Date: Thursday, March 26, 2009 At 09:00 AM
at the 23rd Annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival
NEVADA BARR. JOHN BERENDT. JOHN BIGUENET. KATHERINE BOUTON.
RICK BRAGG. MARK DOTY. STEPHEN LOVELY. TOM PIAZZA.
The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival opens with a
series of Master Classes by leading authors, agents, and editors.
Each session is 1 hour and 15 minutes with a lively give-and-take
between audience and instructors. Authors will sign books. Classes
may be taken individually for $25 or as a full series of eight for
$175. The series fee also includes a Festival Panel Pass. Presented
in cooperation with The Historic New Orleans Collection and sponsored
by Southeastern Louisiana University.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
9 A.M. - JOHN BIGUENET: FROM PAGE TO STAGE
In this genre-hoping Master Class, award-winning fiction writer and
playwright John Biguenet will discuss the differences in telling a
story on the page versus on the stage. Examining versions of a ghost
tale that first appeared in one of his short stories and then in his
play Rising Water, Biguenet will lead participants in an analysis of
the contrasting techniques of setting, character, dialogue, and plot
in fiction and in theater. He’ll also explain why he considers it more
fun—though sometimes more frustrating—to write a play than a novel.
11 A.M. - NEVADA BARR: UNRAVELING THE MYSTERY OF SETTING
Setting can be almost as important to a mystery novel as the plot
itself. Would Raymond Chandler's novels have worked as well set
somewhere other than the sun-drenched palm-lined avenues of Los
Angeles? New York Times best-selling mystery novelist Nevada Barr sets
her Anna Pigeon series in our national parks, providing a backdrop of
untouched beauty and natural wildness to construct her plots around.
Join Barr as she discusses the importance of setting to her work, and
provides tips on creating a sense place for the novice mystery writer.
1:30 P.M. - TOM PIAZZA: BUT IS IT FICTION?
Pablo Picasso once remarked that art is the lie that tells the truth.
The lines between fiction and nonfiction have been blurring for as
long as there have been words for the two genres. Is it possible to
find a reliable dividing line? Tom Piazza, author of the novel City of
Refuge and the nonfiction book Why New Orleans Matters, has worked
extensively in both genres. In this wide-ranging class he will explore
the elements that make stories believable, those that make them
factual, and those that make them true.
3:30 P.M. - STEPHEN LOVELY: MARATHON TRAINING FOR THE FICTION
MIND AND BODY TO GO THE DISTANCE
There are numerous workshops designed to help budding writers focus on
development, plot, and structure. But what about the character of you,
the writer? How will you plot and structure your own writing life?
What kind of pace will you set? What point of view should you adopt
toward fellow writers? Toward other books? Toward the publishing
world? First-time novelist Stephen Lovely sheds light on a too-often
neglected aspect of writing—the mental and physical health of the
writer—with the goal of warding off those chronic afflictions to which
novice novelists are particularly susceptible: self-doubt, envy,
impatience, and angst.
Friday, March 27, 2009
9 A.M. - KATHERINE BOUTON: THE JOURNALISTIC APPROACH
An editor for The New York Times and instructor at The Writer's
Workshop, a program run by the CUNY Graduate Center, Katherine Bouton
offers a wealth of knowledge about the vast world of magazine writing.
Bouton will discuss and answer questions on all aspects of the craft,
including the difference between writing for magazines and writing for
newspapers, how to structure a “pitch,” and the booming online
freelance industry. Both veteran journalists and those who have never
so much as verified a quote will benefit from her advice on one of the
most accessible and lucrative writing markets out there.
11 A.M. - MARK DOTY: THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF POEMS
The word poetry is derived from the Greek word meaning “to make.” In
this class, Mark Doty, winner of the 2008 National Book Award for
Poetry for Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems, will discuss the
craft of using words to make poems. Doty, who is also the author of
four lauded works of nonfiction and seven other notable poetry
collections, including School of the Arts and My Alexandria, will talk
about how he uses such tools as diction, musicality, and imagery as he
builds poems brick by brick and word by word.
1:30 P.M. - JOHN BERENDT: CAPTURING THE CHARACTER OF PLACE
John Berendt, the acclaimed author of Midnight in the Garden of Good
and Evil and The City of Fallen Angels, will discuss how, for many
writers, the element of place can be as important as character and
plot. In his own books, for example, the Pulitzer Prize finalist uses
such settings as the hothouse atmosphere of Savannah and the
hauntingly mysterious Venice to lend shape to the eccentric characters
he writes about and to give special meaning to their antics.
3:30 P.M. - RICK BRAGG: WHAT IF YOUR MAMA SEES IT? THE PLEASURES AND
PERILS OF WRITING
The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of All Over But the
Shoutin’, Ava’s Man and The Prince of Frogtown will discuss the often
heart-rending process of writing memoir. As a journalist and author of
three family memoirs, Bragg’s gift is his ability to pull the picture
of the story from the details it provides. He imbues his writing with
an honesty and clarity that reveals the best parts of what is human;
that is, the wrongs most wounding and the acts of grace that transport
us to a better self. In this talk, Bragg will offer insights about how
to “write lines that are too pretty” and temper them with solid
reporting of facts and events.
The Master Classes will be held at The Historic New Orleans
Collection, 533 Royal St.,
Individual classes are $25; the full series of eight is $175.
For more information, call 1-800-990-3378 (FEST), or visit
regular updates, an online Festival program book, ticketing, and
information on how to become a “Friend of Tennessee.”