Fall 2020 Convergence of Writers
Saturday, September 19, 2020

A one-day virtual event that features FIVE breakout sessions, each consisting of two one-hour writer workshops/classes. Each class will be recorded and available for attendees to access for 2 months following the Convergence; ten hours of instruction for one very low price--that's the best bargain around!


  • Welcome session 10-10:30am--Presented by novelist, Brad Parks
    International bestselling author Brad Parks is the only author to have won the Shamus, Nero, and Lefty Awards, three of crime fiction’s most prestigious prizes. His ten novels have been published in fifteen languages and have won critical acclaim across the globe, including stars from every major pre-publication review outlet. A former journalist, he is now a full-time novelist living in tidewater Virginia with his wife and two school-aged children. For more, visit his website at www.BradParksBooks.com.

    Break 10:30-10:40a

    First sessions 10:40-11:40a

  • Screenplay Structure
    By understanding the structure of a screenplay, participants will be able to begin the process of writing their own. A script is a blueprint - part of a much bigger process. It is the foundation on which a film is built. Ms. King-Sanchez's goal for the workshop is to give participants the necessary tools needed to create and build a strong foundation.
    Presented by Tracy King-Sanchez

  • BIO:
    Tracy M. King-Sanchez is an award-winning screenwriter, as well as a playwright, filmmaker, and writer. Her short film, Artistic Closure, screened at the Stony Brook, Big Apple and Great Lakes Independent Film Festivals. Her writings have appeared in The Southampton Review, HotHouse Magazine, Midnight Breakfast, The Normal School, Atticus Review and Bold As Love Magazine. Tracy received her MFA from Stony Brook Southampton and completed a VONA/VOICES Residency. Currently living in France, she is working on a collection of short stories set in Paris and a memoir The Sum of All My Parts.

  • When to Make a Scene: Finding the Perfect Scene/Summary Balance
    Scene/summary balance is a powerful yet often overlooked tool in the writer's toolkit. This class will focus first on what makes an effective scene and passage of summary and then examine how and when to employ each in your works of fiction or creative nonfiction to control pacing, create emphasis, provide background, and enhance the meaning of your prose. We'll look at successful examples, talk through details, and field questions from the class.
    Presented by Valerie Wilkinson

  • BIO:
    A writer of both fiction and creative nonfiction, Valerie Wilkinson holds an MFA from Old Donation University. Her short fiction has appeared in Water~Stone Review and Yemassee Journal, where she placed in a national short fiction contest. She co-authored Whispers from Our Soul, a book of creative nonfiction, served as a quarterly essay contributor to Moondance.org, and is currently working on a novel. Valerie has taught multiple craft seminars and fiction classes. She is a founding member of HRW and serves on the HRW board.

    Break 11:40-11:50a

    Second sessions 11:50-12:50p

  • Telling True Stories: The Art of Writing Compelling Memoir
    Writing true stories about our own lives can be cathartic, but how do we make the experience as interesting to a reader as it is to the author? Or to put it another way, just because it happened to us doesn't make it important to others. The secret to writing compelling memoir is in the artistic and craft choices we make, and the extent to which we are willing to interrogate and discover rather than merely recount past events. This webinar will look at how we make those choices and the various craft elements that fuel the 'Memoir Engine.'
    Presented by Dinty W. Moore

  • BIO:
    Dinty W. Moore is author of the memoir Between Panic & Desire, the writing guides The Story Cure and Crafting the Personal Essay, among many other books. He has published essays and stories in The Georgia Review, Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. He is founding editor of Brevity, the journal of flash nonfiction, and teaches master classes and workshops across the United States as well as in Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, and Mexico.

  • Staying Passionate and Confident with Your Novel-in-Progress
    Susan Henderson knows all about those writing projects that take four or more years to complete. She's full of ideas for maintaining passion, getting through blocks, breathing life into your work-in-progress, and fighting self-doubt. We'll be talking about very practical solutions for common jams we all get into. If you need a shot of adrenaline and confidence, this workshop is for you!
    Presented by Susan Henderson

  • BIO:
    Susan Henderson is a Hawthornden International Fellow, a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, and the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Award. She is the author of the novels Up from the Blue and The Flicker of Old Dreams, both published by HarperCollins, and was on the judging committee for the 2019 John Leonard Prize. Susan is a lifetime member of the National Book Critics Circle and the NAACP. She lives in New York and blogs at the writer support group, LitPark.com.

