2020 Conference

5th Annual Creative Writing Studies Conference Online

Beyond Genre, Beyond the Page: Creative Writing in Liminal Spaces

Friday and Saturday, October 9 and 10, 2020

Asynchronous Presentations (videos and accessibility text will be linked on this page)

Synchronous Q & A via Zoom (invite and password will be emailed to all registered participants, presenters, and active members)

Keynote Speaker: Sarah Minor, Cleveland Art Institute, Writer and Visual Artist (Q & A Saturday 4:00-4:40)

Creative writing takes many forms in our own art, in the public sphere, and in our classrooms. What possibilities can be found in creative writing that exists in liminal spaces, that breaks the boundaries of form and text? What possibilities open up for writers, readers, teachers, and students? 

The conference will be hosted online. Because fully synchronous presentations are so prone to technical difficulties and to increase accessibility, presenters will pre-record their talks by video and provide an accessibility transcript. These materials will be available one week before the conference; transcripts will be available during the conference and one week after (then they will be removed so presenters may publish these papers should they choose).

Attendees will watch the videos or skim transcripts before each scheduled session. Then, during our scheduled presentation times, attendees will attend a real-time Q&A with presenters, grouped by topic. This arrangement will allow more flexibility for attendees, provide a digital record of the conference proceedings, and ensure that our time together over Zoom is active, engaging, and intentional — not sit and get. Open access to knowledge is in line with our mission as an organization, and an online conference gives us an opportunity to live these values. The conference schedule is below. One week before the event, we will post links to each participant’s presentation (video and text). Then, attend the live Q & A through our Zoom link on the day of the conference.

Conference Schedule

Friday, October 9

8:30 – 9 am EDT: Virtual coffee and hellos with conference organizer Jennifer Pullen

9 – 9:30 am: Time to prep for first panel, Visual Art and Creative Writing Together [View or read presentations via links to videos and scripts linked to each topic before attending Q & A]


Friday Morning Sessions

Visual Art and Creative Writing Together // Q & A 9:30-10 am

“Bridging the Brick Divide: Graphic Design and Writing Collaboration in Undergraduate Student Magazine Production,” Kelly Ferguson (Moderator), Meri Page. [link to video | text]

“Intersecting Visual Art and Text: Creative-Critical, Transgenre Approaches and Identities in Writing and Teaching,” Kristin LaFollette, Jonathan Brownlee. [link to video | text]

10-10:30 am: Stretch your legs and prep for the next panel [Links to videos and scripts below]

Community Building // Q & A 10:30 – 11 am

“Building Literary Community Through Online Readings,” Alexa Garvoille (Moderator). [link to video | text]

“Moonlighting Together: Faculty (Creative) Writing Groups,” Erick Pillar. [link to video | text]

11 – 11:30 am: Stretch your legs and prep for the next panel [Links to videos and scripts below]

Curriculum and Program Design // Q & A 11:30 am – 12 noon

“Revising the Creative Writing Curriculum,” Rachel Haley Himmelheber (Moderator), Gary Hawkins. [link to video | text]

“Creative Writing in China,” Weidong Liu. [link to video | text]


12 – 1 pm: Lunch Break [Feel free to join us for a virtual lunch and community, hosted by Graeme Harper]

1 – 1:30 pm: Prep for the next panel


Friday Afternoon Sessions

Pedagogy // Q & A 1:30 – 2 pm

“Do I Bend Genre? Or Does Genre Bend Me?” Wes Jamison. [link to video | text]

“Implementing the Student-Centered Creative Writing Workshop Model in Remote Learning Classroom Environments,” Zoë Bossiere (Moderator). [link to video | text]

2 – 2:30 pm.: Stretch your legs and prep for the next panel

Feedback and Students // Q & A 2:30 – 3 pm

“What’s Wrong With It? Helping Students Assess Their Own Creative Work,” John Vigna. [link to video | text]

“Signal to Noise Ratio: Information Overload and Feedback Reception,” Amy Ash (Moderator). [link to video | text]

3 – 3:30 pm: Stretch your legs and prep for the next panel

Reimagining // Q & A 3:30 – 4 pm

“Revisiting the Challenge: Rethinking Creative Writing Ten Years On,” Stephanie Vanderslice (Moderator). [link to video | text]

“Meet Me in the Middle: Liminal Spaces as Point of Contact for an Intersectional Classroom Abstract,” Mel Ruth. [link to video | text]


