SAVE THE DATE! 2019 DAVID R. COLLINS WRITERS’ CONFERENCE – June 27-29

David R. Collins Writers’ Conference
June 27, 28, and 29, 2019
St. Ambrose University | McCarthy Hall
518 W. Locust St., Davenport, Iowa

Online registration for the David R. Collins Writers’ Conference available NOW

Download a PDF copy of the 2019 Writers’ Conference brochure

Download a scholarship application for the DRC Writers’ Conference here. We offer scholarships to students, veterans/active duty service members, and those with financial need.

For more information please email MWC, or to register via phone,
please call MWC at 309-732-7330.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: BEN MILLER 
Thursday, June 27, 6pm | Figge Art Museum, Davenport, IA

MWC is thrilled to welcome award-winner author and Quad City native Ben Miller to be the keynote speaker for our 2019 Writers’ Conference. Miller will appear at a special event at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, IA on Thursday, June 27.

Be on the look out for special events regarding Miller and his debut memoir, River Bend Chronicle, which details (among other things) his growing up with and around seminal figures in QC literary history.

Ben Miller is an essayist and fiction writer. After attending Cornell College (Mount Vernon, Iowa) he graduated from the New York University writing program, studying under E.L. Doctorow, John A. Williams and Luisa Valenzuela.

He is the author of the nonfiction work River Bend Chronicle: The Junkification of a Boyhood Idyll amid the Curious Glory of Urban Iowa (Lookout Books, University of North Carolina Wilmington).

http://www.riverbendchronicle.com

His prose has been published in many journals, including Kenyon ReviewNew England ReviewYale ReviewAGNIEcotoneRaritanAntioch ReviewSouthern ReviewHarvard Review, and One Story. Six of his essays have been cited as “Notable” by Best American Essays and another, “Bix and Flannery,” was chosen to appear in the anthology by Louis Menand.

Miller’s awards include creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

Schedule for Conference Keynote Event with Ben Miller
6:00-7:00 p.m. – Public reception, Community Gallery
7:15-8:30 p.m. – Keynote Address, Q and A, Book Signing

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DRC Writers’ Conference Faculty & Workshops

“Shaping the Short Story” with Jennifer Colville

What shape does you short story demand? Does it curve like an Aristotelian arc? Does it call for something associative such as a many branched collage, or wandering and exploratory as an essay? Wonderful short stories have been written in the form of field notes, interviews, love letters, and recipes. Poe and Hawthorn lay contradictory ground rules. We’ll use these rules as basic armatures, and from there work to guide your story toward its rightfully traditional or yet-to-be-invented form.

Offered 8:45-10:15 a.m. on June 27, 28, 29

Jennifer Colville:


Jennifer Colville
is the founding editor of Prompt Press, a project connecting visual artists, book artists and writers. She holds an MFA from Syracuse University and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah. Her collection of short stories Elegies for Uncanny Girls was published in 2017 by Indiana University Press. She has taught at the University of Iowa, the University of San Francisco, and Coe College. She is a co-organizer of the Free Generative Writing Workshops in Iowa City.

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“Writing the Personal Essay” with Lyz Lenz

Essays are a wild and weird form of writing. Both expansive in form, yet tethered to the truth. Through assigned readings and writing prompts, this class will guide students through the process of creating essays that use personal experience to give readers new insight into the world. Because whatever else our writing is, it ought to begin by being personal.

Offered 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on June 27, 28, 29

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“Ways of Seeing – Poetry Workshop” with Derrick Austin

In this workshop we’ll be thinking through ekphrasis, poetry about or inspired by visual art. What can visual art teach us about vision and writing? How does looking outward reveal, perhaps, more intimately our interior lives? Discussing art, performance, and poetry, we’ll discover the myriad way ekphrasis not only grounds us in the self but forces one to confront history and aesthetics.

Offered 1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. on June 27, 28, 29

Derrick Austin:


Derrick Austin is the author of Trouble the Water (BOA Editions). A Cave Canem fellow, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Best American Poetry, Image: A Journal of Arts and Religion, New England Review, The Nation, and Tin House. He was a finalist for the 2017 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. This fall he will be a Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University.

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“Selling Nonfiction – A Freelancing Workshop” with Lyz Lenz

Maybe you have a brilliant idea for a non-fiction story or perhaps there is an essay, hidden like a jewel in your files, the only trouble is, you don’t know how to get published. This intensive course is designed to take you from idea, to pitch, to publication. The class begins with idea generation, explores the art of the successful story pitch, and how to find the right home for your writing. At the end of the course, you will have sample pitches, tools and resources for finding and contacting editors, your own fully crafted pitch, and three publications to send it to. This class is designed specifically for people interested in publishing journalism, non-fiction, and essays.

Offered 1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. on June 27, 28, 29

Lyz Lenz:

Lyz Lenz is a contributing writer for the Columbia Journalism Review. Her essays and journalism have been published in the New York Times, Buzzfeed, Washington Post, The Guardian, ESPN, Marie Claire, Mashable, Salon, and more. Her book God Land will be published by Indiana University Press on August 1, 2019 and Belabored: Tales of Myth, Medicine, and Motherhood is forthcoming from Bold Type books in spring of 2020. She also has an essay in the anthology Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture edited by Roxane Gay. Lenz holds an MFA in creative writing from Lesley University.

