Track/Presenter Workshop Description

Beginner Writing

Nadine Nettmann

If You Know It, You Can Write It: How to Pull Aspects from Your Life and Career, and Put Them Into Your Writing

Everyone has an interesting story to tell, even if you don’t know it yet. Good fiction contains truth, and we are drawn in when the ordinary turns into extraordinary. Pluck gems out of your life and layer them into a story in a way that creates intrigue like no one else can.

Writing for Screen

Michael Tabb

Tales from the Trenches: True Stories of a Hollywood Screenwriter Full of Industry and Life Lessons

This is an honest talk with a WGA screenwriter, who will openly discuss how he:

  • Broke into the business,
  • Landed his first paying jobs in Hollywood,
  • Got a top Hollywood agent (ICM, William Morris, APA), and
  • Working with, pitching and meeting famous actors and big personalities.

He will regale you with stories of his show business successes, life lessons, and his mistakes. Ask Michael questions about the things you’ve wondered about the hardest industry to break into that everyone loves.  You can ask about anything, for example:

  • The WGA,
  • Getting a new agent,
  • Getting screenwriting work,
  • When to walk away from work,
  • Dealing with challenging script notes,
  • How he’s gotten production companies to go union for the first time,
  • Or the major trick to getting producers to hire you for something they didn’t intend to when they asked you for the meeting.

No recording devices, please. If you want honesty, this conversation is off the record.

Writing for Screen

Ricky Roxburgh

Writing for Children

An open Q&A and discussion with Disney Television Animation Writer Ricky Roxburgh on writing for younger audiences. Topics like preparing samples, breaking in, the difference between animation and live action writing, freelancing vs. staff writing and other topics will all be discussed.


Kim Addonizio

Shaping the Personal Essay

How do you take your raw experience and shape it into a finished piece of writing? We’ll look at different ways to open a personal essay to engage your reader right away—and several possibilities after that, beyond “what happened next.” A compelling narrative is always important, but there are lots of ways to tell your story, on the structural level, that can help it come alive and help you organize your material.  We’ll look at several possibilities and try out at least one of them in class.


Jonathan Maberry

How to Tap Into Fears and Feelings to Sell Books

Jonathan has long been successfully taping the fears of others through his novels and anthologies.  He will teach you how to tap into the dark side and strong feelings to compel your work so  the reader has a visceral reaction to your prose.

Historical and Non-Fiction

Donald H. Hewitt

Character is King: How to Create Great Characters

 Having a great story is crucial but the key to selling your screenplay is character. You must have great characters. But this is where the majority of scripts fail – cardboard cut-out characters that move from scene to scene pushing the plot forward but leaving the audience cold. I will show you how to create dynamic, exciting characters that audiences will love and actors will be dying to play (the real secret to selling and getting your screenplay made!) We'll analyze some of the great movie characters – focusing on key scenes that make us fall in love with a character. I'll show you the Writing Tools and Techniques for getting that character down on the page. I'll also discuss unlikeable characters and supporting characters.


Taylor Martindale Kean

Young Adult Tips

Young Adult novels are defined as novels written for young adults, about young adults. But beyond that, what are the core elements of writing in this category, and how can you do it better? In this workshop we will discuss both craft and market, with time for Q&A. 


Chantelle Aimée Osman

Writing Short - Making Anthologies Work for You

There are many advantages to writing short stories, from honing your craft, trying out new characters, to getting your name out there. This workshop will teach you how to write a great one, as well as basics for putting together an anthology.

Currently Looking For: Mystery, thriller and suspense, particular new and unique voices representing all aspects, lifestyles and cultures of the modern world.

Not Looking For: Non-Fiction, Poetry, anything outside of the above categories


Jordan Rosenfeld

Write the Page Turner: On Tension

Tension is the lifeblood of great writing. It’s the heart of conflict, the backbone of uncertainty, the hallmark of danger. It keeps readers guessing, and characters on their toes. When you’ve got it in place, stories leave readers breathless and wanting more. When it’s missing, scenes feel inconsequential, plots drag, characters meander. In this session, you’ll learn how to build and keep tension in plot and scenes, the key elements of tension, (including danger, conflict, uncertainty and withholding), and how to tap tension within your every sentence.