Our 2018 Presenters
Adam Johnson is the Phil and Penny Knight Professor in Creative Writing at Stanford University. Winner of a Whiting Award and Fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Academy in Berlin, he is the author of several books, including Fortune Smiles, which won the 2015 National Book Award, and the novel The Orphan Master’s Son, which was awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize. His fiction has appeared in Esquire, GQ, Harper’s Magazine, Granta, Tin House and The Best American Short Stories. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages
Workshop 1: Making Fiction from Fact. The difference between fiction and non-fiction is that fiction must be believable, which means an author must investigate and research his or her subject matter. In this workshop, the author will talk about the use of interview to help create more believable characters and deeper emotional truths.
Workshop 2: Telling Troubling Stories. Narratives are meaning-making machines. So what happens when a story conjures material that is painful to the storyteller? This craft talk will look at the interesting shapes and forms stories often take when a storyteller attempts to evade the hurt in the story being told.
Matthew Limpede is the Executive Editor of Carve Magazine, a quarterly literary magazine publishing fiction, poetry, essays, interviews and illustrations. Carve also hosts the annual Raymond Carver Short Story Contest, drawing hundreds of submissions from all over the world and awarding over $2000 in prizes. Matthew attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, studying playwriting and screenwriting, and graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a concentration in creative writing. He lives in downtown Dallas, and his favorite authors include Aimee Bender, David Benioff, Amy Hempel, and Raymond Carver. Matthew recently launched a new editorial service, Limpede Ink, designed to help creative writers at any stage of the writing, revising, and publishing process.
Workshop: Does The First Page Matter? (Yes, It Does!) In this interactive workshop focusing on short stories, we’ll first discuss the various types of publishing options available to writers today. Then in small groups, you’ll evaluate, as editors, several first pages of stories to determine which ones hold the promise of an engaging, well-written short story. We’ll discuss what crucial elements make us want to continue or stop reading, and you’ll find out if the first pages you selected were indeed part of a story published by a literary magazine or publisher.
Sue Batterton earned her M.F.A. in fiction and poetry at the Michener Center for Writers in Austin and is currently a Group Creative Director/Writer at The Richards Group in Dallas, Texas. When she’s not sneaking poetry into commercials for brands like Ferrari, Ram, and Jeep, she’s working on television scripts and screenplays with her husband Peter. Sue is also the mother of two very creative emerging writers, Leo (5) and Charlie (2).
Workshop: Poetry in Advertising. There’s hope for the poets out there – just turn on your TV! From Walt Whitman for Levi’s to Maya Angelou for Apple to a growing number of copywriters crafting original verse for all kinds of brands, there’s been a lot of poetry in advertising lately. This workshop will examine some of the most lyrical current ads and one of the most creative day jobs a writer can pursue – copywriting.
Peter Simek is arts editor with D Magazine where he writes about a broad range of topics, from visual art and music to sports and urbanism. He has written about topics ranging from big wave surfing to the spread of the drug ecstasy for publications such as Salon, Film Threat, and SB Nation Longform.
Workshop: Finding and Crafting Non-Fiction Narratives. Life is messy. So how do you take the raw material of the everyday and craft it into a story? In this workshop, students will learn how to look at the world with an eye for spotting real-world narratives. Sometimes they come from the headlines, or from people you know, or from your own personal obsessions. Students will spend time talking about what makes a story worth sharing with the world, and they will begin to discover the stories that only they are meant to tell.
Kay Honeyman is the author of Fire Horse Girl (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, 2013) and Interference (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, 2016). Her books have been on the TAYASHAS list, nominated for the Sequoyah award, and won the Parent’s Choice Gold Award. She also teaches at MIS/HPMS and SMU Writer’s Path.
Workshop: Making Change Happen – the Set-up and Pay-off. Stories don’t happen without change. And change doesn’t happen without set-ups and pay-offs. The set-ups in stories keep you guessing, the pay-offs leave you satisfied at the end. We’ll look at stories that use this structure and dig for what the authors are telling us and then try some set-ups and pay-offs of our own.
Karl Wimer is an award-winning cartoonist and illustrator, published in books, magazines, and newspapers across five continents. Karl’s been a syndicated cartoonist for Mile High Sports Magazine, Denver Business Journal, Investment Professional, and Central European Business Weekly. He is a member of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists. Karl’s cartoons have won multiple 1st Place Awards (Society of Professional Journalists, Colorado Press Association, Party Toons). His work has appeared annually in the Best US Editorial Cartoons of the Year book, in USAToday, NPR, Fox News, and in college economics textbooks. His background (BA History/Yale, MBA/Kellogg, Grad Degree/London School Economics), business experience (20 years as a successful marketing executive), sports focus (2-sport college athlete: football, All-America in lacrosse), and international interest (several years of overseas work in places as varied as Prague and Bangkok), all find their way into his art.
