The Wilson College English program invites all budding writers to attend the Wilson College Colloquium on Creative Writing. Attend lessons on writing technique, ask questions about the publishing process, and rub elbows with published authors. 

Saturday, November 9
8:15 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Brooks Science Center, Wilson College

Register here.
Registration deadline is November 3. 


8:15 to 8:45 a.m. Check-in

8:50 a.m. Welcome

9–9:50 a.m. Session 1

Matthew McBride: “Creating Strong Imagery”
In this session we’ll discuss the role images play in writing as well as how to craft concrete images that illustrate what you are saying in your poem or story on both a literal and emotional level. You will learn to craft images with words. The session will include writing practice and time for feedback.

10–10:50 a.m. Session 2

Darrach Dolan: “Dialogue: Bringing Speech Alive on the Page”
Good writers let their characters and narrators speak to the reader directly in their own words and voices. In this session we will look at techniques for making characters sound like real people and how dialogue can work to change pace, break up long sections of description, introduce elements of personality and make a story, novel or poem engaging to the reader.

11–11:50 a.m. Session 3

Alicia Drumgoole: “Building Worlds with Your Words”
This session will focus on world-building. In the session, we will talk about the interplay between background and foreground in a scene, how to write a believable story or poem in an “unbelievable” world, and how to describe and populate places with believable backdrops without falling into the trap of the dreaded “info-dump.”

12–12:30 p.m. Keynote address: Lisa Summe

Lisa Summe was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, earned a BA and MA in literature at the University of Cincinnati, and an MFA in poetry from Virginia Tech. She is a member of VIDA’s Web Team, and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Juked, Smartish Pace, Lambda Literary, Salt Hill, Waxwing, Bettering American Poetry Vol. 2, and elsewhere. Her first full-length book, Say It Hurts, is forthcoming from YesYes Books in summer 2020. 

12:30–1:30 p.m. Lunch

1:30–2:20 p.m. Session 4

Lisa Summe: “Less is More: Revising for Brevity to Increase Emotional Tension”
When we write, we often include too much connective tissue—phrases, lines, or sentences that, at best, bridge one idea to the next, but don’t offer much else in terms image or voice (both of which are related to steering the emotional trajectory of a work). When we remove some of the connective tissue, what are we left with? What can happen/change when we, as writers, explain less and leave more room for the reader to fill in the gaps? In this session, we will read examples of published work that contains little “connective tissue” and discuss how what is on the page tells a story. We will then free write, make cuts, and rearrange.

2:30–4 p.m. Session 5

Michael G. Cornelius: “A Quick and Simple Guide to Publishing Your Poem, Story, or Novel”
We all want to publish. But how do we go about it? And with the myriad technologies and publishing media available, what does “published” even mean anymore? This session will provide you with tips, resources, and tricks to publish both your short-form (poem, story, essay) and long-form works.

4–5 p.m. Session 6

Author Q + A
Here is your opportunity to ask the authors all of your questions about crafting your work, about the value of writer’s groups, about the publishing process, or about whatever is on your mind! 
the day’s presenters burning questions on any writing subject you can imagine, from getting ideas to the writing process to finding a publisher!