Friday, June 28, 2013

BK Loren at Bookworks July 7th at 3:00 PM

Taos Summer Writers' Conference 2013 faculty member B.K. Loren will discuss her two award winning books: Animal, Mineral, Radical and Theft at Albuquerque's independent bookstore, Bookworks, on Sunday, July 7 at 3:00 PM.

BK is teaching a class entitled: Beginning Memoir - Songs of Innocence and Experience: Finding the Core of Your Memoir at this summer's conference (in only a matter of weeks!). Of the class she says, "Stories give the world its shape and meaning in a way that cannot be explained by science alone. Every person has a story (or many stories) to tell. In this course, we’ll work on exploring our life experiences and listening intently to our own stories."

BK Loren has worked as a naturalist, large predator monitor for CO State Parks, professional brainstormer, assistant chef, ranch hand, furniture maker, UPS driver, and college professor. She currently teaches writing at Chatham University’s low residency program, the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, and many other venues throughout the United States and Canada. She is a winner of the Mary Roberts-Rinehart National Fellowship and has also received The Dana Award for a novel-in-progress for Theft. Loren currently lives with her partner, two dogs, and two cats in Colorado.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Meet the Hispanic Writer Awardee: Donna Gutierrez

Albuquerque native Donna Gutierrez is this year’s winner of the Taos Summer Writers’ Conference Hispanic Writer scholarship award. Gutierrez says, “I am so excited! This year, everything lined up just right for me, and I am looking forward to attending my workshop and being in the company of such wonderful and talented people.” She will take advantage of the award to attend Laura Brodie’s Intermediate/Advanced Novel-in-Progress weeklong workshop. In addition, Gutierrez will do a reading of her work at 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 16th at the Sagebrush Conference Inn Center in Taos, NM. This event is free and open to the public.

Gutierrez is a student in the Master’s of Fine Art program at the University of New Mexico (UNM) English Department as well as works as an Extended Learning Project Manager in the New Media and Extended Learning unit of UNM’s Extended University. Her writing explores the theme of diminished expectations, asking, “How do we live our lives when we find that things don’t always turn out the way we planned?”

Raised in a home where resources were so tight there was no paper on which to write, Gutierrez applied her No. 2 pencil to writing her stories on the family’s old white Frigidaire refrigerator as a child. From those beginnings, tracing her New Mexico roots to the farms and ranches of Chilili, NM, one of North America’s oldest settlements, to her professional career in digital technologies, Gutierrez’s writing delves into what it means to straddle fences, or worlds, as it were. “I often feel as though my older relatives have no idea of what I do. Also, people that I talk to at work have no real idea about what it is like to grow up with so little money, there wasn’t any extra for writing paper. Writing on the refrigerator is not common to most people.”

Congratulations Donna!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Meet the Native Writer Awardee: Shauna Osborn

The Taos Summer Writers’ Conference is pleased to announce poet Shauna Osborn as the recipient of the Native Writer Award. Based on the strength of her application, Osborn was awarded admission to the weeklong Conference, where she will take a poetry workshop from renowned poet Luci Tapahanso. Of the Conference, Osborn says, "I want to gain an understanding of the writers that will be there, and I look forward to talk about the craft of writing." Traveling from Albuquerque, Osborn eagerly anticipates to the change of scenery Taos offers, and the impact it will have on her work.

As a child in rural Oklahoma, Osborn was drawn to writing fiction and poetry. Turning her attention completely to poetry in high school, Osborn was and continues to be concerned with “the little moments in life that others might miss.” She believes, “as a writer, we often come back to things we’re trying to understand in a different way.” For Osborn, poetry holds an important therapeutic place in a community, and she often works with a variety of groups and schools to extend its power. Some of her current projects include a book length chorepoem, a hybrid work of theater, choreography and poetry, called Red Earth Woman and White Buffalo Gal Go to Mexico.

A reading, free and open to the public, will be given by Osborn on Tuesday, July 16th at 12:30 PM, at the Sagebrush Inn, Taos, NM.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Congratulations Demetria!

This year's TSWC faculty is on fire! Congratulations to Demetria Martinez for winning the 2013 International Latino Book Award for Best Latino Focused Fiction Book for THE BLOCK CAPTAIN'S DAUGHTER (University of Oklahoma Press).

