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

Saturday, March 9
9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Brooks Science Center, Wilson College

Registration is now closed  


9:30 a.m. Check-in

9:50 a.m. Welcome

10–10:30 a.m. Session 1

Fiction: Science Center Auditorium 
Creating strong characters / Alicia Drumgoole
Whether you are writing a 1000-word story or a 1000-page novel, you need compelling characters to draw in your readers. This session will teach you the basics of building characters that your readers will root for, empathize with and care about.

Poetry: SCI 128
Persona poems / Eric Bliman
One of the many great things about writing is its ability to let us inhabit others. One strong tradition in poetry is the persona poem, where the poet inhabits the voice of someone for a brief monologue, often generating new insights into the psychology of both the poem and the subject. This session will explore some famous persona poems while also providing a prompt to write your own.

10:30–11 a.m. Session 2

Fiction: Science Center Auditorium 
Creating compelling plotlines / Seth Fried
Getting from point A to point B in any story is never as easy as it seems! This session will teach you how to keep your fiction moving along compellingly without falling into cliché.

Poetry: SCI 128
Prose poems / Matthew Diltz McBride
Though many consider one of the main characteristics of poetry to be the fact that it is lineated, there is a long history of prose poems. In this session, you will read some sample prose poems in order to build a working definition of what they are as well as attempting to write one of your own.

11–11:30 a.m. Session 3

Fiction: Science Center Auditorium 
Showing vs. telling / Michael G. Cornelius
Writers often passively tell their readers how their characters are feeling or what is happening to them. It is far more compelling, however, to actively engage your readers and make them part of how the story unfolds by showing them what your characters are up to. This session will teach you both how and when to show action and emotion in your work. 

Poetry: SCI 128
Concrete imagery / Heather Hamilton
Writers often feel that by being vague and abstract in their descriptions, they are making their poetry appreciable to a larger audience. However, this usually results in a poem everyone understands, but no one can picture. In this session you will learn how to convey the “things” of existence, crafting images that are unique to you yet recognizable to everyone.

11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Lunch 

12:30–1 p.m. Session 4

Science Center Auditorium 
Keynote Reading
Seth Fried, author of The Great Frustration and The Municipalists.

1–1:30 p.m. Session 5

Science Center Auditorium 
Revision (a joint session with both fiction and poetry writers)
Good stories and poems are written—publishable stories and poems are rewritten. This session will give you tips for revising your work to make it stronger. 

1:30–2 p.m. Session 6

Author Q-and-A 
Now is your chance to ask all six of the day’s presenters burning questions on any writing subject you can imagine, from getting ideas to the writing process to finding a publisher!