Universal Stories: Keynote for 10 March

High noon this coming Saturday, 10 March, I’ll be giving the keynote lecture for the Lowcountry Writing Project’s Spring Conference here in Charleston, SC. As it’s a writing conference largely aimed at teachers, my talk features some pedagogical approaches to writing.

Entitled “From Beginning to End: The Universal Presence of Stories,” the lecture will focus on how we can utilize the narrative techniques of story-telling (creative writing in particular) to produce more effective analytical writing. In other words, I’m going to talk about how writing an essay isn’t really very different from writing a story — despite what my English teachers might once have told me.

Because of Robin Hood and mid-terms and many other things getting in the way, I couldn’t really work much on the talk until, well, this week. No pressure, eh? It’s also been a bit of a conundrum in terms of thinking about the audience: the attendees will run the gamut from kindergarten teachers to college professors. So finding the “sweet spot” for all comers has been tough.

Regardless, I’m just about finished with it. I probably won’t have time to test it out, but I’m thinking it’ll be close to the hour-long block I’m slated to take up. More importantly, I think it will be useful to folks.


  1. Anita Livingston

    We wish you well and expect a post-lecture report. Good luck!!

  2. I predict that the good teachers will embrace your premise, and the bad ones will scrunch up their faces at you for suggesting there might be another way to approach this subject.

    Break a leg — metaphorically, of course.

  3. Ah, Cathy … that behavior is sadly universal of humans in any field, no?

  4. True, Mike. But in teachers I find this attitude especially egregious. They have it in their power to open and close minds.

  5. That’s true, Cathy. And thus, too, parents.

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