2022 Schedule

Chico Hot Springs
Sunday, Aug. 7 – Friday, Aug. 12, 2022

All activities and meals take place at the Chico Convention Center unless otherwise noted

Day 1 – Sunday, Aug. 7

2-5 pm: Check-in at Chico Convention Center

5:30-6 pm: ‘Getting to Know You’ Happy Hour

6-8 pm: Welcome dinner with invocation by Pamela Uschuk and keynote address by Jack Gladstone

8:30-10 pm: Student readings in the Wine Cellar

Day 2 – Monday, Aug. 8

Morning

7-8:45 am: Breakfast

7:15-7:30 am: Grounding meditation with Mary Clare

9-Noon: Workshop (with break and snacks)

Noon-1 pm: Lunch

Afternoon

1-3 pm Live Recording of How It Looks from Here: Writers’ Personal Viewpoints on Climate Change

As we make our way in these times of climate disruption we can’t escape this simple truth: The world looks different to you than it does to me. This panel invites you to slow and listen to the way the world looks to four writers. Camille Dungy, Drew Lanham, Doug Peacock, and Beth Piatote will speak from their life experiences to themes of concern, courage, inspiration, and sources of comfort in times of climate change. In this way, we learn from each other, ever-expanding who we are and how we move in the lives we know as ours. Moderated by Mary Clare and Gary Ferguson.

1:30-3 pm Every Lectern is a Stage: Techniques for Performing Your Poetry and Prose with Marc Beaudin

An interactive craft-talk designed to develop the skills and methods of bringing your work off the page and into the hearts and minds of a live audience. Both performance-based issues and technical considerations will be addressed with the goal of delivering readings to be remembered.

For many writers, the idea of having to read and discuss their work with a crowd is the worst part of the job. Stage fright, feelings of inadequacy and unpreparedness, or shyness toward baring one’s soul to strangers can make the experience a painful chore. Others may enjoy it, but their audiences might not. Monotonous delivery, unintelligible mumbling, or volume and pacing issues have the audience nodding off or scanning the room for the closest exit.

Participants are encouraged to bring a short poem or very short piece of prose (300 words max.) to practice reading live.

1-4:30 pm Elk River Lounge Open

Think of it as your favorite coffee shop. Browse books, engage in conversation, grab a bottle of wine to share, write, relax. This space and time are reserved for spontaneous conversation, meet-ups, writing time, or just relaxing in the convention center. Snacks and drinks will be available.

Evening

Dinner on your own

7-8 pm: Faculty reading with Laura Pritchett, Camille Dungy, CMarie Fuhrman

8-9 pm: Elk River Books table open for author signings

8:30-10 pm: Student readings in the Wine Cellar

Day 3 – Tuesday, Aug. 9

Morning

7-8:45 am: Breakfast

7:15-7:30 am: Grounding Meditation with Mary Clare

9-Noon: Workshop (with break and snacks)

Noon-1 pm: Lunch

Afternoon

1:30-3:30 pm: Ecology Hike with Doug Peacock and Jesse Logan

Explore the southern end of Paradise Valley with ecologist Jesse Logan and grizzly bear expert Doug Peacock, who will introduce participants to the changing ecology and human demands on this wild landscape. Learn how bears, wolves, bison, pronghorn, elk, and more navigated both the ancient and modern ecosystems here, and explore the paths trod by indigenous people. The effects of climate change will be featured prominently on this hike. Participants should be comfortable walking at least a mile at a stretch.

1:30-3 pm: A Woman’s Place is in the Wild

In this panel, celebrated nature writers Mary Clare, Camille Dungy, Laura Pritchett, and Beth Piatote discuss the unique ways nature factors into their writing and why the female voice is so important in the conversations being had about climate, policy, and ecological justice. Following the discussion, there will be time for questions and book signings. Moderated by CMarie Fuhrman.

