For Writers Conferences (1.5-3 hour seminars)

Catharsis Speakers are qualified to talk about all aspects of screen storytelling and entertainment for groups from beginners through advanced. We can provide speakers who can speak about writing for television and movies as well as the Internet. We are also able to provide speakers on subjects relating to the philosophy of culture and the spirituality of creativity. Finally, Catharsis can provide speakers on the producing side of cinema and television. Here follows a limited list of topics on which we are most asked to speak, but we will happily work with your group to create the perfect presentation for your needs.

We will work with your program to craft presentations that will most serve your community’s needs. Each of the following could be given in an hour, or three hours or a day or a week. It just depends how much time you have and how much time you are able to allocate to student exercises and supporting screenings.

Visual Imagery in Storytelling – (For more advanced writers)  How visuals impact the imagination and secure a beachhead in the memory. Visual writing as arena, images, composition of images and juxtaposition of images.

Classical Storytelling Principles – An examination of the elements of classical storytelling as found in Aesop’s Fables and why how pretty much every bad story ignored something Aristotle said in The Poetics.

Crafting Quirky and Compelling Characters – An analysis of how to craft a character who will engage and retain the sympathies of the audience. Aristotle’s four qualities of a relatable character.

Finding an Arena for Your Story and Theme – How should an arena work with your plot elements to complement your theme and character’s arc of transformation? Making decisions about time period. Making a standard location fresh.

Growing a Story – Pushing past your first ideas into creative conflicts and characters. Multiplying conflict and finding surprising and delightful reversals.

Great Dialogue – The qualities of great dramatic speech. Dialogue that mirrors theme and adds to tone.

The Beginning – All of the things that a writer must layer in to the opening of a story to make it work.

Haunting Moments as the Key to Redemptive Storytelling – Borrowing from Flannery O’Connor, “haunting moments” as stand alone “stories within the story” that use paradox, visual imagery and universal themes to impact the viewer.

Writing Beautiful Aristotelian Movies – The instincts that drive us to stories and the way that a story satisfies these instincts. Catharsis as the goal of storytelling and how it comes about.

The Key to Cathartic Stories – Paradoxical Reversals and Relatable characters and how to create them.

A Spirituality for Artists – The demands of a professional career as an artist: Isolation, creativity, rejection, instability, collaboration, success.