Write Now 2011



University of Miami

February 19th and 20th

Join us on our beautiful Gables campus for a weekend of workshops and seminars in fiction, poetry and memoir.  UM authors Jane ‌, A. Manette Ansay, Mia Leonin, Lester Goran, Peter Schmitt, Maureen Seaton, and MFA program director M. Evelina Galang, joined by special guest novelist Chantel Acevedo, offer insights into writing, revising and publishing, assisted by additional faculty, publishing alum, and graduate students.

2011 seminars will include:

Necessary Stories:  Writing and Revelation
Time Passes:  The Practice of Pace in Fiction and Nonfiction
The Publishing Poet: Breaking Into Print (or Cybertext)
Fresh Starts, Big Risks:  Strategies for Revision
Persona, Voice, and Authenticity
How (Not) To Get Published
Less is More: On-the-Spot Fiction
And much, much more!

*Full weekend:  350.00; *One day: 250.00; One Seminar: 75.00
*Includes boxed lunch.
Want feedback on your story or poems? See Registration below.
See below for registration form

Proceeds from the conference go toward the
Lester Goran Creative Writing Scholarship Fund.

Write Now is sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and the Department of English, along with our community partners at Books & Books.


Master Seminars

Saturday Seminars


Director’s Welcome and Registration Coffee House (9:15-10:15)
CAS Gallery, Stanford Drive

Time Passes: The Practice of Pace in Fiction and Nonfiction (10:30-11:45)

Jane Alison

In this seminar for writers of fiction and nonfiction we will explore the almost magical power a narrative writer has to transform a reader’s sense of time. Looking at brief texts and generating a few of our own, we will examine closely how to slow or speed up the illusion of time passing--and why exactly one would want to do so.

     Unraveling the Poet: Writing as an Act of Devotion (10:30-11:45)

Zachary Hickman

Push your boundaries!  This poetry seminar is about energy, risk taking, and exploration. We will articulate how to write complex poetry reflecting the imagery, imagination, honesty, velocity, and sharpness occurring in the world around us and the world within us.

Lunch: CAS Gallery (12:00-1:00)

Break-Out Sessions (1:00-2:00)

Courting the Muse: Finding Inspiration in the Everyday
Chris Joyner and Nicole Hospital-Medina (poetry)

Get In & Get Out: Transitions in and Out of Flashback
Sara Donnelly and Lindsey Griffin (prose)


schmitt     The Publishing Poet: Breaking Into Print or Cybertext (2:15-3:30)

Peter Schmitt

In this seminar, we will discuss the realities of today's marketplace for an entry-level poet, including online venues and the evolving sense of what it means to be "published."  Participants should emerge with a clearer strategy for offering their productions to the wider world.

     Plot and the Artful Writer: That Tension Thing (2:15-3:30)

Lois Wolfe

This workshop will focus on plot and characterization, approaching plot design as a theater of tensions in which characters play.   In discussion, we review formal and contemporary ideas of story tension; in workshop, we will address specific problems of tension posed in participants' works in progress.

Fresh Starts, Big Risks:  Strategies for Revision (3:45-5:00)

A. Manette Ansay

Once you’ve finished a draft, how do you return to it with fresh eyes?  How do you open a door that won’t budge?  This combination workshop/seminar offers technical tools to help pick that lock! Bring 1-3 pages (absolutely no more) of fiction or nonfiction you want to break into, break open, explore.  Laptops welcome!

     Making a Scene (3:45-5:00)

M. Evelina Galang

All good stories are built scene by scene. Learn the elements of writing a good scene, when to use it and how. Make a scene and pull your readers into your world.

Sunday Seminars

    Writers' Warm-Up (9:15-10:15)

Cyd Apellido, Meredith Danton, Paula Kolek, Megan Roth

Writing prompts and immediate feedback in a supportive workshop environment.  Bring your laptop or notebook.

