Friday, August 29, 2014

Poets from "Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence" to Read at IWC 2014 Creative Writing Conference

The IWC 2014 Creative Writing Conference has the pleasure of hosting seven poets from Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence. I had the pleasure of hearing work from this anthology at Split this Rock! Poetry Festival in Washington D.C. last March, and I consider the collection one of the best I have read to date. Along with WWR Editor Laura Madeline Wiseman, each reader is as impressive as the next, and here you can get to know them a little more before the conference.

Larissa Shmailo is the editor of the anthology Twenty-first Century Russian Poetry, poetry editor for MadHat Annual, and founder of The Feminist Poets in Low-Cut Blouses. She translated Victory over the Sun for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's landmark restaging of the multimedia opera and has been a translator on the Bible in Russia for the American Bible Society. Her books of poetry are #specialcharacters (Unlikely Books), In Paran (BlazeVOX [books]), A Cure for Suicide (Červená Barva Press), and Fib Sequence (Argotist Ebooks); her poetry CDs are The No-Net World and Exorcism (SongCrew).

Jill Khoury earned her Masters of Fine Arts from The Ohio State University. She teaches writing and literature in high school, university, and enrichment environments. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous journals, including Bone Bouquet, RHINO, Inter|rupture, and Stone Highway Review. She has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and a Best of the Net award. Her chapbook Borrowed Bodies was released from Pudding House Press. You can find her at
Shevaun Brannigan is a graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars, as well as The Jimenez-Porter Writers' House at The University of Maryland. She has had poems appear in such journals as Best New Poets 2012, Lumina, Rhino, Court Green, and Free State Review. She has been an Arts & Letters Poetry Prize finalist, received an honorable mention in So to Speak's 2012 Poetry Contest, as well as a Pushcart nomination by Rattle.
Meg Day, selected for Best New Poets of 2013, is a 2013 recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Poetry and the author of Last Psalm at Sea Level, winner of the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize (forthcoming 2014), When All You Have Is a Hammer (winner of the 2012 Gertrude Press Chapbook Contest) and We Can’t Read This (winner of the 2013 Gazing Grain Chapbook Contest). A 2012 AWP Intro Journals Award Winner, she has also received awards and fellowships from the Lambda Literary Foundation, Hedgebrook, Squaw Valley Writers, the Taft-Nicholson Center for Environmental Humanities, and the International Queer Arts Festival. Meg is currently a PhD candidate, Steffensen-Cannon Fellow, & Point Foundation Scholar in Poetry & Disability Poetics at the University of Utah. 
Mary Stone Dockery is the author of One Last Cigarette and Mythology of Touch, and two chapbooks, Blink Finch and Aching Buttons. Her poetry and prose have appeared in many fine journals, including Mid-American Review, Gargoyle, South Dakota Review, Arts & Letters.
Sara Henning is the author of A Sweeter Water (Lavender Ink, 2013)as well as a chapbook, To Speak of Dahlias (Finishing Line Press, 2012).  Her poetry, fiction, interviews and book reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in such journals as Willow Springs, Bombay Gin and the Crab Orchard Review.  Currently a doctoral student in English and Creative Writing at the University of South Dakota, she serves as Managing Editor for The South Dakota Review.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Poetry Reading and a Movement Workshop: Wiseman and Mitchell to Present at the 2014 IWC Creative Writing Conference

Laura Madeline Wiseman and Poets will present "Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Violence Anthology Reading"

Laura Madeline Wiseman is the author of more than a dozen books and chapbooks, which most recently include:  American Galactic (Martian Lit Books, 2014), Some Fatal Effects of Curiosity and Disobedience (Lavender Ink, 2014), the collaborative book Intimates and Fools (Les Femmes Folles Books, 2014), and Queen of the Platform (Anaphora Literary Press, 2013).  She is also the editor of Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013). She holds a doctorate from the University of Nebraska and has received an Academy of American Poets Award, a Mari Sandoz/Prairie Schooner Award, a Will P. Jupiter Award, a Susan Atefact Peckham Fellowship, a Louise Van Sickle Fellowship, several Pushcart Prize nominations, and grants from the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, the Focus for the Arts, the Center for the Great Plains Studies, and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. 
For more about this author, please see:

