The Hippo


May 31, 2020








 603: The Writers’ Conference 

When: Saturday, April 14, 8 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. 
Where: Southern New Hampshire University, 2500 N. River Road, Hooksett
Cost: $135 for New Hampshire Writers’ Project members, $170 for non-members, $85 for students 
More info:

Write away
New name for annual writers’ conference


 603: The Writers’ Conference, formerly known as Writers’ Day, has a new name this year, but its mission is still the same: to give writers a day to network, learn and grow in their craft. The 30th annual conference takes place on Saturday, April 14, at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester and will feature dozens of classes and workshops, panels and book signings with notable and local authors.

“This is a day just for writers, a celebratory day where they can come and be pampered intellectually,” said Masheri Chappelle, chair of the New Hampshire Writers’ Project, which hosts the event. “We want them to have access to this high level of quality [education] and expertise, and to feel like they are deserving of it.” 
This year’s theme, “Writing from the Heart,” was inspired, Chappelle said, by the keynote speaker, Richard Russo. Russo is the author of eight novels, two short story collections and a memoir. His novel Empire Falls won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2002 and was made into an Emmy-nominated and Golden Globe Award-winning miniseries by the same name that aired on HBO in 2005. His new novel, The Destiny Thief, comes out in May, but attendees at the writers’ conference will have an exclusive opportunity to purchase a signed copy of the book before its official release. 
“I started thinking about his work, and all his characters and storylines are very down-to-earth and from-the-heart,” Chappelle said, “so I thought ‘Writing from the Heart’ would be an appropriate theme to honor him and his work.” 
Russo will be joined by special guest Ann Hood, an essayist, short story writer and author of 15 books including bestsellers The Knitting Circle, The Red Thread, The Obituary Writer, The Italian Wife and Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine. Eighteen other writers, ranging from romance and horror writers to graphic novelists and playwrights, will be leading seminars.
The day kicks off with Russo’s keynote speech. Then, the seminar sessions will begin. There will be three sessions, each with 12 different programs to choose from. A series of “Master Craft Classes” will focus on six literary elements: characterization, dialogue, point of view, world building, scene building and vision. Other classes and workshops will cover a variety of topics, such as feminist poetry, writing about parents, storyboards, descriptive language and more. 
“It doesn’t matter what genre you write in … or what level of writing you’re at,” Chappelle said. “No matter what, you’ll walk away with an abundance of knowledge and tools to hone your craft and become a stronger and more confident writer.” 
Between the first and second seminar sessions, there will be a book signing and meet-and-greet with the presenting authors, lunch and a panel in which authors will discuss what it means to write from the heart. 
The day will close with a reception, where attendees can socialize, eat and enter raffles to win prizes like theater tickets, writing software and artwork. 
Chappelle’s advice to attendees is to come in with a plan and “take in as much as you can.” 
“Really think about what you want to focus on. If you really want to beef up your character development, for example, look at the characterization classes and pick ones that you think will help you,” she said. “If you aren’t sure what you want, try something new. You never know when you’re going to need those tools.” 

®2020 Hippo Press. site by wedu