2016 Be Writing Festival Schedule


Friday, March 4th

An Evening with Jacquelyn Mitchard

7:00 – 8:30 pm, UO Baker Center Downtown, 975 High Street, Eugene

Writing to Save Your Life

Hard times are just plain hard to survive, but good writers know that the deepest well of misfortune can be a creative peak, if you let it. The practice of their art is never more important than during periods of loss and uncertainty in “real life,” when the greatest need for self-expression can give rise to important breakthroughs in the craft of story. It was as a young widow in the late 1990s that Jacquelyn Mitchard wrote her blockbuster first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, and, 15 years later, while her family struggled to rebuild after losing everything, she wrote her most powerful book to date, Two if By Sea. The lessons she learned can help you see your own writing as one of the most important survival tools you will ever have.


Saturday, March 5th

Be Writing: Wordcrafters Writing Festival

8:30 am – 7:00 pm, UO Baker Center Downtown, 975 High Street, Eugene

Coffee, Lunch Catered by Cafe Yumm, Cocktail Celebration

Mini-lesson Descriptions

Ending It All: The Importance of a Symphonic Conclusion

Almost every worthy narrative starts out like a house on fire … but too often, stories simply stop rather than achieving a truly great conclusion. Ending a story, in fiction or nonfiction, is a fine art. While there are many different ways to write a great ending, all of them require something that many writers are taught is the antithesis of creativity, and that is great planning. Presented by Jacquelyn Mitchard


The Tree-Hugging Four-Star General

Heraclitus said, “Character is fate.” If you’re going to have a compelling story, you need to start with a compelling character. But how do you create a character who moves your plot forward? In this workshop you’ll learn how to push your characters beyond their stereotypes and craft a narrative around the surprising results. Presented by Kathleen Kerr


The Living Room

Travel back in time.  Learn your own power of recall, then challenge your imagination in the context of memory. Presented by Nina Kiriki Hoffman


3 Techniques for Humor

Find the funny in your writing! Try out three techniques to incorporate humor into your writing. Presented by Sarina Dorie


Setting Emotion: How to Use Place to Establish Emotion

Every story takes place somewhere, but how do you make sure your story’s setting is acting as more than simple backdrop. This workshop will focus on how to use place as a way to establish emotion and to reveal character in both fiction and nonfiction. Presented by Eliot Treichel


Let Your Truth Inspire Your Fiction

Discover how to identify the most surprising and compelling elements of your own life and turn them into fictional short stories and novels. Presented by Melissa Hart