Andre Dubus III will deliver the keynote speech this spring at the largest writing conference in New Hampshire.
Now in its 20th year, Writers’ Day will be held on the campus of Southern New Hampshire University and will feature workshops on poetry, fiction and nonfiction writing, social media and marketing. The conference traditionally draws more than 250 attendees.
Dubus is the author of five books: The Cage Keeper and Other Stories, Bluesman, and New York Times Best Sellers, House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days, and his memoir, Townie.
Townie, a #4 New York Times Best Seller, and a New York Times "Editors Choice," is described as a “riveting, visceral, profound meditation on physical violence and the failures and triumphs of love.” American novelist Richard Russo said: "I've never read a better or more serious meditation on violence, its sources, consequences, and, especially, its terrifying pleasures."
In celebration of NHWP’s 25th anniversary in 2013, Dubus will be joined by seven former Writers’ Day keynote speakers, all from New England.
Paul Harding, the 2011 Writers’ Day keynote, is the author of the novel Tinkers, which won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. His second novel, Enon, will be published in September, 2013. His class “Pondering Truth and Beauty” will be a “talk about art for art's sake,” Harding said. “Let's explore the idea that what we find true is what we also find beautiful, and vice versa. After all, fiction is true; it is imaginative truth, which is often enough more powerful than mere fact.”
Nicholson Baker, the 2010 Writers’ Day keynote, will grapple with truth of a different sort. In his class, “When to Tell the Truth and When to Make it Up” attendees can expect to roil around in the slippery subject of truth-telling and truth-disguising. Baker is the author of ten novels and four works of nonfiction, including The Mezzanine, Vox, Human Smoke, House of Holes, and Double Fold, which won a National Book Critics Circle award.
Meredith Hall, the keynote in 2009, is the author of the New York Times best-selling memoir Without a Map. Named Kirkus's Best Book of 2007, BookSense's Pick of the Year, and Elle magazine’s Reader’s Pick for 2007, Without a Map was also included on Oprah’s Top Ten Memoirs to Read list in 2009. Hall, the recipient of the $50,000 Gift of Freedom Award from A Room of Her Own Foundation, will teach a class in memoir writing.
Poet Wes McNair, the 2008 keynote speaker, was described by U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine as “one of the great storytellers of contemporary poetry.” He is the author of nine volumes of poems, including Lovers of the Lost: New and Selected Poems, and his latest book, his nineteenth, is The Words I Chose, a memoir about how he became a poet. McNair is the recipient of a United States Artists Fellowship of $50,000 as one of “America’s finest living artists,” and other honors include the Robert Frost Award, the Theodore Roethke Prize, an Emmy Award, and the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal. He will teach a class on free verse.
Also returning as former Writers’ Day keynote speakers are acclaimed New Hampshire writers Ernest Hebert, James Patrick Kelly, and Rebecca Rule.
Ernest Hebert is the author of eleven books including the six-novel Darby series about a fictional New Hampshire town trying to hold on to its identity. His latest novel is Never Back Down, set in Hebert's hometown of Keene. Hebert is professor of English and director of creative writing at Dartmouth College. His workshop will explore how character can drive a novel forward.
James Patrick Kelly, who serves on the board of NHWP, has won the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards; his fiction has been translated into twenty-two languages. His most recent book is Digital Rapture: The Singularity Anthology co-edited with John Kessel. Kelly writes a column on the Internet for Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine and is on the faculty of the Stonecoast Creative Writing MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine. His class “Get Shorty: Flash Fiction in Focus” will delve into the fascinating world of micro-fiction.
Rebecca Rule, who also serves on NHWP’s board, will teach as class called “Publishing a Picture Book for Children: Why It Took Me Twenty Years (and What I Learned that Might Speed Up the Process for You).” Rule is the author of ten books, and recently released her first picture book, The Iciest, Diciest, Scariest Sled Ride Ever! Her other books include Moved and Seconded: New Hampshire Town Meeting, Live Free and Eat Pie: A Storyteller’s Guide to New Hampshire, and Headin’ for the Rhubarb: A New Hampshire Dictionary (well, kinda).
Registration for Writers’ Day is now open. Rates: NHWP member early bird = $125 (Dec. 15 to Jan. 15); NHWP member regular = $155 (Jan. 15 to April 6); nonmember = $205 (includes automatic one-year membership); pitch session = +$25 (must be registered for Writers' Day to participate).
Visit writersday.org for full program and to register.