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The Business and Craft of Storytelling

The inaugural USC Writers Conference takes place Friday and features USC Dornsife faculty. The all-day event is the kick-off to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC April 21 and 22.

Deborah Harkness, professor of history in USC Dornsife, and Dana Gioia, Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at USC, will be featured speakers at the inaugural USC Writers Conference this Friday. Harkness photo by Marion Ettlinger. Gioia photo courtesy of Dana Gioia.
Deborah Harkness, professor of history in USC Dornsife, and Dana Gioia, Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at USC, will be featured speakers at the inaugural USC Writers Conference this Friday. Harkness photo by Marion Ettlinger. Gioia photo courtesy of Dana Gioia.

Dana Gioia, Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at USC, and Deborah Harkness, professor of history in USC Dornsife and author of the best-selling book, A Discovery of Witches, will be featured speakers at the inaugural USC Writers Conference to be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, April 20, in Doheny Memorial Library on University Park campus. 

“The Business and Craft of Storytelling” day-long conference is a kick-off to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books taking place at USC April 21-22.

“This conference is designed to give writers an edge in today’s competitive, changing world of publishing,” said Eileen Kohan, associate provost and executive director for USC Continuing Education and Summer Programs. “You can sharpen your business skills and network with writing and publishing leaders on Friday, then continue learning about the craft of storytelling by attending Festival of Books events throughout the weekend.”

At 2:30 p.m. Friday, Gioia, who is affiliated with several schools at USC including USC Dornsife, will conduct a session called “The Writer as Entrepreneur.” Harkness, whose second book in her All Souls Triology is due out summer 2012, will speak at 11:15 a.m. about “Resources for World-Makers: Finding Authenticity in the Library.” 

At 9:15 a.m. Friday, Ivory Madison, the chief executive officer and editor-in-chief of redroom.com, will offer the keynote address, “What it Takes to Be a Great Writer.”

Other sessions will delve into the promise and peril of self-publishing, the benefits of social networking and finding a community of writers. The conference registration price includes the sessions, lunch and concluding reception. Registration is $100 for the general public and $75 for USC alumni. Register and learn more about the program here.