Track/Presenter Workshop Description

Beginner Writing

TJ Mackay

Writing PG in an R-Rated World In today’s world it seems the ever changing landscape of offerings is making it nearly impossible for clean, quality writing to shine. But, it’s not! There is a greater demand now more than ever for clean, PG-rated books. In this presentation, you will better understand the industry biases, then learn to work around them, using savvy marketing tips to place that story where it needs to be and take your book from great to greatly profitable.

Writing for Screen

Michael Tabb

Script Editing Tricks With 30,000 scripts being submitted every year in Hollywood and under 100 major studio films getting produced, if an unproduced writer wants to get a shot at the big time, execution is everything. Michael Tabb has been keeping a list of the script editing tricks he’s learned since his days at USC, NYU, and UCLA’s School of Theater Film & Television. From every teacher, every mentor, and every fellow writer he’s spent time with, he diligently added to his bag of editing tricks. Now, he’s going to pass along to you 15 years-worth of ways to make your script more powerful and succinct. Michael will discuss everything from writing action to dialogue and big-picture to word-by-word editing tricks that will help make every line of your script read better and clearer. Most of these editing tools can be used for all writing mediums, so this class is suitable for all writers looking for ways to sharpen their writing tools and hone their craft. After all, when you’re up for a writing job, you want your writing sample to scream out that you are a master craftsman, and nothing says you’re ready to be a pro like a polished manuscript that reads to perfection.


Leslie St. John

Em-body Poem Our bodies are the primary medium through which we experience the world, so it makes sense we would try to render that experience in our poetry. In this workshop, we will explore poetry of the body, noting specific ways poets work with and through the body— desire and transcendence, injury and illness, personal cartographies and undiscovered spaces. We’ll read poems by Walt Whitman, Dorianne Laux, Lisa Coffman, and Matt Rasmussen and close with a simple yoga and writing exercise to Open Creativity.


Eldonna Edwards

Truth Be Told: Writing a Memoir Worth Reading True stories are hot. Memoirs like Eat, Pray, Love, The Glass Castle, and Wild were recently turned into movies. So how do you boost your story from lukewarm to sizzling? As the saying goes, there are no boring stories, only boring story-telling. Best-Selling author Eldonna Edwards will offer tips on how to apply novel-writing techniques to your memoir so that it reads more like a fascinating tale and less like your great-grandmother’s diary. We’ll also cover the importance of good editing, how to choose an eye-popping title, whether or not to self-publish and marketing your brand beyond the book. Join us for an interactive workshop tailored toward beginning to advanced memoirists who are looking for fun and inspiration.

Historical and Non-Fiction

Karen Richardson

Why Your First Book Should Be Historical Fiction See how one first-time author came to know her subject, understand an era, see the forest and the trees, find information in unexpected places, and decide when to stick to the facts and when to exercise creative license—all in the spirit of telling an honest but compelling account using character development, conflict, dialogue, plot, and theme. 


Laurie McLean

Agent Secrets  If you’re new to publishing, you probably don’t know exactly what an agent is or does. This workshop explains it all. Bring any and all questions for honest answers.


John Mulhall

Funding Projects and Making Money in the New Era of Publishing A discussion about the ever-changing face of publishing, the paths to making a living as an author, the pros and cons of self-publishing, and the challenges of self-funding new projects, with a special focus on crowd-funding.


Joshua Corin

Structure The importance of structure, especially in a long work, cannot be understated.  We will examine the structures of several successful novels and films and then discuss how to create organic structure for our own work.