To see her read her work, click here:


Katherine Mitchell will present "Encouraging the Unexpected: Choreography for Writers"

Katherine Mitchell holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Her poetry appears in 2River View. She teaches Movement for Writers at Washington University in St. Louis. Katherine has taught the Alexander Technique, a form of movement re-education, for over twenty years and has an undergraduate degree in choreography and writing.

Additional information about Mitchell and the Alexander Technique is available as follows:
For an example of application of her work in a children’s workshop setting, see this video:

A complete schedule, registration, and other information about the 2014 IWC Creative Writing Conference may be viewed at:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Livers, Eden, and Collins: Spotlight on the 2014 IWC Creative Writing Conference Presenters Continues!

Paulette Livers will present "Creating Emotional Back Story"

Paulette Livers’ debut novel, Cementville, published by Counterpoint Press, won, along with Joyce Carol Oates and Isabel Allende, Elle magazine’s Lettres Prize 2014. In addition, Livers has received awards, residencies, and fellowships from the Artcroft Foundation, Aspen Writers Foundation, the Bedell Foundation, Center for the American West, Denver Women’s Press Club, Key West Literary Seminars, and Ox-Bow Artist Residence. The recipient of the 2012 David Nathan Meyerson Prize for Fiction, her work has also been shortlisted for awards from Britain’s Bridport Prize, Hunger Mountain, Writers at Work, and the Sozopol Summer Literary Seminars. Along with Honorable Mentions for the Red Hen Press Short Story Award in 2011 and 2012 and the Kentucky Women Writers Conference’s Gabehart Prize in 2013, her stories have appeared in the Southwest Review, The Dos Passos Review, and Spring Gun Press, among others, and may be heard at the audio-journal Bound Off. A Kentucky native, she has lived and worked around the US, and now calls Chicago home.  For additional information about this presenter, please see:

Meg Eden will present "Lit Mags aren't Dead Yet! Networking through Publication"

Meg Eden's work has been published in various magazines including B O D Y, Drunken Boat, Mudfish, and Rock & Sling, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, received second place in the 2014 Ian MacMillan Fiction contest, and the 2012 Henrietta Spiegel Creative Writing Award. Eden’s collections include Your Son (The Florence Kahn Memorial Award), Rotary Phones and Facebook (Dancing Girl Press), and The Girl Who Came Back (Red Bird Chapbooks). She teaches at the University of Maryland and will be a visiting writer at AACC in 2014. Check out her work at:
Kate Collins will present "The Art of Conversation: Tame the Tag Monster and Make Your Dialogue Sparkle"

Kate Collins is the New York Times bestselling author of the Flower Shop Mystery series. An Indiana native, Collins graduated from Purdue University with a Master's degree in education. She taught elementary school for six years, but after the birth of her first child, gave up teaching to pursue a long-time dream of putting her stories to paper. After publishing a series of short children’s stories, she sold her first historical romantic suspense novel in 1995. Since then, she has published twenty-four books, including fifteen mysteries.  Please see for further details.  Collins, a longtime IWC member, gave the keynote speech at its first annual networking dinner in 2008.

For the full conference schedule, please see:


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Upcoming Presenters for the October 2014 IWC Creative Writing Conference!

This week’s post highlights four of the conference presenters. Information about their presentations can be found in the conference schedule at:

Dana Bowman, presenter of "Can We Be Funny?" Good Wit and Good Writing 

Dana Bowman is a wife, a mother, a teacher, a runner, a horrible cook, and a writer, all simultaneously.  Bowman states:

This is only possible because my family provides me with loads of material.  I am the author of Momsieblog where I meet other moms, and we will grip hands tightly and walk through the days of endless Cheerios on the floor (well, everywhere) and other such conundrums of motherhood.  It is here that I address such scintillating topics as: Why must we discuss this while Mommy is on the potty?

