Celebrate the Written Word at the Compose Creative Writing Conference

Apr 14, 2023, 14:58 PM by CCC Staff

Eli Saslow headshot

OREGON CITY - Writers and aspiring writers across the region gather each May at Clackamas Community College for a day of creativity and community. This year’s Compose Creative Writing Conference is May 20 and the keynote speaker is Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Eli Saslow.

Saslow is the author of the book “Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist,” which charts the rise of white nationalism through the experiences of one person who abandoned everything he was taught to believe.

After the welcome address from Saslow at 10 a.m., conference attendees have the opportunity to participate in workshops with sessions on poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, memoir, graphic novels and playwriting.

Sessions this year include:

Drawing Your Teenage Self with Saray Shay Mirk: Mirk will lead the group through drawing a short comic about their teenage selves. She will share examples of comics artists drawing themselves as teens and offer prompts for participants to reflect on their teenage years.

Fragmented Flash Fiction with Marcelle Heath: Flash fiction is any work under 1,000 words. In this workshop, participants will delve into a versatile form of flash fiction: the fragmented flash. Told in fragments or snapshots, this form embraces white space, experimentation and concision.

Joy as a Method for Writing with Allison Cobb: We live in a time of uncertainty, loss and grief. On the other hand, joy and desire connect to sources of power to act. This workshop will explore joy as a method and source of resilience for writing and action in the world.

Pop Culture & Persona in Spoken Word Poetry with Julia Gaskill: This lecture will explore the power of the persona poem - how taking on the guise of a fictional character, musician, celebrity, etc., can allow poets to touch on subject matter that ranges from the emotional to political to just plain silly.

Crafting Fragmented Memoir: From Inception to Creation with Shilo Niziolek: Niziolek will introduce and explore the three elements of writing fragmented memoir: the container, the threads and the vessels. This is a generative workshop, so expect a prompt and some writing time.

Getting Your Work in Front of an Audience with Mikki Gillette: Playwright Gillette will talk about taking a play from a document on a laptop to a four-week run. Readings, workshops, competitions and submissions - these steps will be examined and demystified, as will the people met on this journey, such as directors, literary managers and artistic directors.

Rapid-Fire Poetry Feedback Session with Jessica Doe: During this session, poets will bring one poem (one page in length or less) for a rapid-fire feedback session.

How to Start Writing a Novel with Francesca G. Varela: Vareka will guide participants through the beginning of a novel-writing experience. They will learn how to find that first glimmer of an idea, create characters, build a plot and design a writing routine.

This year, the Compose conference will be held in a new hybrid format, bringing together the best aspects of the conference’s past in-person and online offerings, with some workshops in person and some online. Clackamas Community College is located at 19600 Molalla Ave., Oregon City.

To learn more and register for the conference, visit www.clackamas.edu/compose.

Lori Hall

Media contact

Lori Hall

Public Information Officer