Meredith Danton is editorial director in the Office of Communications and Marketing at the University of Miami



leonin-med    Untying Our Tongues: Writing BiLingual Poetry (10:30-11:45)

Mia Leonin

In this seminar, writers will discover the dormant languages they have at their disposal. Playing with the pantoum form and other collaborative writing games inspired by the Surrealists, we will write poems that tap into multiple languages.  “Language” may be defined as a second language, but it can also be a regional dialect, site or subject-specific lingo, slang, and so on. Writers will reinvigorate their “word hoard” and experience a heightened appreciation for the musicality of words.

Material Odes for All Genres (10:30-11:45)

Martha Otis

This workshop explores the writer’s role as observer of the material world and as transcriber of the soul.  We will examine the methods of Pablo Neruda and Annie Dillard, among others, and do exercises designed to reinvigorate our practice, starting from material detail and expanding toward “ode mode.”

Lunch: CAS Gallery (12:00-1:00)

Break-Out Sessions (1:00-2:00)

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick: Writing Effective Dialogue
Christina Frigo and Alejandro Nordarse (prose)

Concrete Mixer: Technology and Form
Leah Silvieus (poetry)
*Bring a laptop if you have one.

Human Fly, land swimming, Black Elvis: Absurd as hyper-reality
Vinny Senguttuvan


    Necessary Stories:  Writing and Revelation (2:15-3:30)

Melissa Burley

In this memoir workshop, we will tap into the themes, threads, and obsessions that control our lives. Through several writing prompts we will find stories that need to be written and shared.

    Poets and Collaboration: Pure Logophilia (2:15-3:30)

Maureen Seaton & Neil de la Flor

Bring a friend or come solo. We’ll play “musical chairs (poems?)” in this lively hands-on seminar for poets and writers who could use a little word-play in their winter. If your solo work needs a boost, if you’d rather be writing than waiting for the muse, if you want to fall in love with words (again!), or if you’re simply collab-curious—join us!


    How (Not) To Get Published: Reflections on the Writing Life (3:45-5:00)

Free and open to the public

Lester Goran and Chantel Acevedo

Join acclaimed novelist Chantel Acevedo and her teacher and mentor, Lester Goran, as they reflect on writing, revision, rejection, and resilience. 

About the University of Miami

The University of Miami’s mission is to educate and nurture students, to create knowledge, and to provide service to our community and beyond. Committed to excellence and proud of the diversity of our University family, we strive to develop future leaders of our nation and the world.  www.miami.edu

About the Program

The MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Miami was first established in 1991 by author and professor, Lester Goran. Since then our graduate alumni have published over forty books of prose and poetry to national and international acclaim (www.as.miami.edu/english/creativewriting/alumni/publications) . The Huffington Post recently named us one of the top 25 most underrated creative writing programs in the country. We are a small and selective program and we are among writing’s best kept secrets.

About Write Now 2010

Read about last year's conference here

Behind the Scenes

Conference photographer:  Vinny Senguttuvan
Pre-conference Assistant:  Justin Engles
Saturday Assistant: Marie Eduoard
Sunday Assistant: Vincent Caruso



Online Registration open. Walk-ins welcome.

For questions, please call (305) 284-2182 Refund requests will be approved, less a $25 processing fee, if the request is received prior to February 1, 2011. After that date, we will not be able to offer any refunds.

University of Miami Privacy Policy


Your Information

Please bring your Cane Card and/or E-Pass to the conference for verification
  I am an employee of UM
  I am a Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce member

Registration Options

$350 — Full Weekend (2-day workshop)
$250 — 1-day Workshop
$75 — Single Seminar
$75 — Written Critique
$50 — Written Critique

Written Critique Guidelines:
Fiction: up to ten pages, typed and double-spaced, 12 point font
Poetry: up to three pages consisting of 1-3 poems
Limited availability. Manuscripts accepted on a first come/first serve basis.