Spend a day with CWRU’s best writers

Second annual Breaking Genres conference to be held May 31

Jessica Yang, Staff Reporter

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Writers in the Cleveland area can convene and learn from the area’s most renowned authors and poets on May 31st during the Breaking Genres Writer’s Conference event on Mather Quad hosted by Case Western Reserve’s English department.

The daylong event features various presentations and workshops that aim to break down the borders between the writer and the subject, creating greater connections with perspectives. All classes will include discussion and writing exercises.

Mary Grimm, chair of the English department says, “Cleveland and Northeast Ohio is rich in writers. Our plan has been to staff the conference entirely with presenters who are local or have strong local connections… We’re trying to give conference participants a variety of choices—this year historical fiction, science fiction, memoir, political poetry, etc.—and it’s not been at all difficult to find this diversity of authors in Northeast Ohio.”

Author Thrity Umrigar, most known for her novels “The Space Between Us,” “Bombay Time” and “The World We Found,” will be giving the key-note address, which will respond to the idea of “writing what one knows,” and how writing about unknown topics can add to our perspectives of the world.

Writers, poets and journalists such as Lynn Powell, James Sheeler, Cinda Williams Chima,  Philip Metres,  S. Andrew Swann and Sam Thomas will teach classes on young adult fiction, documentary poetics, engaging young writers in poetry, multimedia storytelling, world-building fiction and historical fiction. Michael Grant Jaffe’s workshop will focus on fictional character development and how to drive narrative, while Cinda Williams Chima will teach how to write stories using cinematic techniques, an attractive style for teen readers.

Grimm also says, “We’re confident that this year will be just as well received [as last year], and also excited to be able to offer something new: the intensive workshops, where participants will have their work discussed with three of our presenters.”

The event starts at 8:45 a.m. with opening remarks and introduction of faculty, with registration from 8 – 10:30 a.m. The event lasts until 4:45 p.m. A book fair will also be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring books from Mac’s Backs bookstore, university and local presses as well as journals.

General admission is $95 for CWRU faculty/staff, and college student admission is $75. A box lunch is included with the cost of the conference and tickets can be purchased through an EventBrite page.