By Rebekah Hunt

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is once again time for Write to Publish! Write to Publish 2013: Write What You Know is all set to kick off Saturday, February 23, from 9 AM to 5 PM at the Native American Student Community Center. As exciting as last year’s event was for us, it promises to be even better this year. Of particular interest to me is the author stage with Lidia Yuknavitch. She’s one of Portland’s all-around raddest ladies, and it was through her writing class with at Mt. Hood way back in the day that I experienced my first tinglings of interest in creative writing. She also had Chuck Palahniuk come and give a reading and then stay and give our class a question-and-answer session about writing fiction, so yeah, it was pretty much the best writing class ever.

The cool thing about our W2P author stage, as opposed to author readings at other conventions, is the industry-mingle setup, which will open up the discussion for authors to talk about their own experiences in publishing. As the W2P description says, “The authors will focus on the ups and downs, challenges, and triumphs they experienced in their careers.” This is a refreshing opportunity for many young writers, who stand to benefit far more from hearing about the real-life workings of the publishing industry through authors they respect and admire, than from hearing them read from their books. And this is pretty much the crux of the event, which is, not to put too fine a point on it, about writing to publish.

Aside from the lovely Lidia, we’ve got our own new author Sean Davis, who will be giving a panel on creative nonfiction along with another Ooligan favorite, instructor Vinnie Kinsella, Floyd Skloot, Kristy Athens, and others. This is only one of the six workshops we’re hosting each day, exploring the process of getting published. Among others are the “Media and Journalism: Devil in the Details” workshop, and the “Framing the Narrative: How Modern Memoirs Make Use of Techniques Borrowed from Fiction to Hook and Hold Their Readers” workshop with Susan DeFreitas, which explores the ways writers of nonfiction can use the tools of fiction writing in their work. From the workshop description: “Just because it happened doesn’t mean it’s true—at least not in the terms that matter most to your readers. This leads to a paradox: in order to make your readers feel like they’re ‘there,’ it’s often necessary to fabricate conversations in whole or part, or drop details that are important in your life, but not to the organizational principle of your memoir. This class will explore ways that some of today’s most popular writers of memoir grapple with this paradox by using tools borrowed from fiction.”

Even if you’re not volunteering to work at the event, you should definitely go. As we say, “Write to Publish is about empowering you as a writer so that you are one step closer to getting published. Get ready to spend a day having your questions answered and seeing how you, too, can become a published author,” and isn’t that what we’re all in the publishing program for anyway? See you all there!

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