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A Literary Season Online
Connecting You with the World of Writing
December, Letter from the Editor
Curious about what we have in store for you in December? Read on for all of the exciting details!

We closed our November Session feeling inspired, filled with new ideas, and clear about the path ahead: between the live Literary Workshops, the entertaining Late Night Live Events, the informative Individual Consultations, and, of course, our prestigious Keynote Speakers, we’ve succeeded in continuing to manifest spaces for literature even in these trying times. If there is one thing that we learned during these first two months of the Literary Season Online, it’s that our approach is unique, thanks to the numerous comments we received from our attendees. We’re unique because the level of personal interaction feels “almost intimate,” because in our live workshops the professors work individually with each student, even staying late to answer questions; our keynotes engage in live Q&A, staying long after their talks are finished to converse with readers and writers just like you.

When else could you imagine chatting with one of your literary heroes? We recognize that this is the magic we’ve been able to infuse into the Literary Season Online, curing your zoom fatigue by making things live, interactive, innovative, and full of community-building activities. And we have many more surprises in store!
With this in mind, we’re kicking off our December Session, as the holiday season rolls around, with the aim to reflect on fresh themes through diverse perspectives. Literary Workshops such as The Eight-Point Plot Plan fiction workshop with April Bosshard, which will help you understand what plot is — and isn’t. You’ll be introduced to Deep Story Design’s Eight-Point Plot Plan, an outline of eight key elements of a story that provide the raw materials for your plot. Once you know these parts of your story, your plot can fall naturally, almost magically, into place. In the Life Story Workshop: Shaping and Making your Memoir Meaningful with Nadine Keeney Johnstone,  you will learn how to shape the scenes of your budding memoir into a compelling storyline by learning the most popular memoir structures and how you can finally tackle yours. In the second part of this workshop, you will learn and discuss methods for giving a memoir the emotional layering it needs to satisfy editors and readers.
WildWriting: Opening to the Heart of Your Writing, a poetry workshop led by beloved poet and creative genius Judyth Hill, you will discover WildWriting, the one-of-a-kind process of writing from one’s passionate center. Judith tells us, “It is ultra-learnable and incredibly fun. Everyone can produce instantly juicy, vivid writing. Every time!” Finally, we’ll have a Publishing & Marketing Workshop: Social Media Skills for Writers, with yours truly. In this class, you will learn the skills to attract your target audience, create engaging content, and become a magnet to publishers and agents. This workshop will teach you highly productive online marketing strategies for social media success! Besides all of this goodness, you will also have the extraordinary opportunity to have an individual consultation with any of our December faculty.
And what about the keynotes, you say? In case you’re aiming to write about your experience in the pandemic, this month you’ll have the fitting opportunity to attend Pulitzer prize-winning authors, Geraldine Brooks and Lawrence Wright, in conversation about their two pandemic-themed works, whose different fictional perspectives will definitely inform and inspire you. Geraldine Brooks won the Pulitzer Prize for her remarkable novel, March. Year of Wonders, her international bestseller, is based on the true story of a small village in England in 1666 when the Plague hit this little town; the New Yorker described it as “a deep imaginative engagement with how people are changed by catastrophe, a spellbinding and unforgettable read.” Lawrence Wright may be best known for his widely acclaimed book The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, which won the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction, among many others. The End of October, his most recent book, is about a plague and was eerily published in 2020, just as our real pandemic was breaking. The New York Times called it “a maniacal page-turner, a sweeping, authoritative, and genuinely intelligent thriller . . . It reads as if it’s been shot out of a cannon.”
Richard Blanco
December 6 | 6:00 p.m.
Geraldine Brooks & Lawrence Wright
December 13 | 6:00 p.m.
Richard Blanco, poet laureate to president Barack Obama, was the youngest, first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban exile parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity and place characterize his body of work. Speaking in conversation with Helene Atwan (Director of Beacon Press), they will discuss the role of poetry in public discourse, and Blanco’s work as a civic-minded, socially-conscious poet. Through the lens of his recent collection, How to Love a Country, Blanco and Atwan will examine the complexities and contradictions of our nationhood and the unresolved sociopolitical matters that affect us all: racism, immigration, sexuality, and gun violence.

Additionally, we’ll host a compelling panel with all-star writers whose works have been translated into film or series. Our Book to Film Panel, featuring Diana Gabaldon (Outlander), Emma Donoghue (Room), A’Lelia Bundles (Self Made), and Maria Agui Carter (Rebel), will allow you to understand the complexities of transforming a book into a movie. Ever felt the desire to see your fiction on the big screen? This is your chance to learn from the greats. Last, but not least, on December 9th, the winners of our annual Literary Contest will take to the stage and present their works in the Late Night Live Event, “Voices.”

We, at the Literary Session Online, believe in literature, in creation and expression. This is why we stay committed to offering you the best the literary world has to offer.

Mittie Roger
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