    Break 12:50-1:00p

    Third sessions 1:00-2:00p

  • Action, Description, Reaction (ADR): A Simple Technique for Compelling Scenes
    Strong scenes contain both narrative push and dialogue. Often, in early drafts, dialogue is presented in long swaths of back and forth from characters, with an occasional "said" to let readers know who is speaking. While "said" is useful scaffolding, so much more can be presented to the reader with dialogue tags and other devices that convey action, description, and character reaction, which all help to fully build the scene. In this short seminar, we'll take a closer look at the power of A.D.R. and how it can help strengthen the setting, action, and emotional resonance of your story.
    Presented by Michael Khandelwal

  • BIO:
    Michael Khandelwal is the Executive Director of The Muse Writers Center, a nationally recognized literary center in Norfolk, Virginia. An award-winning writer and teacher, he writes poetry, fiction, editorials, profiles, and feature articles, which have appeared in Rattle, Coastal Virginia Magazine, Alt Daily, and elsewhere. Michael teaches poetry and fiction workshops for The Muse, is the current Vice Chairperson of the Norfolk Electoral Board, and is a member of the Norfolk Commission on the Arts and Humanities. A graduate of the University of Southern California (BA & MPW), he is a past web content management specialist for The American Council on Education and the past President of the 2008 Electoral College of Virginia.

  • Seeds of Resistance, Sparks of Joy
    In this moment of intersecting pandemics, this workshop presents poetry as a tool to promote social justice as well as personal wellness. Poet Nikky Finney says, "Poetry is the first language of a free and flying unchained heart." Using the work of a few unchained hearted poets as guides, workshop participants will practice writing poetry that plants their seeds of resistance and lights their sparks of joy. PLEASE NOTE: whatever you write during the practice time will not be shared with attendees, though it might serve as inspiration for an ongoing or new Work-in-Progress.
    Presented by Dr. LeConté Dill

  • BIO:
    Dr. LeConté Dill was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, the granddaughter of sojourners of the 2nd Wave of the Great Migration. She is a scholar, educator, and a poet in and out of classroom and community spaces. LeConté holds degrees from Spelman College, UCLA, and UC Berkeley, has participated in VONA Voices and Cave Canem workshops, and was a 2016 Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop Fellow. Currently, she is the Director of Public Health Practice and a Clinical Associate Professor at NYU. Ever transdisciplinary, her work has been published in a diverse array of spaces, such as Poetry Magazine, Mom Egg Review, Journal of Poetry Therapy, and The Feminist Wire. She, her husband Umberto, and their daughter Worthy are creating a homeplace in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.

    Break 2:00-2:10p

    Fourth sessions 2:10-3:10p

  • I Said, You Said, She Said: A Short Lesson on various Points-of-View
    An African proverb states "Until the lion tells his side of the story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter." There are several sides to any story. So, who gets to tell it and why? Participants will learn about the various points-of-view that can be utilized in writing as well as the positives and limitations involved.
    Presented by Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz

  • BIO:
    Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz is an award-winning writer. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in various journals and anthologies, and she has had four flash plays recently produced. She is the author of two fiction chapbooks, Mother Love and Where I'll Be If I'm Not There.

