Writing Workshop Spotlights Author

The Radcliffe Writing Life Conference, an intensive one-day writing workshop, featured award-winning author Rosellen Brown as keynote speaker yesterday.

The conference also involved panel discussions on various aspects of writing as an occupation.

Speaking yesterday morning, Brown mused on the misconceptions, difficulties and rewards of a life as a professional writer.

"Writers write because they must," said Brown. "And if one can be dissuaded easily by the probability of failure...one ought to be dissuaded."

Brown also spoke about stages of writers' development and the "tension between...the private and the public," saying in the past has found it difficult to participate in events at the same time as she writes about them.

Brown has published several novels including Before and After, which will soon be released as a motion picture starring Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson.

After the conference Brown met with a few students in the Lyman Common Room to chat informally.

Brown spoke about her own experiences as a young writer and as a civil rights worker in the 1960s.

She encouraged young writers to "learn about the outside world" and particularly to take advantage of all the diverse opportunities available at college.

Rhonda L. Nickerson '97, an English major who was told about the event by her creative writing teacher, said she enjoyed meeting with the author.

Nickerson said she found the talk "very helpful" and particularly liked hearing about Brown's "amazing life."