2013 Breakout Sessions



In no particular order at the moment and still subject to changes, additions, and deletions:

Make Every Word Count: Cut, tighten, delete
You've probably heard it before, that oft repeated mantra of writing, LESS IS MORE. Some editors call this "writing tight." Learn what this means and how to do it in this interactive workshop.
Lisa McMann

Where Does My Story Start: How to write a winning first chapter
Most writers spend a good portion of their writing time trying to perfect their first chapter. Getting those opening lines just right can drive you crazy. In this session, attendees will be given advice to help perfect their first chapter. Interested attendees are encouraged to bring in a small portion of their first chapter for critique. Please note that time will not allow for the sharing of everyone's chapter portions.
Lisa McMann

From Rejection to Acceptance: How rewriting your query letter can make all the difference
The query letter, the time-honored tool for writers seeking publication, is a sales letter that attempts to persuade an editor or agent to request a full manuscript or proposal. In this session, learn how to write a stellar query letter that will leave agents and editors asking for more of your work. Interested attendees are encouraged to bring in their query letter for critique. Please note that time will not allow for the sharing of everyone's letter.
Lisa McMann


Co-writing: How sometimes two authors are better than one
Maurer and Weiss cover tips on how to conceive an idea, why sometimes having a co-author makes a project better, and how to manage the workflow. The session will delineate how to make a partnership work from the writing to the business side.
Presented by Kevin Maurer and Mitch Weiss

Memoir Writing: How to capture your story 
Everyone has a story. This breakout session will teach you how to think about the story in book form from pitch to proposal to sale. Maurer and Weiss will cover techniques on how to write smart, what you need to get a book sold, and what to do once it is sold.
Presented by Kevin Maurer and Mitch Weiss

Interviewing for Nonfiction: Getting the story right
One of the good things about nonfiction is that you already know the ending. In this breakout session, find out how to get the story from beginning to end. We'll cover interview techniques and how sometimes the outline is the most important thing you write.
Presented by Kevin Maurer and Mitch Weiss

Thicken Your Plot with a Hardy Outline
Whether it’s non-fiction or fiction, outlining is one of the most critical steps in writing – and probably the most overlooked.  An outline is the foundation of your story, a framework on which to build a solid, cohesive tale and it may make the difference between a powerful story with depth, or a mediocre tale. In this workshop, attendees will be given tips on how to create an outline for their particular story.  
Presented by Mitch Weiss


Creating the World in a Short Story

Many authors argue that writing the short story is more difficult than writing a novel. Characters still need to be fully realized; the setting needs to be exact; and something significant has to occur, no matter how silently or internally. How do authors do this? Are there any techniques that might help writers to better understand how to weave into a short amount of space all the key fictional elements that make a world feel real? Through lecture, discussion, and writing exercises, participants will explore this aspect of short fiction—how to create a world in a story.
Presented by Clifford Garstang

Get Published! How to Publish a Short Story or Essay
You’ve written a great story and now you want it published in a magazine. This course will show you how! We’ll identify resources and techniques for conducting market research and classifying magazines. We’ll also discuss formatting, cover letters, contests, submission strategies, the perils of simultaneous submission, keeping adequate records, and dealing with rejection.
Presented by Clifford Garstang

Show AND Tell
The traditional rule for writers is “show, don’t tell.” In reality, though, effective writing requires a balance of showing and telling, of scene and summary. In this seminar we’ll examine techniques for creating dramatic writing while utilizing exposition for pacing and variety.
Presented by Clifford Garstang

From Idea to Story
Where do story ideas come from? How can a writer develop an idea into a full-blown story? This seminar applies the fundamentals of fiction writing to develop ideas into story drafts through writing exercises.
Presented by Clifford Garstang

Crossing the Border from Fact to Fiction
For many writers, memoir is an alternate route to fiction. How can we use real-life experiences to craft meaningful fiction? This session examines the work of several prominent authors to draw lessons for writers working with material drawn from life.
Presented by Clifford Garstang


Perfecting Your Pitch
Learn how to write (and deliver) the perfect elevator pitch. Most authors know how to write—until it comes to writing about themselves. We’ll go over the key points in both in-person and in-writing pitches and how to make yourself and your work attractive from the word go. After a brief presentation on the dos and don'ts of pitching, some attendees will have a chance to pitch their own work.
Presented by Chantelle Aimée Osman

Social Media for Authors
Social media (websites, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) can be used even before you’ve put finger to keyboard. Harper Collins marketing VP has stated that publishers look at an author’s internet following before taking them on. Learn how to use social media to your advantage, find potential readers, agents, and more, and how to make them want to follow you.
Presented by Chantelle Aimée Osman

From Idea to Big Screen
We all have an idea for the next blockbuster movie. This workshop will provide the fundamentals of formatting as well as some basic tricks for new screenwriters. After that, screenwriters will learn the basics of a submission package and inside tips on how to get the attention of agents and producers and get your screenplay to the top of the pile.
Presented by Chantelle Aimée Osman