  • Before You Self-Publish
    Today it is easier and faster than ever to get a book published, but writers should take some time before doing so. Award-winning author and publishing consultant, Carol Hoenig, will explain why, so that when you do publish, your book has a better opportunity of finding readers. Whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction, before you rush to hit send, attend this workshop where we'll discuss how to find your audience, build your platform, and make sure your finished product is something about which you can be proud.
    Presented by Carol Hoenig

  • BIO: Carol Hoenig is President of Carol Hoenig, Publishing Consultant, Inc. where she covers a variety of aspects in the publishing industry, including, ghostwriting, editing, publicity and marketing for authors and helping with book proposals. In addition, she is a published author and was named Best of Long Island Author 2012 by the Long Island Press and named Outstanding Advocate for the Arts 2013 by the Long Island Arts Council. Her novel, WITHOUT GRACE, was awarded the Silver Medal for Book of the Year 2005 by ForeWord Magazine and given First Place for Fiction by the DIY Book Festival. Jada Press and the New York Book Festival also gave her novel honorable mention. Her second novel, OF LITTLE FAITH, was published in 2013. Her nonfiction work, THE AUTHOR’S GUIDE TO PLANNING BOOK EVENTS was given the Gold medal by ForeWord Magazine for Book of the Year in the category of writing and named finalist by USA Book and Reader Views. Carol’s essays, articles, book reviews and short stories appear in a wide number of publications. She blogged for The Huffington Post and contributed to PUTTING YOUR PASSION INTO PRINT, written by Arielle Eckstudt & David Henry Sterry. Arianna Huffington invited Carol to contribute to ON BECOMING FEARLESS. Tory Johnson, ABC’s Good Morning America’s workplace contributor, published Carol’s essay in Tory’s New York Times Bestseller, WILL WORK FROM HOME. Carol’s short story, “Snow Angels and Somersaults”, was a finalist for the 2007 Spring/Summer Glass Woman Prize, a bi-annual prize for women prose writers. Her essay, “Wild Horses and Young Stallions” was selected for the anthology LOST LESSONS FROM LIFE ON A FARM. She was the Director and Writer-in-Residence for Old Forge Library Adirondack Summer Writing Workshop for 2008. She is also content coordinator and editor for Rockville Centre Living, writes for Long Island Woman magazine, teaches writing courses, and is often invited as a guest speaker for a variety of organizations.

    Break 3:10-3:20p

    Fifth sessions 3:20-4:20p

  • Close Third Person POV—The key to evoking moment by moment shared visceral experience and finding meaning through character
    In this workshop, attendees will be introduced to the often-forgotten art of close third person point of view. Following this, they will engage in a guided writing exercise with attention to exploring through the POV and evoking shared visceral experience. This will lead to a process of discovery and openness to wonder. Bring a notebook or journal to class so you can participate in the guided writing exercise. PLEASE NOTE: whatever you write will not be shared with attendees, though it might serve as inspiration for an ongoing or new Work-in-Progress.
    Presented by Darlin' Neal

  • BIO: Darlin' Neal is the author of the story collections RATTLESNAKES & THE MOON and ELEGANT PUNK (Press 53). Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in numerous magazines including Puerto del Sol, The Southern Review, Eleven Eleven, The Huffington Post, and The Best of the Web.

  • Beneath the Novel: 2 Strategies That Saved A.K. Small's Writing and Might Well Save Yours
    In this class, attendees will learn about John Truby's 'Need and Desire Lines' while looking at some key questions he suggests that authors should keep in mind. Attendees will also learn about Ann Napolitano's (author of DEAR EDWARD) incredible 'Search and Rescue' idea.
    Presented by A.K. Small

  • BIO: A.K. Small's debut novel, BRIGHT BURNING STARS, was published by Algonquin Young Readers in May 2019. It was one of BN Teens Most Anticipated Books of 2019 and the cover was revealed at EW.com. It received a starred Kirkus Review and was a recommended read in the August issue of Cosmopolitan. A.K. Small's second novel, FEATHER GIRL, is due to be released Fall 2021. A.K. Small also spends time on short stories. Her short story, "Anthrocon", 2017 was nominated for a Pushcart prize by the Bellevue Literary Review. Other stories such as the "Flour Baby" and "The Interior Designer" were also nominated or runner-up to prizes. A.K. Small grew up in Paris, near the Sacré Coeur, graduated from the College of William and Mary and later received an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

    Break 4:20-4:30p

    Closing/Thank You session 4:30-4:45--Valerie Wilkinson

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