Sunday, April 19, 2009

"Ahhh, sex."

I knew I’d catch your attention with that line, but I didn’t write it. Terese Svoboda, the keynote speaker at the William Paterson University Spring Writer’s Conference, did. From the website she “is the author of ten books of prose and poetry, most recently the memoir Black Glasses Like Clark Kent, winner of the 2007 Graywolf Nonfiction Prize…’ She’s one numerous award and taught at various universities. You can check out the details here… Terese Svoboda on the web
Here is what I like most…
Plenary Reading with Terese Svoboda…
Terese talked about the importance of first lines and then read her first lines from a few of her books. One of them being the “Ahhhh, sex.”
She is a wonderful speaker and has led an interesting life.

Editing and Publishing, with George Witte.
I liked the part when Mr. Witte read from the minutes of a St. Martin editorial meeting. He also discussed the importance of first sentence/paragraphs and brought up Terese Svoboda’s talk. He also said transitions, whether scene to scene or chapter to chapter, must hook the reader to keep on reading. He also mention the importance of endings. Don’t leave the reader hanging. Wrap up story arc’s and story questions. The class was filled with newbies, which is fine, but that meant the Q&A was a bit boring.

Writing About God in a Secular World, with Christopher Weaver.
This was not what I expected. Our instructor while jovial admitted upfront that he is an atheist. I found that strange. This is what we did…list the ways we can write about religion, talked a little about religion vs. spirituality, using a writing prompt wrote for 15 min. then got into groups and read our work.

Overall, I did have a nice time. The staff was great and it’s always fun to get together with other writers. I plan on going next year, but will sign up early so I get the classes I want.

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