I am the grateful recipient of two awards for my writing, and have been published in Todays Christian Woman, Covenant Home Companion, Home Altar, Paper Tape, Blast Furnace Literary Magazine, and Aspiring to Inspire, a womens anthology.  I also speak on the topic of women in recovery.  I currently teach writing at the local college and hope, one day, to understand how my current students can function in the same way that my toddlers do. 

Gabriella Brand, presenter of The Writer and The Writing Group 

Gabriella Brand's short stories, poetry and essays have appeared in such publications as Room Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, The Citron Review, PIF, Echoes, and 3Elements Review. One of her short stories was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2013. Gabriella holds a BA from Antioch College, Ohio, and an MA from Middlebury College, Vermont. In the past, she served as a Middle School Head in three schools. Today, she is a frequent presenter in the OLLI program at the University of Connecticut. She is a passionate teacher of English, creative writing, and foreign languages. She speaks fluent French, decent Spanish, baby Italian and is learning Japanese. She and her family usually spend the summer in Quebec, where she hikes, canoes, daydreams and writes. But she is never far from one of her writing groups!

A link to her poem "Newcomer," published by PIF magazine can be found here:

Marion Cohen, presenter of From Diarist to Memoirist 

Marion Deutsche Cohen is the author of 20 books, including the forthcoming poetry chapbook, “Parables for a Rainy Day” (Green Fuse Press) and “Crossing the Equal Sign” (Plain View Press), poetry about the experience of mathematics. She received her math Ph.D. from Wesleyan University (Connecticut) and teaches math and writing at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA, where she developed the course, “Truth and Beauty: Mathematics in Literature.” Other interests are classical piano, singing, Scrabble, thrift-shopping, four grown children, and three grandchildren.

Her newest publication, Still the End: Memoir of a Nursing Home Wife, can be found here:
Here is a link to a YouTube video where she talks about her memoir:  
Lauren Mallet, presenter of "Hot Pockets, Butterflies, and Chevron: Fifth Grade Creative Writing Pedagogy and the Richmond Writes! Poetry Contest" 

Lauren Mallett is an MFA candidate in Poetry and the Assistant Director of Creative Writing at Purdue University. She earned a BA in English Writing and Spanish from Denison University in 2010 and taught fifth grade in a public, dual-language immersion classroom in Richmond, California for three years before returning to the Midwest for graduate school.
In 2012, Richmond Confidential reported on the Richmond Writes! Poetry Contest, describing Mallett as follows:
Lauren Mallett introduced herself to the audience as “the proud 5th grade teacher of Richy and Cedes,” two students from Washington Elementary who presented their poems. “[This contest] is an incredible opportunity for the students to be celebrated,” Mallett said. “Over time, the more that we can celebrate these students through this kind of contest, they are going to rise to the occasion and really be able show what they got.”
To find out more about Richmond Writes follow this link:

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Conference Early Registration Ends August 15

Are you thinking about attending the IWC Creative Writing Conference but haven’t registered yet? There are only two more days to get the early registration price, so sign up now at  

The conference will be held on October 11, 2014 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Merrillville, Indiana. Sessions will begin at 1:00 p.m., with registration and the bookfair opening at noon.

The registration fee includes:

  • three breakout sessions with a choice of three options per session (see the schedule below),
  • meet and greet with light refreshments,
  • bookfair,
  • cocktail hour with a cash bar
  • dinner with keynote speaker Barbara Shoup (, and
  • an open mic.




Early Registration, Through August 15th

IWC Member, $45

Non-Member, $50

Student, $35

Presenter, $25


Open Registration, August 16th – October 1st

IWC Member, $50

Non-Member, $55

Student, $35


Late Registration, October 2nd – October 7th

IWC Member, $53

Non-Member, $58

Student, $35


Registration will be available through the conference website, which is coming soon. Watch this blog for an announcement.

