Track/Presenter Workshop Location Description


Jeanne Veillette Bowerman

Writing Your First Script  Room 6306 Discover what Hollywood is looking for in a story and writer, how this complicated industry works, as well as essential techniques that grab a producer's attention and make the execution of your story as good as the hook, all while taking the audience on an emotional ride. Learn how a film's story structure relates to character development, increasing your odds of attracting actors. Understanding screenwriting is essential for novelists, too. After all, most of us want to see our books on the big screen. If you structure your novel like a movie, it just might happen! Bonus: You'll walk away with an in-depth structure handout!  


Karen Richardson

The Challenges With Historical Fiction  Room 6304 It’s historical, so facts matter. It’s fiction, so you can make things up. And finding the right balance can be challenging. As managing editor of the Mentoris Project, Karen has worked with writers who’ve brought history to life—from 180 BC to modern times. She’s seen the pitfalls of the genre and the traps into which writers fall and how the successful ones have climbed out.

Novel Writing

Jacque Ben-Zekry

Up Stream Marketing for Novelists  Room 5401 The commercial viability and marketability of any book starts way before covers and publicity kick into gear. It starts with the content of the book itself. Often, the pursuit of a commercial book will backfire, resulting in literature that reads inauthentic and unappealing.  This class will focus on knowing how to tell if your novel is veering off into a noncommercial direction, recognizing what makes some novels have a wider appeal, and tips for basic pitches. This class is suitable for novelists only.  


Sara Roahen

Beyond the Yelp Review: How to Strengthen Any Writing with Food  Room 6302 What, where, how, and why we eat is integral to the human experience. So why does food tend to be either ignored or overdone in literature? Let’s explore ways of working food into our writing that maintain tone, strengthen character development, and don’t sound like a Yelp review. We will look at how songwriters, poets, novelists, and memoirists not known to be “food writers” have succeeded before us.  


Leslie St. John

The Ekphrastic Poem  Room 6301 Words and pictures, pictures and words. Both have the power to capture the action and emotion of a moment; both offer creative inspiration for the painter and poet. According to the Poetry Foundation, Ekphrasis is “a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art." In this workshop we will explore notable Ekphrastic poems, such as John Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn” and Matt Rasmussen’s “Ekphrastifilia,” consider specific works of art, and practice writing our own Ekphrastic poems.  

Young Adult and Childrens

Ricky Roxburgh

Creating Memorable Characters 

Room 6303 Story IS character. In this workshop, we will discuss what makes a great character and learn the “science” behind creating a cast of well-developed characters.


Eldonna Edwards

Five Proven Ways to Get that Manuscript Out of the Computer and into the World  Room 6307 If you are a writer, you are a procrastinator. This workshop will give you “works in real life” strategies to get your ideas out of your head, onto the page, and out the door.

Writing for the Screen

Peter Dunne

Where Screenplays Die: Leaping Into Act Two and Coming Out Alive 

Room 7120

Act Two is the most important and complex portion of any script, and, no surprise, the most difficult to structure and execute. It is no filler, and the idea that a fifty or sixty-page free-for-all of stunts and jokes will suffice as long as it moves quickly and leads up to a big climax is ludicrous. Because by the time you get there, there is no climax fantastic enough to make up for the mess you’ll have created preceding it. Acts One and Three only exist to service Act Two, not vice-versa. Act Two is the journey through the heart of everything you’re trying to say. It expresses the essence of your film. I call it the movie-within-the-movie.

Our workshop will break down every aspect of this challenge and provide methods and answers to ensure that every bit of clarity, beauty, and power your ideas hold are realized. Bring your enthusiasm, have fun, get results.

Publishing and Agents

Brenda Knight

How to Sell Your Book to a Publisher and Who You’re Really Selling  Room 6305 So how do you sell the sales people? If it’s your first book, you have no Neilson Bookscan number to get in the way. That can be a blessing, but you have to prove that you are an “influencer” that can sell your book and provide the publisher’s sales force with the ammo they need to go out to the trade. Publishing veteran Brenda Knight will help you navigate the rapids of book publishing so you can find the perfect home for your books!