Track/Presenter Workshop Description

Beginner Writing

Eldonna Edwards

When Your Memoir Wants to be Fiction: How to Write a Novel Inspired by Real-Life Events

You've been working on your memoir for ages but it's just not working. You're tempted to jazz it up or hide painful truths and call it creative non-fiction but that doesn't quite feel right either. Maybe it's time to dump reality and turn your life-inspired story into fiction. By letting go of adherence to facts, you become free to explore the "what-ifs" and create a story with a life of its own. Author Eldonna Edwards will show how she used her upbringing as a springboard for a novel that hooked an agent and sold to a New York publisher.

Writing for Screen

Michael Tabb

Prewriting Your Screenplay: A Guide to Developing Great, Cohesive Stoires

Michael will illustrate how to generate a story fit for the movies from a nothing at all (a blank slate), inspired by his book Prewriting Your Screenplay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Generating Stories (Routledge/Focal Press releases the book in July of 2018). This book explores a method of story foundation building that will help fulfill the necessary elements for concept creation that a writer needs before sitting down to write the actual script. These methods can be used to brainstorm a story idea for ANY creative writing medium, but there are tools in this technique that specifically help give birth to characters and moments necessary for visual storytelling. Howard Rodman, the president of Hollywood’s Writers Guild of America, West states, “Michael Tabb has thought long, hard, and usefully about how to write screenplays with vision and intent. He understands premise, character, conflict, drama; far more importantly, he can impart wisdom about all of them without condescending or ‘dumbing down.’ I know of no better guide to the work of writing that happens before we write.” For more information about the book, see Michael’s website.

Writing for Screen

Ricky Roxburgh

How to Create Characters and Story Lines to Sustain a Franchise

Ricky Roxburgh, writer for Disney’s Tangled: The Series, Dreamworks’ Dragons and Netflix’s Spy Kids: Mission Critical, will discuss what makes a “franchise” a franchise. Ricky and attendees will learn to discover the franchise potential in their own stories, the kinds of questions to ask ourselves as we develop them and what it’s like to write/challenges and benefits of writing for an existing franchise.


Laure-Anne Bosselaar

The Twelve-Step Program to Revision in Poetry

 The focus of this workshop will be on revision: how can we acquire the tools we need to revise our poems on our own? Many aspiring and even experienced poets find it challenging to revise on their own, without the help of a workshop or mentor. Participants will learn how to strengthen and hone their revision skills which will — systematically and in depth — address all the elements of a poem: form, syntax, tone, metaphor, images, line-breaks, opening and closings, to name a few. Please bring fifteen 5X8 index cards to this workshop.


Taylor Martindale Kean

How to Craft Character-Driven Stories

Many agents and editors are looking for character-driven stories—but what does this mean? In this workshop, we will discuss the core elements of character-driven stories, how to strengthen voice in your work, and the balance between character and plot. We will examine great mentor texts, but also discuss how to approach revision for works in development.

Historical and Non-Fiction

Brian Talley

How to Use a Family History to Creat a Non-Fiction Book

In this workshop Brian will tell you how he gathered family stories along with family recipes to put together a book that was part memoir and parts cookbook. He will also explore the areas of hiring a photographer, cover design and getting permission from family members to tell their stories.


Laurie McLean

The Latest and Greatest in Publishing

 Traditional. Hybrid. Indie. The publishing revolution is in full swing. Learn about your opportunities to thrive as a writer.


Rachael Herron

Creating Multiple Income Streams for Writers

Writers have never lived in a better time for making money with their words, but it can be challenging to know what income streams are viable in today's market. Bestselling novelist and memoirist Rachael Herron, who supports herself with not only book sales but ten other revenue streams, all writing-related, will help you find the untapped earning potential in your own writing business. 


Kate Gale

Finding a Publisher

You want to be published?  Let's talk about how to find the right publisher, and start a conversation with that publisher that results in publication.