Masterclass Schedule

Thursday Workshops


Presenter: kc dyer
Longing to join in the fun of master class day, but don't feel ready because you're just starting out? Want to learn how to be a published writer, but don’t know where to begin? Join bestselling author kc dyer as she shares her illustrated fairy tale of magical hints, suggestions and terminology to help you find the right path through the deep dark woods of the publishing industry. Bring writing materials, your questions and be prepared to leave with a wolfish case of writer’s cramp!
Presenter: Bob Mayer
Designed to teach writers how to become successful authors in the new age of publishing, we will clearly define your writing goals and why you want to achieve them. We will discover what you fear and how that fear is sabotaging you from turning your dreams into realities. We will then map out a plan for success.


Presenter: Larry Brooks
We talk a lot about character arc in this business, as we should.  But the key to character arc is giving your primary players something intriguing, compelling and dramatic to do in the story.  Once you have a vision for that journey in context to an understanding of what this even means, there are powerful and proven principles that show us how to spool it out over the four contextual parts of a story, thus optimizing dramatic tension, emotional resonance and character arc itself.
Presenter: Jack Whyte
*** SOLD OUT *** Join Jack Whyte for a hands-on peer critique class of your most problematic pages. Learn not only from responses to your own pages, but from working with the group on theirs. This class is consistently rated as a conference highlight for its attendees. Interested in this class? Each year, it's broken its own record for fastest-ever sellout of an SiWC master class, so plan to register early. In 2015, this class sold out in four hours.
Presenter: Diana Gabaldon
Where most beginning writers screw up (you should pardon the expression) is in thinking that sex scenes are about sex. A good sex scene is about the exchange of emotions, not bodily fluids. That being so, it can encompass any emotion whatever, from rage or desolation to exultation, tenderness, or surprise. Come and learn how to write good sex scenes from a master.


Presenter: Robert J. Sawyer
The Intimately Human and the Grandly Cosmic — making your science fiction appeal not just to the mind but to the heart as well. The number-one reason mainstream readers don’t even try science fiction is they think it has nothing to offer them emotionally: they wrongly believe that it’s either too dry and intellectual, or that any character development is sketchy and any character drama is simplistic and juvenile. But the best science fiction is as emotionally complex, as heart-wrenching, as moving, and as uplifting as the best mainstream fiction. Learn how to balance both halves of the term “science fiction” without giving short-shrift to either.
Presenter: Angie Abdou
This master class will ask the hard questions: Why should anyone care about your story? What makes your writing worthy of a reader's valuable time? Contemporary life is busy. Time that people used to devote to reading has been encroached upon by YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.  With the always-increasing demands on everyone's time and energy, writers must remember: readers don't owe you anything. Nobody has to read your story. So, how can you shape and craft your nonfiction to ensure that it hooks, readers and holds them fast until to last word? Through a mix of exercises, examples, and theory, this workshop will explore strategies for immersing readers in vivid scenes and building emotional investment in a story. Writers will get tips for creating authentic, engaging, and compelling nonfiction. Participants will also have the opportunity to discuss their works-in-progress, with topics ranging from initial idea to publication and promotion.
Presenter: Donald Maass
The basics of novel structure are not a secret.  Building characters is a known process.  What, though, are the means of masterful fiction that are not taught?  In this advanced fiction workshop, learn what makes openings amazing, inactive scenes urgent, pace that isn’t plot, the catalyst of middles, worlds full of wonder, how to play mind games, and the secret current that carries readers through great stories.