Alum Ellen Urbani and faculty members Ivonne Saed and Natalie Serber will be featured speakers at the Willamette Writers’ Conference in August 2016.

Ellen Urbani, Ivonne Saed, Natalie Serber

Clockwise from top: Ellen Urbani, Ivonne Saed, Natalie Serber

Ellen Urbani will deliver the closing keynote on Aug. 14. She will also lead discussions on Incorporating Research and Historical Accuracy into Your Narrative (Aug. 13) and Making Dialect, Colloquialisms and Vernacular Work (Aug. 14).

Ivonne Saed’s talk, Text and Image or the Geometry of Writing (Aug. 14), will explore how authors use physical geometry as an allegory to address existential concepts and situations related to the human condition in fiction writing.

Natalie Serber will lead two sessions. In The Life Changing Magic of Revision (Aug. 12), Serber offers tips on how to revise one’s writing to achieve “stronger and truer” prose that resonates more deeply with readers. Her second session, That’s What She Said! (Aug. 14), focuses on short story dialog, a powerful tool when dialog appears realistic but is uncluttered, and that both conceals and reveals.

Willamette Writers exists to help writers at all levels find their communities, develop their craft and advance their careers. The annual conference is designed to bring that vision to life.

About the authors

Ellen Urbani earned her master’s degree in art therapy from Marylhurst University in 1996. She is the author of Landfall (Forest Avenue Press, 2015), a work of historical fiction set in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and the memoir When I Was Elena (The Permanent Press, 2006), a Book Sense Notable selection documenting her life in Guatemala during the final years of that country’s civil war. Her autobiographical essays and short stories have appeared in a variety of bestselling pop-culture anthologies as well as The New York Times.

Ivonne Saed teaches Text:Image at Marylhurst University. She is a graphic designer, photographer, writer and translator. Saed is the author of the novel, Triple crónica de un nombre (Lectorum, 2003) and the nonfiction book, Sobre Paul Auster: Autoría, distopía, y textualidad (Lectorum, 2009). She also teaches at Literary Arts as a Delve seminar guide. Every second Tuesday of the month she talks about literature on Letra Viva, part of FA Radio on KBOO.

Natalie Serber teaches fiction writing at Marylhurst University. She is the author of Community Chest, (Two Sylvias Press) and Shout Her Lovely Name, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) a New York Times Notable Book of 2012, a summer reading selection from O, the Oprah Magazine, and an Oregonian Top 10 Book of the Pacific Northwest. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Oprah Magazine, The Huffington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian, The Rumpus, Salon, and Fourth Genre.