The 2014



SATURDAY, MAY 31, 2014


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Registration for students opens

April 24, 2014 (only $10)!

Registration for the general public opens

May 1, 2014 (only $15)!


Click HERE to register!


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Compose: Schedule

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Registration: 9:00-10 AM, Roger Rook, 2nd floor hall

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Session One: 10-11:30 AM

Pete Krebs “Songwriting: Telling Stories Through Song”

Workshop participants will work directly with noted regional singer/songwriter Pete Krebs, exploring a variety of angles from which to approach composing story-based musical works.  This workshop is geared towards those who would like to expand their perspectives on the art of songwriting, and can also serve as a “sounding board” for works in progress.  Though some songwriting experience is beneficial, the workshop will be of help to both beginners and those interested in the craft from a non-musician point of view.

Taylor Donnelly “One Act, Infinite Possibilities”

Who says a play has to have an intermission? In this session, we will plumb the potential of the one-act play for unexpected treasures of depth, fun, and experimentation. We will read a little, talk a little, write a lot, and uncover the possibilities contained between curtains.

Jay Ponteri “Writing a Character’s Interior”

This workshop will consider how we can better use character interiority (thought, perception, dream, and memory) to create complex viewpoint characters and narrators. We will look at examples from David Means, Lydia Davis, and Robert Walser and do some guided writing exercises, and at the end of the class we will read aloud from our new work!

Marlene Broemer & Jeff McAlpine “Writing For, With, and About Veterans”

Write about a veteran you know and his or her experience transitioning to civilian life. Write about an event that happened in wartime. Write a letter to someone that doesn’t understand what you experienced. Write a letter to a veteran about what you don’t understand. Suggest and share your own prompts. Help us start a veteran’s writing group!

Trevor Dodge “Writing A Flash Essay: Emotional Truth-telling”

Where’s the line between a lie and the truth when we’re telling a story, especially when that story is less than 1,000 words long? Explore the macro in the micro.

Laura Stanfill “The World of Small Press Publishing”

Get an insider’s view of the independent publishing movement with Laura Stanfill, founder of Portland-based Forest Avenue Press, recipient of a 2014 Oregon Literary Fellowship. We’ll discuss submissions, the editorial process, print-on-demand technology, and the promise and perils of carving out a career in storytelling. Workshop participants are encouraged to bring query letters for discussion and specific questions about the publishing industry.

Jaime Wood  “‘You have to be always drunk’: The Craft and Energy of Prose Poetry”

What is prose poetry exactly? How does a poem’s energy, tone, and meaning change when line breaks go away? How does a piece of prose become poetic? Why must we “be always drunk”? Find out in this workshop. We’ll examine several prose poems from Charles Baudelaire to Russell Edson, and then write and share our own prose poems.

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Lunch: 11:45-12:45

Keynote Speaker: Sean Davis, “A Series of Footnotes”

“Existence is a series of footnotes to a vast unfinished masterpiece.” –Vladimir Nabokov

Join Sean Davis, author of The Wax Bullet War, as he talks about why we write about trauma and how to write through traumatic events in our lives, as well as perspective, as trauma is different to different people. He will discuss what he learned about himself writing through his own trauma, as well as discussing other memoirs written by Portland writers, focusing on the idea that authors, in writing about their own lives, offer a shared experience that others enjoy and how this is important to our society.

(* please preorder a Turkey or Vegan Sandwich from Just A Bite Cafe via the Registration page, for only $10)

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Session Two: 1:00-2:30 PM

Sean Davis “Art and Ares”

Mankind has written about war since the beginning of our history. Why is combat so fascinating? We can’t get enough of battles with swords, axes, muskets, machine guns, explosions, rounds flying, and even space warfare. We’ll look at some of the great books and movies on the subject and discuss why every society in existence loves to write, read, and watch some of the most horrific acts humans can do to each other and how, most of the time, this isn’t a bad thing.

Brandi Dawn Henderson “Narrative Travel Writing”

When we travel, we are able to see through new eyes. In this workshop, participants will learn how to focus in on topics that are interesting and relevant to readers and publishers of travel writing. We will begin by discussing what typically works in narrative travel writing, and what things writers may want to avoid. After given a prompt, participants will consider one element of a previous personal journey, keeping in mind suggestions from the opening discussion, and will be given the opportunity to free-write and briefly share ideas they may want to expand upon. Finally, we will touch upon important things to keep in mind when writing a travel-related query letter, before opening the floor any travel writing-related questions, answered by the instructor based on her experience as the co-creator and Editor-in-Chief of Outside In Literary & Travel  Magazine.

Kevin Sampsell “Vivid Snapshots In Your Fiction”

Learn the tricks of writing affective moments in your fiction or memoir, by creating lingering images and sensory sensations. These are the moments, often used in flash fiction or the short chapters in your favorite books, that make ideas and scenes bloom in your mind far beyond the page, like a haunting snapshot that suggests more. It’s the art of giving a small moment a larger impact and making the reader say, Whoa!  

