a writers reception. Then, the celebration will make its way down Dewey Street to The Gallery at The Oxbow for a public reading by selected local authors. All events are free of charge; books will be available to purchase.

Click here or see below for a complete list of panels and presentations.

Meet the Chippewa Valley Local Authors
1–1:45 p.m. | Eau Claire Room
Panelists: Julie Court, Dennis Miller, Steve Nelson, CeCelia Zorn. Moderated by Bill Callaghan.

The ABC’s of Reading: A Practical Guide to the Art and Deadly Craft of the Literary Reading
2–2:45 p.m. | Eau Claire Room
Panelists: Max Garland, BJ Hollars, Katie Vagnino

Publishing Near and Far: A Conversation on Finding the Right “Fit” for Your Work
3–3:45 p.m. | Eau Claire Room
Panelists: Eric Rasmussen, Jason Splichal, Bruce Taylor, Serena Wagner, Alexander Zitzner.

Writers Reception
4–4:45 p.m. | Art Gallery, Second Floor Mezzanine

Writers Read
5:30–6:30 | The Gallery @ The Oxbow

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Julian Emerson, Dan Lyksett and Eric Lindquist present, "The Art of the Interview: Listening, Reporting, and Meeting a Deadline"
May
11
7:00 PM19:00

Julian Emerson, Dan Lyksett and Eric Lindquist present, "The Art of the Interview: Listening, Reporting, and Meeting a Deadline"

How do you find the heart of a human story?  To get to the bottom of the hard-to-find truth?  Join veteran Leader-Telegram reporters Julian Emerson, Dan Lyksett and Eric Lindquist as they offer tips and tricks for writing nonfiction, uncovering the story, and most of all, forging professional relationships with subjects."

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Charles Payseur presents, "Why Speculate? The Art and Power of Speculative Fiction"
Apr
27
7:00 PM19:00

Charles Payseur presents, "Why Speculate? The Art and Power of Speculative Fiction"

  • L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Speculative fiction is a strange catch-all genre. What does it mean? What counts as speculative fiction and (perhaps more importantly) how do you write it and sell it? From science fiction to fantasy to horror, speculative fiction is a wide field that thrives on imagining different worlds, and on imagining our world differently. Find out if speculative fiction is right for you and discover your own answer to the question, "Why speculate?"

Click here to read Charles's work.

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Eric Rasmussen presents, "The People You Meet When You Write: Tips For Cultivating Your Most Important Asset As A Writer"
Mar
16
7:00 PM19:00

Eric Rasmussen presents, "The People You Meet When You Write: Tips For Cultivating Your Most Important Asset As A Writer"

Writers need other writers. We challenge each other. We commiserate with each other. We connect and network and create opportunities for each other. Putting words on a page may be a solitary pursuit, but becoming a better (and published!) writer is not. This craft talk will feature a discussion of opportunities for connecting with writers locally, nationally, and online.  Participants will receive tips for making the most of those connections, maximizing the time they have available for writing communities, and how to turn those investments into writing and publishing success.

To read Eric's work click here.

 

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Allyson Loomis presents, "The Presence of Mine Enemies: Villains and Bad Apples in Stories"
Feb
23
5:30 PM17:30

Allyson Loomis presents, "The Presence of Mine Enemies: Villains and Bad Apples in Stories"

All stories are fueled by conflict, but in some stories that conflict can be personified as a villain, a bad apple, an agitator, a liar, a usurper, a creep.  In this session we will talk about the uses of villains in stirring up stories, and how one might go about creating a villain, employing a villain and maybe even humanizing a villain.  We'll look at different sorts of entry points for villains in stories and how one might hope to neutralize a villain, in the end.

How BAD can you be?  Come join Allyson Loomis and your fellow writers to find out!

To sign up for Allyson's summer residency at Cirenaica ("Stranger than Fiction: On Writing Narrative Nonfiction and Memoir"), click here!

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Drs. Katherine Schneider and CeCelia Zorn present, "Is Self-Publishing for You?"
Jan
19
7:00 PM19:00

Drs. Katherine Schneider and CeCelia Zorn present, "Is Self-Publishing for You?"

Join Drs. Katherine Schneider and CeCelia Zorn-- both local, self-published authors-- as they explore the many facets of self-publishing  to help you decide if it's for you.  Presenters will describe the pros and cons of self-publishing, as well as offer insight on crucial author decisions, from choosing a publisher to marketing one's book.  

If you need disability accommodation for the program, please contact Katherine Schneider two weeks in advance of the session at schneiks@uwec.edu.

Facebook event

For more on Kathie's work, click here.

For more on CeCelia's work, click here.

Photo credit: www.literalis.net

 

 

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Where Songs Come From: A Songwriter's Craft Talk
Nov
17
6:00 PM18:00

Where Songs Come From: A Songwriter's Craft Talk

  • The Local Store & Volume One Gallery (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Three prolific local songwriters, Billy Krause, Jerrika Mighelle, and Evan Middlesworth will share some of their songs, and discuss the perils and pleasures (but also the nuts and bolts) of songwriting—what comes easy, what comes hard, using examples from their own recent compositions. The event will be moderated by former Wisconsin Poet Laureate, and current Eau Claire Writer-in-Residence Max Garland.

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Your Novel Starts Now: How to Tackle National Novel Writing Month
Oct
20
7:00 PM19:00

Your Novel Starts Now: How to Tackle National Novel Writing Month

  • L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
Aimee Johnson

Aimee Johnson

Is there a novel inside you? Let it out this November by taking on the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge! For all writers (from aspiring to published), the goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Impossible? Not at all. NaNoWriMo is just the motivation you need to write that novel trapped inside you! Learn how NaNoWriMo works, how to prepare for it, and get helpful tips and tricks from Aimee Johnson - a participant for 10 years running and the Municipal Liaison for the Eau Claire regional NaNoWriMo chapter.

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Ushering Your Book Into The World: Finding the Right Agent to Represent Your Work
Sep
22
7:00 PM19:00

Ushering Your Book Into The World: Finding the Right Agent to Represent Your Work

  • The Local Store & Volume One Gallery (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Now that you’ve written my manuscript, what do you do next?  Join literary agent Erik Hane of the Minneapolis-based literary agency Red Sofa Literary for an evening of questions, conversations and discussions on what it takes to find the right agent to bring your book into the world

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