North Shore Readers and Writers Festival | Day 2: Friday, Nov. 8

View a printable schedule for the full festival (.pdf)

Class | Narrative Dissonance: Using Multiple Narratives to Tell One Story

with Shannon Gibney
Friday, November 8 | 9:00 — 11:30 am

Shannon Gibney will focus on investigative approaches and techniques to using many different stories in order to tell one, central story. Students will look at the aesthetics, politics, and practices of this strategy, in an effort to explore how they might approach it in their own work.


Class | Writing Critical Scenes in Your Novel

with Geoff Herbach
Friday, November 8 | 9:00 — 11:30 am

Story middles are hard to write. Writers often get lost in an ocean of words and need to find a way to anchor their narrative. One way to do it is to aim at particular, important scenes that create big change for characters. Aristotle called these scenes reversals. Others call them turns or threshold passages. George Saunders calls them “Matchbox Gas Stations.” They give energy. They add accelerant. Geoff will help students to explore a variety of techniques concerning thresholds, including turn scenes, and “slo-mo” scenes which cause permanent character changes. Students will acquire successful tools for tackling difficult middles.


Craft Seminar | Poetic Technique and Poetic Risk

with David Mura
Friday, November 8 | 9:00 — 10:15 am

Using an approach honed by years of teaching, David will explore the basic techniques of poetry which underlie both free and formal verse; the elements that link classics like Shakespeare to contemporary masters like Patricia Smith. David will also cover how to move past psychological blocks and restrictions, take more risks, and apply techniques of revision. There will be one or two exercises included.


Craft Seminar | Writing Your Mythology

with Leif Enger
Friday, November 8 | 10:30 — 11:45 am

Join Leif for a conversation on how to use what you know—your experience and surroundings, the weather, flora and creatures, and natural history of your earthly patch—to build stories and characters that feel genuine and mythic, like tales that have always been there and needed only your voice to raise them up. Leif will incorporate examples from wonderful novelists living and dead, from epic poets, and maybe a screenwriter or two, all of whom have found ways to evoke the eternity inside of great stories.


Author Talk | Beyond Genre: Writing the Hybrid Novel

with Sheila O’Connor
Friday, November 8 | 9:00 — 9:45 am

Why would a writer choose to write a hybrid text?  What are the possibilities and limitations of creating a work outside of a single genre such as poetry or fiction? Drawing on her own experience as a multi-genre writer moving between audiences and forms, Sheila will talk about the challenges and possibilities encountered in her hybrid novel Evidence of V: A Novel in Fragments, Facts, and Fictions (Rose Metal Press, 2019) and her early decision to tell that story outside the boundaries of traditional literary genres.


Author Talk | Girl Gone Missing

with Marcie Rendon
Friday, November 8 | 10:00 — 10:45 am

Marcie will read from her debut novel, Murder on the Red River (Cinco Puntos Press, 2017) which has been awarded the 2018 Pinckley Prize for Debut Crime Novel and received the Western Writers of American SPUR finalist award for Best Contemporary Novel. Girl Gone Missing (Cinco Puntos Press, 2019) is the second in the Cash Blackbear Series.


Local Writers’ Lunchtime Reading Panel

with Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux, Amy Woschek Schmidt & Joan Crosby
Friday, November 8 | 12:10 — 1:20 pm

Join authors Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux, The Marvelous Imagination of Katie Addams (Alchemy Storyworks, 2015), Amy Woschek Schmidt, Year of Poems, and Joan Crosby, Tucker Lake Chronicle (Nodin Press, 2019), as they read from their work.

Bring your lunch or registered for a catered lunch here:
Select the optional lunch ticket at the bottom of the page and the Art Colony will reach out to you to place your lunch order. Your menu options are: 

  • Meat Sandwich: Turkey and provolone with lettuce, tomato, and mayo packet. Includes an apple, chips and a cookie.
  • Gluten-Free: Lettuce wrap with turkey, provolone, tomato, and mayo packet. Includes an apple, chips and gluten-free dessert
  • Vegan Wrap: Lettuce wrap with tomato, roasted red pepper, banana peppers and onions. Includes an apple, chips and  vegan dessert; Gluten-Free dessert upon request.

Class | The Art of Losing: Reading and Writing the Elegy

with Matt Rasmussen
Friday, November 8 | 1:30 — 4:00 pm

Matt will examine the history of the elegy and students will read and discuss both classic and contemporary elegies while adapting the strategies used in their own poems of loss. In-class work will be supported through prompts, exercises, and inspiration from a small object brought by each student. At the end students will share their elegies with the class.


Class | Beating Writers’ Block

with Faith Sullivan
Friday, November 8 | 1:30 — 4:00 pm

What is a “block”? Is there more than one kind? How and why do blocks occur? What are the various methods for overcoming them? Award-winning novelist Faith Sullivan, winner of the Midwest Book Award, Langum Prize for Historical Fiction, Minnesota Book Award Finalist, Milkweed National Fiction Prize, and Ben Franklin Prize, will lead a discussion on these topics and students will discover the methods that might work for their practice.


Class | Writing that Matters

with Nicole Helget
Friday, November 8 | 1:30 — 4:00 pm

We face enormous challenges — politics, economics, culture, society, and environment. Join Nicole for a session on how art and storytelling can help us find the words to begin the basic discussion about the health of this world.


