All events at the Kachemak Bay Campus unless otherwise noted.

Friday, May 13

3:00-6:00pm: Registration Desk Open

Saturday, May 14

7:00am-noon: Registration Desk Open

8:00-9:00am: Opening Presentation

9:00-10:00am: Keynote Presentation by Jericho Brown
Love Poems No Matter What

10:30-11:30am: Craft Classes

How We See by Marie Mockett

Nature photography these days now includes the aerial view taken by a drone. It’s just a matter of time before writing follows suit. So, how does the way that we see impact what we write about? How can we become even more nimble and profound observers to write with greater perception about the world?

Crafting Dialogue by Marcus Burke

Along with actions and mannerisms, characters express themselves through voice and dialogue. When misused in fiction and nonfiction, dialogue can make stories drag, constrain the author’s use of interesting language, or feel painfully artificial. When used well, it can be devastatingly revealing, dramatic, funny, and efficient. This workshop will explore the ways different writers have used dialogue. Students will also participate in a craft exercise. 

The (or A?) Genuine Article by CMarie Fuhrman       

It seems trivial, the article we assign a noun. But is it? In poems, when every word carries weight, the exchange of an indefinite or definite article (or its complete removal) adds to the tension, layers, and impact, and tone of a poem. Using contemporary poems we will look at the way poets use an article to introduce and uniquely affect the nouns they address, and how their uses can sometimes imply assumed ownership. We will also use this as a revision technique that can guide us into a deeper understanding of what our poems are trying to say.

11:30am-1:00pm: Lunch Break

1:30-2:30pm:

1:30-2:30pm: In Conversation: An Editor and A Literary Agent

Tynan Kogane and Anjali Singh discuss how publishing works and the role of writer, agent, editor, and publisher in bringing a book into the world (in other words, everything you ever wanted to know about getting published)

3:00-5:00pm: Classes in the Community

at the Islands and Oceans Visitor Center parking lot

The Bird is the Word at Beluga Slough with Nancy Lord
Join local writer-naturalist Nancy Lord at the Islands and Oceans Visitor Center parking lot for a birding walk to encounter shorebirds, ducks, geese, and other species near the peak of migration, make naturalist notes, and compose a poem or short reflection.

at the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center

Where the land ends and the sea begins taught by Donna Aderhold
Homer is home to the headquarters and visitor center for the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge (AMNWR) and the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (KBNERR). This community-based class includes exploration of the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center, followed by opportunities to write about and share observations.

8:00pm: Keynote Reading at the Mariner Theater

Sunday, May 15

7:30-8:30am: Silent writing

9:00-10:00am: Craft Classes

Combining the Personal and the Political: Weaving your Stories with the World’s News by Toni Jensen

We’re all influenced by political or topical news—whether as a source of inspiration or outrage. This class provides structures and advice on how to blend the news from the world into your own personal narratives.

Nailing the Arc of your Novel by Chirstina Chiu

Everyone knows a story needs a beginning, middle, and end. But what does that mean when it comes to your particular story, and how do you build that arc? When does our writing advance the story and when does it sabotage our own narrative progression?  Participants will provide examples of their own writing. The workshop will examine telling scenes from different parts of participants’ novels. We will do in-class exercises and discuss the different elements of fiction that apply to your stories, allowing character to drive plot and build your manuscript steadily and organically. 

“A Belief in Angels”: Joy in Poetry by Victoria Chang

What is a poem of joy? Or a line of poetry that evokes joy? In this talk, we’ll think through what joy means, what a poem of joy might look like, and how a poem of joy might affect its readers. In the process, we’ll look at poems by various poets such as Frank O’Hara, Robert Hass, Li-Young Lee, Ross Gay, Elizabeth Bishop, and others.

10:30-11:30am: Jericho Brown’s Craft Talk

Nonsense and Senselessness

11:30am-1:00pm: Lunch Break

1:00-2:00pm: Craft Conversation – Point of View: A Window into the World of Fiction

We often think of fictional narrative simply in terms of it being either plot or character driven, but how to tell the story, and from when and where to tell it, often adds dimension and depth that uniquely enriches everything from character to conflict. Join Christina Chiu and Marcus Burke as they discuss POV in their own work and others’, and learn why and how to use it as a powerful tool in your own work.

2:30-4:30pm: Classes in the Community

At the Homer Public Library

The Children’s Picture Book: Genre and Format, Craft and Art taught by Ann Dixon

In this two-hour session we’ll survey the world of children’s picture books from the point of view of a writer. Bring a favorite picture book to share or choose one when we explore the Homer Public Library’s children’s collection. Bring your questions and a story idea or a work-in-progress if you have one.

