Program for JWC 2022


C.E.J. Simons
Here We Go Again
Poetry
Craft Workshop
Repetition makes poetry. Poetry, as words arranged in order to produce memorable effects on the human ear and eye, depends on repetition in order to provide structure and to provide the mind with the opportunity to quickly grasp its sounds and shapes (if not its sense) and to retain these sounds and shapes for repetition to others. The long association between poetry and music, and between poetry and visual art, has given rise to a wide range of aural and visual techniques of repetition including the repetition of sounds, words, image patterns, and lines. In this workshop, participants will review some rhetorical techniques of word repetition in poetry including anadiplosis (‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty…’), anaphora, diaphora, epanalepsis (‘Blood hath brought blood, and blows have answered blows’), epistrophe, epizeuxis (‘Never, never, never, never, never’), polysyndeton, symploce, etc., including some well-known examples from English poetry. The workshop will also review some techniques of line repetition in stanzaic and fixed poetic forms including the pantoum, triolet, and villanelle. Participants will have time to practice one or more of these techniques of repetition by writing a few lines, stanzas, or a short poem.

Christopher Simons is Senior Associate Professor of Literature at International Christian University in Tokyo. He has held the Harper-Wood Studentship in Creative Writing at St John’s College Cambridge. His most recent poetry collection is Flight Risk (Isobar Press, 2021). His criticism and poetry have appeared in numerous UK publications including the TLS.

Recent poetry books: Flight Risk (Isobar Press, 2021); Underground Facility (Isobar Press, 2018); One More Civil Gesture (Isobar Press, 2015); No Distinguishing Features (wordwolf press, 2011).

Charles Kowalski
The Magic of Humor
Craft Workshop
Fiction, Nonfiction

What wizardry lies in writing magical symbols that make anyone who looks at them fall into helpless laughter? Here, we explore ways to infuse writing with laugh-out-loud humor, such as combining divergent situations to make a comic premise, creating comic characters, and running dialogue and narration through “funny filters.”

Of all the ways to make people laugh, one of the hardest is through the written word. This workshop will present several techniques for infusing writing with laugh-out-loud humor, including:

  • How humor works by subverting expectations and creating new ones
  • How to combine disparate situations for comic effect
  • How to run ordinary dialogue and narration through “funny filters”
  • How to create comic characters using archetypes, quirks, and comical situations

Charles Kowalski is the author of the award-winning thriller Mind Virus, the political/espionage thriller The Devil’s Son, the historical fantasy Simon Grey and the March of a Hundred Ghosts, and several short stories. When not writing, he teaches at Tokai University.

David Gilbey
Reeling and Writhing: A Poetry Editing Workshop Preparing for Publication
Craft Workshop online
Poetry

A closed workshop, requiring participants to submit poems before the conference as well as read and be ready to discuss the work submitted by others. To join, contact David directly at debidogirubi@gmail.com

The workshop is based on the familiar and successful structure and strategy as offered by John Gribble at the 2008 JWC and my own over the last six years. It will involve my sending out a brief to intending participants requiring submission of drafts of poems, then, before the actual workshop, reading and making comments on each of the participant’s poems and finally, participating in the workshop discussion itself at the conference.

This workshop allows writers to work on a poem or two in readiness for publication, recognising that conference delegates are themselves writers, teachers and editors and that there are both personal and professional benefits from a closely-focussed discussion of emerging texts. So the purpose of this workshop is to give a small group of poets the opportunity to meet, read and discuss in depth, a sample of each other’s work. The workshop will be open to a limited number of participants but writers of varying degrees of experience will be welcome. The session will be closed and of two hours duration. There will be two parts to the workshop: preparation and participation. Preparation also has two parts: submitting and close reading. Those who sign up for the session will be contacted before the conference.

Poet David Gilbey was Adjunct Senior Lecturer in English at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia, and the founding President of Wagga Wagga Writers Writers. His three collections of poems are Under the Rainbow (1996), Death and the Motorway (2008) and Pachinko Sunset (2016). He has taught English at Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University in Sendai, Japan 1996, 2000 and 2007.

Eli K.P. William
How to Build Worlds
Short Lecture with Q&A
Fiction

All fiction takes place in an imagined world, however much that world may or may not resemble our own. Thus creating worlds is an essential skill for any writer of stories. It becomes especially crucial, however, when the fictional world being conceived diverges from what we consider real or familiar.

In this presentation, Eli K.P. William will offer practical advice on world-building, with a focus on science fiction. He will describe his own process in writing The Jubilee Cycle trilogy and draw on examples from other authors.