Class | Narrative Structure & Techniques in Fiction and Memoir

with David Mura
Friday, November 8 | 1:30 — 4:00 pm

Many books and classes on creative writing don’t cover significant narrative structures and techniques. David will lead students in an exploration of the basics of narrative construction in fiction and memoir. Topics will include the basics of story, the role of irreconcilable conflicts, the use of lies, the structures of myth, the three-act play, and the author as the devil tempting her characters. Students will examine how fiction writers create story, while memoir writers discover story. David will provide pre-class assignments.


Craft Seminar | Levels of Edit

with Ann Regan
Friday, November 8 | 1:30 — 2:45 pm

How does developmental editing differ from line editing and copyediting? And what is substantive editing? How does an editor know which to do and how far to go? We will discuss different levels of editing, and then students will edit a short piece of prose. Ann will share some of her own solutions and talk about how levels of edit play out in her work at the Minnesota Historical Society Press. Students will gain perspective on editing their own work as well as tactics for providing feedback to fellow writers.


Craft Seminar | Writing from the Body

with Mary Moore Easter
Friday, November 8 | 1:30 — 2:45 pm

You don’t have to be a dancer. You have to be willing to move and to notice your body in motion as a prompt for writing. Through guided improvisations, we will produce several short texts for further editing or expansion. Pushcart-prize nominated Mary Moore Easter founded and directed Carleton College’s Dance Program and co-mentored the Givens Black Writers Program (2015-17).  She has taught this session to movers of varied abilities including the wheelchair bound.


Craft Seminar | Ready to Self-Publish? Hold on!

with Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux, Gwen Danfelt, Rachel Moeller & Nayt Rundquist
Friday, November 8 | 2:55 — 4:10 pm

Writing is a profession and so is publishing. Can you do both? The panel will discuss key elements of publishing: design, editing, and retail sales. Listen to the perspectives of a self-published author, a bookseller, a design and production manager, and an editor.


Craft Seminar | The Art of the Book Review

with Eric Lorberer
Friday, November 8 | 2:55 — 4:10 pm

Join Eric Lorberer, Editor of the Minnesota-made and nationally-acclaimed journal Rain Taxi Review of Books, for a discussion on book reviews—why they exist, how they work, what makes them sparkle, and where they can fit into our lives as readers or writers—the answers might surprise you!


Author Talk | In Winter’s Kitchen

with Beth Dooley
Friday, November 8 | 1:30 — 2:15 pm

Beth will read from In Winter’s Kitchen (Milkweed Editions, 2015), which was a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award in 2016, as well as excerpts from The Perennial Kitchen: Field Report with Recipes for the Future, due out in 2020.


Author Talk | The Shallows

with Matt Goldman
Friday, November 8 | 2:20 — 3:05 pm

Matt Goldman, Emmy-award winning TV writer and New York Times Best Selling Author as well as a Shamus and Nero Award nominee, will discuss his third book in the Nils Shapiro series, The Shallows (Forge Books, 2019).


Author Talk | A Ladies Guide to Selling Out

with Sally Franson
Friday, November 8 | 3:10 — 3:55 pm

Sally Franson will read from her debut novel, A Ladies Guide to Selling Out (Dial Press, 2018), referred to by Entertainment Weekly as a cross between The Devil Wears Prada and Mad Men.


Author Talk | Dream Country

with Shannon Gibney
Friday, November 8 | 4:00 — 4:45 pm

Minnesota Book Award winner Shannon Gibney will read from her young adult novel, Dream Country (Dutton Books for Young Readers, 2018), which moves between the United States and Liberia from 1827 to 2018, following five generations of young people in one African-American family. The novel received starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, and School Library Journal and won the Minnesota Book Award.


Exhibitors’ Hour

Friday, November 8 | 4:30 — 5:30 pm

Book professionals will be set up and on hand at the Event Hub. Stop by to learn more about the festival presses and ask your publishing questions. Drinks and light refreshments provided. This event is free and open to all; no pre-registration is required.


Author Talk | Our Lands Are Not So Different

with Michael Bazzett
Friday, November 8 | 5:00 — 6:30 pm

The Grand Marais Library Friends invites you to an author talk and book signing with Minnesota poet Michael Bazzett. His recently published verse translation of the Mayan creation epic, The Popol Vuh (Milkweed, 2018) was named “one of 2018’s ten best books of poetry” by the NY Times. This event is open to the public and a suggested $10 donation will be taken at the door. No pre-registration is required.


Special Event | Writing Humor

with Sally Franson, Lorna Landvik & Julie Schumacher
Friday, November 8 | 7:00 — 8:30 pm

Christopher Hitchens famously said that women aren’t funny. Julie Schumacher, Lorna Landvik, and Sally Franson beg to differ. Join us for a delightful evening with these talented authors as they talk about humor writing—which is often deadly serious as well as comic— and about treading the line between humor and hostility on the one hand, and humor and dumb jokes on the other. The panelists will have examples ready to debate and discuss, and hope for lively audience participation. This event is free and open to all; but pre-registration is required for this event.

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  • North Shore Readers and Writers Festival
    November 8, 2019
    9:00 am - 8:30 pm
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