Workshop: Editorial Cartoons & Illustrations: 100s of Years of Providing Readers a Break from Reading. From hysterical to educational to drop dead serious, editorial cartoons and illustrations have for centuries provided an engaging alternative for commenting on the issues of the day. This workshop will provide attendees with a broad understanding of the world of editorial cartoons and illustration, including historical context and recent implications, rounded out by some hands-on cartooning. Areas covered: – A short history of the craft, illustrated by examples leading to where the field stands today. – The many challenges of being a cartoonist/illustrator in today’s ever-evolving media landscape. – Putting the craft to work in the world of business. – Finally, attendees will put tools into practice in an interactive cartooning session.
Lori Ann Stephens Lori Ann Stephens writes short stories, novels, and opera libretti. Her award-winning writing has been widely published and honored in national competitions, including The Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Literary Awards, Glimmer Train Stories, the National Readers’ Choice Awards (RWA), and the English National Opera Minioperas. She’s the author of Song of the Orange Moons and Some Act of Vision (a YA novel), and her debut Middle Grade novel, Pierre François: 5th Grade Mishaps. She’s thrilled to be back at HPHS to lead a few workshops.
Workshop: Creating Unforgettable Imagery. How do writers create scenes that are so unforgettable? Tattooed on our brains, they travel with us across time and become as familiar as our own memories. Our workshop will play with words, the senses, and images to create our own visual imagery.
Joaquín Zihuatanejo was awarded the 2017 Anhinga Press-Robert Dana Prize for Poetry. His new collection, Arsonist, will be published by Anhinga Press in September of 2018. His work has been featured in Prairie Schooner, Sonora Review, Huizache, and Southwestern American Literature among other journals and anthologies. Joaquín received his MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Joaquín has two passions in his life, his wife Aída and poetry, always in that order.
Workshop: Beginning at the End. In this interactive poetry workshop we will look at poems that break from the norms of poetry and do everything possible to be boldly odd. All great poems are odd in some form or fashion and thinking about writing a narrative poem out of sequence, perhaps even backwards could not only make the poem more unique, it could make it more powerful and lasting. In this poetry workshop we will read, write, discuss, and share poems that embrace the idea that the best poems are always in some way odd.
Jan Morrill was born and raised in California. Her mother, a Buddhist Japanese American, was an internee during World War II. Her father, a Southern Baptist redhead of Irish descent, retired from the Air Force. Her debut novel, The Red Kimono (University of Arkansas Press, February 2013) and many of her short stories reflect memories of growing up in a multicultural, multi-religious, multi-political environment. The Red Kimono was selected Historical Novel Society’s Editor’s Choice and a 2013 Arkansas Gem by the Arkansas State Library. Other books include Life: Haiku by Haiku and Creative Characterization. She is currently working on the sequel to The Red Kimono and a young adult novel, Mo’s Shadow. www.janmorrill.com
Workshop: Creative Characterization. In fiction, everything is seen through the eyes of a character, which makes characterization one of the most important elements of fiction. Jan Morrill will discuss and demonstrate a variety of techniques she has used to develop multi-dimensional characters who will keep readers turning the pages.
Salim Nourallah is an accomplished, internationally recognized musician & producer. His back catalogue includes songs written for HBO’s “The Wire”, Fox’s “The New Girl,” the Academy Award-winning film, “The Wrestler” & many others. After gaining initial acclaim with the Denton-based Nourallah Brothers, he’s gone on to release 6 solo albums & produce a fine list of many others (including the Old 97s, Rhett Miller, Carter Albrecht, Deathly Davies & the Damnwells). His solo debut Polaroid (2004) was met with reviews like this one: “discovering a singer-songwriter who can stop time is rare, but Salim Nourallah is such a find…” (Rolling Stone). In 2006, Salim swept the Dallas Observer music awards with Best Album/Best Song & Best Producer. He went on to win 7 consecutive Observer Awards for Best Producer.
