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All the narrative edification you need: our 2012 conference roundup

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It’s time for our annual almost-spring listing of 2012 writing events and conferences. From California to Texas and Boston, there are options to work on your writing or storytelling skills coast to coast. Whether you want to sharpen up your scene-setting, peek into the world of multimedia, or just network with others who are devoted to narrative, we bet you can find what you’re looking for here.

But be sure to watch for dates and early bird registrations – one of these conferences has already filled! Here they are in chronological order:

The 2012 AWP Conference in Chicago, an offering of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, will take place next week, Feb. 29-March 3, but is completely sold out. Look for online updates on talks from Dagoberto Gilb, Margaret Atwood, Luis Rodriguez, Rebecca Skloot and Marilynne Robinson.

The Narrative Arc: storytelling journalism goes digital,” a production of the Boston University College of Communication, will take place March 23-25 on the BU campus. Highlights include Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting Director Jon Sawyer, audio storytellers Jay Allison and Maria Balinska, New York Times reporter Amy O’Leary, The Atavist’s Evan Ratliff, and journalists-turned-authors Adam Hochschild and Tom French.

The Muse and the Marketplace 2012, put on by Grub Street, will run May 5 and 6 in downtown Boston. Highlights for nonfiction writers include Jerald Walker on suspending disbelief, Seth Mnookin on choosing topics, and Wendy Call (co-editor of the Nieman Foundation’s own “Telling True Stories” and winner of this year’s Grub Street nonfiction prize) on writing scenes.

The American Society of Journalists and Authors 2012 Writers Conference will take place April 27 and 28 (with sessions on the 26th for members) in New York City. Highlights include science writer Dan Ferber, nonfiction author Janine Latus and New York Times columnist Samuel Freedman.

The Compleat Biographer Conference, run by the Biographers International Organization, will take place May 18-20 on the campus of the University of Southern California. Highlights include Jack El-Hai on narrative suspense, Kathleen Sharp on interviewing techniques and Tracy Daugherty on choosing a subject.

The Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference will take place July 20-22 in Grapevine, Texas (outside Dallas). Highlights include Pulitzer winners Richard Rhodes, Isabel Wilkerson, and Amy Harmon; Esquire writers Chris Jones and Tom Junod; memoirist and nonfiction author Luis Alberto Urrea; and GQ’s Jeanne Marie Laskas.




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