Sep 9

Posted by Tom Baker

JET alum Susan Laura Sullivan will be part of a troika of writers discussing the concept of hybridity at this year’s Japan Writer’s conference. The conference, which is free, will take place in Nagoya on Oct. 14-15.

Here’s the official description of her presentation:

Jane Joritz-Nakagawa, Susan Laura Sullivan, & Marcus Grandon
Collisions, Collages, Collaborations: Using Hybridity Effectively in Your Writing
Panel Discussion

This session will focus on how to employ the concept of hybridity to make fiction, memoir, essay, journalistic writing, poetry, or cross-genre work more exciting for its audience. Examples will be given using excerpts from various published writers, including but not limited to works of the presenters. Things that can be added to a work include visuals, quotations, work in a different genre or language, sound, metaphor, musicality, any type of found work, dialogues, and more. This session is intended to benefit any writer working in any genre or style at any level.

Jane Joritz-Nakagawa has lived in Japan since 1989. Currently she lives in Hamamatsu. She is working on her eleventh full length poetry collection, a novel, short stories and essays. She teaches part time at Shizuoka University but frequents Yatsugatake (Minami maki mura, Nagano) whenever possible.

Susan Laura Sullivan publishes across all genres. Co-editor and contributor to the award-winning Women of a Certain Age (Fremantle Press), she was shortlisted for the 2012 TAG Hungerford prize. Her most recent poetry will appear in Limina: A Journal of Historical and Cultural Studies in the near future. She resides in Japan.

Marcus Grandon is a multimedia artist, writer, musician, researcher, and educator. His work has been exhibited internationally and won awards in multiple genres. He’s a Teaching Fellow at the University of Birmingham, UK, and a university instructor in Japan. Marcus’ artwork is in private collections of people around the world. Marcus presents at conferences internationally and travels frequently. He makes his home in Shizuoka City, Japan.

Aug 27


Posted by Tom Baker (Chiba, 1989-91).

The Japan Writers Conference is a free annual event for English-language writers, held in a different part of Japan each year. In 2017, it will take place in Tokyo at the Ekoda Campus of Nihon University College of Art on Oct. 8-9, the last two days of a Japanese holiday weekend.

There will be will be about 30 presentations by published writers of fiction, poetry, memoir, travel writing and more. Several of those writers are former JETs.

JET alumnae Susan Laura Sullivan and Suzanne Kamata, for example, will give a joint presentation on editing anthologies. Sullivan is the editor of the forthcoming anthology “Women of a Certain Age,” while Kamata’s published anthologies include “Call Me Okaa-san” and “The Broken Bridge.”

Kamata will also give a presentation together with Ann Tashi Slater on creative nonfiction.


JET alum and textbook author Todd Jay Leonard, whose many titles include “American Traditions,” will give a lecture on “The Ever-Changing Publishing Industry,” in which he will discuss traditional versus print-on-demand publishing, followed by a Q&A session.

Poet and novelist Holly Thompson, who first came to Japan in connection with the pre-JET MEF program, will present “Writing Picture Books: Nonfiction Opportunities.” Her published works include “The Wakame Gatherers.”

For details on those and the other presentations, visit or follow @JapanWritersCon on Twitter.

The Japan Writers Conference, now in its 11th year, is completely volunteer-run, and admission is free.

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