2014 CSWS Northwest Women Writers Symposium “Family, Animal, Story”

May 3, 2014
9:00 amto4:00 pm

family_animal_story_WEBEugene Public Library
100 W. 10th St.
(10th & Olive)
Full details

Our keynote writer is 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award-winner and New York Times–bestselling author Karen Joy Fowler, whose novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves has opened up new ways of talking about family dynamics and the ethics of animal research.

Saturday’s panels and workshops will meet at Eugene Downtown Public Library. All events are free and open to the public.  Pre-register for limited spaces for Saturday afternoon workshops at: 541-682-5450 (Press 2). Spaces are still left in a new workshop, “Story and Language,” taught by Cecelia Hagen.

Karen Joy Fowler / photo by Brett Hall Jones

Karen Joy Fowler / photo by Brett Hall Jones

Saturday Panel 1: “Expanding the Family Story,” 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Eugene Public Library
On Saturday, the symposium will convene at the Downtown Eugene Library, with a panel of creative writers. The morning panel will include readings and discussion by featured presenters on the theme “Expanding the Family Story,” and in particular how this applies to Northwest communities, women writers and women artists. Our moderator, will guide the four panelists with questions about process and discipline. Panelists include:

  • Karen Joy Fowler (We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves; The Jane Austen Book Club).
  • Melissa Hart (Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood, Seal Press 2009). Hart, who is an adjunct instructor at UO in the School of Journalism and Communication, has a memoir coming out in June from Lyons Press titled Wild Within: How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family.
  • Paulann Petersen 2010 / photo by Sabina Samiee

    Paulann Petersen 2010 / photo by Sabina Samiee

    Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita. Petersen is the author of six full-length books of poetry, most recently Understory from Lost Horse Press (2013). She was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, and received the 2006 Holbrook Award from Oregon Literary Arts.

  • Naseem Rakha (The Crying Tree, Broadway Books 2009). A PNBA Award-winning author and journalist, Naseem Rakha spent a month as Artist-in-Residence at Grand Canyon National Park in 2013. Her stories have been heard on NPR’s All Things Considered and Morning Edition.
  • Moderator: Barbara Corrado Pope (The Blood of LorraineCézanne’s Quarry; The Missing Italian Girl). Pope is professor emerita, UO Department of Women’s and Gender Studies.

Saturday Panel 2: “The Politics of Publishing the Family Story,” 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Eugene Public Library

  • Walking_the_Clouds_WEBGrace Dillon is the editor of two science fiction anthologies, Walking the Clouds: An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction (University of Arizona Press, 2012) and Hive of Dreams: Contemporary Science Fiction from the Pacific Northwest (Oregon State University Press, 2003). She is an associate professor of Native American Studies and University Studies, Department of English, Portland State University.
  • Airlie Press, represented by Cecelia Hagen, a working member of this nonprofit publishing collective founded in 2007. Hagen is a former fiction editor of Northwest Review and the author of the full-length poetry collection Entering.
  • Melissa Hart (Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood, Seal Press 2009). Hart, who is an adjunct instructor at UO in the School of Journalism and Communication, has a memoir coming out in June from Lyons Press titled Wild Within: How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family.
  • Calyx Press (Corvallis), represented by editorial coordinator Brenna Crotty. She received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of Oregon in 2010 and was the recipient of the KIDD Prize for Fiction. Calyx has been an independent publisher of art and literature by women since 1976.
  • Moderator: Mary E. Wood is a professor in the UO Department of English, a member of the CSWS Advisory Board, and a member of the CSWS Women Writers Advisory Group. Her books include Life Writing and Schizophrenia: Encounters at the Edge of Meaning (Rodopi Press, 2013) and The Writing on the Wall: Women’s Autobiography and the Asylum (University of Illinois Press, 1994).

Saturday Afternoon Workshops: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Eugene Public Library. All Saturday afternoon workshops will be limited to 20 participants. Starting April 12, pre-register for limited spaces for these workshops at: 541-682-5450 (Press 2).

  • Hart_Wild_Within_WEB“Planning, Shaping, and Selling Your Memoir,” taught by Melissa Hart (Wild Within: How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family, Lyons Press 2014; Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood, Seal Press 2009). This lively workshop will guide participants in identifying a compelling life event or era in order to shape a short or book-length memoir. We’ll cover plot and narrative arc, characterization, dialogue, setting, historical details, the importance of research, and the ethics involved in writing memoir that includes family members and friends. The second part of this workshop provides information on how to sell short and book-length memoir to traditional publishers. We’ll talk about how to identify and submit to editors best suited to your work. By the end of the workshop, participants will understand how to plan out and write a memoir, and how to submit the manuscript for publication. A bibliography will offer numerous online and print resources on writing and selling memoir.
  • The_Voluptuary_WEB“In the Language of Our Animal Soul,” a generative writing workshop with Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate. We humans are one part of the vast animal family, and our connections to other animals are compelling and profound. Join Paulann Petersen for a workshop in which participants will create new writing—poetry or prose—that explores these connections. All levels of experience, including beginners, are welcome. The only requirement is your willingness to spend a couple of hours writing as part of a supportive community of other writers. Paulann’s goal is for each participant to leave the workshop with both new writing and the inspiration to shape that new work into poems or prose. Because she expects each participant to do considerable writing, she urges you to bring a reasonably large notebook or journal. Workshop limited to 20. Pre-registration required.
  • Entering_bookcoverStory and Language, with Cecelia Hagen. In this non-genre specific workshop, we’ll work experientially to create new writing, but we’ll also look at short work that you bring along with you. We all know a great deal about storytelling, from books, from movies, from the kitchen tables we’ve sat around every day. But putting it on paper requires a writer’s eye. Using both prompts and discussion, we’ll look at ways to identify and strengthen storylines, and to make your writing stronger and more musical. Workshop leader Cecelia Hagen, Entering (Airlie Press, 2011); Fringe Living (26 Books Press, 1999), is a poet, essayist, editor, and teacher. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Oregon, has taught at Willamette University, and served for many years as fiction editor of Northwest Review. A former magazine editor and editor for the Oregon University System, Hagen currently teaches memoir writing and is a freelance editor. She is a working member of Airlie Press, a nonprofit publishing collective founded in 2007.
  • The workshop “Cut the Crap,” scheduled to be taught by Naseem Rakha has been canceled. Workshop participants will be contacted and places held for them in Cecelia Hagen’s non-genre specific workshop, designed to appeal to a similarly broad group of writers.
  • A workshop listed earlier, and led by Lauren Kessler, has been canceled.

Sponsored by: UO Center for the Study of Women in Society, Women Writers Project. Cosponsors include: Eugene Public Library; Oregon Humanities Center; the UO School of Journalism and Communication; the UO Department of English; the UO Department of Women’s and Gender Studies; and the UO Libraries.

Note: The Oregon Poet Laureate is appointed by Governor Kulongoski and renewed by Governor Kitzhaber. The Poet Laureate program is a collaborative project of the state’s five cultural partners: Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Humanities, Oregon Heritage Commission, Oregon Historical Society, and State Historic Preservation Office, with funding from the Oregon Cultural Trust.