At the Pratt Museum

Writing Natural/Cultural History Inspired by Museum Objects taught by Marilyn Sigman

Homer’s Pratt Museum and Park is an accredited and award-winning community museum with a mission of strengthening relationships between people and place through stories relevant to Kachemak Bay. Explore the museum and the challenges of writing stories and narratives that interpret natural and cultural objects from diverse perspectives.  We’ll also share and discuss ways to use museums in your research related to writing nonfiction and historical fiction. 

7:30-8:30pm: Faculty Reading at Alice’s Champagne Palace

Marcus Burke, CMarie Fuhrman, and Marie Mockett

Monday, May 16

7:30-9:30am: Kachemak Bay Cruise

8:00-9:00am: Silent writing

10:30-11:30am: Craft Class

Voice and Intention in Nature Writing by Marie Mutusuki Mockett

How have we been taught to use a particular voice when writing about nature, and how has this constrained what we write about? And how might we break free of such constraints to write something new? This class quickly assesses some of the leading writers of nature in American who have taught us how to speak (Twain, Thoreau, Carson) and examines how these voices have biased us. We then ask how we might break free of the voices they have given us, while also paying tribute to their contributions.

Pre-Writing to avoid Writer’s block by Marcus Burke

Often writers begin drafting with great momentum but once the initial momentum dissipates, writers can be left feeling stuck within their narratives. Often when writers feel stuck it’s due to a lack of knowledge somewhere in the construction of their initial draft. In this workshop, we will discuss and example some prewriting techniques to help writers maintain momentum while working to complete a draft. Writers will also do prewriting exercises to help generate momentum and clarity.  

Mad Libs of Poetry by CMarie Fuhrman

Much of the beauty of poetry is found in unique noun/verb and noun/adjective combinations. The right combination can help us supersede expectations and make the subject new to the reader. Combinations like “shake-guttered raindrops” or “ridden with maggorty” by Robert Wrigley, or “aisle of sound,” by Stafford and “cruel luxuriance” from Harrison, bring a poem off the page and lead us to deeper thinking about the subject, a new seeing. This generative class will include the age-old game of Mad Libs made new with popular poems. Expect laughter and delight–and expect to see your own combinations in a whole new light!

11:30-1:00pm: Lunch Break

1:00-2:15pm: Participant Reading

2:30-3:30pm: Craft Conversation: The Body of Her Poetry

Join poets Victoria Chang and CMarie Fuhrman as they discuss the way popular culture, particularly Mattel and Disney, have shaped the way nonwhite bodies are accepted and (mis)treated. Victoria and CMarie will alternately read and discuss poems that are concerned with exoticism, MMIWG, feminism, as well as the use of persona, humor, and metaphor in writing about women’s bodies.

4:00-5:00pm: Remembrance of Sherry Simpson and Frank Soos

7:30-8:30pm: Faculty Reading at College

Christina Chiu, Victoria Chang, and Toni Jensen

9:00pm: Bonfire at Bishop’s Beach

Tuesday, May 17

7:30-8:30am: Silent Writing

9:00-10:00am: Craft Class

Revising Toward Strangeness by Toni Jensen

Revising a story, whether fictional or nonfictional, can be broken down into a series of choices—whether to move a piece’s language and structure toward the more expected or away from it. This class will focus on strategies and tips for pushing your piece’s language and form toward strangeness or away from the mundane.

How to Use Discouragement as a Motivating Tool by Christina Chiu

Rejection is crushing. Discouragement is real. Even successful authors struggle sometimes. But how do some writers succeed more readily than others? In this workshop, I will discuss strategies, give practical advice, worksheets with a framework for submissions, and show you how to use discouragement as a motivator—not only for your own work, but to help others along the way.

Of Bonsais and Moons: On Making a Book of Poems by Victoria Chang

At some point, you may decide that you would like to do more than write poems, that you might want to assemble an entire collection of your poems. Maybe you decided this even before you began writing your first poem, or after you had written six poems or six hundred poems. In this talk, I’ll provide some thoughts and ruminations on how you might put together your own manuscript of poems. I won’t be providing prescriptive ideas though, but mostly ruminations about process, and hopefully you will walk away with some ideas for your own collection.

10:30-11:30am: Keynote Question and Answer

11:30-1:00pm: Lunch Break

1:00-2:00pm: Craft Conversation – Place and Authenticity with Toni Jensen and Marie Mockett

Two writers discuss the challenges and joys of writing about place and the challenges of relaying authenticity in subject matter and stance. We are both interested in writing about the natural world or rural areas but also in writing the full scope, history and experience of those places. So, how does an author write about place, while also writing against stereotype? And what does it mean to relate to place as a person who is new or who is part of a wave of recent occupation, versus a person who has an indigenous history on the land?

2:30-3:30pm: Closing Address by Alaska State Writer Laureate Heather Lende: “Why Are We Here?”