BATON ROUGE—(August 15, 2017)—The Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana is pleased to announce the five authors conducting “WordShops” for aspiring and novice writers on Friday, October 27th, 2017, at the State Library. These one-day courses are designed for those writing fiction, memoir, personal essay, poetry or works for young people and cover a wide range of craft elements such as voice, setting, building tension and creating cross-genre work. One WordShop focuses exclusively on marketing and book promotion, and all WordShops offer invaluable opportunities for professional networking. Writers from a variety of backgrounds and experience are encouraged to attend.
The WordShop schedule for Friday, October 27, 2017:
• Joshilyn Jackson - No World like Mine
• Michael Farris Smith - Here Comes Trouble
1 p.m.—4 p.m.:
• Beth Ann Fennelly - Make Me a Hummingbird of Words: Salvos into the Word of Micro-Memoirs
• Kathy L. Murphy - The Pulpwood Queen Talks Book Promotion: How to Market Your Book for Big Book Sales and Be Treated Royally When Your Book Debuts
• Jeff Zentner - Writing with Voice
Please find the author instructors’ details regarding their WordShops and more about them below. Registration for the WordShops is $45; for a person attending two WordShops, $85. Space is limited. Registration and payment are due by Friday, October 20. After that date, registrations will be accepted only as space allows.
Those interested in participating can register by calling 225.219.9503 or by downloading the registration form from louisianabookfestival.org/wordshops.html
and sending it with payment to Louisiana Book Festival WordShops, 701 N. Fourth St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802.
About The Louisiana Center for the Book
The Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana coordinates the annual Louisiana Book Festival and other programs and events supportive of reading, literacy, books, and writers, particularly Louisiana authors and poets.
2017 WordShop Course Descriptions and Instructor Bios:
No World like Mine
with Joshilyn Jackson, 9 a.m.-Noon
Richly imagined, evocative settings can transport readers to the world of your book. Good novels are grounded in landscapes that work in tandem with character and plot to evoke nostalgia, recognition, horror, hope, pity, tears, and laughter. Whether you are writing in your beloved homeland, an exotic location you’ve visited or researched, or in a thoroughly invented other-world, it is your job to capture each place’s spirit and personality. In this workshop, we’ll first define and differentiate between “place re-creation” and “sense of place,” and create a set of guidelines that will help you choose between them or blend them for your work-in-progress. We’ll do a writing exercise that asks us to explore ways to light “place” so that our characters can stand out clearly and fully against its crafted backdrop. Bring writing materials and a willingness to share.
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jackson is the author of eight novels and a novella, including gods in Alabama, The Opposite of Everyone, and most recently The Almost Sisters. Her books have won SIBA’s Novel of the Year and been translated into a dozen languages, four time selected #1 Book Sense Picks, and three time shortlisted for the Townsend Prize; she is a two-time Georgia Author of the Year. A former actor, Jackson reads the audio versions of her novels; her work in this field has been nominated for the Audie Award and garnered three Listen Up Awards from Publisher’s Weekly. She serves on the board of Reforming Arts, a nonprofit dedicated to providing theatre infused liberal arts education to women incarcerated in Georgia. Through their education-in-prison program, Joshilyn volunteers inside Georgia’s maximum security facility for women, teaching creative writing and literature. She’s also taught fiction seminars and classes and led workshops all over the country, including stints at Vermont College of Fine Arts and Emory University.
Here Comes Trouble
with Michael Farris Smith, 9 a.m.-Noon
One of the most entertaining aspects of writing fiction is that you get to be a troublemaker, and get away with it. But are we stirring up enough trouble and creating enough tension, or holding back? In “Here Comes Trouble,” we will discuss how to get the most out of your characters and your story. How can we push our characters to the edge? How can one bit of dialogue arouse emotions? How can we figure out what part of our story or novel needs more trouble? Bring something to write with and your current work, if you have some, as we’ll practice on the spot. If you don’t have any or just beginning, here is a good place to start.
Michael Farris Smith is a major new Southern literary talent, and his new novel, Desperation Road, is a striking story about violence and its aftermath, set against a rich and vibrant Mississippi backdrop. Praised by Ron Rash as “an outstanding performance,” Desperation Road is also a B&N Discover pick, an Indie Next selection, and one of Amazon’s Best Mysteries of the month. In Desperation Road and the forthcoming The Fighter (2018), Smith perfectly captures the dichotomy of desperation and hope that exists in today’s rural America. Smith is a native Mississippian and recipient of the 2014 Mississippi Author Award, the Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Arts Fellowship and the Transatlantic Review Award for Fiction. He lives in Oxford, MS, with his wife and two daughters.
Make Me a Hummingbird of Words:
Salvos into the Word of Micro-Memoirs
with Beth Ann Fennelly, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Part craft talk and part reading, Mississippi Poet Laureate Beth Ann Fennelly shares strategies that inform her forthcoming book, Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs (W. W. Norton, Fall '17). In today’s increasingly heterogeneous landscape, cross-genre works that blend inheritances from multiple literary parents have a new urgency and popularity. Combining the extreme brevity of poetry yet hewing to the truth-telling of creative nonfiction, Fennelly's micro-memoirs allow us to consider questions of genre while delighting in a form that, like a hummingbird, stuns with its speed and ingenuity.
Beth Ann Fennelly, Poet Laureate of Mississippi, teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Mississippi, where she was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year. She’s won grants and awards from the N.E.A., the United States Artists, a Pushcart and a Fulbright to Brazil. Fennelly has published three poetry books: Open House, Tender Hooks and Unmentionables; a book of nonfiction, Great with Child; and The Tilted World, a novel she co-authored with her husband, Tom Franklin. Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs will be published by Norton Oct. 10, 2017. Fennelly and Franklin live in Oxford with their three children.
The Pulpwood Queen Talks Book Promotion:
How to Market Your Book for Big Book Sales and Be Treated Royally When Your Book Debuts
with Kathy L. Murphy, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Kathy L. Murphy (née Patrick), the founder of the 725+ chapter Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Clubs, the largest "meeting and discussing" book club in the world, will be conducting an interactive workshop on all you need to know on getting your book front and center out in the world, specifically targeting book clubs. Murphy specializes in selecting first time, first book authors to help them develop a fan base. Be prepared to learn a lot and to have some big time fun!
Kathy L. Murphy is the author of The Pulpwood Queens' Tiara Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life and is currently working on her next book, The Pulpwood Queen Goes Back to School. She is the host of Beauty and the Book, a 13-episode YouTube talk show sponsored by Random House Publishing, interviewing authors such as Anna Quindlin, Lisa See, Fannie Flagg, and Pat Conroy. Murphy optioned her first book to DreamWorks Studios and is currently in negotiations for a new online, author-focused talk show. For more about her book club and her annual book club convention, Pulpwood Queen Girlfriend Weekend, go to BeautyAndTheBook.com.
Writing with Voice
with Jeff Zentner, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
One of the most important abilities you can have when writing for teenagers (or anyone) is the ability to write with a powerful, distinctive voice. In "Writing with Voice," we'll talk about what voice is, why it's important, and how you can develop it through dialogue and the voices of your characters. I'll walk participants through a dialogue-writing exercise designed to develop voice.
Jeff Zentner is the author of William C. Morris Award winner and Carnegie Medal longlister The Serpent King, and most recently, Goodbye Days. Before becoming a writer, he was a singer-songwriter and guitarist who recorded with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, and Debbie Harry. In addition to writing and recording his own music, he worked with young musicians at Tennessee Teen Rock Camp, which inspired him to write for young adults. He lives in Nashville.