“Art is a wound, turned into light.” This is a quote from George Braque, the 20th Century cubist painter’s way of explaining the connection between art and self-worth.
Is it glib to suppose that writing, if we think of it as an art form, starts where wounds are left unhealed? I hear the protests now. I am not a wounded bird, but I write. I write why? Because I have something to say? If that were the case, there are better ways to reach an audience. Let’s suppose all of us have wounds. Those of us in denial are adept at seeing wounds in others. Let us also suppose that our task is to turn those wounds into light. Or, in our case, into words that give form to the suffering, the joy, the work, the day to day tedium, to the chasms that loom between our goals and where we stand.
To give form to that expression is a start. To find an audience is the next step.
How do you seek an audience? A writing conference is a good place to start. The University of Washington, PCE, is sponsoring a one-day conference dedicated to helping answer this question. Check out the details below. I highly recommend this conference, if you can be in Seattle on April 25.
LITERARY AGENTS ON WRITING
Saturday, April 25, 2015
BROUGHT TO YOU BY UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON, PROFESSIONAL & CONTINUING EDUCATION
SPEND THE DAY WITH RESPECTED LITERARY AGENTS AND BESTSELLING AUTHORS.
IT’S A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN FROM THE EXPERTS.
REGISTER @ HTTP://DEPTS.WASHINGTON.EDU/UWCONF/WORDPRESS/WRITINGCONFERENCES
BUY THIS BOOK WORKSHOP
9:00 AM – 10:45 AM
Learn to “sell” your manuscript to a mock editorial board in a workshop that will explain how traditional publishing works, and will help you view your work dispassionately, from the eyes of an editor (or agent).
“QUERY IDOL” WORKSHOP
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Modeled on the TV show, participants supply a log-line + query letter to choose a winner. 2 rounds – the first judged by the panel; the second voted by the audience.
CRAFT BUILDING WORKSHOP
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
The afternoon is devoted to the craft of writing, focusing on the areas where agents and editors often feel that writers could improve. The two-hour discussion will have targeted writing exercises built in, including:
How to Create Characters so Real You’ll be Tempted to Claim them as Dependents on your Tax Return – an interactive conversation with specific tips and suggestions for creating believable, empathetic characters.
Building a Voice that Speaks – A nuts-and-bolts dialog with instructions for building a distinctive narrative voice.
THE ART OF REVISION WITH BESTSELLING AUTHOR TARA CONKLIN
3:00 PM – 3:45 PM
Revising is critical, but it’s often difficult to know how to tackle an entire manuscript.
“PAGES IDOL” WORKSHOP WITH BESTSELLING AUTHOR GARTH STEIN
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Similar to the “Query Idol” panel, this workshop will focus on the book’s first few pages.
Garth Stein has written four novels, including his recently published bestseller, A Sudden Light, and the bestseller The Art of Racing in the Rain. He co-founded Seattle7Writers, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring enthusiasm for reading.
Tara Conklin‘s debut The House Girl was a New York Times bestseller and #1 Indie Next Pick. Her second novel, The Last Romantics, is forthcoming from William Morrow (2016). Previously an attorney, she now writes fiction full time.
Agents of Folio Literary Management:
Michelle Brower represents literary fiction, thrillers, and high-quality commercial fiction. Her authors include Carrie La Seur, Rebecca Rasmussen, Tara Conklin, Jason Mott, and Michele Young-Stone among many others.
Erin Harris represents literary, book club, and historical fiction, as well as upmarket YA and narrative non-fiction. She represents Daniel Levine, Jennifer Laam, Carla Power, and Emiko Jean, among others.
Jeff Kleinman represents literary and book club fiction and narrative non-fiction. Some of his bestselling and award-winning authors include Garth Stein, Eowyn Ivey, Elizabeth Letts, Robert Hicks, and Charles Shields.