Presenter: Susanna Kearsley
For more than two decades Susanna’s been tossing her characters onto the first page with only the faintest idea of where they’ll end up. She’ll share tricks and techniques, explore pitfalls and benefits, and tell you why outlines aren’t meant for everyone.
Presenter: Bennett R. Coles
From the varied perspectives of author, editor, publisher and distributor, Bennett R. Coles can speak from hard experience on the realities of the modern publishing world and offer a detailed comparison of traditional, hybrid and self-publishing. All three methods have their pros and cons, and Ben will provide a detailed, fun and no-BS tour of the facts, trends and surprises facing authors today.
Presenter: Sonali Dev
Culture building is world building between the cracks and under the foundation of your story. Learn how to layer your storytelling with the nitty gritties of human existence that make up the world your characters live in. Learn not just how to enrich your narration with the kind of depth and detail that absorbs readers wholly into your story but also learn how to place your characters in conflict with their world to infuse authenticity and meaning into your story, irrespective of genre.
Presenter: Karen X. Tulchinsky
Screenplays are about structure, structure, structure. This workshop will go over proper feature film structure and format. How to take an idea to a script, how to crank out a first draft and an overview of screenwriting techniques such as writing visually, an ear for dialogue, writing action and choosing your genre. There will be the opportunity to practice the skills in short writing exercises. Bring your movie ideas and be ready for some fun.
Four YA writers discuss how they broke into the world of writing YA. They’ll share their experiences, what they learned along the way, where they see the future going and provide resources for writers new or experienced in this area.
Presenter: Àdhamh Ó Broin
Outlander's Scottish Gaelic Consultant Àdhamh Ó Broin will talk about what makes up Scottish identity with particular focus on indigenous Gaelic culture; specifically its role as the progenitor of the vast majority of what we now regard as typically Scottish. Myths will be dispelled. Clichés will be ruthlessly swept aside. Prepare to have your concept of Scottishness challenged with a fun, fact-filled hour of irreverent humor and pithy musings from Gaeldom's most famous autodidact.
Presenter: Sandra Tayler
Picture books are a very powerful medium and not just for small children. This class teaches some of the particular things that picture books can do that other sorts of books can't. This is taught with a focus on how you can craft your picture book to be delightful or powerful for your intended audience.
Presenter: Jason Brick
"Perfectionism is procrastination masquerading as quality control" -- Stephen BarnesAsk 1,000 different people why they haven't finished their novel yet, you'll get 1,000 different answers. 2,000 if you come back in six months and ask them all again. But really, there are only a handful of reasons -- which leaves a handful of simple, action-ready solutions to the problem. In this talk we'll look at why people have almost-finished novels on their hard drives, why that happens, and what to do about it.
Presenter: Jack Whyte
For many writers of historical novels, research is one of the great pleasures of the job. But how do you balance the desire to include all the cool things you learn with the need not to turn your book into a history lesson? And if you’re writing about real people and events, how do you stay true to recorded history without being so constrained by fact that it hampers your storytelling? Join Jack Whyte for discussion of these and other aspects of weaving research into your fiction.
Presenter: Lee Edward Fodi
How do we create a diverse and interesting cast of characters to populate our stories? One way is to examine some of the universal archetypes that are found throughout art, film, and literature— and that’s exactly what we’ll do in the workshop. By exploring some of our favorite heroes, sidekicks, mentors, and shadows, we’ll discover insight into crafting characters that are unique and distinctive in both their personalities and roles.
Presenter: Lori A. May
This workshop explores book reviewing publication opportunities and how writers of any genre may supplement their income while enhancing their personal platform and expertise. Join Lori A. May for a discussion on how reviewing contributes to your life as a writer, how to write a successful review, and how to query and pitch potential publications.
Presenter: Larry Brooks
For new writers, submitting a manuscript is a pass-fail proposition. Like a fly floating in a perfectly good bowl of soup, “wrong notes” and outright mistakes can tank an otherwise perfectly fine story in the blink of an agent’s eye. Unless you are already under contract, Agents and Editors won’t edit stories and they won’t coach them up to their standards, it has to work at the first read. The same is true with readers of self-published novels, who can sniff out narrative weakness just as quickly. Professionalism is key, and it as much the avoidance of mistakes as it is the rendering of excellence. This workshop will identify common narrative and expositional mistakes that new writers often make, with corrective alternatives explored. Join us to elevate your narrative voice to the professional level required to compete in today’s market.
Mary Robinette Kowal and Elizabeth Boyle take on plotting in the ultimate smackdown to discover the best way to plot your novel. From writing a scene to a short story to a full length novel, Mary and Elizabeth will compete to find the right plotting structure for your story. Pulling out tricks learned from ancient story tellers, plucked from the the starry lights of Hollywood, and purloined from a class on anger management, these two find plotting tips everywhere and will have an arsenal of ideas at the ready. Bring story ideas and get ready to smackdown.
Presenter: Diana Gabaldon
For Diana Gabaldon, underpaiting means adding vividness to text, "the small and seemingly inconsequent details--body language, historical detail, setting and atmospheric bits, mental introspection--that add texture and/or vividness to a passage, without being a necessary element of pure "story" (i.e., action or dialogue)." Come learn how she does this and how you can do the same in your own writing.
Presenter: Rachel Rose
You can’t become a published writer without learning how to deal with rejection. How do you know whether a rejection means you just weren’t a good fit for that publication or editor, but you should keep trying, or when a rejection really means your project has a serious problem? What are the opportunities that rejection provides to you as a writer? Most importantly, how do you create the kinds of support and community you need to persevere? Participants are all invited to bring in one of their own rejections to share.
Eager to share your work with a supportive audience? Join experienced reader wrangler Sean Cranbury for a chance to read your opening paragraph aloud. This session will be great practice for your future author readings. We invite those who'd like to read and those who'd prefer just to listen to attend.