Jonathan Maberry - What Scares You?

Good fiction draws on real emotions –passion, courage, love, and fear. Spooky stories, nail-biting thrillers and creepy suspense have always been popular –but why? What is it about fear that makes for compelling reading? Jonathan Maberry, 5 time Bram Stoker Award winner and author of dozens of horror and thriller novels as well as six nonfiction books on the subject of monsters in folklore unlocks the secrets of telling successful scary stories.  

Dakota Shane - How to Use Medium To Bolster Your Brand: An Essential Guide To A New Platform for Writers

In this workshop, as a writer, you will learn how to leverage an exciting new social media platform, Medium, to boost your credibility and success in your writing life. Medium is growing fast, and many are calling it the “YouTube for Writers”.

Using the methods I used to become a Top Writer on Medium, you will also learn how to grow your following on Medium, increase your email list subscribers, land spots in larger publications, and more.

No matter what your goals are as a writer, there is a ripe opportunity for you on Medium, and I am excited to help you discover it.

Matthew Woodman - “I Was Framed!”: Crafting Effective Titles And Opening & Closing Lines

Using examples from modern poetry and short fiction, this workshop will focus on strategies for creating intriguing titles, tantalizing opening lines, and memorable closing lines.

Cindy Neuschwander - Guided Steps Of Publishing A Children's Book

Join author Cindy Neuschwander as she shares the ins and outs of writing picture books for children. Whether you have just an idea or a completed manuscript, Cindy's workshop can help guide you on next steps in your writing and publishing journey. 

Maryiln Atlas - Opening The Character/Writer Divide: Recognizing Your Character As Separate From You

For characters to truly be living, breathing creatures they have to be wholly independent from the author’s imagination, even if that’s where they spring from. We will use exercises working from the inside out to determine non-negotiable aspects of your character’s personality. We will also seek to filter out your own personal tastes, peeves, and biases that aren’t germane to who the character is. To do that requires self-knowledge on the part of the writer and a respectful distance from the character so she shares her thoughts, feelings, and motivations.

Mindy T. Conde & Natalie McDermott - How To Work With An Editor To Get The Best Chance Of Being Published

Whether you're working on a query letter, an email, or polishing your submission chapter(s), your editor can be an invaluable resource to help you on the road to getting published. Come chat with us as we go over some tips so you can make the most of the editing process and work with your editor to make sure you put your best foot forward when it comes to your manuscript. 

Tom Schulman - The Screenwriting Craft

Learn from a master how to make characters come alive and create a sellable script. 

Jeanne Veillette Bowerman - Demystifying Adaptation

Adapting a book for the screen or TV can be a daunting process for both author and screenwriter. The reality is it’s essential to slice the author’s darlings. In this workshop, we’ll cover how to identify if the story should be a feature, a limited series or a TV series, and how to cut down a full-size novel into a two-hour one as well as discuss Hollywood’s take on intellectual property. Whether you’re a screenwriter looking to adapt or a novelist wanting to know the realities of getting your own story to the screen, it’s time to demystify the adaptation process.  

Jim Gregory - How To Research And Create Nonfiction That Connects Your Home Town To The Great Events Of American History

Jim Gregory grew up in a rural central California and taught history in San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande for thirty years. Since his retirement two years ago, he has written three books that aim to do for readers what he did for his high school students: to fuse local history with national history in a way that gives even small-town residents a sense of ownership in the great events of America’s past.

His three books—on World War II Arroyo Grande, on the history of outlawry in San Luis Obispo County, and on county connections to the Civil War, a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards—have helped his readers to see their place in history more clearly and to meet a wonderful cast of characters, from a Nisei soldier in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team to an inept stagecoach robber who kept falling off his getaway horses to a beloved grammar school janitor who had survived horrific combat at Antietam and Chancellorsville.

Gregory will describe how he researched and planned his three books and discuss his current work on local World War II military aviators.  Most of his research relies on internet sources—from genealogy websites to periodical indexes to oral history interviews--and he will have both handouts on those sources and demonstrate how to access them. He will also discuss the kinds of sources commonly available at both state and local historical societies and university libraries. He will use the life—and tragic death—of a local World War II airman to show how to use research in a way that makes writing history vivid and emotionally evocative.