Nicole Rosevear “Winged Men, Selective Telepathy, and the Flavors of Emotions: Writing Magic into the Everyday Experience”

Have you ever found yourself caught up in moments of surprising and delightful magic in what appears to be an otherwise ordinary story-world? Ever considered seeking out this kind of magic in your writing? In this workshop, we will explore some of the things that make magical realism tick and practice playing with it in our own written worlds.

Diana Schutz “Writing Comics: Pages, Panels, & the Space Between”

Join Dark Horse executive editor Diana Schutz for a look at this narrative art form. The presentation will focus on the medium’s basic visual elements and how these impact comics scripting, as well as the differences between writing prose and writing comics or graphic novels. This will be followed by a workshop session in which participants analyze a short comics script, then write their own.

James Bryant-Trerise “Grammar for Writers”

Follow rules, break them, make your own, then break those–we’ll study the intersection of grammar and style and see how your sentences can pack more punch. Don’t forget to bring your own writing to this workshop… Grammar study don’t mean squat if you ain’t workin’ with your own stuff!

Joanna Rose “Breath Sculptures”

The word poetry means  “to create.”  In this workshop, we’ll generate a short prose piece and develop it to discover its hidden possibilities as a poem.  Using the works of Raymond Carver and Robert Frost, among others, we’ll explore the use of assonance,  consonance, and line breaks.   We’ll listen to their effect of the body of the reader, and tinker with our own words with the aim of getting a brand new poem to do what it says.

Dave Mount “Blogging for Writers”

Workshop participants will view and analyze several writers’ blogs, as well as promotional tools such as Facebook, then learn some ways to begin their own blog. The workshop is geared towards those who are interested in the possibility of starting a blog, and it will begin with the basics. More experienced bloggers are also welcome, and the content can be adjusted depending on the interests of the group. The workshop will meet in a computer lab, but participants are welcome to bring their own computers.  This workshop will be held in room 112 in the Dye Learning Center.

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Session Three: 2:45-4:15 PM

Matt Love “Rain as an Inspiration to Write”

Rain is ubiquitous in Oregon, an essential part of living here, but many writers consider it merely as weather and something to include in stories only as an afterthought. In this workshop, writers will participate in a creative thinking and writing workshop where they will confront rain in non-meteorological terms with the intent of unlocking powerful metaphors that will enhance the writing process and creative life.

Sue Mach “The Art of Dialogue”

Dialogue is a powerful tool that can effectively illustrate a passage in a story, a poem, a piece of non-fiction, and of course a play or screenplay.  However, bad dialogue can be harmful not only to your characters, but also to your literary reputation.  This is a cross-genre workshop that will explore the art of effective conversation.

Jamie S. Rich “Pitching a Home Run”

You only have one chance to make a first impression. Comics writer and editor Jamie S. Rich takes you through the process of writing a pitch for your comic book series, including formatting your script samples, so you can give publishers exactly what they need.

Sue Pesznecker “Writing with Scissors: A Multi-Genre Approach to Journaling”

Many people love to journal, but have you journaled with deckling scissors, a burnt sienna crayon, and a cerulean pastel? Have you ever enlivened your journaling with a quick sketch, a funky border, or a bit of ancient manuscript-esque illumination? We all use different typefaces in our computer work, but when was the last time you experimented with a handwritten font? Come to this workshop and bring your inner muse to life with a variety of creative (and fun!) approaches guaranteed to inspire your journaling process.

Jeff Baker “How to Get Published (and Get Paid for It)”

The road to publication is both easier and more difficult than ever. The web has opened up new paths while shifting responsibilities onto the writer and eliminating traditional methods of compensation. “Do it yourself” is the model, a paradox at a time when a few giant companies are fighting for control of how we process and consume information and a vast, fragmented audience is reading more than ever but expects to do it for free. I’ll discuss how to get published in print and online, how to market yourself using social media, and how to navigate through the changing landscape of journalism, literature, and publishing. I’ll offer practical tips, relevant examples, and will have books to give away.

Perrin Kerns “Digital Storytelling: Personal Narrative and the Tiny Film”

Digital stories bring together the art of storytelling with filmmaking to create 3- to 5-minute movies based on personal narrations. This workshop will use digital stories as prompts for writing and you will leave knowing more about digital storytelling and also with a short script to lead you into a project of your own.

Clackamas Literary Review 2014 Issue Release and Reading

Join recent CLR authors as they read their poetry, fiction, and essays.

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Click HERE to register!


* Lunch must be ordered via Registration no later than Thursday, May 29, 2014.  There are no other food options on campus on the weekend, so please plan accordingly and bring whatever food and drinks you need to be comfortable.  Workshops are in Roger Rook Hall.  Lunch is in Gregory Forum.  All buildings are handicapped accessible.  Parking at Clackamas Community College is free.