I mostly use this blog to talk about aspects of Julia Wilbur's life and times. However, may people have asked me about meeting the deadline for my book (forthcoming from Potomac Books, an imprint of University of Nebraska Press.) The deadline for my book came and went on July 1.Read More
This past weekend, I attended the annual conference of the Biographers International Organization (BIO, nice play on words), held in Richmond. A day of great sessions by experts in the craft.Read More
I attended the Washington Independent Review of Books' Books Alive conference yesterday. The conference is set up as part educational panels/part talking to agents, so there's a lot of going in and out of the sessions. Nonetheless, some miscellaneous pieces that I picked up, applicable to my work with Julia Wilbur and other nonfiction projects.
Gender in Biography
Panelists: Linda Lear, Kitty Kelly, James McGrath Morris, moderated by Marc Pachter.
Can a woman write about a man, and vice versa? Yes....if the writer can develop empathy for the subject and be able to make the effort to understand the gender-related issues the subject dealt with.
Other gender-related issues came up--related to sources (women's letters and other writings traditionally not saved, especially the non-famous), reception by editors and publishing houses, and critics.
Panelists: David Rowell, Maud Casey, Eugenia Kim, moderated by Tim Wendel
This session related to a sense of place in writing fiction. But the same attention to sensory details applies to nonfiction. Newspapers, other people's writings, photographs, novels written at the time--all these can help, since, unlike in fiction, we cannot "make things up."
Panelists: Michael Isikoff, Tom Dunkel, moderated by Chuck Babcock
"Throw out a lot of seeds of corn to see what will grow."