2017 Annual April Guild Conference

"Diverse Inspirations:  Connecting the Dots"

Opening Keynote Speaker Session with Nina Sankovitch

Diversity of Inspiration: Finding Ideas for Writing in Letters, Journals, Photographs, and Other Magical Sources

What inspires writing?  Where do those magical ideas come from? An award-winning author and teacher, Keynote Speaker Nina Sankovitch will explore sources of inspiration across the creative spectrum.  She will share from her own experience, and connect diverse concepts for sowing the seeds that yield great writing.


Keynote Speaker Bio:

Nina Sankovitch is the author of three books of nonfiction, Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading; Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Celebrating the Joys of Letter Writing; and The Lowells of Massachusetts: An American Family.  She has written for the New York Times and has is a contributing blogger for The Huffington Post.  Additionally, Nina writes about books, letters, and life on her own blog, www.readallday.org.  As a graduate of Tufts University and Harvard Law School, Sankovitch grew up in Evanston, Illinois, and now lives in Connecticut with her family.


Sunday Conference Sessions with Arianne “Tex” Thompson

Morning Conference Session

The Plate Tectonics Theory of Dialogue:


When it comes to dialogue, a good scene is a ‘geologically active’ one. Like pieces of the Earth’s crust, characters clash, fold and buckle as they interact (and yes, sometimes even bump and grind!) In this class, we’ll analyze the features of real human speech, and importantly, how to amplify and manipulate them to suit your purpose. Whether your current scene is as subtle as a tremor or as explosive as an earthquake, we’ll craft dialogue guaranteed to keep your plot moving, your pages turning, and your readers on their toes. The conference session covers:

  • ‘ping-pong’ dialogue
  • effective monologues
  • pauses and interruptions
  • indirect replies
  • conflict

We will also cover “as-you-know-Bob” dialogue, involving the reader by leaving “holes” in the narrative.

This Conference Session is ideal for writers of:

  • fiction
  • narrative non-fiction
  • screenplays


Afternoon Conference Session

The Comma Sutra: A Better-Punctuation Guide to Spicing Up Your Text Life  

Does your writing lack a certain variety? Does your manuscript suffer from premature exclamations, heavy or abnormally frequent periods, or have difficulty maintaining even a semi-colon? Don’t suffer in silence! You too can enjoy the satisfaction and self-confidence that comes with knowing how to please your critique partner. In this class, we’ll practice the ins and outs of good punctuation (and yes, it WILL be raunchy.) Join us, won’t you, as we embark on a journey of true textual healing.

This Conference Session covers sentence structure and variety; uses of punctuations such as:

  • colons
  • semicolons
  • em-dashes
  • periods
  • commas
  • paragraph breaks
  • ellipses
  • other grammatical positions for best narrative effect.

This Conference Session uses some R-rated examples for humorous effect.


April Conference Registration