Track/Presenter Workshop Description

Beginner

Phil Cousineau

The Writer’s Odyssey  Have you ever felt as if you were wandering aimlessly with your writing, lost in the labyrinth of storytelling without a clue how to finish – to get home again? Take heart! This workshop explores the uncanny parallels between the writing life and Homer’s Odyssey by helping you visualize your work as a mythic journey. This intensive but entertaining approach will help you identify which stage of the writing journey you are on now, and through a series of exercises, will provide a map to guide you home with your completed manuscript. 

Memoir

Eldonna Edwards 

The Hook: Make a Promise to Your Readers (And Keep It!) 

No matter how beautiful your cover or how wonderful your story, you only have about twenty seconds between the time a reader picks up your book and decides whether to purchase it. In this hands-on workshop, we’ll test your opening and offer ways to improve it. Eldonna will also discuss how to deliver on the promise you made on that critical first page.

 IMPORTANT: SEND YOUR FIRST PARAGRAPH TO THE INSTRUCTOR VIA EMAIL (eldonna@gmail.com) PRIOR TO THE CONFERENCE! 

Novel Writing

 Jason Pinter

It's A Mystery  Writing and publishing crime fiction, and how readers’ tastes and the market has changed

Non-Fiction

 Sara Roahen

Making Recipes and Cookbooks Matter in a Blog-Eat-Blog World  These days we can Google-search even the most obscure recipe, and within seconds, the world is our cookbook. What’s the point anymore of printed cookbooks? Why would your recipe matter in this bottomless ocean of freebies? As a cookbook editor and frequent recipe consumer, I believe there’s more need than ever for artfully written-and-presented recipes and cookbooks with meaning. Let’s talk about that, as well as the pros and cons of the recipe blog.

Poetry

 Lisa Coffman

Disruptor Poem  This workshop considers the vital and tricky practice of disrupting expertise when we write—of setting aside rules and ruses and even successes in order to reach the next poem. The session will include exercises to make writing jump track and head toward uncharted territory. We’ll look at inspiring work by Ross Gay, Mary Ann McFadden, and Dian Sousa along the way. 

Young Adult and Childrens

Diane Auten 

How To Sell Books On Twitter  As writers, we have all heard, "You need to grow your platform," but many of us don't exactly know HOW to grow our platform. In this session, Diane will discuss how to use Twitter effectively to grow your platform. She will cover what kinds of things you should be tweeting about, which times of day are most effective to tweet, how to "borrow" another person's platform, how to meet and connect with other writers and influencers on Twitter, and the logistics of maximizing your Twitter account. If possible, please sign up for a Twitter account before attending the session, as we may access Twitter during the class. 

Marketing

 Chantelle Aimée Osman

 Perfecting Your Pitch and Query Letter Learn how to write (and deliver) the perfect elevator pitch. Most authors know how to write—until it comes to writing about themselves. We’ll go over the key points with both in-person and in-writing pitches and how to make yourself and your work attractive from the word go.

Writing for the Screen

 Linda Aronson

New Structures for New Audiences - Pt. 1  Have you got a great story that just won’t work in the traditional one hero three act structure? Linda Aronson's internationally acclaimed masterclass explains how writers can construct scripts that don’t fit the conventional linear, chronological one-hero three-act model, instead use nonlinearity, flashback, and Pulp-Fiction style multiple fractured storylines. She shows how films like Pulp Fiction, Memento, Inception, Atonement, 21 Grams and many more all work to patterns based on multiplying, fracturing and reconstructing multiple three act structure stories in very specific ways.

Publishing and Agents

 Brenda Knight

How Publishers Think and How Best to Pitch Them  As everyone probably knows, you or your agent needs to get your book or proposal into the hands of an interested editor; that’s the first hurdle. A well-crafted proposal, an agent with good relationships, and choosing the right editors to approach is the first steps. What most would-be authors don’t know is that the editor has to turn around and sell you to an editorial board. The sales management, more often than not, makes the decisions.  If sales and marketing think they can sell your book, then you’ve got a wonderful chance of getting published.