January 28, 2014

Eckerd College Writers Conference Wrap-Up

I suspect few, if any, of the eight dozen “students” who attended the eight-day Eckerd College Writers Conference, went away dissatisfied. That, in and of itself, is remarkable and a testimony to the conference organizers and staff. While many of the students may have experienced a twinge of dissatisfaction when contemplating the status of their writing careers or the quality of the document they submitted for the workshops, I can’t imagine any left without a glimmer of hope and clear guidelines to improving their craft. The faculty readings, from Tim O’Brien’s remarkable Things They Carried (1998) to newcomer Attica Locke’s second novel The Cutting Season (2013), were nothing short of inspirational. They reinforced each student’s justification for dedicating themselves to […]
January 19, 2014

Report from Day 1 of the Eckerd College Writers’ Conference

The tenth annual Eckerd College Writers Conference kicked off this evening with a wine and cheese reception and a program featuring Tim O’Brien, author of Going After Cacciato (1979), The Things They Carried (1990), In the Lake of the Woods (1994), July, July (2002) and others. O’Brien, winner of the National Book Award, the James Fenimore Cooper Prize and other honors, read a passage from The Things They Carried and chatted for a short while with Dennis Lehane about ambiguity and surety, beauty and war. At one point he asked was the expenditure of three million Vietnamese and sixty thousand American lives worth it, given that we “lost” the war without having lost our country’s freedom. He closed with a […]