Eli K.P. William is the author The Jubilee Cycle, a science fiction trilogy set in a future Tokyo. The series includes Cash Crash Jubilee, The Naked World, and A Diamond Dream. He has also contributed book reviews and essays in English and Japanese to such publications as the Japan Times, the Pacific Rim Review of Books, and Subaru. His translation of the Japanese novel, A Man, by Keiichiro Hirano, is a bestseller, and he has translated essays and short stories by some of Japan’s most renowned authors for Granta, Monkey, Kyoto Journal, the Southern Review, and more. Follow him on Twitter: @Dice_Carver or visit his homepage: elikpwilliam.com

Gregory Dunne
Jeremy Seligson
Teachings on Poetry from the Uncollected Notebooks of Cid Corman
Short Lecture with Q&A
Poetry

The uncollected notebooks of Cid Corman are explored for their teachings on poetry and the life of poetry. The notebooks span the years 1959 to 1975, a time when he was maturing as a poet and as an editor. The ongoing relevance of his poetics are shared and discussed.

Some years ago, the late American Kyoto-based expatriate poet, Cid Corman gifted Fred Jeremy Seligson, an American poet living in Korea, a collection of his notebooks/journals as a token of his appreciation for the financial support that Seligson had offered him during particularly difficult years. These notebooks span the crucial time period between 1959 and 1975, when Corman first arrived in Kyoto and was actively publishing his seminal literary magazine Origin and maturing as a poet. Although Corman’s other journals and papers were purchased and placed in research libraries after his death in 2004, these notebooks remained outstanding and uncollected. At present, Jeremy and I are engaged in creating a book, comprised of selections from the notebooks that will serve poets and those interested in poetry with gleanings from the notebooks of Corman’s most salient insights and teachings on the art and craft of poetry. This presentation will share our findings regarding Corman’s poetics. In doing this, we will show how Corman’s ideas concerning the art and craft of poetry remain vital and will be ever relevant.

Gregory Dunne has published prose and poetry in such venues as The American Poetry Review, Catamaran, Prairie Schooner, Manoa, Willow Springs, The Mainichi Shimbun, Crazyhorse, Kyoto Journal, Poetry East. He contributed to The Strangest of Theatres: Poets Writing Across Borders. (The Poetry Foundation and McSweeney’s. 2013.) His books of poetry are Fistful of Lotus (Elizabeth Forrest, 2000), Home Test (Adastra Press, 2009), and Other/Wise (Isobar Press, 2019). His critical memoir, Quiet Accomplishment: Remembering Cid Corman was published in 2014 (Ekstasis Editions). He is associate poetry editor at Kyoto Journal and teaches in the Faculty of Comparative Culture at Miyazaki International College.

Fred Jeremy Seligson J.D. Indiana University, lived in Kyoto from 1975 to 1977 where he participated in Cid Corman’s weekly workshops and began writing poetry. He has taught at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Wonkwang University and most recently Yonsei University, all in the Seoul area.

He has published poems in Hummingbird, Ocata, Otherwise Engaged, chapbooks in Longhouse, poetry books Daughters and Vietnam Diary (bilingually in AEIOU France) and won the Dangun Poetry Award for Foreigners in Korea. Also he has authored Oriental Birth Dreams and Queen Jin’s Handbook of Pregnancy. He is currently working on a prose work about his days in Kyoto, The Man Who Fell In Love With A Tree and one on Korean Dragon Dreams.

Iain Maloney
Storytelling: Scaffolding, Subtext and Secondhand Scenes
Short Lecture with Q&A, Craft Workshop
Fiction, Nonfiction

Christopher Booker famously claimed that there are only seven plots, and all stories are a variation on these archetypes. Whether we are working with fiction or non-fiction writers are storytellers, but too often we concentrate on the story and forget about the telling. We are so caught up in what that how becomes an afterthought. As an editor, this is where most books that cross my desk fail, and is the most common reason for a manuscript being rejected.

Using examples from published and unpublished manuscripts, I will examine typical problems with drafts, particularly in areas where early-stage writers commonly slip up, and suggest ways of dealing with these issues. The talk will also involve a workshop element.

Dr Iain Maloney is Associate Professor at Sugiyama Jogakuen University in Nagoya. He is the author of seven books, writes for the Japan Times and is a professional editor.

Isobar Press
This Year at Isobar
Reading with Q&A
Poetry

Paul Rossiter will introduce this year’s publications from Isobar Press, and will read from Robert MacLean’s Wintermoon, which distils twenty years of living and studying Zen in Kyoto into a single seasonal cycle seen through the lens of haiku. Taylor Mignon will introduce VOU: Visual Poetry, Tokio, 1958–1978, his anthology of visual work from Kitasono Katue’s legendary avant-garde magazine VOU. Philip Rowland will introduce and read from An Open Parenthesis, his striking new volume of minimalist poems. Janine Beichman will introduce and read from This Overflowing Light: Selected Poems, her translations of poems from all stages in the career of the important twentieth-century poet Ishigaki Rin.

Paul Rossiter has published ten books of poetry since 1995. After retiring from teaching at the University of Tokyo in 2012, he founded Isobar Press, which specialises in publishing English-language poetry from Japan, and English translations of modernist and contemporary Japanese poetry. More information can be found at: https://isobarpress.com

Janine Beichman has published translations of Masaoka Shiki, Ōoka Makoto, and Yosano Akiko. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and America PEN, and is a winner of the 2019-2020 Japan-United States Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature.

