Join Lisa for a lunchtime primer on how writers can network and grow their portfolios outside of sending cold queries and pitches to editors. Learn about different opportunities to connect: volunteer reading for literary journals, skill-trading, attending events and making friends without coming off as an eager beaver, and ideas for people who don't live near literary centers like Nashville. Then we'll talk about how to leverage all of those contacts when the time is right.
Lisa Bubert is a writer based in Nashville, Tennessee. Her pitched and published work has appeared in Longreads, Texas Monthly, The Rumpus, Business Insider, and more. Her story, “Kitten,” which appeared in Pidgeonholes, was nominated for Best Small Fictions 2020. Her story, “The Coma,” which appeared in the final issue of Natural Bridge journal, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
If character is the heart of story, plot is the engine. Readers turn pages under the magic spell of plot’s machinations, hungering for answers to the story’s questions— What happened? What now? Why? As writers, we hope to take our readers on that magical ride. In this Brown Bag Lunch, we’ll look under the hood and examine the proverbial engine. What are plot’s parts, and how can we, as writers, heighten, manipulate, and complicate our stories, propelling the turn of our readers’ pages.
Katie McDougall, co-founder of The Porch and a native Nashvillian, first took Fiction Writing as a senior at Colorado College, where she earned her BA in English, and in the twenty-plus years since, she has been writing stories, crafting novels, scribbling in journals, and teaching, reading, selling, breathing literature. She earned her MFA in Fiction Writing at Colorado State University, and her short stories have appeared in BarcelonaReview.com and in Storyglossia.com. Katie’s writing awards have included a four-week writing residency at the Kimmel•Harding•Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska, Association of Writers and Poet Intro. Journals Award Nomination for Colorado State University, and the Paul Gillette Writing Contest Finalist. She is currently in the process of finding a home for her second novel, Lady of the Lake.
Katie has over fifteen years experience as a teacher of literature and creative writing. Since leaving the traditional classroom, she has worked as the Master Teacher in Residence at The Island School in the Bahamas, as an outdoor educator, as a freelance writer, a tutor, and a proud bookseller at Nashville’s fabulous Parnassus Books. Additionally, she has coordinated writing workshops, ranging from the annual one-day Nashville Young Writers Workshop to the week-long Sense of Place Workshop with Richard Bausch at Cape Eleuthera, Bahamas. She has also been a guest teacher of Fiction Writing at the Ah Haa School of Arts in Telluride, Colorado. She is delighted to be a founder of The Porch, through which she hopes to give a little something back to her beloved hometown.
Copywriting is the craft of putting big ideas into words—sometimes, using no words at all—with the goal of selling something. If you love brainstorming, writing clever, concise headlines (then writing some more, then more after that), and collaborating with other writers, designers, and creative thinkers, copywriting could become your next career. Or at least a fun side hustle. In this super interactive hour we’ll look at what makes great ad concepts so great, practice the craft by writing a headline or two, and walk away with tools to sharpen your skills and write your way into the business of using creativity as capital.
Leslie Donnenwirth is an independent senior copywriter, native Tennessean, and baby poet. She spends her days collaborating with award-winning creative agencies and solving communication problems for businesses big and small using only her brain, heart, and laptop. When she’s not trying to crack the perfect headline or jotting down the bones of a poem, she’s probably eating, cooking, or thinking about eating or cooking. She currently lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with her art director husband and two wild rescue dogs, one a decent editor and the others a perfect distraction.
In this Brown Bag Lunch craft session, we'll cover the definition and applications of "interiority," a term that seasoned writers like to use to describe moments when a piece of writing inhabits another individual's consciousness. With access to a character’s thought patterns, hidden desires, and gut reactions, the reader becomes an active participant in the character’s journey, perhaps coming to understand them even better than they understand themselves. Interiority also helps a writer create themes: being privy to a character’s interpretation of the exterior world invites a reader to consider that world from a fresh perspective. With passages from Anton Chekhov and Jesmyn Ward to guide us, we’ll develop strategies for constructing vivid inner lives for our characters and deepening our readers’ engagement and empathy.
Whitney Bryant holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work has appeared in The Georgia Review and One Story, and she is the fiction co-editor of the online journal Atlas + Alice: A Magazine of Intersections. In order to support her writing habit, she has taught literature and writing to high school students in Kentucky, North Carolina, and Virginia over the past fifteen years. She has recently completed a novel in stories. A new arrival to Nashville along with her husband, dog, and cat, she is looking forward to exploring the area's arts scene and outdoor activities.