Workshop: Songwriting with Salim Nourallah. “Are you interested in the many aspects of the songwriting process?” Salim Nourallah has spent a lifetime writing, recording & performing his own compositions. Join him on a 45-minute journey that will take you from inspiration to realization, with plenty of insightful stops in between. From his 1st forays into songwriting on acoustic guitar to drum & bass inspired compositions found on his latest solo record, Skeleton Closet. Salim will cover the ins & outs of the process & craft.
Kael Alford is a photojournalist and educator who photographs and writes about issues of culture, politics, and the human relationship to the natural and physical environment. She develops long-term bodies of work that involve immersion in the communities where she reports. Her photographs and writing have been published in a wide range of prominent journalism publications and her photographs have been exhibited at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and the De Young Museum in San Francisco.
Workshop: Does photography change the world? This workshop will address the role of photojournalism in an image-saturated world. Students will respond to compelling images about contemporary social issues followed by a discussion about the production, distribution and impact of news photos from the perspectives of working photojournalists. The instructor will offer an insiders’ perspective on field reporting methods, journalistic ethics, and story-telling techniques. Students will be asked to write in response to photographs during the session and answer for themselves – how does a viewer’s “media literacy” affect how photographs are understood in social media or news publications? Do the images we see influence our thinking or stimulate social change?
Samantha Mabry is the critically-acclaimed author of the young adult novels A Fierce and Subtle Poison and All the Wind in the World, the latter of which was longlisted for the 2017 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature as well as was chosen as one of the Best Young Adult Books of the Year by Amazon. She holds degrees in English from Southern Methodist University and Boston College and currently teaches First-Year Writing and Latino Literature at El Centro College. She lives in Dallas with her husband, an historian, and their pets.
Workshop: Showing (Moving Forward) and Telling (Moving Inward). In storycraft, “showing” refers to action and dialogue that propels the plot forward and/or reveals character, while “telling” refers to description and monologue that reveals atmosphere and/or reveals character. In this interactive workshop, students will explore ways to effectively merge action, dialogue, and description in order to create a more cohesive and engaging story.
Benji Harris Since moving to Nashville in 2009, Highland Park graduate Benji Harris has found a welcomed home on Music Row. His country/rock trio Scarletta (2009-2014) had a Top 30 radio hit in 2012, and a popular music video in high rotation on CMT. They gained critical acclaim from Billboard and the Country Music Association as a top act to watch. He even found viral success and salutes from country headliner Jake Owen with a trio of parodies celebrating his daughter’s birth. Since leaving the band in 2014, Benji has lent his instrumental and vocal talents to projects and tours for stars like Sam Hunt, Jana Kramer, Cassadee Pope, and Carly Pearce. Pope’s fans watch Benji in the spotlight every night on tour when he performs the Chris Young part in the #1 duet “Think of You”. Benji has recently released his debut solo album to critical acclaim, and he now teaches songwriting to many young developing artists in Nashville.
Workshops: Songwriting and Touring in Today’s Music Business. Future musicians and songwriters will get an in-depth look into the realities of working in today’s music business. We discuss the anatomy of a hit song, the creative process, listening for hooks and titles, melody construction and arrangement, interactive songwriting demonstration, stories from the road, Q&A session, and a live performance.
Wendy Lichtman writes both fiction and non-fiction. She is the author of six novels for young adults and her personal essays have appeared in many national newspapers and magazines including the Washington Post, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Good Housekeeping. She holds a degree in mathematics, and when she decided to write the story behind Secrets, Lies and Algebra—about a teen realizing that some questions have more than one right answer—algebra, with its unknowns and variables, seemed a perfect metaphor. Educators can find both Language Arts and Math lesson plans that coordinate with Secrets, Lies and Algebra and its sequel, The Writing on the Wall, on Wendy’s website, wendylichtman.com In addition to writing, Wendy is a consultant and “Math Therapist” at a high school in Oakland, California.
Workshop: Writing the Stories of Your Life: Turning Non-fiction into Fiction. What mathematical symbol do you think best represents you right now? Positive? Negative? Absolute Value? Infinity? In this workshop, we’ll discuss the use of symbols and metaphors and how they can help you turn your own experiences into fictional stories.
