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Dispatches from the Nebraska Summer Writer's Conference

A week after NSWC's conclusion, PS staff reflect on the experience

From Arden Eli Hill, PS Editorial Assistant:
The Nebraska Summer Writing Conference was lots of fun and helpful for pulling me out of my summer writing slump. Michelle Tea's Two Truths and a Lie workshop was a great way to start each day. Tea was energetic, engaging, and knowledgeable. I was also impressed by the quality of work of my fellow participants and hope to read more of their writing in the future. There are many events I'm glad that I attended, in particular "Identity and the Writing Process," a panel which focused on writers of color. Panelist Carleen Brice's sense of humor and ability to get straight to the heart of audience questions was a key part of the panel's appeal. The conference went by too quickly and I'm already looking forward to next year!

From Claire Harlan Orsi, PS Blog and Social Networking Editor:
I also took part in Michelle Tea's workshop, which helped me get out of my fiction writer comfort zone and look at the resonances my work has with my autobiographical experience. More thoughts on this coming in a post soon! A side effect of talking about memoir in class was that I got to hear a lot of great life experiences, from Tea's accounts of touring with her spoken word act to hilarious family stories from two of the older students. I thought more about one of my favorite topics: how social-historical events manifest themselves in very personal ways, and how it's our job as writers to bring out the personal in the historical. Outside of the workshop, I loved moderating a panel on queer writing attended by Tea, emily danforth, Dave Madden, and Timothy Schaffert, who also deserves kudos for directing the conference and bringing so many amazing writers to Lincoln. Assistant Director Sarah Chavez's organizational abilities did a lot to cement the cohesiveness of the week and the overall impact of all the great events.

From Ted Wheeler, PS Web Editor:
A lively week of workshops. Lee Martin's treasury of bad jokes and puns was a nice complement to the mostly serious business at hand--and that fellow workshopper Val gave Lee a run for his money on corniness led to even more groaning. Good times. I was pleased that our group's laughter could be heard throughout the building at times. We had a lot of fun. And then there was the conversation on writing! I learned a great deal and am excited to push my work further.