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“From Novel Idea to Immersive First Draft” with Lucy Tan

In every successful novel-writing journey, there comes a moment when the line between fiction and reality begins to blur. This course is designed to bring you closer to that moment by deepening your understanding of characters, honing your skills for writing scenes, and taking a close look at novel structure. Through generative writing assignments and in-class exercises, we will demystify the process of novel-writing by framing it as a series of decisions that are made and re-made as our stories take shape. Students should come to class with a novel idea in mind or a first draft partially written.

Offered 3:30 – 5 p.m. on June 27, 28, 29

Lucy Tan:

Photo Credit: Sarah Rose Smiley

Lucy Tan is the author of What We Were Promised, which was long listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and named a Best Book of 2018 by The Washington Post, Refinery 29, and Amazon. Lucy received her M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was awarded the 2016 August Derleth Prize and currently serves as the James C. McCreight Fiction Fellow. Her work is published or forthcoming in journals such as McSweeney’s, Asia Literary Review and Ploughshares. Learn more at www.lucyrtan.com.

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DRC Conference Keynote Address, featuring Ben Miller, author of River Bend Chronicle: The Junkification of a Boyhood Idyll amid the Curious Glory of Urban Iowa
 
Thursday, June 27, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Figge Art Museum (225 W. 2nd St. Davenport, IA 52801)
Light hors d’oeuvres and cash bar available
 
Schedule for Conference Keynote Event with Ben Miller
6:00-7:00 p.m. – Public reception, Community Gallery
7:15-8:30 p.m. – Keynote Address, Q and A, Book Signing
*Free & Open to the Public*
 
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Practical Publishing Luncheon with Steve Semken on June 28, noon-1:30 p.m. at Gottlieb Lounge, St. Ambrose: This is an optional opportunity to connect with writers attending the Conference. Featuring a discussion about independent publishing, with Q & A, led by Steve Semken, author and owner/publisher of Ice Cube Press, over a catered lunch. Cost is $17
 
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DRC Conference Social Mixer, Friday, June 28, 5:30-7 p.m. at Rozz-Tox (2108 3rd Ave. Rock Island, IL 61201) Join other conference attendees, local writers, and some conference faculty to enjoy a drink and talk about the conference or writing in general. Attendance to this event is free; drinks are available for purchase.
 
Faculty Reading and Book Signing, Friday June 28, 7-9 p.m. at Rozz-Tox (2108 3rd Ave. Rock Island, IL 61201) Listen to conference faculty reading their work and then, the mic will be opened up for reading by conference participants. Free and open to the public.
 
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Mary Foster Concluding Luncheon on Saturday, June 29, noon-1:30 p.m. at Gottlieb Lounge, St. Ambrose: Conference sponsors will be recognized, and the faculty will reflect on their workshops over a catered lunch. Cost is included with your Conference Registration fee, or $17 for individuals.
 
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Book Pitches
Ten minutes to pitch your book to Jodie Toohey from 918studio Press and/or to representatives from MWC Press on Saturday, June 29. Cost is $15 – pre-register required.
 
Saturday, June 29: 918studio press/Legacy Book Press – Representatives from 918studio press/Legacy Book Press will hear pitches for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry manuscripts the afternoon of Saturday 6/29 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
 
*918studio press – Pitch Info*
918studio press, a selective subsidized publishing company, will be accepting pitches for book-length in a variety of genres for its regular catalog, as well as for its new imprint, Legacy Book Press, which seeks to publish book-length personal stories in whatever form that takes (fiction, non-fiction, or poetry).
 
Please be prepared to tell us about your project during your pitch, and bring two copies each of the entire manuscript, a one page or shorter synopsis, and a statement of how you plan to market your book. If we choose your book for publication and you publish with us (you incur no obligation by pitching to us or having us choose your work for publication), we will credit the cost of the pitch session to your publishing package. For more information about pitching to 918studio press, please contact owner Jodie Toohey or visit the 918studio press and Legacy Book Press website:
 
https://918studiopress.com/    https://legacybookpress.com/
 
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Saturday, June 29: MWC Press – A panel of representatives from MWC Press will hear pitches for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry manuscripts the afternoon of Saturday 6/29 from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
 
*MWC Press – Pitch info*
The MWC Press panel requests each author bring a one page summary of their pitch—brief synopsis of the manuscript, brief author bio/other publications, brief outline of marketing ideas/strategy, etc. The panel will take these summaries and their input from the pitch sessions back to the MWC Board of Directors and related committees to make a final decision. Authors whose work advances through this process may be asked to provide more detailed information.
 
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DRC Conference Registration
 
Registration via PayPal is available now! Please follow this link to register: http://www.mwcqc.org/events-opportunities/david-r-collins-writers-conference/drc-conference-registration/
 
Please call Ryan Collins at (309) 732-7330 to register over the phone today, or email him at mwc@midwestwritingcenter.org for more information.

*Downloadable PDF copy of the 2019 Collins Writers’ Conference
Brochure coming soon* 

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DRC Conference Registration

Registration via PayPal is available now! Please follow this link to register.

Please call Ryan Collins at (309) 732-7330 to register over the phone today, or email him at mwc@midwestwritingcenter.org for more information.

Conference Sponsors:

Modern Woodman of America,
Founding Sponsor of the David R. Collins Writers’ Conference

The Figge Art Museum

St. Ambrose University English Department

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Illinois Arts Council Agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts

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Rozz-Tox