Morning Breakout Sessions: 

Everyone Needs an Editor
V.B. Price

The role of an editor is to collaborate with writers to perfect their work. Good line editors are excellent proofreaders and pay attention to word choices, rhythm and continuity. Copy editors see the big picture; characters, plot lines, strengths, weaknesses and overall impact. An acquisitions editor chooses works to be published. As writers, we will have relationships with editors, and we also have to edit ourselves. Learn about editing from both sides of the profession, and find out if you may have what it takes to be a successful editor! 

Waiting for the Muse… 
Bruce Noll, Ph.D.

Many would-be writers expect inspiration to arrive in a flash, as an unmistakable revelation or a brilliant and fully formed insight - that’s why most remain would-be writers. Often we will sit, feeling empty, in front of an empty page or screen. Creative writing demands discipline, receptivity to inner and external nuances, and an ability to avoid distractions. Your uber-connected online life is stimulating and interesting, but your authentic Muse may require your conscious presence in the offline world. Learn how to actively access inspiration in the process of developing your prose and poetry.

Passion & Persuasion
Antoinette Sedillo Lopez

Since her days as a student in the University Honors Program, Prof. Sedillo Lopez has been composing and publishing prose poetry. As a lawyer, she writes traditional law review articles and briefs pertaining to cases before the courts. In the context of law, evidence rules. However cases can be won or lost on the quality and strength of the narrative that is presented about people and circumstances; this is how judges and juries are convinced. No matter what you do after graduation, this session will explore how the writing you love to do can be a source of creative inspiration and expression throughout your career. 

The Impact of Story Telling
Michael Thomas, Ph.D.

Writing is the attempt to replicate thoughts, feelings or insights in the consciousness of another person. Through vivid imagery, writing can resonate as an emotional or physical response. Sharing engaging stories creates positive bonds, helps to build consensus, and makes your work memorable. Regardless of your field of endeavor, whether you are writing political speeches, grants, travel accounts, marketing campaigns or fiction, there is a centrality of narrative which relies on your ability to connect with other people. Explore the broader dimensions of relating authentically with readers, based on Dr. Thomas’ extensive cross-cultural experiences. 

Morning Plenary Session: 

Get Paid for Your Prose!
Sarah Z. Sleeper

Sarah graduated from UNM with a degree in English; she took one non-writing job and vowed never to do that again. As a skilled writer, she found that it was possible to earn an excellent living by honing her craft and putting it to use in a wide variety of professional fields. She will explain why, even in this challenging economy, freelance writers are in demand if they are knowledgeable, hard-working and passionate about writing. Gain insight about how you can succeed, and get practical tools and tips for launching your career. Learn how to be in business as a writer - from an expert who’s been there and done it. 

Afternoon Breakout Sessions: 

Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
Bruce Noll, Ph.D.

What arouses your curiosity? What do you have a burning desire to learn about and share with others through your writing? And how do you overcome your real or imagined obstacles or limitations? An unexpected encounter with dragonflies eventually led Dr. Noll to the jungles of Peru, and he never took a biology course.

His love for Whitman’s poetry led to a lifelong venture of presenting this work internationally. Could a successful and lucrative career be linked to sharing your passions and interests, even if they don’t seem to match the academic requirements for graduation? 

Inside UNM Press
Maya Allen-Gallegos

What does it take to get a manuscript from your hard drive to the public in book form (whether as a hardback, paperback, or an e-book) from a university press? The publishing process is largely the same at any university press across the country - whether you are a first-time novelist, a poet with a book-length collection, an academic publishing a revised dissertation for tenure, a scholar with important new research to share, or a professional writer with an intriguing or timely story to tell! Learn about this process, from the initial query letter through peer review, copyediting and design, to receiving book advances and doing promotion. Specific questions regarding any part of the mission or publishing process at UNM Press are welcome.

What’s Funny?
Michael Thomas, Ph. D.

Writing humor is a skill you can learn, even if you can’t remember the punchline to a joke. One key advantage is that, as a writer (versus a standup comic), your failures are not public! Sometimes the funniest scenarios are observed in the banalities of life; Woody Allen’s career was founded on his ability to magnify his neuroses to epic proportions. Learn valuable techniques for understanding the components of humorous writing, in order to engineer the effects and pacing that can make your audience laugh! 

Does Crime Pay?
Steve Brewer

Agatha Christie. Raymond Chandler. John Grisham. Tony Hillerman. Steve Brewer. Five names in a large universe of crime writers. The majority of books in the fiction realm are crime novels and thrillers; J.K. Rowling’s next book may be one. Human drama and conflict is endlessly fascinating, takes myriad forms, and readers flock to these genres. Learn about the craft of writing about crime from an experienced novelist. 

Afternoon Plenary Session:

Online Publishing
Steve Brewer

For centuries, book publishers have been in charge. They chose what the rest of us were likely to read, and it was often difficult for new authors to break in. E-books are quickly changing everything, and offer unlimited opportunities for self publishing. However, there’s a lot of really awful stuff out there, so how do you put out quality work, set yourself apart and let your brilliance shine through? Steve has learned how to do it successfully - his last book on paper came out in 2007.