In 1998, after years of book and magazine writing and teaching, I helped found a conference for narrative writers and editors. For its first three years, it convened at Boston University and was called Aboard the Narrative Train. In 2001 it traveled across the Charles River. Renamed the Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism, it grew from 600 to 1000 participants and 50 speakers. I directed it for nine years in all, through 2006, and also co-edited the anthology of writing advice distilled from these conferences: Telling True Stories: a Nonfiction Writers’ Guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University. The conference returned to Boston University in 2010, and I followed it back in 2011, as writer–in–residence in Boston University's journalism department, and again as conference director. I have also helped found ongoing conferences in Denmark and South Africa. I'm actively engaged in the planning of an expanding annual narrative conference in Amsterdam, and another that will start in Lisbon, Portugal in November, 2013. I speak often at writing conferences around the world.
Here's an excerpt from an interview at the Dutch conference, on the questions of when to begin and end a scene,and when to use quotations.