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A Look Back at the 2012 Conference

The reviews are in and its official...the 2012 Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference was an enormous success. We can say that without hesitation, as 95-percent of the participants that responded to our post-conference evaluation said the conference was "excellent" or "good."

The conference brought together nearly 300 writers for four days of classes, lectures, panels and readings. Participants included ASU graduate and undergraduate students, community college students and faculty, over three dozen high school students and their teachers, and writers from across the Valley, from Tucson and Prescott, from Texas, California and Utah, from Maryland and New Jersey, even from Winnipeg and Calgary.

One participant went as far to say, "Thank you so very much for an amazing experience! I would attend two of these conferences a year in order to be able to hear everything I want to."

The conference featured familiar topics and exercises in fiction, poetry and nonfiction, and also ventured into new territory with a panel on the graphic novel and a class about "Trauma Narratives." The 'Write Here' classes were once again a big hit, with topics such as "Grab Your Reader by the Throat and Don't Let Go," "Taming the Maverick Poem" and "Unmasking the Storyteller." The opening night banquet once again provided everyone the chance to get acquainted and featured outstanding readings by Melissa Pritchard, Carolyn Forché and Xu Xi.

We are especially grateful to the volunteers who helped things run so smoothly, including ASU undergraduates and MFA students.

Click HERE to watch videos of 2012 conference readings

Click HERE to view the 2012 conference photo gallery


Photo by Kevin S. Moul