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 Sixteenth Annual Clarksville Writers Conference.

 



Thursday, August 12, 2021
CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS / WORKSHOPS
Austin Peay State University's Art + Design Building
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 - Bobby Keel "Lyric and Melody Marriage"
Award-winning songwriter Bobby Keel will explain the KISS Method and Structure and give tips on recording a demo for pitching to a publisher.

RM B - Debra Coleman Jeter "How to Write a Novel and Screenplay in One Year"
From getting started to editing the final draft, Debra Coleman Jeter will offer pointers on what you should tell yourself on a regular basis, how to create realistic scene dilemmas, and how to handle exposition.

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

RM A - S.M. Williams will be unable to attend this year's conference because of family health concerns. We hope to see her next June at the 17th annual Clarksville Writers Conference.

RM B - Renea Winchester "Stuck in the Muck? Pop-up writing prompts to pull you out of the mire."
Let's be honest, sometimes you just get stuck. You have a strong beginning, and a glorious ending, but the plot proves perilous. There is a barrier between what your writer's heart wants to say and what the creative spirit dwelling inside your soul allows. In this session we will talk about resistance. What prevents us from writing? How to press through discouragement and have a delightful writing life. Consider this free therapy for the frazzled author. Included in this session, several writing prompts designed to pull you out of the muck.

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NOON - 1:00pm
LUNCH

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

RM A - Kelly J. Beard will be unable to attend this year's conference because of family health concerns. We hope to see her next June at the 17th annual Clarksville Writers Conference.

RM B - Robert Mangeot "As Old As Campfires"
Storytelling goes back a long, long time. Since those first campfire gatherings, the commonalities grown from tales well told have evolved into modern structure approaches. The Hero's Journey. The Play in Three (or Four) Acts. The Fichtean Curve. These can boost a character's logical growth or show their dark road ahead, in proportion to a story's whole. Writers can adopt or ignore these methods — but not until we understand them. Robert Mangeot will work with your story ideas to pinpoint important markers that may spark another tale well-told.

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

RM A - Joy Jordan-Lake "Finders Keepers: Finding Compelling Story Ideas and Building a Story World that Keeps Readers Engaged"
As the old adage goes, sometimes the hardest part of a journey is the first step. That can be especially true in writing a book. Story ideas abound in your everyday world, from your daydreams to a news article to a neighbor's nosy comment—but choosing one that will keep you, the author, intrigued for the long months or years of writing is key. And even once you have that base of your story, building a believable, compelling world that keeps the reader engaged takes work—and is also a fabulous part of the fun. Join this interactive workshop to learn about starting—and growing—your story and its setting.

RM B - Dana Chamblee Carpenter "Getting to Know All About You: Writing Character-Driven Fiction"
Great characters are at the heart of all good fiction. Doesn't matter what the genre is. Doesn't matter if you write as a (seat-of-your) pantser or a plotter. Doesn't matter if it's your first book or your fiftieth. We all have to learn (and re-learn) how to develop complex, compelling characters capable of leaving the page and burrowing into the hearts and minds of readers. In this session, we will talk about what makes strong characters (those we love and those we love to hate), how to meet these characters, and how to let them drive the story.




Thursday, August 12, 2021

CONFERENCE BANQUET
F&M Bank's The Franklin Room
50 Franklin Street, Clarksville

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5:30pm - 6:00pm
"MEET THE AUTHORS" RECEPTION AND BOOK SIGNING
Sponsored by the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts at APSU.

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6:00pm
DINNER AND KEYNOTE SPEECH
Joshilyn Jackson "Writing Toward Your Own True North"




Friday, August 13, 2021

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS / WORKSHOPS
Austin Peay State University's Art + Design Building
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 - Dana Chamblee Carpenter "The Art of the Query Letter"
When there are lots of folks fishing at the same pond, using the right bait can make the difference between having catfish for supper or going home empty handed. It's no different when trying to land an agent or hook a reader. Mastering the art of the query is a vital and necessary skill for any writer looking to publish. In this interactive session, learn how to craft an engaging, professional query with a dynamic description of your book.

RM B - Robert Mangeot "You're Not Done Yet"
The poet Paul Valéry said a work is never finished, only abandoned. And then submitted or self-published into the world, but releasing your work too soon can do it more harm than good. Feeling ready is often a sign the hard work of polishing has begun. Short story writer Robert Mangeot shares his successes and failures in bringing a piece together and how that can help you find when your piece has abandonment issues or stick-with-it opportunities.

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

RM A - S.M. Williams will be unable to attend this year's conference because of family health concerns. We hope to see her next June at the 17th annual Clarksville Writers Conference.

RM B - Debra Coleman Jeter "From Hook to Polished Book: Editing Novels and Screenplays"
Hear the advice six writing experts would tell themselves if they could go back to the beginning of their career. After sharing some pointers on the hook and on handling exposition, we will focus on editing. Jeter will include some discussion of her experience with screenwriting, and finish by recommending a few specific exercises for the revision process.

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NOON - 1:00pm
LUNCH

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

RM A - James Nihan "Seeking Inspiration"
Inspiration is everywhere around us! We need not be blocked or restricted by limited thinking. The writer's journey can be one of many imaginative crossroads, merging with fresh ideas at every turn. This presentation will examine new ways to free the mind and rekindle one's creative passion.

RM B - Kelly J. Beard will be unable to attend this year's conference because of family health concerns. We hope to see her next June at the 17th annual Clarksville Writers Conference.

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

RM A - Renea Winchester "Character Creation Simplified: Where did you come from? Where are you going?"
Have you ever finished a book and find yourself thinking about the character months later? Or, read a sentence so well written you pause and press the book to your heart? As writers, this is our goal, creating memorable characters that touch the reader. For years, Renea Winchester carried with her a photo of a girl who would become a protagonist in her novel. She often looked at the photo and asked, "What are you thinking? Where are you going?" Writers must create believable, likable (and unlikable) characters. But we also need to know who we are as writers. Where did we come from? Where does this wonderful journey lead? This session introduces tools Renea Winchester used to create the cast in her novels and includes short writing prompts.

RM B - Joy Jordan-Lake "10 Jump Start Exercises to Get You Rolling—or Rolling Again"
Ever feel like half the people you know—maybe including you—have a great idea for a novel or even 50 killer pages in a laptop file? Most of us stall out at some point in the long slog of a novel, but what sets the Published Writer apart from the WannaBe is getting beyond that point. And sometimes, that means getting a little help from your friends—along with some tried-and-true prompts. We'll take time to write a bit in the workshop, so come ready to shift out of low gear!