2014 Conference Workshops


Screenwriting Workshop with Jeff Bens

This workshop will look at effective ways to write for the screen. We'll watch film clips, study scenes from celebrated screenplays and complete exercises to help get at how to make stories and characters believable, enjoyable and compelling. We'll also look at on overview of feature screenplay structure. For all levels of writers.


Jeff directs the undergraduate creative writing program at Manhattanville College. He is author of the novel Albert, Himself and director of the award-winning documentary film, Fatman's. His short fiction and essays are published widely. Jeff has served on film festival juries around the world including the 2011 Slamdance feature film jury. He was a founding faculty of the School of Filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Poetry Workshop with Erica Dawson

"Our lives are a working out of the processes of creation": building off Saint Augustine's own words, this workshop will focus on how poets (re)create their own experiences on the page.


Erica Dawson's second collection of poetry, The Small Blades Hurt, was published by Measure Press in January 2014. Slate says, "She generates great energy by pulling at the impossible and sometimes pleasurable tangles of what is constant in us, and what is disposable in the world." Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry 2012 and 2008, Poetry: A Pocket Anthology, and other journals and anthologies. She's an assistant professor of English and Writing at University of Tampa, where she teaches both undergraduate writers and graduate students in the low-residency MFA program.

Creative Writing as a Fine Art with Philip Deaver

In Creative Writing craft books, and in Creative Writing classes, there are rules. Show, don't tell. The Truth is no excuse. Rules about how to start a story or novel – what the first paragraph should be like. Rules about how to write dialogue. Actually, Creative Writing is art, and the best writers do their own thing and do it with authority. It isn't bad to know the "rules," because they are the best guidance we have accumulated from ages and ages of writing. But if you don't know the rules, and you just begin to write, it's interesting how you'll arrive upon the rules, conventions, best approaches all by yourself. There are no formulas. Like most art, it's trial and error and practice.



Philip F. Deaver is writer-in-residence and professor of English at Rollins College.  He is the author of Silent Retreats, which won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and How Men Pray, a collection of poetry from Anhinga Press.  Mainly a short story writer, he has also edited a volume of baseball creative nonfiction, Scoring From Second:  Writers on Baseball, and publishes in all three genres.  He learned to write on an Olympia standard typewriter, writing letters, a thousand or so a year all through his teens and twenties, back before the internet, email, all that.  For those first many years, his almost greatest pleasure was simply filling a page with his own words.  From letter writing, he learned his own voice(s) and discovered the characters who remain a part of his writing today.


Writing in the Crisp-Ellert Museum with Terri Witek and Cyriaco Lopes

Poet Terri Witek and visual artist Cyriaco Lopes lead an all-genre workshop that encourages writing about oceans and rivers. The workshop meets in the galleries that house their current show featuring world waters, Currents/Correntes.


The poet Terri Witek and the visual artist Cyriaco Lopes have been collaborating since 2005. While Witek often writes poetry about art, Lopes' art work often investigates language. A signature of their collaborations is that their media, art and poetry, interweave while each retains its identity. By reinventing, interrupting and restaging each other's words and images, they create a hybrid third possibility. Their collaborations so far have extended to video, performance, photography, drawing, and artists' books.


Their projects have been featured at Art in Odd Places (Big Bronze Statues was chosen as one of the highlights of the 2009 season by Time Out New York), in a solo show at Le Petit Versailles, New York, at the British Film Festival (finalist in the avant-garde category), and in Contemporary Flanerie: Reconfiguring Cities (Oakland University, Michigan) among other venues. The first retrospective of their work to date, but here all dreams equal distance, was shown at Grinnell College's Faulconer Gallery in April, 2010 and featured a collaborative multi-media event, the day you left. In November 2010 their a site-specific project, A Shelter on King's Road placed the trace of Martin Luther King's firebombed cottage in the Markland House, a National Register treasure acquired by Flagler College in 1966. Recent projects include All Love is Stolen (2013), a 5000 flyer street distribution in South Beach for O, Miami, and The Fernando Pessoa Game, which they run in Lisbon each summer at Disquiet, International.


In the past few years Lopes' work has been seen in the U.S. at the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, at El Museo del Barrio, ApexArt and the America's Society in New York, at the Contemporary Art Museum in Saint Louis, among other venues. In the same period his work was also seen in Turkey, Armenia, Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Chile and Portugal. In his native Brazil the artist has shown at the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Modern Art of Salvador, and the Museum of Art of São Paulo, among other institutions. His work was curated into exhibitions by artists such as Janine Antoni, Luciano Fabro and Lygia Pape, as well as by curators such as Paulo Herkenhoff. Lopes was the winner of the Worldstudio AIGA and RTKL awards, the Contemporary Art Museum Project award (Saint Louis) and the Prêmio Phillips of a trip to Paris. A recent project, Crimes Against Love, was featured on the cover of The Advocate.


Terri Witek is the author of Exit Island, The Shipwreck Dress ( Florida Book Award Medalists), Carnal World, Fools and Crows, Courting Couples (Winner of the 2000 Center for Book Arts Contest) and Robert Lowell and LIFE STUDIES: Revising the Self, as well as a recent comic book/ poetry chapzine, First Shot at Fort Sumter/Possum. Her poetry has appeared in Slate, The Hudson Review, The New Republic, The American Poetry Review, and other journals, and she is the recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Hawthornden International Writers' Retreat, and the state of Florida. A native of northern Ohio, she teaches English at Stetson University, where she holds the Sullivan Chair in Creative Writing.

Graphic Narrative Workshop with Jarod Roselló

In this workshop, attendees will write and draw a (very) short comic and produce an “instant book.”  Specifically, we will focus on (re)constructing the images, memories, desires, and sensations of childhood. The nature of drawing lines and cartoons means working in a style that hearkens back to childhood. Rather than disavowing this relationship, we will call it back into existence as a way of testing our imaginative faculties and challenging the boundaries of what is possible. 


Jarod Roselló is a Cuban-American cartoonist, writer, and teacher from Miami, Florida. He holds an MFA in creative writing from Penn State University. He is the founder of Bien Vestido Press, a micro-publisher of handmade comics and zines, and draws a monthly column for Pank Magazine's blog on the craft of comics. You can find Jarod online at www.jarodrosello.com

Ira Sukrungruang –Non-Fiction


Ira is the author of the memoir Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy and the poetry collection, In Thailand It Is Night. He is the coeditor of two anthologies on the topic of obesity: What Are You Looking At? The First Fat Fiction Anthology and Scoot Over, Skinny: The Fat Nonfiction Anthology. He is the recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature, an Arts and Letters Fellowship, and the Emerging Writer Fellowship. His work has appeared in many literary journals, including Post Road, The Sun, and Creative Nonfiction. He is one of the founding editors of Sweet: A Literary Confection (sweetlit.com), and teaches in the MFA program at University of South Florida and the low-residency MFA program at City University in Hong Kong. For more information about him, please visit: www.sukrungruang.com.


Saturday Non-Fiction Workshop

The Balance Between Scene and Exposition in Memoir

The writer Judith Barrington dispels the age-old adage "Show don't tell." She insists that good memoirs must show and tell. In this workshop we will discuss the balance between the use of scene and exposition, and how the two work together to elevate life narratives.