Student Scholarships and Bookfair Tables: To inquire about student scholarships or bookfair table availability or with other questions, please email Janine Harrison at

Travel Information: The Hilton Garden Inn, 7775 Mississippi Street, in Merrillville, Indiana, is located a half-mile east of I-65 off of US 30 E/E Lincoln Hwy. If traveling east on Rt. 30, turn left onto Mississippi Street. The hotel is on the right. Free parking is available on-site.

Accommodations: To reserve a room, please contact the Hilton Garden Inn at (219) 769-7100. There is a block of rooms on reserve until September 17th.

Area Activities: Merrillville is approximately 50 minutes away from the Chicago Loop. The Hilton Garden Inn is directly across from Southlake Mall, and many other shopping outlets and restaurants are available on Route 30. For additional information, please see  





12 – 1 PM

Conference registration in lobby.  Bookfair will be open from 12 until 6:30 PM.

1 – 2:10 PM Breakout Session


The Art of Conversation:  Tame the Tag Monster and Make Your Dialogue Sparkle

Presenter:  Kate Collins

A writer has three devices with which to tell a story: narration, action, and dialogue. My focus for this workshop is on dialogue.  It is well-known among seasoned writers that great dialogue may not earn you a publishing contract, but lousy dialogue will often prevent you from getting one. Awkward, unrealistic, or pointless conversation is a common reason acquisitions editors and agents will decline the opportunity to publish your work. Why? Because conversation between and among characters should drive the story forward and give it emotional punch and immediacy. A writer’s goal, therefore, is to create dialogue that allows the reader to witness the story’s movement and feel the characters’ emotions in that moment. In my workshop, attendees will learn 18 keys to great dialogue and will have a chance to practice them. I also include a 5 page handout and worksheet.


Encouraging the Unexpected: Choreography for Writers

Presenter: Katherine Mitchell

In this workshop, we will explore parallels in both the craft and creative process of writing and composing movement. With a basic movement vocabulary, weʼll compose movement vignettes, exploring the parallels between writing a poem and composing a movement study. Weʼll consider this both in terms of craft and creative process. Students will learn a basic movement vocabulary and use structured improvisation to generate material. Weʼll experiment with floor pattern, shape, gesture, dynamics, focus and line. How does varying these elements create meaning?  Weʼll experience how ordinary movement can become extraordinary though attention, changes in vantage point, speed, juxtaposition. Can we enlarge how we think about writing by exploring composition in another art form? No previous movement or dance experience is required.


Lit Mags aren’t Dead Yet! Networking through Publication

Presenter:  Meg Eden

In this session, we’ll talk about what literary magazines are, and why it’s important for emerging and established writers to publish through them. We’ll have a litmag “translation” exercise, tips on how to get the most out of a lit mag, and the secrets to writing a great cover letter to get an editor’s attention. The skills you learn in this session can easily apply to other publication realms, including writing to agents and editors of small book presses. 

2:20 – 3:30 PM Breakout Session


Creating Emotional Back Story

Presenter:  Paulette Livers

As writers develop characters, we often initially sketch them in broad strokes, figuring out external aspects, and their place in plot and trouble. When we begin to flesh them out from the inside, our biggest hurdle can be avoiding flat stereotypes. Both the purely evil demon and the good and gentle perfectionist are equally boring and predictable. This workshop involves a few simple techniques for getting at emotional back story that will help you write specific, unique individuals that readers can believe in—even the seemingly demonic or perfect ones.


