Compose Creative Writing Conference

Connect and create with practicing writers and publishers at Clackamas Community College's annual Compose Creative Writing Conference, hosted by CCC's English Department.

Compose 2024


Conference Keynote: Casey Parks

Casey Parks

Part memoir, part investigative reporting, award-winning reporter Casey Parks' debut book Diary of a Misfit: A Memoir and a Mystery is the story of her life-changing journey to unravel the mystery of Roy Hudgins. When Parks came out as a lesbian in college in 2002, she faced rejection from her family and pastor—who asked God to kill her—and assumed her life in the South was over. But Parks' grandmother, a stern conservative who grew up picking cotton, pulled her aside and revealed a startling secret: "I grew up across the street from a woman who lived as a man," and implored Parks to find out what happened to him.

For ten years, Parks traveled to her grandmother's hometown in rural Louisiana, knocking on strangers' doors, digging through nursing home records and studying microfiche in small-town libraries trying to uncover the mysteries of Roy Hudgin's life: a rumored childhood kidnapping, mysterious final years, fiercely-protected diaries—and persistent questions about how the small-town country musician with the pack of stray dogs grappled with his sense of otherness.

Amanda Coffey

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