Clarksville, Tennessee, was a pivotal center of the Southern Renaissance of the 1920s and '30s. Writers of the era living in Clarksville included Robert Penn Warren, Evelyn Scott, Caroline Gordon and Allen Tate. Additional writers, including Cleanth Brooks, Ford Madox Ford, Donald Davidson, Katherine Ann Porter, Robert Lowell, Andrew Lytle, Malcolm Cowley, Frances and Brainard Cheney and others gathered to write and discuss their work at "Benfolly," Tate and Gordon's home overlooking the banks of the Cumberland River. Their Clarksville home became a Mecca for writers of the Southern Renaissance, and from that site poured literature which enriched the American scene. In that great tradition, we offer you the Eleventh Annual Clarksville Writers Conference.

 



Thursday, June 4, 2015
CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS / WORKSHOPS
Austin Peay State University's Morgan University Center, Third Floor
601 College Street, Clarksville

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8:30am - 9:00am
REGISTRATION AND MORNING REFRESHMENTS

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9:00am - 10:15am
PRESENTATIONS/WORKSHOPS

RM A - Stuart Horwitz "The Three Drafts: Reaching the Finish Line"
It's the age-old battle between the outliners and the pantsers — those who meticulously script every writing session, and those who pilot solely by feel. Of course, as in any such debate the answer is always unique to you, the writer. The goal is the same for everyone: to befriend the inner critics and complete a manuscript. In this workshop we will discuss a three draft process for getting to the finish line — the most challenging milestone any writer has to face.

RM B - Carol Ponder & Robert Kiefer "My Father's War: A Story of War, Survival and Grace"
On July 4, 1989, Lieutenant Herschel Ponder wrote to his three daughters, "...I had a sudden urge to tell you about my war, World War II — and the subsequent coping — my peace." From his resulting memoir, Ponder Anew, Lt. Ponder's daughter, Carol, and her husband, Robert Kiefer, created a readers theatre production by choosing material from the memoir, writing a narrative context for the story, and choosing and arranging contextual music and songs. In this workshop, Carol and Robert will perform the 45-minute version of the play, a stellar example of the "page to stage" process when working with historic material, and begin the writing workshop with a general discussion and personal freewriting.

RM C - Appointments with literary agent Ken Sherman
Manuscript consultations are available at no additional cost to presentation and workshop attendees. Appointments may be made on a first-come, first-served basis at the time of registration.

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10:30am - 11:45am
PRESENTATIONS/WORKSHOPS

RM A - Rod Davis "Where'd You Come From? Creating Characters Out of Thin Air in Your Own Head"
In finding the right characters, it's not what you know, but who you know. So be careful in there.

RM B - Carol Ponder & Robert Kiefer "My Father's War: Your Memoir"
In this continuation of their first workshop, Carol and Robert will lead you through a creative writing process inspired by your response to the first workshop as a way also to explore the structure and impact of the piece. You will leave the two workshops with a sense of how theatre can make historic information come alive; the outline of a process through which to adapt primary documents into performance pieces; and a small work of art you've created — a slam poem or short memoir piece, with suggestions for approaching the performance of your written work. Note: The first workshop is a prerequisite for participation in this workshop.

RM C - Appointments with literary agent Ken Sherman
Manuscript consultations are available at no additional cost to presentation and workshop attendees. Appointments may be made on a first-come, first-served basis at the time of registration.

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NOON - 1:00pm
LUNCH
Barry Kitterman

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1:15pm - 2:30pm
PRESENTATIONS/WORKSHOPS

RM A - Bob Mayer "The Original Idea: The Heart of Your Story and Key to Selling Your Book" and "Conflict: The Fuel of Your Story"
Can you say what your book is about in 25 words or less? This is essential to both writing a tight book and then selling it. We'll discuss ways to find and state your original idea so that you stay on course while writing the book and with which you can excite those you tell it to when trying to sell it. Conflict drives your story. Not only must conflict escalate throughout the entire novel, every single scene must have conflict in it. The Conflict Box is an effective technique for focusing your story on the protagonist, antagonist, their goals and finding out if you have the necessary conflict lock.

RM B - Karen Skolfield "Frost in the Low Areas: Poetry Reading with Q&A"
Skolfield will read poems from her debut, Frost in the Low Areas, winner of the 2014 PEN New England Award in poetry and the First Book Award from Zone 3 Press, with a question and answer session to follow.

RM C - Appointments with literary agent Ken Sherman
Manuscript consultations are available at no additional cost to presentation and workshop attendees. Appointments may be made on a first-come, first-served basis at the time of registration.

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2:45pm - 4:00pm
PRESENTATIONS/WORKSHOPS

RM A - Amy Greene "Long Man: Reading with Q&A"
Greene will discuss and read from her second novel Long Man, named Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post and the Minneapolis Star Tribune, followed by a question and answer session.

RM B - Stuart Horwitz "Build Your Author Website"
What does it mean to be online? Do you need a website, or is a Facebook page enough? And what is the role of social media in helping an author get published and sell books? Build Your Author Website will answer these questions by looking at in-depth examples of sites that work and don't cost an arm and a leg (and some that cost only an arm). Topics to be covered include: domain names, hosting, number and content of pages, templates vs. web designers, and keeping your site active through blogging and other means.