Taylor Mignon is a poet, editor, translator and university lecturer living in Saitama. He cotranslated Distant Frogs: Selected Senryu by Gengorō (2007), and led the translation and editing of Bearded Cones & Pleasure Blades: The Collected Poems of Torii Shōzō (2013). He is a cofounding editor of Tokyo Poetry Journal.

Philip Rowland’s poetry collections include Something Other Than Other (Isobar Press, 2016). He is the founding editor of NOON: journal of the short poem, editor of the Isobar anthology NOON: An Anthology of Short Poems (2019), and co-editor of the anthology Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years (Norton, 2013).


Jenna Hammer (aka CoffeeQuills)
Spinning Web Fiction for Fun & Profit
Short Lecture with Q&A
Fiction, Other Genre
Game Writing

Quick discussion of what authors and writers want, going into the pros that web fiction can offer and the pitfalls that are hidden among the opportunities, and showing writers and authors that – in addition to traditional publishing and indie publishing – web fiction can be a 3rd option in their writing career.

Wander deeper into the realms of internet writing and find places where writers can explore the opportunities web fiction offers through serializations (in which a story can be uploaded chapter by chapter even as it is being written) such as Kindle Vella and Radish, or interactive writing with Choice of Games and Tales, in addition to the benefits that free places such as Wattpad, HoneyFeed, and Royal Road offer.

CoffeeQuills, of Tokyo, is an embodiment of their slogan Many QuillsMany Genres. They are a game developer with 4thewords, stream daily writing sprints on Twitch, and have indie published three books: Blasted Research, Digital Lights, Spells, Snow, & Sky. They exist on coffee and seafood.

Joan Bailey
Pitch Writing: Tips on Crafting a Solid Story Idea
Short Lecture with Q&A online
Nonfiction, Career

This online pitch writing workshop will discuss and practice strategies for writing effective pitches that editors want to read. Learn the basic components of a pitch, what helps a pitch stand out, and what to avoid. The goal is a clear, concise pitch that gets an editor’s attention.

Crafting a good pitch, like any other piece of writing, requires time, effort, and often a few drafts. This online workshop will look at pitches for different publications on a variety of topics. We will talk about what every pitch should include, the questions an editor wants every pitch to answer, and how to personalize it while keeping the tone professional.

We will analyze example pitches to see how the writer put them together to match the voice and goals of the publication. Attendees will receive sample pitches, and there will be plenty of time for questions and answers.

Joan Bailey is a freelance writer based in Japan. Her work focuses on food, farming, and farmers markets, and can be found at Atlas Obscura, The Japan Times, Modern Farmer, Civil Eats, Tokyo Weekender, Savvy Tokyo, and Outdoor Japan. Visit joandbailey.com to read your fill!

John Rucynski
A Passion for Japan: The Process of Editing a Collection of Personal Narratives
Short Lecture with Q&A
Nonfiction

Editing a collection of personal narratives is a complicated, multistage process. For the presenter, this process started with many years of pondering the question “What can I add to the available nonfiction English-language books about Japan?” and ended with the publication of A Passion for Japan: A Collection of Personal Narratives (BlueSky Publishing, 2022). The presenter will guide participants through the process with a focus on the following key questions:

1) How do I come up with a good theme (and subtheme)?
2) How do I prepare a call for submissions and solicit contributors?
3) How do I share important writing guidelines (and get contributors to follow them)?
4) How do I offer constructive feedback on very personal writing?
5) How do I respect individual writing styles while also maintaining a consistent theme and tone?

John Rucynski is associate professor in the Center for Liberal Arts and Language Education at Okayama University. In addition to regularly publishing articles about language education, he has edited two volumes on humor in language acquisition, co-written three textbooks, and edited a collection of personal narratives about life in Japan.

Jillian Marshall
Reimagining Memoir: Storytelling as Analytical Inquiry
Short Lecture with Q&A online
Nonfiction

What lies between the traditional boundaries of non-fiction genres? This presentation examines the analytical possibilities of memoir and storytelling. Bookended by presentation and discussion, we will read a chapter from my new book as a case-study in analytical memoir, learning about Japanese music culture in the process.

This hybrid presentation and group reading introduces new approaches to memoir devised during my time in (and departure from) academia. Following with a brief lecture questioning the limits of non-fiction genre — what does the slippage between memoir and ethnography reveal? — we’ll examine analytical memoir by reading a chapter of my new book, Japanthem: Counter-Cultural Experiences, Cross-Cultural Remixes. Originally written as part of my doctoral thesis in Japanese ethnomusicology, the selected chapter and Japanthem on whole posit memoir and storytelling as colloquial sites of anthropological inquiry (in this case, getting subtly bullied by my Buddhist dance teacher in Akita Prefecture). With the Q and A that follows, I ultimately hope to inspire new possibilities in non-fiction writing and bridge not just the intellectual rigor of academia with the public sphere, but cultural (mis)understandings between Japan, the US, and beyond in the process.