At the 15th annual Taos Summer Writers' Conference, Demetria Martinez will be teaching a highly anticipated weeklong workshop entitled "The Freedom to Write: A Fiction Workshop for Beginners." About the workshop Demetria says, "This workshop is about inspiration, letting go so that characters can reveal aspects of their lives that will surprise you. You’ll end up with material to deepen and expand your work while being spared the experience of writer’s block." There are only 3 spots left and they are sure to go fast.

Demetria Martinez is an author, activist, journalist and creativity coach. Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she now resides, she earned her BA from Princeton University in 1982. She is an activist on several fronts, including work with the Jardines Institute which is committed to food justice and sustainable farming in economically disadvantaged communities.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Congratualtions Annie!

Taos Summer Writers' Conference Faculty member extraordinaire, Annie Dawid, recently was awarded the DANA AWARD IN THE ESSAY for "All Thy Waves."  Congratulations Annie! At this summer's conference, Annie Dawid will be teaching a weekend workshop entitled The Sound of Her Voice: Narrative Character. This is sure to be a very thoughtful and interesting workshop that dives deep into the intricacies of voice and character. There are only a few spots left in the class, so hurry up and find out more by reading the instructor letter.  

ANNIE DAWID, author of three volumes of fiction, won the Orlando Flash Fiction award for "Nitza Kosher Pizza" from the A Room of One's Own Foundation in the fall of 2012. She will be teaching a workshop in narrative, "The Sound of Her Voice," at the 2013 Taos Summer Writers Workshop, hosted by the University of New Mexico. Retired from 16 years at Lewis & Clark College as Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing, Annie now teaches AP English part-time at the Custer County High School in Westcliffe, Colorado. She reviews for HIGH COUNTRY NEWS and COLORADO CENTRAL and edits manuscripts of all genres for clients all over the United States.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

An Interview with Dan Mueller on Image & Flash Fiction

 The TSWC asked Dan a few questions about his exciting weekend workshop that he'll be offering this summer. Check it out, there are only a few spots left!

Q: Define flash fiction.

Flash fiction is fiction composed of fewer words than most conventional short stories, though all the elements associated with short fiction are present, at least by implication. While a flash fiction may be experienced in a flash, it may or may not have been written in one. In the workshop I’ll lead at the Taos Summer Writers’ Conference, writers will leave with four newly minted flash fiction drafts and a strong sense of the approaches to revision available to them.

Q: What makes for successful flash fiction?

What makes a flash fiction successful lies in the impression it leaves on the reader. In much successful flash fiction, a single compelling action is inextricably bound to a central visual image. When this happens, the image is, in a way, tattooed onto the reader’s mind as an objective correlative and emblem of the story as a whole. Successful flash fiction is never slight; instead, it evokes its complexity and depth through precision and compression. Writers of successful flash fiction have an understanding, intrinsic or learned, of the power effected through the marriage of narrative and lyric strategies.

Q: What benefits might a flash fiction workshop offer those interested in writing longer pieces?

Flash fiction, whether published or in draft form, is all about potential, subtext, what’s left unsaid. For this reason, a piece of flash fiction may stay a flash fiction or germinate into a short story or even a novel. My flash fiction workshop is generative. We’ll discuss what flash fiction is, what it shares with longer forms of narration as well as how it differs from them. More than in other fiction workshops, we’ll concern ourselves with the well-rendered moment, which will be as helpful to writers of long fiction as it will to those of short and short-short.

Q: What is the fundamental difference between flash fiction and prose poetry?

Prose poetry may or may not tell a story. Flash fiction always does.

Q: What are some of your favorite flash fiction pieces?

My favorite flash fictions of all time are those contained in Italo Calvino’s highly lyric novel Invisible Cities. Classic flash fictions we’ll likely read in the workshop I’ll lead in July are Russell Edson’s “Ape,” Alice Walker’s “The Flowers,” Elizabeth Tallent’s “No One’s a Mystery,” Fred Chappell’s “Children of Strikers,” Pamela Painter’s “The Bridge,” David Foster Wallace’s “Everything is Green,” Michael Delp’s “Draft Horse,” Gregory Burnham’s “Subtotals,” and T. Coraghessan Boyle’s “The Hit Man.” We’ll also examine some very recent examples of the form from a current issue of Nano Fiction.

Q: You’ve received some rave reviews from participants of your past workshops at the conference. What is your favorite element of the Taos Summer Writers’ Conference and why?