RM C - Appointments with literary agent Ken Sherman
Manuscript consultations are available at no additional cost to presentation and workshop attendees. Appointments may be made on a first-come, first-served basis at the time of registration.



Thursday, June 4, 2015

CONFERENCE BANQUET
Austin Peay State University's Governors Stadium Club Level
Marion Street & Drane Street, Clarksville

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5:30pm - 6:00pm
"MEET THE AUTHORS" RECEPTION AND BOOK SIGNING

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6:00pm
DINNER AND KEYNOTE SPEECH
Sharyn McCrumb "Once Upon a Time It Was Now"




Friday, June 5, 2015

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS / WORKSHOPS
Austin Peay State University's Morgan University Center, Third Floor
601 College Street, Clarksville

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8:30am - 9:00am
REGISTRATION AND MORNING REFRESHMENTS

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9:00am - 10:15am
PRESENTATIONS/WORKSHOPS

RM A - Amy Greene "Elements of Fiction: How the Fundamental Parts of A Novel Weave Together to Give It Life"
Greene will focus on the craft of novel writing and the five basic elements of fiction: character, plot, point of view, setting and theme.

RM B - Rod Davis "Tough Guys: Codes of Conduct in Detective and Spy Fiction"
Crime, detective and mystery fiction are the second most popular genre for a reason: flawed human struggle in the eternal battles between right and wrong, good and evil, truth and lies.

RM C - Appointments with literary agent Ken Sherman
Manuscript consultations are available at no additional cost to presentation and workshop attendees. Appointments may be made on a first-come, first-served basis at the time of registration.

RM D - Ellen Kanervo and Margaret Prim "A Is for Art-Alphabet Books: Telling Your Community's Story from A to Z"
From L Is for Louisville to H Is for Hopkinsville to C Is for Clarksville on the Cumberland, arts and history organizations are using art-alphabet books to tell their community's unique stories, showcase works of local artists, and raise funds to support projects that increase community vibrancy. This session offers a complete blueprint for producing a book that captures the history, culture, environment, and geography that make up your town's rich heritage.

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10:30am - 11:45am
PRESENTATIONS/WORKSHOPS

RM A - Nick Allen Brown "What the Plot? Innovative and Advanced Ways to Build Your Story"
Participants will experience a fun and thought-provoking multimedia workshop which will offer a new and innovative way to build a plot for both novels and short stories. This session also includes sub-plot development and how to pace your story.

RM C - Appointments with literary agent Ken Sherman
Manuscript consultations are available at no additional cost to presentation and workshop attendees. Appointments may be made on a first-come, first-served basis at the time of registration.

RM D - Ellen Kanervo and Margaret Prim "A Is for Art-Alphabet Books: Marketing Your Community's Story from A to Z"
A continuation of the preceding workshop, "Telling Your Community's Story from A to Z," this session offers tips for underwriting, distributing, and marketing your community's art-alphabet book.

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NOON - 1:00pm
LUNCH
E.W. Brooks

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1:15pm - 2:30pm
PRESENTATIONS/WORKSHOPS

RM A - Bob Mayer "Platform, Product & Promotion: Understand Your Unique Position as an Author"
A writer can easily be overwhelmed by all the well-meaning advice given by experts, industry professionals and even other authors. The reason for this is that every single writer is in a different place and has to figure out their own position and point of view with which to boil down all the information into intelligence (useable information). If you consider these three variables, with a sliding scale from 'none' to 'the best,' you end up with an infinite variety of authors. This will help you make decisions such as should you traditional publish or self-publish, what areas you should focus your creative and marketing efforts on and much more.

RM B - Karen Skolfield "Getting Better at the Stuff Poets Hate (But Have To Do): Butt-in-Chair, Submissions, PR and More"
This workshop is for all levels of poets and writers, even those not interested in publishing. We will discuss setting schedules and deadlines for a sustainable writing life, starting or joining a writing group, the necessity of revision, good submission practices and what to expect when you submit, the "Zen and Ben" (& Jerry) of rejections, how to get the most out of poetry readings, overcoming PR squeamishness, minimal but effective PR for poetry, and being a good literary citizen. Discussion will be shaped by audience questions.

RM C - Appointments with literary agent Ken Sherman
Manuscript consultations are available at no additional cost to presentation and workshop attendees. Appointments may be made on a first-come, first-served basis at the time of registration.

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2:45pm - 4:00pm
PRESENTATIONS/WORKSHOPS

RM A - Nick Allen Brown "Characterology: Ingenious Ways to Create Compelling Characters"
This workshop features an entertaining and lively multimedia presentation that offers a unique perspective on character development. From main characters to the minor characters, simplified techniques will be explained and discussed.

RM B - Eleanor Williams and Steven Cox "Preparing Your Community’s Stories for Publication"
Cox and Williams, who have edited and published diaries of Tennessee women, will discuss the process of organizing, annotating and sharing through publication the personal writing of family members or historical figures from your community.

RM C - Appointments with literary agent Ken Sherman
Manuscript consultations are available at no additional cost to presentation and workshop attendees. Appointments may be made on a first-come, first-served basis at the time of registration.