Jillian Marshall, PhD, is a writer, educator, and musician who champions public intellectualism. Her first book, Japanthem: Counter-Cultural Experiences, Cross-Cultural Remixes, debuted in April with Three Rooms Press. Jillian’s other writings have been published by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Cornell University Press, and Music Television.

Kelly Quinn, The Font
The State of the Font
Reading, Short Lecture with Q&A
Instructional, Career

This presentation will explain what is happening at The Font Journal — changes in the editorial staff, submission numbers, subscription numbers, data about the number of visitors, and publication opportunities for writers.

There will also be a reading featuring recent contributors to The Font.

The Font Journal is well-known to many members of the Japan Writers Conference community as a publication for language teachers and learners. Since 2013, The Font has published essays, poetry and fiction pieces from language teachers around the world. James Crocker founded and has been Chief Editor from its foundation. James has been on hiatus since March 2022. This presentation will introduce the new editor and provide some data metrics on visitor and submission rates, where are submissions coming from, who is reading The Font, and some information about publication and editorial opportunities at The Font. Also, because of the long-time familiarity of the JWC with The Font, it is hoped that there will be a chance for suggestions and advice from other members about ways to improve and expand opportunities for both writers and the publication itself.

The featured readers include Michael Pronko, Steve Redford, and Jared Kubokawa.

Kelly Quinn teaches English in Japan. He is the author of several mediocre academic articles and the book Japanese History You Should Know, IBC publishing. He is currently Chief Editor of The Font.

Liane Grunberg Wakabayashi
Good News for Authors: Sourcing Expert Advice for Free
Short Lecture with Q&A. online
Instructional

For writers on a budget, knowing what to spend money on and what can be sourced for free, need not be a source of frustration or regrets. Find out about a plethora of free resources that will help you gain confidence in deciding what services are truly essential to pay for and what you can best do on your own.

There’s currently a mantra in the publishing industry that’s working to our advantage as writers. That is, “give away expert advice for free, then hook your writer with a paid service.” The expert advice found online covers everything a new or experienced author needs to know in this rapidly changing publishing world. These experts know that before they can hook an author onto a paid service, they had best offer to educate us why we need their services. The good news is that some of these free offers are so useful, so effective, you might not need the paid services in the long run. In this presentation, Liane will discuss her top free, or near-free resources, most of them a click away, to help authors at every stage of the writing process. Learn about websites, email subscription services, YouTube and podcast platforms, by both famous influencers and lesser known experts, offering practical information, community support and wonderful writing incentives.

Liane Grunberg Wakabayashi is an artist and writer for many publications during her thirty years in Tokyo (1987-2017). Since moving to Israel, she writes for The Jerusalem Post Magazine and is the author of the recently published memoir: The Wagamama Bride: A Jewish Family Saga Made in Japan.

Marc Antomattei
Watch Your Steps! How I Sidestepped Potential Legal Pitfalls and Lived to Publish Another Day

What do you do when you face a potential legal problem? As the author of four books, legal issues arose with everything I published. In this lecture, I will present an anthology of four separate but complete stories about my experiences of what I did to overcome legal hurdles to publish my books successfully. Each story is distinguished from the next but tied together by the theme of avoiding the law.

Story 1: The Photograph (Licensing)
Story 2: The Threat (Libel)
Story 3: Business Identity Theft (U.S. Public Domain Part 1)
Story 4: 001 License To Steal (U.S. Public Domain Part 2)

Disclaimer: This presentation is not legal advice and should not be taken as such; it is simply my experiences of what I did when faced with legal adversity.

Debonair sartorial guru Marc Antomattei started his spirits journey as a Japanese whisky reviewer and commentator for his men’s lifestyle YouTube channel Gentleman Masterclass. Writing and publishing the book 50 Japanese Whiskies in 2020 made Antomattei the first African-American to author a book about Japanese whisky.

Meg Eden Kuyatt
Revising with Focus: The Thesis of the Novel
Craft Workshop online
Fiction, Career

Once you’ve written a draft, it can be difficult to figure out where to go next. A range of people will provide feedback, but who is right? How do you go about discerning what to edit and what to keep the same? To effectively edit, it’s critical to identify a novel’s underlying argument—its heart. In this workshop, we’ll discuss the “thesis statement” approach to editing, looking at examples of novels’ “thesis statements,” as well as providing exercises to help you identify and hone in on your novel’s thesis.

Meg Eden Kuyatt is a 2020 Pitch Wars mentee, and teaches creative writing at Anne Arundel Community College. She is the author of the 2021 Towson Prize for Literature winning poetry collection Drowning in the Floating World (Press 53, 2020) and children’s novels, most recently Selah’s Guide to Normal (Scholastic, 2023). Find her online at www.megedenbooks.com or on Twitter at @ConfusedNarwhal and Instagram at @meden_author.