Kurt Voelker was born and raised in Texas, graduated from Harvard College and went to graduate film school at USC, where he wrote and directed the award-winning short DECADE OF LOVE. He has since written feature screenplays for Warner Bros, Disney, Fox, Sony, Paramount, MTV, Jerry Bruckheimer, Jerry Zucker and others. His work includes the Warner Bros release SWEET NOVEMBER, starring Charlize Theron and Keanu Reeves, and Lionsgate/Huayi Brothers’ animated feature ROCK DOG. He also co-created SWEDEN, OHIO, a comedy pilot for Fox and recently worked on the writing staff of the NBC primetime drama GAME OF SILENCE. Kurt also wrote and directed the award-winning independent feature PARK and recently finished writing and directing THE BACHELORS, an award-winning independent feature starring J.K. Simmons, Julie Delpy, Odeya Rush and Josh Wiggins. He is currently writing the feature screenplay DRONE for Riverstone Pictures.
Workshop: Writing the Scene. The basic building block of the screenplay is the scene. In this interactive workshop, we will discuss the fundamental structure and purpose of scenes, as well as the rules that one should follow (or ignore) in order to create compelling, vital scenes that not only entertain but advance the story.
George Getchow is the founder of the nationally acclaimed Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, and past editor of The Best American Newspaper Narratives, an anthology of the best narratives published by the nation’s daily newspapers each year. He was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters in 2012 for “distinctive literary achievement.” In 2013 and 2014 Getschow served as a Pulitzer Prize jurist for feature writing at Columbia University, and in 2016 served as one of the Pulitzer jurists for General Nonfiction. During a 16-year career at The Wall Street Journal, Getschow was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and won the Robert F. Kennedy Award for “distinguished writing” about the underprivileged. Today, Getschow is writing coach for a number of storytellers across the nation. He is completing a book, Walled Kingdom, for John Macrae Books, an imprint of Henry Holt and Co., which grew out of two narratives he wrote for The Wall Street Journal.
Workshop: How to Animate Place and Landscape in Narrative Nonfiction Prose. The best literary nonfiction writers don’t look upon landscape and place as mere passive background in their stories, but rather as a gritty, powerful, deeply felt force that shapes and defines the characters that occupy the place. Getting readers to care about what we write means writing carefully about the places where they live. Place and landscape are often inextricably bound up with the characters – in their memories, feelings and experiences. Place is often the epicenter of personal significance and psychological identity, influencing people’s perceptions and interpretations of reality. George Getschow will show how to make place and landscape come alive on the page.
Michael Merschel is the author of Revenge of the Star Survivors, a novel (his first) that was published by Holiday House in March. For almost 25 years, he’s been an editor at The Dallas Morning News; for the past decade, he has overseen books coverage. As a freelance humorist, he has contributed to public radio’s A Prairie Home Companion and had two short plays produced by Dallas’ Ground Zero Theater Company. He also composed an out-of-office reply that was mentioned in The New York Times and featured on NPR. Although he was once a Human of New York, he lives in suburban Dallas with his wife and three kids, who say he is not all that funny, usually. You can learn more about the book and the author at merschel.net.
Workshop: The Art of Revision.“Revenge of the Star Survivors” author (and longtime Dallas Morning News editor) Michael Merschel talks about the writing process. Which is often more about rewriting.
Matt Lyle is a playwright and actor living in Dallas, TX. His plays, THE BOXER, HELLO HUMAN FEMALE and BARBECUE APOCALYPSE all garnered DFW Theater Critics Forum Awards for Best New Play and were listed in year end top ten lists in the Dallas Morning News, Dallas Observer, Dallas Voice, and Theatre Jones. BARBECUE APOCALYPSE was nominated for an American Theatre Critics Association/Steinberg New Play Award and is published by Broadway Publishing Company. This year his sketch revue, A BRIEF, ENDLESS LOVE premiered at Dallas Comedy House and his play CEDAR SPRINGS had its world premiere at Theatre Three. From 2011 to 2014 Matt was the head writer and host of The City Life Supplement, a live variety show/podcast in Chicago that was named a “Top Five Comedy Show in Chicago” by NewCity Magazine. He is currently a commissioned playwright at the Dallas Theater Center and is a member of the Dramatist Guild and the Playwright’s Center.
Workshop: Creating Comic Ideas Like a Boss. In this workshop you’ll learn the keys to creating the ideas that make people say, “How did he/she think of that??” I’ll share my process with you and then we’ll use that process together to identify absurdities in the world around us and spin those observations into killer comic ideas for stories and plays.
Akshay Mirchandani is a digital sports producer for The Dallas Morning News. He previously interned at Sports Illustrated at New York City. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May where he was the managing editor of The Daily Texan and was sent to cover the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Workshop: Into to Sport Journalism. Love the big plays and the exciting games? In this workshop, you’ll learn how to tell the stories behind sports. We’ll talk about what sports journalism is, what makes an excellent sports story, proper interviewing practices and how to craft a story you can be proud of. Along the way we’ll read the best sports journalists in the business and, yes, talk about your best sports memories.
