The Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference is an annual creative writing conference at Arizona State University that brings together writers, readers, and lovers of literature for three days of instruction, inspiration, and community.
So states the introductory line on the home page of Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference, Thurs Feb 16 – 18, 2017, at Arizona State University. The faculty has been kind
enough to invite me to lead a breakout session called, “Pulling Double Shifts: Balancing Writing & Other Careers.” After decades of the dual careers of writing fiction and being a physician, I might have a little something to say on the topic.
Also on the schedule, I join a panel discussion, “Writing Culture for Other Cultures,” along with Angela Savage, Chandani Lokuge, and moderator Michael Green. Dr. Chandani Lokuge is a prolific academic nonfiction writer, also with three novels to her name. Angela Savage, who has garnered high praise and multiple awards for her novels, has blogged about her upcoming trip to Phoenix, AZ. All the panelists write stories set in developing countries, but our readers are almost exclusively Westerners. Our task as authors is to make these foreign settings feel like they are in the western reader's backyard. How much is “too” authentic, and how little is not enough?
The curriculum is packed full of intriguing topics with an equally impressive list of speakers: Ask an Expert: What Do You Want to Know About Getting Published? with Paolo Bacigalupi, Writing with Diversity, Malinda Lo; Lyrical Fiction, T.M. McNally; The Tortured Artist: Writing & Mental Health, Amy Nichols; Raise the Dead: Animating Your Prose, Mary Sojourner, and many others. This should be a terrific conference, and I look forward to meeting the other authors, faculty, and above all, the attendees!