Michael Frazier
O Death, Where is Your Sting?: A Poetics of Hope!
Craft Workshop
Poetry

Turn on the news and it is inevitable to see a news broadcast about someone dying. By a virus, a health condition, a natural disaster, or a twisted mind with a weapon. This generative workshop is a poetics on death and grappling with the fear death induces by unmasking the demon and realizing our hope.

This is a generative workshop for those interested in writing about and through the reality of being ephemeral beings in a world that is posed against our fragile lives. We will read poems anticipating, about, and responding to death. Some poets may include Danez Smith, Safia Elhillo, Li Young Lee, Max Ritvo, Mary Oliver, and others. We will read anti-eulogies, psalms, palindromes, and other poems that resist the inevitable. We will understand how they write around and through the concept of dying, with particular interest in how hope is the hinge of their poetry. We will write our own poems that face our fears.

Michael Frazier is a poet and high school teacher living in Kanazawa, Japan. Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets nominated, his poems appear in Poetry Daily, The Offing, RHINO, Tinderbox, Tokyo Poetry Journal, and elsewhere.

Michael Pronko
Making Scenes: Types, Elements, Effects, Integration
Short Lecture with Q&A
Fiction

Scenes linger in readers’ minds. Recall a great novel and you might think of character first, but always a character doing or saying something amazing. That’s a scene. This talk will consider ways to conceive, construct, and energize scenes in novels.

Scenes are the most essential building block of novels. By attending to the complexities of scenes, novels can be strongly developed, not just structurally, but in terms of affective quality and narrative energy. This talk will first look at types of scenes and consider where different scene types can be placed in the larger narrative. The essential elements of scenes will be examined together with their effects, both in terms of the narrative and the kinds of emotions evoked. Other issues such as pacing, balance, dialogue, irony, and opening and closing lines will also be discussed. Lastly, this talk will think about how to position and integrate scenes for a stronger overall sequence of scenes. By focusing not just on structural issues, but on emotional issues, the impact of scenes can be re-examined and given deeper consideration. Examples will be drawn from well-known novels and films.

Michael Pronko has written for many publications but now focuses on the award-winning Detective Hiroshi series set in Tokyo. He also has three collections of writing about Tokyo and runs the website Jazz in Japan. He teaches American Literature at Meiji Gakuin University.

Tokyo Zangyo. Raked Gravel Press (2021)
Tokyo Traffic. Raked Gravel Press (2020).
Inbound/Outbound Japan. Tokyo: Kinseido Publishing (2020).
The Moving Blade. Raked Gravel Press (2017).
The Last Train. Raked Gravel Press (2017).
Motions and Moments: More Essays on Tokyo. Raked Gravel Press (2015).

Nithin Coca (live), Chie Matsumoto (online), Joan Bailey (online)
Cooperatives and Self-Ownership for Writers
Panel Discussion
Nonfiction

Unfiltered was created in 2020 as a journalist and reader-member-owned and operated platform for writing. Join three journalist-members of Unfiltered as they share why the cooperative model can be a viable alternative for writers as they share their story and those from other creative cooperatives around the world.

Journalists face new challenges as the industry comes under the control of a few large media outlets. In particular, Japanese media organizations lack diversity and lean toward narrow gatekeeping. The multi-lingual members of Unfiltered decided to create a place to share a broader range of stories and vantage points, to give voice to the marginalized. In less than two years, Unfiltered has covered sex workers and Covid-19, the Ainu and human rights, and freedom of the press in Japan among others.

While writer cooperatives are relatively new, cooperatives have long empowered workers around the world. Three Unfiltered journalist members will discuss the cooperative model, reader inclusion, and the process of setting up and managing a media cooperative. We’ll also share how other new, innovative cooperatives allow writers, photographers, and artists to create content outside of the traditional business model in places like Hong Kong, the US, and Europe.

Chie Matsumoto is a freelance journalist covering mainly social justice issues and marginalized communities. Her work appears on Unfiltered.coop, and in Gender Expression Guidebook (2021) (Japanese) and State of Sexual Harassment in Media (2020) (Japanese) among others.

Nithin Coca is a Japan-based, Asia-focused freelance journalist who covers climate, environment and human rights across the region. He’s also the author of Traveling Softly and Quietly, a travel memoir published in 2013.

Joan Bailey is a freelance food journalist based in Japan. Her work can be found at Unfiltered.coop, Atlas Obscura, The Japan Times, Modern Farmer, Civil Eats, and joandbailey.com

Sara Ellis
Why MFA When You Can BB?
Short Lecture with Q&A, Craft Workshop
Fiction

I will give a short overview of Big Bang and talk about my experiences as well as research and input from other participants producing original work. A workshop component will be in the second part of the presentation with Q & A, time allowing.

A Big Bang is a writing challenge wherein writers are paired with artists in the creation of a longform fic to a specific deadline. Writers take part in Big Bangs for a variety of reasons: love of fandom, to experiment with original concepts, and for the comradery and intensive experience of writing long works to a deadline. Nevertheless, writing within specific fandoms also provides writers (and readers) with a powerful opportunity to discover strengths as well as diagnose and target weak points in their writing. While BB story concepts range from old Hollywood romances to retellings of Jurassic Park or blended Star Wars/Star Trek canons, the common points allow writers to better target where they might improve in areas such as pacing, characterization, and exposition. This presentation will focus on the experience and benefits of participating in Big Bangs to improve craft and produce original longform work. I will be citing my own experiences and research as well as that of other BB participants.

