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Compose Creative Writing Conference

By Clackamas Comm. College

Compose Creative Writing Conference

Writers and aspiring writers across the region gather each May at Clackamas Community College for a day of creativity and community. This year’s Compose Creative Writing Conference is May 18 and the keynote speaker is award-winning journalist Casey Parks.

Parks’ debut book, “Diary of a Misfit: A Memoir and a Mystery,” is the story of her life-changing journey to unravel the mystery of Roy Hudgins. When Parks came out as a lesbian in college in 2002, she faced rejection from her family and pastor and assumed her life in the South was over. But Parks’ grandmother, a stern conservative who grew up picking cotton, pulled her aside and revealed a startling secret: “I grew up across the street from a woman who lived as a man,” and implored Parks to find out what happened to him.
For 10 years, Parks traveled to her grandmother’s hometown in rural Louisiana, knocking on strangers’ doors, digging through nursing home records and studying microfiche in small-town libraries trying to uncover the mysteries of Roy Hudgins’ life.

After the welcome address from Parks at 10 a.m., conference attendees can participate in workshops with sessions on various writing topics, from cozy mysteries to graphic novels and speculative fiction.

Sessions this year include:
Creating Compelling Characters for the Stage: Sara Jean Accuardi

Helling It Slant: Eric Tran

Making the Invisible Visible: Lauren Kessler

Pitching Your Graphic Novel, Selling Your Story: Terry Blas

Avoiding Infodump in Speculative Fiction: Joe Pitkin

Crafting a Cozy Mystery: Paula Charles

Writing the Magical, Writing the Real: On Making Magical Stories Believable: Emme Lund

Writing: Aggregating the Raw Material: Emmett Wheatfall

The Things Themselves: Daniela Molnar

How Description Builds Story: Lydia Kiesling

This year, the Compose Conference will be held in a hybrid format, with some workshops in person and some online. Parks’ keynote will be in person and streamed live for those participating via Zoom. Clackamas Community College is located at 19600 Molalla Ave., Oregon City. Parking is free. Tickets are $25 for the general public and $10 for CCC students. To learn more and register for the conference, visit

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