“Can We Be Funny?”  Good Wit and Good Writing

Presenter:  Dana Bowman

After 9/11, Saturday Night Live continued with its programming, but not without some trepidation.  At the cold opener, Lorne Michaels, the show’s producer, asked Mayor Guiliani quite simply and sadly, “Can we be funny?”  To which Guiliani famously countered, “Why start now?”  Writing humor is a delicate and difficult art, and I don’t recommend it to anyone who has a heart condition.  Actually, we humorists have great hearts - we feel, and wonder, and wickedly poke at all of life around us, because our hearts are full.  My session would cover why humor is important in the wake of heartbreak and sadness and even tragedy, and why good humor is crucial and often cathartic - for both writer and audience.  I will share samples from the great humorists and we’ll discuss the art behind the laughter.  We will also analyze various types of humor from deadpan, to anecdotal, to parody, digging into the structure and style of wit.  Good writing can be good for a laugh. 


The Writer and The Writing Group

Presenter:   Gabriella Brand

Writing is a solitary act. It's often a question of sitting in a room and talking to oneself. Writing is the lonely process of staring out the window and searching for the perfect words, as if they were plums hanging on a tree in the backyard. We all know that the experience can get lonely. A really good writing group can pull a writer out of a rut, help trim fat off a manuscript, beef up a skinny draft, inspire fertile dreams, and offer occasions to laugh and cry with others. But how does one go about starting such a group? How can one derive the most benefit from a writing group? What makes a good participant? A good leader? What are the characteristics of highly functioning writing groups? What are the behaviors that can splinter or destroy a group? Does a professional writer need to surround herself with professional writers in order to grow?  What about the Nadia Boulanger effect? (Does the piano teacher need to be as good a pianist as her gifted students? Or does she just need to know how to guide the student toward perfection?)

This presentation will offer practical advice about starting, sustaining and promoting groups for writers across genres, both face to face groups and virtual ones. The targeted audience would be anyone who is curious about the writing group experience, either as a participant or a leader/participant.

Meet and Greet

Please join us in the hotel bar area for an informal Meet and Greet! Light refreshments will be served. 

4:00 – 5:10 PM Breakout Session


Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Violence Anthology Reading

Presenters:  Laura Madeline Wiseman and Poets

Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Violence (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013), edited by Laura Madeline Wiseman, views poetry as a transformative art. By deploying techniques to challenge narratives about violence against women and making alternatives to that violence visible, the over one hundred American poets in Women Write Resistance intervene in the ways gender violence is perceived in American culture. A poem from a victim’s perspective, for example, might use explicit imagery but also show the emotional consequences often obscured when newspapers, video games, films, and television programs depict violence in superficial or sexualized ways. A poet might also critique dominant narratives, such as calling into question the perception that certain women deserved to be raped. The critical introduction frames the intellectual work behind the building of the anthology by describing how poets break silence, disrupt narratives, and use strategic anger to resist for change. Poetry of resistance distinguishes itself by a persuasive rhetoric that asks readers to act. The anthology’s stance believes poetry can compel action using both rhetoric and poetic techniques to motivate readers. In their deployment of these techniques, poets of resistance claim the power to name and talk about gender violence in and on their own terms. Indeed, these poets resist for change by revising justice and framing poetry as action. This IWC Conference reading will include an introduction by the editor and feature 4-5 Women Write Resistance poets who will read their poems and others from Women Write Resistance.


From Diarist to Memoirist

Presenter:  Marion Cohen

Many memoirists keep diaries, and use their diaries to various extents and in various ways for writing their memoirs. But not everything that appears in a memoir comes from a diary; some passages and insights come from, so to speak, pure memory. Indeed, some memoirs arise from a writer's sudden realization that a particular thread of the memoirist's life has never been written about, or recognized. Many, in fact, come from flashbacks. And many come from things that could not possibly be in diaries because they happened long before the writer was writing, or even speaking.  Also, many pieces of writing that wouldn't ordinarily be classified under the memoir genre are in fact memoir-LIKE, perhaps actual memoirs. Poem sequences, some book-length, are often memoirs, along with themed poetry chapbooks or books. There are also more unusual, sometimes controversial, memoir-like genres such as family albums, lists of favorite childhood toys, and the six-word memoir. Some memoirs are mere "thinking memoirs" (like the one I carried around in my mind from age 17 months to age eleven), or "talking memoirs" (such as interesting and/or poignant conversations between friends). A non-writer I knew once said, "If you can talk, you can write". Is this true? Perhaps. It's another idea that's worth exploring. I would also like to talk about advantages of memoirs over novels and other fiction -- such as the fact that, since the material actually happened, its believability cannot be easily challenged.


