Lit Cleveland Hosts Winter Fictionfest Half-Day Conference at Loganberry Books on February 24

Literary Cleveland, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help create and nurture a vibrant literary arts community in Northeast Ohio, is hosting its third annual Winter Fictionfest conference on Saturday, February 24th from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Loganberry Books at 13015 Larchmere Boulevard. (Lit Cleveland Annual Winter Fictionfest)

This year’s Fictionfest will focus on “the long and the short of it,” with a panel discussion on the craft of fiction, workshops on writing flash fiction and other topics, and a reception, book-signing and open mic following the classes. The cost is $40/$30 for members, and individuals are encouraged to sign up in advance.

“Winter Fictionfest is always a great opportunity for aspiring and established writers to hone their craft, meet other writers and develop new ideas,” said Lee Chilcote, Executive Director of Lit Cleveland. “We’re looking forward to an energizing event that brings together Cleveland’s writing community.”

Presenters include Imad Rahman, Director of the Creative Writing Program at Cleveland State University and author of I Dream of Microwaves; Michael Garriga, English professor at Baldwin Wallace University and author of Book of Duels; and Lucy Biederman, professor at Case Western Reserve University and author of The Walmart Book of the Dead.

They will present the following workshops:

Workshop A – Flash Fiction: The Short and the Strange of It with Lucy Biederman

How can a very short story undermine the expectations a reader brings to the page? And why might we, as writers of fiction, want to undermine our readers’ expectations? In this workshop, we will read and analyze a few very short works by contemporary writers who use the flash form to ask fundamental questions about how stories are constructed—and why stories are constructed. You will leave this 90-minute workshop having attempted at least one flash fiction piece and with a sense of where to find flash fiction in the wild.

Workshop B – Show Don’t Tell on Steroids; or, How Method Writing Strengthens Character with Michael Garriga

This workshop serves as an introduction to “method writing.” To that end, we will investigate the connections between human emotion and sensory detail. We’ll focus on how the specific concrete choices we make as writers help to create fully realized, emotionally round characters. We will explore ways to engage the five emotional registers that help bridge the abstract divide between text and reader; by deeply inhabiting our characters’ lives, we can craft unique, resonant reading experiences. To this end, our ninety-minute workshop will focus on, first, published examples of fiction that illustrate how this “method writing” conveys the exterior manifestations of rich interior lives; second, we’ll write and workshop a hyper-focused exercise; and finally, we’ll discuss ways to transform this exercise into a working piece of flash fiction or the beginnings of a larger work. michael-garriga

Workshop C – You Want Characters Who Make Us Think, Not Characters You Want To Invite Over For A Drink with Imad Rahman

In this generative workshop, we will use the familiar axiom that plot springs from character and that character springs from desire in any form of literary fiction regardless of genre, and explore different ways to create fictional characters who haunt and resonate. We will then find ways to develop stories short and long and longer that allow these characters to grow in complicated ways, to wander off outside their comfort zones and make questionable choices and behave badly, and to maintain a dynamic sense of agency without losing the ability to charm and/or engage.

About the Presenters

Lucy Diamond Biederman is a Lecturer in English at Case Western Reserve University and an adjunct professor at Cleveland State University. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, where she specialized in creative writing and American literature. Her first book, The Walmart Book of the Dead, won the 2017 Vine Leaves Press Vignette Award.

Michael Garriga comes from a long line of Creole outlaws and storytellers. He has worked as a shrimp picker, a bartender, and a soundman in a blues bar. The Book of Duels is his first collection of fiction, but his work has appeared extensively in journals and magazines including Esquire, Huffington Post, New Letters, Black Warrior Review, and the Southern Review. He currently teaches writing at Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio.

Imad Rahman’s first book, I Dream Of Microwaves, a collection of connected stories, was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and has since been translated into French. His stories have appeared in One Story, Chelsea, Gulf Coast, The Sonora Review and Willow Springs, among others. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council & the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture.

For a full list of program offerings, please visit Lit Cleveland.  For more info about Gordon Square Review, go to Gordon Square Review.

Geauga News
Author: Geauga News