Tuesday, June 13, 2006

IU Writers' Conference--Day 2

In this morning's 1st Person class, Dana Johnson looked at some pretty diverse examples, from Harriet Beecher Stowe, to William Styron, to Roddy Doyle, all writers who have written in first person across race or gender. The question we discussed boils down to whether anyone (especially Styron, who wrote from the point of view of Nat Turner) even has the right to do so. The consensus--unless someone was afraid to speak up--was that of course Styron and the others have the right to do it. The real measure is whether it was done credibly.

In the publications class we again talked about the process of submissions, this time with an emphasis on fiction and non-fiction. Again, there wasn't much new there for someone who has been submitting regularly.

Then came my workshop, in which my story was discussed. I was generally satisfied with the discussion of my story and received some useful suggestions that I'll consider. I also have some ideas for reading that may be useful, including stories by Dorothy Parker and Robert Stone.

The evening readers were poets Richard Cecil and Debra Kang Dean, and fiction/non-ficiton writer Richard McCann.

Another full day, with more of the same coming tomorrow.