Monday, October 18, 2021
Registration for this session is now full. Thank you for your interest!
Pretty soon all fiction will be climate fiction. There is no escaping what’s happening to our big beautiful world and the fact that we are the cause of the climate emergency. But how do we as writers deal with this? Have you found the climate emergency—dark as it is—inspiring or hindering or in some ways both? Has your relationship with nature changed over the time you’ve been an active writer? How will that relationship affect your storytelling going forward? Join authors Julie Carrick Dalton and Erica Ferencik at the ICA Boston’s outdoor Grandstand, overlooking the Boston waterfront, to discuss the evolving role of nature and climate in literature. Attendees will leave with a diverse climate fiction reading list and some take-home writing prompts inspired by the outdoor setting of this timely conversation. After the session, please visit Porter Square Books’ brand-new Seaport location to shop for our presenters’ books, and get a free tour of GrubStreet’s new home at the Center for Creative Writing! Presented in partnership with GrubStreet and ICA Boston.
Please abide by city and venue regulations with regard to mask wearing and social distancing for this in-person event.
Saturday, October 23, 2021
We’re pleased to present a handful of interactive, family-friendly activities in partnership with the Boston Public Library as part of their celebration of the newly remodeled and reopened Roxbury Branch, which recently won an ALA/AIA Library Building Award. These activities are made possible with the support of the Wagner Foundation.
At 1pm, celebrate the new Nubian Square HQ for Boston’s METCO program by taking a Boston Education Activism Tour (BEAT) of Nubian Square. High school students in METCO—the historic voluntary school desegregation program between Boston and the mostly white suburbs—travel between worlds every day when they ride their buses to school and back. Now they want to take everyone on a journey into Boston’s past to uncover the dynamic history of the Black community in Roxbury. These young people will use Nubian Square’s landmarks, from the Dillaway-Thomas House to Hibernian Hall, to uncover the stories of decades of artistry, activism, and achievement. They will introduce you to the brave organizers who envisioned a better world, like Ruth Batson, Ellen Jackson, Melnea Cass, Mel King and more. The tour will culminate at the brand new Nubian Square headquarters of METCO itself, whose founding story has many lessons for today.
Sunday, October 24, 2021
Bake it Till You Make it: Live!, inspired by Dayna Altman’s first of its kind mental health cookbook Bake it Till You Make it: Breaking Bread Building Resilience, is a life baking demonstration and storytelling event rolled into one. During this session Dayna will share her mental health story while facilitating a cooking demonstration. Dayna will use the ingredients as metaphors to tell her own story of recovery and living with mental illness. Watch as she teaches you a new recipe and deconstructs stigma. For more information check out bakeittillyoumakeit.co or email Dayna at [email protected]
Blending BBF’s flash fiction (but going flash real) and Her’tazhe’s Response Theater (RT) (reference Playback Theater) this session involves the viewers in an evocative event that focuses on injustice. Books and plays that have societal inequities as a theme will be referenced and dramatized through theater, poetry, vocals and instruments. Similar to BBF’s past flash fiction sessions, three Boston residents were asked to complete a reflective writing exercise regarding an oppressive, personal experience. Together, we will see these stories and a subset of other and possibly related “drama” that occurs in BIPOC communities, enacted. The overarching message is that the “drama” of inequity must end. This session is related to a second workshop, featuring a more specific discussion of injustice and the need for equity, occurring in person, whenever possible.
Besides having day jobs to help support themselves, most writers face additional demands on their time—from parenting to helping aging or ill relatives or friends to coping with global threats such as the recent pandemic. Creativity can languish when relegated to the graveyard shift. How do you manage an intense day job and personal obligations while still getting a book out...or more? Come hear how writers Desmond Hall (Your Corner Dark), Doris Iarovici (Minus One), Daphne Kalotay (Blue Hours), and Rishi Reddi (Passage West) did it during this on-demand panel discussion, and then share your own experiences during the live Q&A starting at 11:30am.
Besides having day jobs to help support themselves, most writers face additional demands on their time—from parenting to helping aging or ill relatives or friends to coping with global threats such as the recent pandemic. Creativity can languish when relegated to the graveyard shift. How do you manage an intense day job and personal obligations while still getting a book out...or more? Watch the on-demand discussion to hear how writers Desmond Hall (Your Corner Dark), Doris Iarovici (Minus One), Daphne Kalotay (Blue Hours), and Rishi Reddi (Passage West) did it and then tune in at 11:30am to share your own experiences during this live Q&A.
Do you yearn for those moments when words seem to write themselves? Learn to bypass the self-doubt, self-judgment, and perfectionism that cause writers’ block. During the workshop participants will have the opportunity to experience connecting with their deepest writing self and writing from a trance state. Tarot cards, meditation, and ritual will be used to enhance the experience. This one-hour interactive workshop will be led by authors Carolyn Wilkins and Sarah Smith and is open to writers in all genres. No experience is necessary. All are welcome.
Our panel of writers, teachers, and activists will discuss the elements environmental writers bring to storytelling: how to tell or teach stories that support political action, reveal or foster a better understanding of past and present environmental crises, and how writing can narrate interconnections of people and places across genres. Each contributor connects Boston-area concerns with larger geographies and histories: Inupiaq poet Joan Naviyuk Kane links her Alaskan homelands with her current home in Cambridge; Kate Brown connects distant nuclear and local plant histories; historian Tony Perry examines the relationship of enslaved peoples in the early United States with their environments; Kerri Arsenault traces pollution in the Northeast; and panel moderator Bathsheba Demuth connects histories of New England and the Arctic. Through guiding questions about genre, audience, and writing across disciplines, the panelists will discuss how the past and present can be linked through storytelling to an environmentally just future.
Over the past several years the publishing world (and its readers) have thankfully demanded more diversity within stories. But as welcome as this change is, it can leave many non-marginalized writers with anxiety. How are you supposed to go about it? What if you mess up? Are you allowed to write about marginalized people at all? In this session facilitated by Milo Todd, we'll discuss common worries, some do's and don'ts, engage in self-reflection questions, and more. Writers will leave this session with more insight, awareness, and confidence to produce the most accurate and empathetic work they can.