Hot Pockets, Butterflies, and Chevron:  Fifth Grade Creative Writing Pedagogy and the Richmond Writes! Poetry Contest

Presenter:  Lauren Mallett

This workshop details my instructional approach to writing workshop at Washington Elementary in Richmond, California from 2010-2013. My pedagogy coupled state writing standards with my own, more holistic writing goals for my students. I examine the successes, challenges, collaborations, and celebrations involved in developing the curriculum, and I reflect on the ways in which creative writing has the potential to empower our young people. I will reference and share writing samples throughout the presentation as well.

5:30 – 6:30 PM  Cocktail Hour

We hope to see you in the hotel bar area for Cocktail Hour (cash bar).  Now that we have met you, we would really enjoy getting to know you better! 

6:30 – 10:30 PM Dinner

Dinner, with keynote address by Barbara Shoup, will be followed by an open mic.  Please sign up for the open mic at the IWC’s informational table on the day of the event.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

IWC Creative Writing Conference Highlight: Guest Speaker Barbara Shoup

Barbara Shoup is no stranger to Northwest Indiana. Her roots are firmly planted here—family and memories of her teen years at Morton High School. This October, she returns to the Region to speak at the IWC Creative Writing Conference. Shoup is the author of seven novels, with the eighth, Looking for Jack Kerouac, to be released in August, 2014. Her fiction and nonfiction stories have been published in numerous magazines and journals, including The Writer and The New York Times travel section. She has co-authored two books on the craft of writing, Novel Ideas: Contemporary Authors Share the Creative Process (2000) and Story Matters: Contemporary Short Story Writers Share the Creative Process (2006). Shoup is the recipient of numerous grants from the Indiana Arts Council, two creative renewal grants from the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the 2006 PEN Phyllis Reynolds Naylor Working Writer Fellowship and the 2012 Eugene and Marilyn Glick Regional Indiana Author Award.

In addition to Shoup’s many literary successes, she is also the executive director of the Indiana Writers Center in Indianapolis. The Center works to foster a vibrant writing community in Indiana, providing education and enrichment opportunities for both beginning and accomplished writers. Located in the Cultural Complex of the Indianapolis Art Center in Broad Ripple, they offer a variety of classes and workshops led by some of Indiana’s best writers. In addition, they host literary events such as readings, open mics, critique groups, and the annual Gathering of Writers to instruct, inspire, and connect writers throughout the state.

On October 12, the day after the conference, Barbara Shoup—along with other conference presenters—will be at Barnes and Noble in Valparaiso, Indiana for a book signing event. She will have copies of Looking for Jack Kerouac available for purchase.

Indiana Writers’ Consortium encourages all writers—new and accomplished—to register for the IWC Creative Writing Conference. You will not want to miss hearing Barbara Shoup’s insights and the vast experience she has to offer. See you there!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Introducting Our New Logo


Indiana Writers’ Consortium is growing in a multitude of ways, and we want to have a recognizable symbol in the community. With the help of Taylor Lubbs, we are pleased to announce that IWC has a new logo. The new logo—as you can see—is contemporary and represents the organization and our writers well.

Taylor Lubbs is an aspiring illustrator and graphic artist working on his associate in arts degree at Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon, Illinois. He has illustrated the short story “On the Edge of Night” and is working on building his portfolio. He most recently designed the art layout for Blotterature Literary Magazine's second issue and is available to work on new projects.