How accepting the conference is of everyone, regardless of experience, taste, and artistic orientation, and how serious it is about helping writers achieve their goals. Unlike other writers’ conferences, the Taos Summer Writers’ Conference is free of hierarchies. We’re all writers there, and in helping one another we help ourselves. Thanks to Sharon Oard Warner and her extraordinary leadership as executive director, the atmosphere at the Taos Summer Writers’ Conference is as conducive to productivity as it is to growth, and I’m honored to have served on the faculty for as many conferences as I have. In short, it’s a blast.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Making Sense of Today’s Publishing Landscape: A Round Table You Don't Want to Miss

Making Sense of Today's Publishing Landscape with Jane von Mehren
Sunday, July 14th from 5-6 pm in Chamisa I of the Sagebrush Inn Conference Center

Don’t miss the first event of the fifteenth annual Taos Summer Writers’Conference! Veteran editor and publisher Jane von Mehren will lead you through changing landscape of contemporary publishing. With the rise of e-books, independent authors, and consolidation in the publishing industry it's the best and worst of times for publishers, booksellers, and authors. Jane von Mehren, a veteran editor and publisher, will walk you through what is happening in the industry and what that means for you as a writer. What are the challenges to traditional publishing, the new opportunities for self-publishing and the necessary work you need to do whichever path you decide is right for you? Attend and find out!

Jane von Mehren spent more than 25 years as an editor and publisher at Random House, Penguin, Houghton Mifflin, and Crown Publishers. In response to the rapidly developing e-book marketplace she conceived and spearheaded Random House Readers Circle Deluxe e-books, an innovative e-book program targeted to the book club market. In addition to her editorial experience, Jane's expertise is in helping authors position themselves and their work for today's challenging marketplace.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

SEEKING RIDE for July 19 after last afternoon workshop session.

Looking for a ride back to Santa Fe Friday after the afternoon session. I'm hoping to get into Santa Fe around 7:00 or so. Please e-mail here.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Fiction Writer Matthew Pitt Awarded the D.H. Lawrence Fellowship

Matthew Pitt has been awarded the 2013 D.H. Lawrence Fellowship. As the fellow, Pitt will give a reading on Monday, July 15 at 12:30 p.m. at the Sagebrush Inn Conference Center. He will be reading from his debut story collection, Attention Please Now. About Attention Please Now, Brian Morton called it, “A remarkable debut novel by a brilliant young writer.”

"I've heard many glowing reports about the conference from peers and friends. Being a part of this year's gathering will feel like Christmas in July," Matthew said after receiving news that he had been selected as this year's fellow.

Matthew Pitt is a native of St. Louis. His first book of fiction, the short story collection ATTENTION PLEASE NOW, won the Autumn House Press Fiction Prize. It was also a Writers League of Texas Book Award finalist. Matthew is a graduate of Hampshire College and New York University, where he was a New York Times fellow. His stories have appeared in such journals, magazines and anthologies as: Oxford American, The Southern Review, The Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, New Letters, Epoch, Witness, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Harcourt's BEST NEW AMERICAN VOICES. His work has been cited in the BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES, BEST AMERICAN NONREQUIRED READING, and PUSHCART PRIZE anthologies. His stories have won prizes from Inkwell (judged by Martha Cooley), the Salem College Center for Women Writers (judged by Ellen Gilchrist) and The Madison Review.

The D.H. Lawrence fellowship is given each year to an emerging writer of poetry or prose with one book in print or at press. Originally established to sustain a living tradition of artistic creation in a place the late English writer so loved, the D.H. Lawrence Fellowship is the most prestigious of the Taos Summer Writers’ Conference awards and scholarships.

Past recipients of the fellowship include: Kristen-Paige Madonia (2012), Darlin' Neal of Orlando, FL (2011), Andrew Kozma of Houston, Texas (2010), Merrill Feitell (2009), Nancy Pagh of Bellingham, Washington (2008), Philip Cioffari (2007), Kelly Magee of Columbus, Ohio (2006); Carl Marcum of Chicago, Illinois (2005); Lisa Goett of Taos, New Mexico (2004); Sarah Jane Smith of Miami, Florida (2003); Andrea Hollander Budy of Mountain View, Arkansas (2002); Pamela Gemin of Oshkosh, Wisconsin (2001); and Charlotte Holmes of State College, Pennsylvania (2000).

We are so excited to welcome Matthew to this year's conference!