Sara Kate Ellis is a Lambda Emerging Writers Fellow and attended the Milford Science Fiction Workshop in 2017. Her recent stories have appeared in Analog, Fusion Fragment and Metaphorosis.

“Snow on Snow” Visions, Shadowdance (Bulgaria)
“In-Flight Damage” Analog
“Collapse Noise,” Fusion Fragment
“The Ratio of Silence” Space and Time
“From Farm to Table: Superman as the Great Provider,” presented at the Superhero Project, Wolfsburg Catholic University, Germany
“Women at Refrigerators: The Gender Politics of Food and Eating in Supergirl,” Genre en Series, France
“To Die For” Sanvers Zine
“Sturm und Clang,” Metaphorosis

Sara Fujimura
Book Signing Superstar
Short Lecture with Q&A
Career

You have a book signing! How do you look like a professional even if it is your first event ever? Spring 2022 Tempe Library Writer-in-Residence, Sara Fujimura walks you through a roll-and-go author kit that all easily fits in a piece of carry-on luggage. Author checklist included!

From small library events and school visits to major U.S. book festivals and huge anime cons, young adult author Sara Fujimura has signed books at all of them. Though she is now a hybrid author, you may be surprised to know that many of Fujimura’s biggest signings were BEFORE she was traditionally published with Tor Teen. This workshop walks participants through setting up a simple but effective signing table with components that will all easily fit in a piece of carry-on luggage. Fujimura discusses what to do when your signing is a complete failure (it happens!) and how to course-correct afterward. A take-home worksheet makes sure authors show up at their events with all the necessary components. It also helps authors clarify their why for each event, collect important metrics, and offers tips on how to level up their book-signing game.

Sara Fujimura is a hybrid author of four award-winning young adult books: Tanabata Wish, Breathe, Every Reason We Shouldn’t (Tor Teen), and Faking Reality (Tor Teen). She is represented by Ann Rose of the Prospect Agency. Every Reason We Shouldn’t was named an NPR Best Book of 2020. www.sarafujimura.com

Sarah Coomber
Moment by Moment: Demystifying the Writing of a First Memoir
Craft Workshop online
Nonfiction, Other Genre
Memoir

Telling your story in memoir form can be daunting—you have a lifetime’s worth of experiences to draw from. Where to begin?

Moment by moment.

In this craft workshop, I will share several strategies to help you on your way.

Memoirs, like life, progress moment by moment. The most important thing is not whether your particular story is full of excitement, tragedy or coincidence. What matters is what you bring to the moments in your story—how you view, interpret, reflect on and react to them.

Infusing moments with meaning will help you uncover your larger story. This can occur with sensory explorations, analogies, linked memories, about-ness and more.

I will share what I wish I’d known before writing my first memoir and will coach you through several of my favorite moment-developing strategies.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a scene or observation to explore.

Sarah Coomber is the author of The Same Moon (Camphor Press, 2020), a memoir about two years she spent regrouping in rural Japan after wrecking her Minnesota life. She has worked in public relations and journalism, coaches writing, has degrees in creative writing and journalism, and achieved level four certification in the Seiha School of koto. https://sarahcoomber.com/

Swastika Jajoo, Masayuki Kobayashi, Trishit Banerjee
Curating a Community Newsletter: The Story of ‘iro’
Panel Discussion
Instructional, Career

This will be a discussion geared towards understanding how community revitalisation and town rebuilding can benefit from art and artists, focusing specifically on the story of ‘iro’, a student-led newsletter launched in April 2022 in Futaba, Fukushima.

We aim to first introduce our project Palette Camp, which was launched in 2021 as a means to help create a sustainable future for Futaba, a town located in Fukushima severely affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. We will then shift focus to how writing and recording become intrinsic to any effort directed towards community building, sharing how stories need to be prioritised in our world today that seems to have become overwhelmed by statistics. We will then share how we conceptualised our newsletter, shedding light on challenges we faced along the way, what has been most rewarding during this journey and our vision for the future.

Masayuki, Trishit and Swastika are the team behind Palette Camp. Masayuki Kobayashi is the Founder of Rurio and Palette Camp, and Trishit and Swastika (Hiba) are Co-founders.