Judd Payne is a film/TV producer and executive currently running production and development for a new film and TV finance company The Hideaway Entertainment. He most recently executive produced the action/thriller SLEEPLESS starring Jamie Foxx & Michelle Monaghan, which had a wide release January 2017. Payne spent seven years as head of production for Wind Dancer Films, where he produced the hit comedy BERNIE (Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey, Shirley MacLaine), directed by Richard Linklater, and he executive produced the George Lopez half hour television series ST. GEORGE on FX, and the nature documentary series WILDEST AFRICA, among others. Payne has premiered films in the most prestigious festivals around the world, including Sundance, Cannes, Toronto, Tribeca and South by Southwest and was nominated for best feature film by the Independent Spirit and Gotham Awards for BERNIE.
Workshop: Movie and TV Development: Bringing Ideas to Life. Ever wonder how ideas make it to the big and small screen? In this workshop students will learn how producers and writers collaborate to create the movies and TV shows we love to watch. Learn about the process, the importance of writers and the role of a producer.
Mary McDonough, Actor, Author, Activist If the name Mary McDonough sounds familiar, it may be because she portrayed Erin on the hit series The Waltons. McDonough has appeared on numerous series; ER, Will and Grace, and The New Adventures of Old Christine, among others. Mary chronicles her Walton family and life beyond the mountain in her strikingly honest book, LESSONS FROM THE MOUNTAIN, WHAT I LEARNED FROM ERIN WALTON. Mary shares the story of her transformation from a normal kid to a Hollywood child star. Lessons from the Mountain is the story of everything Mary McDonough learned on her journey over—and beyond—that famous mountain.She has two novels; ONE YEAR and THE HOUSE ON HONEYSUCKLE LANE. A public speaker and activist, she lobbied congress for women’s health. She was the founding director of the Lupus LA & In The Know, an organization dedicated to educating women about their own health.She also teaches communication skills through her coaching.Mary recently moved to Texas.
Workshop: Memoir writing ME ME ME and more about ME. Writing the lines between self obsession and compelling.In a time where everyone is tweeting, snap-chatting, using Instagram and posting videos about their lives, how do write about yourself without it looking egocentric, repetitive or boring? How do you start? How do you keep it interesting? Do you tell the whole truth or are you worried about hurting someone’s feelings? Join Mary McDonough in her memoir workshop for a hands on experience. She’ll share her secrets and the stories of writing her memoir of growing up on Television and beyond.
Ben Baby has been a staff writer at The Dallas Morning News since May 2016. He primarily covers college sports. Before that, he spent his career covering preps for the Denton Record-Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News. He is a Grapevine native and proud alum of the University of North Texas.
Workshop: Sports & Storytelling – Going beyond the score to find great narratives. It’s easy to get caught up in the wins and losses. But sports always lend themselves to terrific narratives. This workshop will discuss ways to find those stories and humanize the players behind the jerseys.
Margaux Anbouba Highland Park graduate Margaux Anbouba never planned on being a journalist. But a post-grad internship at D Magazine sealed her fate (and obsession) with the written word. Since her time as D’s Shopping and Beauty editor, she’s worked with publications like 1530 Main, Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, and L’Oreal, and has interviewed celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker, Mario Testino, Zac Posen, and Hayden Panettiere. Margaux currently lives in New York City and is the assistant beauty editor at Goop, the clean beauty and lifestyle publication founded by Gwyneth Paltrow.
Workshop: Beyond Beauty – Being a Good Writer Can Get You Anywhere. With the rise of online journalism and blogging, anybody can share their opinions and life story online. Whether you’re talking about last night’s dinner, a new beauty product, or sporting event—any personal experience can be a riveting story. We’ll talk about how to develop your point of view when it comes to reporting, as well as conquering a journalist’s greatest foe: writer’s block.
Linda Daugherty is Playwright in Residence at Dallas Children’s Theater and member of the Dramatist Guild of America, was nominated by the Dallas Morning News Arts Staff for 2011 DMN “Texan of the Year” and received the 2011 National Award from the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine for her plays dealing with teen issues which have been performed world-wide.
Workshop: Get Started on the Play You’ve Always Wanted to Write. We will explore the author’s own writing process as well as provide hands-on work on dialogue, stage directions and how to turn your ideas into a script.