1-4:30 pm Elk River Lounge Open

Think of it as your favorite coffee shop. Browse books, engage in conversation, grab a bottle of wine to share, write, relax. This space and time are reserved for spontaneous conversation, meet-ups, writing time, or just relaxing in the convention center.

Evening

Dinner on your own

7-8 pm: Faculty reading with Beth Piatote, Sean Hill and Marc Beaudin

8-9 pm: Elk River Books table open for author signings

8:30-10 pm: Student readings in the Wine Cellar

Day 4 – Wednesday, Aug. 10

Morning

7-8:45 am: Breakfast

7:15-7:30 am: Grounding meditation with Mary Clare

9-Noon: Workshop (with break and snacks)

Noon-1 pm: Lunch

Afternoon

1:30-3:00 pm Telling Tales: A Writer’s Guide to the Art of Storytelling with Gary Ferguson

This is a celebration of the power of story – of the journey a writer takes to find and grow her voice, and then weave it into an intriguing rendition of the human experience. We’ll start by exploring ways we can nourish that emerging voice. Next, we’ll look at some powerful craft techniques – from setting and character development, to dramatic device – that form the backbone of how compelling story is put together. The workshop will include a mix of conversation, exercises, and storytelling.

3-4:30 pm Writing about War: Doug Peacock, Scott Carrier and Elliott Woods

Writers and veterans Doug Peacock and Elliott Woods are joined by correspondent and radio pioneer Scott Carrier to discuss the ways they write about war from an ethical place, including the unique moral responsibilities the job demands.

1-4:30 pm Elk River Lounge Open

Evening

Dinner on your own

7-8 pm: Faculty reading with Gary Ferguson, Mary Clare, J Drew Lanham

8-9 pm: Elk River Books table open for author signings

8:30-10 pm: Student readings in the Wine Cellar

Day 5 – Thursday, Aug. 11 LAST DAY!

Morning

7-8:45 am: Breakfast

7:15-7:30 am: Grounding meditation with Mary Clare

9-Noon: Workshop (with break and snacks)

Noon-1 pm: Lunch

Afternoon

1:30-4 pm Visuals and the Verse: Drew Lanham and Clay Bolt

When we shake up and vary the ways in which we experience the world new truths and insights may be revealed. Actions as simple as choosing to take a new path home or venturing out during a different time of day can reveal new sides to the familiar. In the arts, when we combine different practices to examine a subject, even one that we’re intimately familiar with, new sides of the story emerge.

In this workshop, we’ll explore ways of using photography and writing to develop a deeper understanding of the prairie. The goal isn’t to create award-winning images or verse, but to illustrate how a change in approach can enrich our connections with the land and the species therein. Drew and Clay want to help you to grow the way you experience the world, no matter where that may be.

Participants of all experience levels are welcome and encouraged to join this class regardless of the photo gear they own. DSLR or iPhone: the principles we’ll explore will apply to all.

Materials: A camera of some type (iPhone, DSLR, point-and-shoot, all welcome), journal, field clothes including hiking boots, and a lightweight jacket.

1:30-3 pm Writing Wild: Reconnecting Your Readers to the Natural World: Mary Clare and Gary Ferguson

Literary critic Frank Stewart once described nature writers as people who “bring together the scientific and the poetic,” creating for readers something new, larger than the sum of the parts. In this workshop, we’ll explore just how that fusion plays in the minds of readers and writers – how it shapes our perspectives of the natural world. We’ll look at how coming to a full stop influences your connection with nature and with your readers – how it opens your awareness for diving more deeply into human nature.

1-4:30 pm Elk River Lounge Open

Evening

6-8 pm Gala Event: Mixer with Montana authors and Elk River friends. Closing address by bestselling author Jamie Ford. Hearty appetizers, cocktails, live and online auctions.

8 pm: Closing remarks

8:30-10 pm: Live music with Montana Rose, dancing and farewell cocktails

Day 6 – Friday, Aug. 12

Check out and depart