Honoring the real world
April Pullye Sayre, author of many nonfiction books (and member of the Vermont College "hive"), exhorted the audience to write nonfiction. She encouraged us to discover our passions, find what speaks to us in the real world, and write about it. She emphasized being excited about what you're doing, and her lively presentation with photos, shots of her books, and video (all within PowerPoint) reinforced to me that she's living her own advice.
She talked about things we often hear about in fiction writing: voice and depth. Making nonfiction layered so that it's subtly more than just the topic makes it speak to people. This approach appeals to me. As for content, she said to let the content tell you its voice.
She recited her book, Trout, Trout, Trout: A Fish Chant, by memory. It was essentially a list of North American fresh water fish names. But they were so artfully and rhythmically arranged, that it sounded like poetry.