David Doub The Most Interesting Man in Comics, commonly known as David Doub, is the Founder and Co-Owner of Dusk Publishing. He hails from the Denton area in Texas, where the weather is hot but David’s numerous publications including Dusk, Miss Tilney, Forever and Mystery Masque are hotter. He works to promote many other creators, bringing to life an assortment of written media in various genres. His personal goal is to create good comic book storylines that captivate the audience and making them beg for more. David also organizes many events within the community, including founding the Creative Women’s Conference and the Texas Latino Comic Convention. He is also a Founder of Mini A-Kon and ran the Gaming section at A-Kon for many years. He works with other creative leaders in his local community to foster new talents and offer a support network to all creative types.
Workshop: Comics Workout Presented by David Doub of Dusk Comics and Terry Parr of Shonuff Studios. In this presentation you’ll be shown how to write a comic script and work with an artist to get it drawn. In a collaborative effort, Mr Doub, Mr. Parr and the class will create a one-page script and roughly laid out comic. For reference we will be using the characters and setting from Terry Parr’s hit comic Aerobicide – The Extreme Ninja Workout (https://www.facebook.com/aerobicide/). One script will be chosen to be drawn by Terry and published online.
Candace Carlisle is the Dallas Business Journal’s award-winning real estate reporter. She’s a three-year award winner at the National Association of Real Estate Editors for coverage of the Interstate 345 teardown project, the rapid growth surrounding the Haggard family farm in Plano and a profile on the Queen of the O.C. She was also a company-wide winner of the American City Business Journal’s Eagle Award for her excellence in reporting. Carlisle has been with the Dallas Business Journal for nearly eight years. Before the DBJ, Carlisle’s work also appeared in the Dallas Morning News, the Denton Record-Chronicle and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She graduated magna cum laude with a master’s degree in journalism from the University of North Texas — where she was a two-year Mayborn Scholar and the school’s graduate student of the year in 2008. Carlisle’s undergraduate degree is in business from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Workshop: Bringing Big Business into the Story Without Being Boring. The booming economy in Dallas-Fort Worth has brought a lot of big business to the Texas prairie land. We take a look at the best practices in highlighting big business with storytelling techniques for more impactful articles. We will use the news of the day to highlight techniques to localize coverage in North Texas, while bringing original insight to those stories.
Matthew Clark When not working, he can be found in his studio playing video games or watching old 80’s anime. Matthew Clark is a local resident of the dallas area whose work extends as far as his insatiable curiosity takes him, ranging from comics and cartoons to abstract paintings. He studied in New York at the School of Visual Arts with a focus in Cartooning after being encouraged to take his hobby and scribbles further than just a means to kill time in class. His influences include Yoshitaka Amano and Eiichiro Oda, along with painters like Paul Klee and Monet. The one hope Matthew has for his art is that a person may find a story or character he’s written that resonates with the reader and give them the motivation to make their own art.
Workshop: Crash Course in Comics. Students will be given a brief run through of the story development process, such as character design, world building, etc. Afterwards a short project will be done using the storytelling methods to make their own 5-10 page comic.
JK Nickell is the features director at Texas Monthly. Previously, he was a high school history teacher, a freelance writer, and executive editor at Southwest: The Magazine, where he edited and wrote stories that got nods from Best American Sports Writing and the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition. He holds degrees from the University of Dallas, the Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism at the University of North Texas, and the University of Cape Town.
Workshop: The Art of the Profile. Unforgettable characters are the foundation of every great story. But in nonfiction, writing intimate narratives about the lives of real people can be a tricky proposition. How do you go about finding the perfect character for the story you want to tell? How do you convince someone to reveal their true self without being exploitative? And finally, how do you bring them alive on the page? In this workshop, we’ll hone one of the writer’s most essential tools: empathy.
Julieta Chiquillo is a reporter for the breaking news desk at The Dallas Morning News, where she got her first job out of journalism school covering the suburbs for the community weeklies and later for the Metro section. She often reports on courts and crime, but she also writes about urban affairs and interesting people. A native of El Salvador, Julieta moved to the U.S. to study journalism and graduated from Texas Christian University in 2010.
Workshop: 10 things I learned at The Dallas Morning News. No matter how experienced or talented you are, every writer needs a guiding hand. In this workshop, you’ll learn some valuable do’s and don’ts passed down from print editors and reporters handling everything from breaking news to long-form narratives. It’s advice that will make you a better storyteller, even if you don’t go into journalism.