Presenter: Danika Dinsmore
Once in a while, a story descends into a writer’s mind as a complete entity. But, more often than not, the story ideas come in pieces: memories, images, moments captured and filed. These bits of information are useful both as writing prompts and to add Truth to your work. What we notice on a daily basis is a record of our human experience. In this workshop we will start by collecting seeds, respond to a variety of writing prompts, and then use further exercise to connect our pieces to create story. The goal is to leave the workshop with sprouts that have grand visions of becoming trees, as well as to train yourself to notice and record those small moments in time for later germination.
Presenter: Hallie Ephron
In many of today’s bestselling novels, authors write characters who play fast and loose with the truth… and get away with it. And yet we’re advised to “play fair” with the reader. In this workshop we explore how secrets and lies can be used to propel a story forward. We’ll also talk about viewpoint, and its essential role in “fooling” the reader. How to lie and get away with it.
Presenter: Q Lindsey Barrett
How many books have you read that started off great, but had trouble keeping your interest and you found yourself skipping to the end? Whether novel or memoir, learn how to build on the five-scene scaffold to avoid that dreaded sagging middle and ensure an emotionally resonant conclusion. We’ll also talk about incorporating the three-act structure of screenwriting to keep your reader enthralled.
Presenter: Holly Lorincz
Your novel is ready to go. Your nonfiction book is fleshed out. Now what? If you're chasing the traditional publishing dream, you'll need a proposal. Holly Lorincz, agent with MacGregory Literary, will use clear, detailed explanations and annotated examples to show you, step by step, how to build a professional, attention-grabbing proposal for both fiction and nonfiction manuscripts.
Presenter: Terry Fallis
Bestselling novelist Terry Fallis, a two-time winner of the Leacock Medal for Humour, will lead this workshop. Find out what it takes to be funny, and learn the techniques used by successful literary and popular comic writers. The workshop will combine teaching with hands-on in-class exercises, and will examine various types of humour and techniques including slapstick, satire, wordplay, surprise, juxtaposition, exaggeration, understatement, and sarcasm among others.
Presenter: David Paul Williams
Some never do, others plunge into the abyss without knowing the color of their parachute. We’ll talk about how to transition from your day job to a successful writing life. Do you have skills necessary to be a working writer? Are you seeking fame, fortune or do you just want to be left alone? We’ll talk about types of paying gigs, where to find free money and some business and organizational skills used by working writers. We’ll also cover how to deal with skeptical family, non-supportive spouses and other human impediments.
Our traditional live slush event features Jack Whyte reading your first-page submissions to our panel of agents until they'd stop reading if it was a submission. Double-spaced first pages (one page only) may be submitted at the front of the room at the beginning of the session only, and will be drawn randomly for reading. Pages will not be returned, but will be recycled after the session.
Presenter: Chip MacGregor
What's your brand? And how can branding help you grow your writing career? In this one-hour workshop, longtime literary agent Chip MacGregor will explore the meaning and benefits of branding, then help you know how you can define, research, evaluate, and launch your brand as an author. This workshop will prove most helpful to authors who know their writing voice and have a good sense of what they want to write. Chip has taught on this topic at conferences around the country, and it has always proven to be fun and helpful.
Presenter: Jasper Fforde
What is the last 5% of the writing art? It's the intangible and unteachable ‘sparkle’ that moves a book from ‘solid & professional’ to ‘genuinely moving and hugely enjoyable’. In this session, Jasper Fforde will help you learn to teach yourself the all-important last 5%.
Presenter: Michael Slade
Writing a thriller, legal procedural, mystery, or any other book containing lawyers or legal proceedings? This practical session is for you! Come learn about the law and the legal system from inside with criminal lawyer and bestselling author Michael Slade. Specific research questions welcome.
Presenter: Leanne Shirtliffe
Writing Picture Books for a 21st-Century Audience gives writers updated information on one of the hottest genres in the publishing business today. Attendees will learn the state of the current market (or, how things have changed since we were (or had!) kids), the characteristics of strong storytelling in the picture book genre (with examples from recently published picture books), and revision tips specific to the writing of picture books.