Writing Dynamic Flash Fiction
Flash fiction is the hottest trend right now, and with the growing market, it’s a great way to get published. But you may ask yourself “how can I tell an entire story in less than 1,000 words?” It’s easy once you learn the principals of short story writing, and how to condense them. In this workshop we will tap into your automatic creativity with some prompt writing exercises, and you may leave with a short story ready for publication!(Interactive Workshop)
Presented by Chantelle Aimée Osman


Writing What You Don't See: How can a point of view drive a plot?
Filter your reader's perception through the lens of a character's mind to reveal secrets and also hide important plot points. Learn to use a precision point of view.
Presented by Lydia Netzer

First Person Problems: The specific challenges and opportunities of writing first person
How can you as the author control your first person narrator? How can you whisper to the reader around the corners of a character's voice?Since examples will be pulled from Gone Girl, anyone taking the workshop would benefit from pre-reading the novel.
Presented by Lydia Netzer

Different Voices, Different Times
Workshop participants will be introduced to the idea of structuring a novel in alternating time sequences and in alternating POV. Paricipants will learn how to get through a draft, how to rearrange the pieces to make it work, and how to turn their big chunks of narrative into a narrative braid.
Presented by Lydia Netzer


(Self) Publishing 2.0: The author takes charge
You’ve written a great book—now what? Perhaps you’re turned off by the query letter/literary agent/publisher roulette game and you’re ready to set out on your own. What’s involved in self-publishing? What are your options? This workshop will answer those questions and more, taking you through the process of turning your manuscript into a quality product in both print and e-book formats. 
Presented by Jeff Andrews

I’m an Author, not a Salesman
You’re published! That’s wonderful, but after Mom and Aunt Betsy buy your book, then what? Unless you’re fortunate enough to have the backing of a large publisher, you’re on your own. Whether you are self-published or with a small press, it’s your job to do the marketing. Are you ready with a website? How about a blog? What’s with Twitter, Facebook, and all the social media? How much marketing is enough? Learn what it takes to get your book noticed.
Presented by Jeff Andrews


The Bookkeeping Side of Book Writing: Literary Dollars and $ense
Writers have a hard enough time following Stephen King's On Writing advice to put the seat in the chair and write everyday. How are we also supposed to prepare ourselves for when "if only" happens? Most of us figure that if we ever start generating income from this effort, then we'll worry about how to report it. What most of us don't know is that expenses associated with our writing can offset our taxable income years before we make a nickel! This session will answer questons like: Can I deduct travel related to book research? What rules govern deductions? How do I employ and pay my children tax-free to do research, marketing, and platform development for me? How do I report income and expenses related to one or several published works to the IRS? What other expenses are considered legitimate business expenses of the writer? What if I hit a home run and am suddenly faced with a large chunk of income? What if I never do make a nickel writing? The session also will demonstrate how to track income and expenses from the beginning, using a simple and easy-to-maintain system that will meet or exceed IRS requirements, including handout sheets with step-by-step instructions, and sample forms.
Presented by Jack Downs


Do Put Words in My Mouth: Creating realistic and effective dialogue
Realistic and effective dialogue is one of the often overlooked keys to a successful manuscript. Together we will discuss dialogue that can be improved, suggest ways to improve it, and explore how different speech is appropriate in different settings. 
Presented by Ethan Vaughan


COPYRIGHTS AND WRONGS: Fair use of quotes & other things to avoid a lawsuit
This workshop will review when to give credit or request permission when using materials from other authors' works. The discussion will cover use of quotes; materials derived from published books or news organizations; poem or song lyrics; illustrations, paintings, graphics or other artworks; photographs; and Internet-based content. The presentation will also introduce the legal concepts of plagiarism, the rule of fair use, when permission must be obtained and everything in between.
Presented by Jeff Ourvan


Why Prose Writers Should Read (& Make) Poems
Get out of your genre silo. No matter how committed you are to your novel, short fiction, essays, you’ll do a better job if your poetry muscles are toned. How does the kind of thinking poems require pay off in more creativity and better prose? Come find out. Tips on process for poets too? You bet.
Presented by Jeanne Larsen

Found in Translation
Jane Hirshfield, Ezra Pound, Amy Lowell and her kinsman Robert, R.H.W. Dillard, T.J. Anderson III have done all kinds of poem-translations--from precise to wild. The results range from influence to rich new material, from subversion to, well, cheerful theft. Come play the game of art where we’ll work from poems in a language you can’t read to make new poems of our own.
Presented by Jeanne Larsen

What’s in a Name?
As the bard said, that which we call “a rose”… And yet as writers, we know the labels we paste onto things matter. So what about the handle Pops and Mater put on you? In this workshop, we’ll generate material that makes poetry out of your own moniker and what it echoes. Bonus: if you’re interested in the ghazal form, here’s a chance to delve a little deeper into that artful way to shape a poem.
Presented by Jeanne Larsen

Exquisite Sounds
Poetry, like good prose, pays close attention to the way words move and how they hit our ears. We’ll tune up our tongues, tune in our brains, and weave non-linear word-webs (that means: poems) using the right-brain link-ups that can take us where the stogy intellect dares not tread. As time allows, we’ll talk about where these drafts might go.
Presented by Jeanne Larsen




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