Trishit Bannerjee has worked extensively with journalism in both Japan and India. He won the Grand Prize at the 2019 All Japan English Presentation Contest. His article on community rebuilding was also featured on Japan Times in May 2022 (https://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2022/05/30/issues/rebuilding-community-starting-scratch/)

Besides being a poet, Swastika Jajoo was one of the 100 young journalists selected for the Future News Worldwide Summit by the British Council (2021 Edition): https://www.britishcouncil.org/future-news-worldwide

Trishit Bannerjee:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7r7LwWZi11s&t=342s
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2022/05/30/issues/rebuilding-community-starting-scratch/
Swastika Jajoo:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIKgRfJLCOI&t=80s
https://theseventhwave.co/three-poems-by-swastika-jajoo/

Swastika Jajoo
Poetry as a Social Space
Craft Workshop
Poetry
Poetry as a Social Space

This workshop will focus on how poetry, especially spoken word, can be used to reimagine the social spaces we inhabit. I would like for the participants to reflect closely on the issues our society faces today, and urge them to think about how poetry can be a tool for visualising social change. I will make a brief presentation about how poetry has been used in various social contexts in our world, sharing excerpts with a focus on India and Japan since these are the two landscapes I am most familiar with.

I would like to begin by inviting the participants to contemplate the meanings of the words ‘society’ and ‘poetry,’ and create a virtual mind map simultaneously as they share their opinions. I will then proceed to talk about the traditional perception of poetry as a formal art, often out of reach for ordinary people, and contrast it with how poetry is becoming increasingly democratised in our world today, and how the stage is now society itself. I will then share some visuals from how spoken word poetry started out, and also share contemporary instances of it being used to stir social change. I will also talk about the dangers that come with poetry for social change — very often, we see poets appropriate the experience of others rather than passing the mic where they should be. Finally, I will have the participants form groups where they discuss a specific social theme and generate short verses pertinent to their chosen theme which will be shared with everyone towards the end as a means of closing the loop.

Originally from India, Swastika is currently a Master’s student in Linguistics, based out of Sendai, Japan. Her poetry is much like how she understands her unparalleled love for the local matcha latte and the longing for her mother’s spiced chai: an exercise in navigation. She won the second prize in the poetry contest organized as part of the international Glass House Poetry Festival in July 2020. Her work is featured or upcoming in Eunoia Review, Capsule Stories, The Wild Word, Riggwelter, Muse India, and Huffington Post, among others, and her spoken-word pieces have been featured on UnErase Poetry, one of India’s leading spoken-word content producers. In April 2019, she gave a TEDx talk featuring spoken-word poetry at her school, Tohoku University. She was also invited to perform with Rolling Stone India for Pride Month 2020.

Her favourite things are fresh snow, old books and a traditional Japanese sweet called anmitsu.

Steven Wolfson
A Story Analyst’s Approach to Screenwriting: A Workshop on the Ins and Outs of Screenplay Development
Craft Workshop

Whether you are writing a studio feature or an independent film, at some point your script will enter the process known as ‘development.’ This workshop focuses on what really happens when a screenplay is developed for production. From issues of character and story to three-act structure and commercial viability, the class will look at the development process from both the perspective of the writer and the production company or studio. Through a series of writing exercises, students will learn how to manage script notes while at the same time protecting the integrity of their screenplay. The final goals of the workshop are a demystification of the development process and the tools to make your screenplay as production-friendly as possible.

Steven Wolfson has taught screenwriting, playwriting and creative writing at The Writers Program at UCLA for the past 20 years and holds the distinction of having created the most new classes, workshops and seminars of any instructor in the program’s history. He has been awarded The Outstanding Instructor of the Year award twice, in both screenwriting and creative writing. As a screenwriter, Wolfson has sold projects to Fox, Lions Gate, TNT, MTV, Langley Entertainment, Beacon Films and producer Arnold Rifkin. Wolfson wrote the independent romantic comedy, Dinner and Driving, which premiered at The Austin Film Festival and went on to win audience awards at several film festivals and was sold to HBO. Wolfson also wrote and co-produced the critically acclaimed Lionsgate feature, Gang Tapes, a coming-of-age drama set in South Central, Los Angeles. Gang Tapes played to sold-out audiences at film festivals in both The United States and Europe.

Suzanne Kamata
Clara Kiyoko Kumagai, Kristin Osani, Clarissa Goenawan, Sara Fujimura
Pivot: Writing for a Post-Pandemic World
Panel Discussion
Fiction

How do you keep going when the world, the publishing landscape, and YOU have had major paradigm shifts since 2020? Multi-published authors Sara Fujimura, Clarissa Goenawan, Suzanne Kamata, Clara Kiyoko Kumagai, and Kristin Osani discuss the limitations and growth opportunities that come with this new post-pandemic reality.

Are you waiting for the publishing world to “go back to normal?” The bad news: It’s not. Supply chain woes, soaring material costs, editorial burnout, and continued unrest in the world have made traditional publishing harder to break into and even harder to sustain a career. Savvy authors pivot. Five multi-published, award-winning, globally-minded authors give a state-of-the-industry report from their region of the world. They identify specific challenges they’ve had in the last two years, including launching new books during a pandemic (One out of 10 stars. Highly DON’T recommend!). They also offer tips and techniques on how to keep your writing career rolling when it seems the world is constantly conspiring against you.

