The Willamette Writers community recently announced the lineup of teachers and keynote speakers for their conference this summer, and for the first time I’m one of them! There are a ton of amazing writers, editors, and agents on that list and I’m honored to be listed alongside them. Plus, I’ve been hearing wonderful things about this conference for a while and I’m excited to attend and absorb some knowledge myself.
The conference takes place July 31 – August 2, 2020 and currently the in-person event in Portland, Oregon is still happening. However, there is now a virtual option for the conference and, if need be, the event will go full virtual.
Here’s the list of my Master Class and Workshops:
Master Class: Describing the “Other”
Thursday, July 30, 9:30 AM-3:30 PM
Writers who want to create fiction with characters from different identities, cultures, and backgrounds often grow anxious when it comes time to describe people from marginalized groups. They wonder which words and phrases they should avoid and which words to use instead. In this Master Class, writers will learn how to avoid these description pitfalls. Through lecture and writing exercises, we’ll go beyond the basics of eliminating food metaphors and other tired/inaccurate clichés and explore how to make conscious, respectful, and inclusive language choices. Writers will come away from the session with a set of resources to help them avoid descriptions that unwittingly reveal or perpetuate bias and oppression. Bring your computer, tablet, or pen and paper for hands-on exercises.
Workshop: Intersectionality and Characterization
Friday, July 31, 3:45 PM-4:45 PM
When writers first conceptualize characters, they often have one or two aspects of identity firmly in mind. In focusing on one particular aspect of identity – such as race or ability or sexual orientation – you can lose sight of the fact that there are always overlapping areas of identity that affect how a character moves through the world. In this workshop, we’ll discuss how Intersectionality can be used as framework for creating fully-dimensional characters, especially when those characters are from identities and cultures different from your own. There will be hands-on writing exercises, so bring your laptop, tablet, or pen and paper.
Workshop: Writing Outside of Your Experience: Characterization
Saturday, August 1, 10:45 AM-12:15 PM
Representation and creating characters that reflect the diversity of the world we all live in is fundamental to writing great fiction. But writers often find it difficult to represent people whose gender, sexual orientation, racial heritage, or other aspect of identity is very different from their own. This can lead to fear of getting it horribly, offensively wrong and, in the face of that, some think it’s better to not even try. But representation is too important to ignore. In this workshop, K. Tempest Bradford will give you tools and set you on the right path to writing characters who represent the “Other” sensitively and convincingly. There will be hands-on writing exercises, so bring your laptop, tablet, or pen and paper.
In addition, I will attend the Writers of Color Social on Saturday morning at 7:30 if there’s an in-person event.
- Online Registration: $299.00
- Full Conference Registration: $559.00
- Friday Only Registration: $284.00
- Saturday & Sunday Only Registration: $404.00
You can find more details and register here. I hope I see some of you, in-person if it’s safe or over the Internet if it’s not, this summer!