Building Community Through the Arts

All Write Columbia

All Write Columbia, our Inaugural Nonfiction Writing Conference, celebrates the conclusion of five days of workshops with selected short readings and a wine and cheese reception, open to the public and free of charge on Sunday, October 23, from 2- 4pm.

For this small and focused writers intensive, which specialized in creative nonfiction, attendees were selected from applications last summer. The chosen applicants gathered for a combination of virtual presentations and in-person workshops and talks by critically acclaimed memoirists, agents, editors and marketing experts who discussed both the craft and the business of writing essays, biography, memoir, and narrative nonfiction.

Short readings of recent work will be shared by 13 conference participants as well as readings by author and conference director Donna Kaz and author and workshop leader Pramila Venkateswaran.

Participants in the conference are Even Christine Gardiner, Nandi Rose Levine, Adrienne Gans, Sheryl Boris-Schacter, Cristobal Morales, Abigail Eisley, Frances Duntz, Cheryl Roberts, Adriana Tampasis, Robin Catalan, Casey Walsh, Kelli Huggins, Rosemary Werrett, and Emily Rubin.

All Write Columbia graphic

Develop both your skills and your creative marketing savvy in this small, focused conference, the only one of its kind in the country.

Rahne Alexander headshot
Rahne Alexander
Michelle Blankenship headshot
Michelle Blankenship
Priya Doraswamy
Priya Doraswamy
Taylor Harris headshot
Taylor Harris
Donna Kaz headshot
Donna Kaz
Vanessa Martir headshot
Vanessa Martir
Nayt Rundquist
Nayt Rundquist
Venkateswaran headshot
Pramila Venkateswaran

SCHEDULE: for registered participants only

Wednesday, October 19, 6:00-9:00pm

The conference kicks off with introductory session, followed by author Taylor Harris reading and discussing her recent debut memoir, This Boy We Made: A Memoir of Motherhood, Genetics, and Facing the Unknown (Catapult, 2022), which was an Indie Next Pick and named by Essence as a most anticipated title of the year. Her writing has appeared in TIME, O Quarterly, The Washington Post, Longreads, The Cut, Romper, Parents, and McSweeney’s.

Thursday, October 20, 7:00-9:00pm

Rahne Alexander will give a creativity talk titled “Dealing with Rejection.” How does an artist accept both the positive and the negative reactions to their work, especially when what they write is based on a true experience? Alexander is an interdisciplinary artist and writer. She has contributed to numerous anthologies, including the Lambda Literary Award-winning Take Me There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica (Cleis, 2011).

Friday, October 21, 7:00-9:00pm

Vanessa Mártir will give a craft talk titled “Writing the Ghosts that Haunt” in which she will discuss how writing about traumatic experiences can lead to a sense of redemption. She has been widely published, including in the New York Times, Washington Post, Longreads, Guardian, The Rumpus, Bitch Magazine, and the bestselling anthology, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture, edited by Roxane Gay.

Saturday, October 22, 8:00am-8:00pm
WORKSHOPS, PANELS, CATERED MEALS (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Writing workshops and one-on-one mentoring sessions facilitated by Donna Kaz and Pramila Venkateswaran, and a publishing panel Q & A with a trio of powerhouse publishing professionals, including book publicist Michelle Blankenship of Blankenship Public Relations, literary agent Priya Doraswamy of Lotus Lane Literary, and Nayt Rundquist, who is managing editor of New Rivers Press. Kaz is a multi-genre writer and the author of UN/MASKED: Memoirs of a Guerrilla Girl On Tour (Skyhorse, 2016). She has been widely published in outlets ranging from Variety and Ms. Magazine to Crab Orchard Review and The Sun. Venkateswaran is both a poet and creative nonfiction author. She has published seven books of poetry and was poet laureate of Suffolk County, Long Island. Her essays have appeared in The Writer’s Chronicle, The Women’s Studies Quarterly, Socialism and Democracy, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, and in anthologies of literature, culture, and politics.

Sunday, October 23, 8:00am-5:00pm

Writing workshops and individual mentoring sessions continue with Kaz and Venkateswaran. From 2:00-4:00pm at the Academy, there will be an open reading of new and published works by conference participants and faculty.

Note: this reading is the only conference event that is open to the public; admission is free.

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Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

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