American Suzanne Kamata has lived in Shikoku for over 30 years. During the pandemic, she published an award-winning middle grade novel, Pop Flies, Robo-pets and Other Disasters; The Baseball Widow, a novel for adults, and Waiting, her poetry debut. She is an associate professor at Naruto University of Education.

Clarissa Goenawan (she/her) is an Indonesian-born Singaporean writer and translator. Her award-winning short stories have appeared in literary magazines and anthologies in Singapore, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Italy, the UK, and the US. Rainbirds, her debut novel, has been published in eleven different languages. Her second novel, The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida, came out in 2020. Watersong is her third novel.

Kristin Osani (she/her) is a queer fantasy writer who lives in Kyoto, where she works as a freelance Japanese-to-English video game translator when she’s not wordsmithing, working on nerdy cross-stitching, or cuddling her two cats (three if you include her husband). She has translated games like The Kids We Were, Voice of Cards, and Triangle Strategy. Her original fiction has appeared in FlashPoint SF, the Arcanist, and Ghost Orchid Press’s Beyond the Veil: Supernatural Tales of Queer Love anthology.

Clara Kumagai is from Ireland, Canada and Japan. Her fiction and nonfiction has appeared in publications such as The Stinging Fly, The Irish Times, Banshee, Room, Cicada, and The Kyoto Journal, among others. Her children’s story, A Girl Named Indigo, was translated and published in Japanese with the title Indigo wo sagashite (Shogakukan, 2020). Her young adult novel, Catfish Rolling, is forthcoming in 2023. She currently lives and works in Tokyo.

Sara Fujimura is a hybrid author of four award-winning young adult books: Tanabata Wish, Breathe, Every Reason We Shouldn’t (Tor Teen), and Faking Reality (Tor Teen). She is represented by Ann Rose of the Prospect Agency. Every Reason We Shouldn’t was named an NPR Best Book of 2020. www.sarafujimura.com

Todd Jay Leonard
Publishing in the EFL Market in Japan: Four Perspectives on How to Make Your Proposal Count
Short Lecture with Q&A
Instructional

This presentation will outline the current publishing market in Japan for EFL/ESL textbooks by reviewing the various points of view of the publishing industry. The presenter, Todd Jay Leonard, has published extensively within the ESL/EFL market in Japan and will offer helpful advice to budding authors who wish to pursue projects geared to Japan’s domestic market.

Most likely, every language teacher in Japan has (at some point during his/her tenure) contemplated writing a textbook to fill a void in the market…in that constant search for the perfect, all-encompassing textbook.

In today’s competitive publishing world, getting the proverbial “foot in the door” can seem daunting and nearly impossible. What are publishers looking for in the current market? What appeals to editors who ultimately decide which titles go to production and which ones do not? What are the salespeople on the front lines hearing from their market base? What must an author do in order to get his/her book published?

This presentation focuses on these very questions, offering inside insights from all the various points of view that must be considered when writing a proposal to publish a textbook–the publisher, the editor, the salesperson, and the author. Professor Leonard explains the realities within the publishing industry and addresses some common myths associated with EFL publishing.

Todd Jay Leonard has been actively involved in book publishing for 30 years and has published 26 books. He has published books with a number of different Japanese publishing companies and this experience has given him a unique perspective in offering advice to potential authors on what the market is looking for currently and what the publishing industry is searching for in new titles.

He lives, writes, and teaches on the southern island of Kyushu, where he is a university professor at University of Teacher Education Fukuoka and is the department head for the English Department for the graduate faculty. He has published extensively in academic journals, magazines, and newspapers on cross-cultural, historical, and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) themes.

Zoria Petkoska
Archeologia Poetika: The Poetry Restoration Writing Method
Craft Workshop – A lecture on the method I invented followed by a workshop in which everyone can try it
Poetry

Archeologia Poetika is an idea born out of both doom and hope. What if we lost or damaged the wealth of poems human history has? How can we restore them? It’s an imaginary scenario that led to creating this method.

The Archeologia Poetika method involves destroying a poem partially and trying to restore it. It drives you to distill the essence of a poet, inhabit their voice, choose your words, be mindful of structure and form.

Aside from being an entertaining poetry game, Archeologia Poetika is great for teaching poetry and creative writing. Among poets, it’s a good way to refresh a poem and get ideas for rewrites/edits through how others will “restore” your work.

Archeologia Poetika is a poetry reading/writing method that I came up with circa 2017. Since, I’ve practiced with fellow editors at Tokyo Poetry Journal with great success. See examples here: https://www.topojo.com/post/archeologia-poetika-aka-the-poetry-restoration-method-unearthing-old-21st-century-poetrys

Zoria Petkoska is an Associate Editor at Tokyo Poetry Journal, Editor-in-Chief of the literary journal [Ш], and working full time as the Commissioning Editor at Tokyo Weekender magazine. She completed a MEXT Research Fellowship at TUFS on Japanese visual poetry translation, and has published two poetry books. She writes in English, Macedonian, and Japanese, and has been published in poetry magazines and anthologies in Japan, China, Hong Kong, and the USA, among others.

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