Saturday, October 10

8:15 – 8:45 am EDT: Virtual coffee and hellos with conference organizer Rachel Haley-Himmelheber

8:45 – 9:30 am: Time to prep for the first panel [Link to videos and scripts will be posted beside each presenter]


Saturday Morning Sessions

Craft and Genre Analysis // Q & A 9:30 – 10 am EDT

“Breaking Down The Brittle Moment: Psychoanalysis in Nature Writing,” Jen Hirt (Moderator). [link to video | text]

“Fragmenting Fatherhood: Nonlinear Memoir’s Articulation of the Effects of Toxic Fatherhood,” David Haydon. [link to video | text]

“Toward a Volupology of Literary Fiction,” Connor Syrewicz. [link to video | text]

“Narrative Distance and Remote Learning,” Evan Lavender-Smith. [link to video | text]

10-10:30 Stretch your legs and prep for the next panel 

Students Ask Questions // Live Workshop 10:30 – 11:10 am 

“Students Ask Questions,” Lania Knight. [link to video | text]

11:10 – 11:40 am Stretch your legs and prep for the next panel

Creative Writing and Non-traditional Applications // Q & A 11:40 am – 12:10 pm

“Meaningful Machines: Exploring Creative Programming for Creative Writing,” Lillian-Yvonne Bertram. [link to video | text]

“Beyond the Classroom: Translating Creative Writing Skills for ‘Real World’ Contexts,” Alyse Bensel (Moderator), Kristin Coffey. [link to video | text]

“’But How Do You Write It?’: Teaching Flash Fiction in the Short Story Workshop,” Emily Capettini. [link to video | text]


12:15 – 1:15 pm Lunch Break [Feel free to join us for a virtual lunch and community, hosted by Stephanie Vanderslice, inaugural CWSO Founding Chair and AWP Liaison]

1:15 – 1:45 pm Prep for the next panel


Saturday Afternoon Sessions

Creative Writing and the Cultural Moment // Q & A 1:45 – 2:15 pm

“Teaching Artistic Responsiveness,” Janelle Adsit. [link to video | text]

“Responding to Creative Writing,” Graeme Harper (Moderator). [link to video | text]

“On Re-Framing the Pedagogical Frameworks for Multilingual Inclusivity, Socially-Just, and Anti-Racist Creative Writing Workshops,” Caleb González. [link to video | text]

2:15 – 2:40 pm Prep for the next panel

Navigating the Private and the Personal in the Creative Writing Workshop // Live Workshop 2:40-3:20 pm

“Navigating the Private and the Personal in the Creative Writing Workshop,” Jennifer Moore, Torshi DeJarnett, David Essinger, and Eirik Olson. [link to video | text]

3:20 – 3:50 pm Stretch your legs and prep for the next panel

Disciplinarity // Q & A 3:50 – 4:20 pm

“Creative Writing Studies and Literary Studies: Converging Agendas?” Tim Mayers. [link to video | text]

“Bridging a Divide or Dividing a Bridge?: Style, Disciplinarity, and Creative Writing Studies,” Jon Udelson. [link to video | text]

“’How Do You Get from Here to There?’: Traversing the Space between Creative Writing Studies and Secondary English Teacher Training,” Chris Drew (Moderator). [link to video | text]

4:20 – 4:50 pm Stretch your legs and watch the keynote talk


Closing Sessions

KEYNOTE with Sarah Minor // Q & A 4:50 – 5:20 pm [link to video | text]

Sarah Minor is an Assistant Professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art teacher, a writer, and a visual artist. Minor was hired at CIA specifically to teach creative writing to visual artists, and visual arts to creative writers. Her work exemplifies liminal spaces in creative writing. She specializes in visual essays, with several books out or upcoming. She is the curator of the visual essay series at Essay Daily and the video editor for TriQuarterly Review. She is also the director of the Cleveland Drafts Literary Festival. She has had at least three installations of her work at different galleries, projects encompassing sculptures covered in text, and paper structures one has to walk through in order to read what is written on them, among other projects. 

5:30 – 6:30 pm Virtual Happy Hour! [Hosted by James Ryan, Journal of Creative Writing Studies Editor] Plan to grab a beverage and stop by our virtual space to meet new people, see old friends, network with other scholars, and discuss the conference.