Eldonna Edwards - The Hook: Make A Promise To Your Reader (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 finds your book and decides whether to purchase it. 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! 

Ed Cobleigh - How To Not Go Broke Writing

The self-publishing revolution has reversed the flow of money for writers. Learn how the new literary economy works, how to maximize your returns, and to minimize expenses with help of the IRS.

Kim Addonizio - Getting The Blues In Poetry

The blues are themselves a form of poetry, rich in imagery and metaphor, full of the joys and pains of life. Since Langston Hughes, poets have written poems in the form of the blues. We’ll listen to the music, read poems and talk about the form, and then write some bluesy verses of our own.

Chantelle Aimée Osman - The Keys To Courage

Following your passion takes courage. Whether you want to be a full-time writer or a hobbyist, how professionally you approach the craft can determine your success. From brainstorming ideas to crafting those ideas into exciting storylines, this workshop will give you the keys to juggling daily lives with time at the keyboard, how to beat writer’s block, and make you believe in yourself and your words.

Carlisle Webber - The Dreaded Query Letter

Writing a 100,000-word novel seems easy when you’re faced with the task of having to sum it up in 250 words. Come to this workshop to learn how to write a query letter that will get your work noticed by agents.

Greg Fields & Bill Evans - Publishing The First One

This can be a free-flowing, open discussion about the challenges of getting a first work into print, including whether an agent is worth it, and, if so, how to get one; what type of publisher fits best; pitch letters (marketing a new work compellingly and succinctly); selling yourself as an author; determining target audiences; and the other seemingly endless questions that play into the competitive process of getting published.

Ross Brown - Character, Character, Character

What makes a character compelling? How is character revealed? And how do the characters in a story work as an ecosystem – a carefully designed landscape of characters that work as a unit. 

Jamie Lewis - Mother Tongue: The Parent As Writer

"I used to not be able to work if there were dishes in the sink. Then I had a child and now I can work if there is a corpse in the sink."

- Anne Lamott

In this practical session, I'll share what I've learned about writing as a parent to two very young children. Material to cover will include:

  • Setting realistic goals (Novel in a year? Maybe not. One chapter every month? Let's do it!)
  • Staying accountable (Who cares if you don't meet your goal? Someone has to.)
  • Staying motivated (Picture yourself on your deathbed: how do you feel about never having entered that essay contest?)
  • Squeezing out the time (Bring your laptop to soccer, gymnastics, and jiu-jitsu practice)
  • Getting physical space (Setting up the proverbial "room of one's own" - which can often just be a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones)
  • Staying inspired (You gotta read/watch/listen/PAY ATTENTION to write.)
  • Taking care of yourself (Stress can only boost creativity to a point.)

Paul T. Scheuring - Writing For The Screen

Paul T. Scheuring has written numerous works for film and TV, including Prison Break, A Man Apart and Klondike. The workshop will focus on how the creative process works under defined time lines (30 minute or 1 hour show), how to build characters that people will talk about for years to come and how to keep a plot moving forward.