Optional Add-on Pre-Conference Class
Thursday, September 13 from 12 - 4 PM (Check-in at 11:45)

Writers Boot Camp 101--Taught by Frank Milligan (Limited to 15 people)

Designed for new writers, this four-hour session focuses primarily on fiction. Topics include:
  • Story Components (plot, conflict, character development, point of view, scene creation and setting, etc.),

  • The Writing Process (getting started—plotter or “pantser,” maintaining momentum through self-discipline, organizing workspace, scheduling and managing time, crafting a rough draft and rewriting/editing—content, punctuation, grammar, etc.),

  • Resources and Professional Organizations, as well as an Overview of the Publication Process.

  • The session wraps up with a self-assessment and motivational discussion followed by a question and answer period.

    Two-hour workshops

    Thursday, September 13, 7 - 9 PM

    Crafting the Elevator Pitch
    Have you ever been dumbfounded when an innocent listener (or editor) asks, "Yes, but what's it about?" This seminar will delve into the trends and success stories related to writing the perfect "elevator pitch." An elevator pitch is necessary so that perfect and imperfect strangers can understand, in a single burst of clarity, what you and your work are up to. It can also help you understand your work on an essential level. In the seminar, we'll hear twenty famous elevator pitches, understand the dynamics behind them, and then discuss ideas for your own.
    Presented by Dr. Colin Sargent

    The Nuts and Bolts of Scrivener
    Scrivener is a streamlined and user friendly word processor that offers more to the writer than Microsoft Word or Mac Pages ever could. It’s designed for writing projects. You can organize your books, chapters, short stories, scenes, character sheets, setting descriptions, outlines, and anything else you can think of all in one easy-to-access document, which allows you to seamlessly switch between each element. To use the program to its full capacity, new users to the program need to know where to start. And experienced users are often unaware of the near-limitless customization and treasure trove of advanced features available to them. Combining visual and hands-on exercises, this seminar will teach you the basics of this amazing program and allow your writing projects to soar. This is for people with little to no experience in Scrivener. Participants must own a copy of Scrivener, to be brought to the meeting on a laptop. The program is available on the App Store, Microsoft Marketplace, and via their website: www.literatureandlatte.com
    Presented by Chris De Matteo

    Publishing Short Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction, and Book-Length Works
    Anybody can write, but it takes a special type of determination to see your work through to print. In this workshop, we’ll discuss proper manuscript formatting for individual pieces of poetry, fiction, creative fiction, and journalism, and go on to discuss market lists, deciphering writer’s guidelines, dealing with rejection and rejoicing in seeing your work in print. We’ll also discuss how to find an agent or publisher for book-length works, as well as how to write a winning query letter to help get your foot in the door. We'll also talk about basic marketing techniques for both commercially-released as well as self-published books, including how to find places to review your books, how to set up interviews for yourself, and how to set up book signings.
    Presented by Holly Day

    From Solo to Duet: Writing Poetry in Pairs
    Paired or grouped writing is a great way to break out of one’s comfort zone. This workshop examines the creative space that opens up when working with another writer. This workshop is ideal for writers who are looking to stir things up creatively. Writing time is included in this session.
    Presented by Annmarie Lockhart

    Mastering Murder
    Want to demystify the process of writing a mystery? We’ll examine the guts of the modern mystery and help you make progress on your idea or manuscript. How do you craft a suspenseful plot? Create memorable characters? Make it realistic? And knock your readers dead? Join Ingrid Thoft and find out!
    Presented by Ingrid Thoft

    Cultivating Useful Evaluations
    Except for a huge royalty check, there’s nothing a writer wants and needs more than honest and useful evaluation. Getting one is as hard. This workshop will demonstrate techniques for getting (and giving) what you need from writer and non-writer evaluators alike, and what to do with the evaluation material once you receive it. Participants should bring copies of a work in progress (about three to five minutes reading time, or no more than 500 words).
    Presented by Dr. John McCarthy

    90-minute workshops

    Friday, September 14, 10:45 AM - 12:15 PM

    Historical Research for Historical Fiction
    There are many pitfalls to writing historical fiction; from short stories and novels to television and film scripts, there are plenty of ways to turn your historical fiction to just plain fiction. Yet, true historical research is a daunting task, especially for the uninitiated. In this workshop, we will start with a fun group activity to get your historian juices flowing, before diving into the basics of how real historians accomplish their research (Hint: It’s not Wikipedia). With the foundation laid, we will move on to answering the following questions: How do you fictionalize parts of history necessary for you story, while staying true to the overall period chosen as your setting? How do you create a believable historical setting through background details? And, how much is too much research?
    Presented by Chris De Matteo

    Short Poems: Moments that Keep us Moving
    It’s easy to underestimate the complexity and resonance of shorter poems. In reading and writing haikus, tankas, and anything in between, we find that the discipline and craft needed to write a short poem actually intensifies our engagement with poems of any length. In this short workshop on short poems led by Michael Khandelwal, Executive Director of The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk, we will read and discuss various short poems by established poets, and then write our own short poems and share our work together. We will also learn how writing in small creative bursts can help a writer deal with moving past various blocks to getting words onto the page.
    Presented by Michael Khandelwal

    Visual Storytelling: The Key to a Successful Screenplay
    Hearing characters’ inner thoughts is the hallmark of a novel and telling a story using mostly dialogue is the domain of a stage play. A screenplay has to be a story told mainly in pictures. Workshop attendees will view clips and do exercises to explore the basic building blocks of writing for the visual medium of film.
    Presented by Diane Fine

    Writing Out Loud
    This workshop will focus on engaging senses other than sight to help improve the quality of writing. Word choice, character development, dialogue and atmospherics can all benefit from this technique. We’ll also spend a little time talking about active listening as it relates to literary material. Participants will both read and listen to their writing. Participants should bring two copies of a sample of their writing (at any stage) to share. Please limit your sample to no more than 500 words.
    Presented by Dr. John McCarthy

    Let’s Make a Song!
    Feeling spontaneous? Join Skye Zentz in a whirl of creativity and collaboration as attendees build an (almost) original song together, using the existing framework, melody, and structure of something familiar. Participants will create a sensory word bank of rich language to use for future writing, cover some basic songwriting vocabulary, and will have a blast while creating a musical memento of time spent together at the Hampton Roads Writers Conference! This workshop is great for aspiring songwriters who haven't quite put pen to paper yet as well as for those who have done some writing but are looking for a way to shake things up. Come as you are, no prior songwriting experience required!
    Presented by Skye Zentz

    How to Publish Your Book Now
    Have you always dreamed of publishing a book, but didn’t know where to begin? Author and business owner, L. Diane Wolfe, walks you through the steps, from creating a marketable product to distribution. All of the options available will be outlined, including the incredible potential of the Internet as a resource and platform for your work. Anyone serious about writing is encouraged to attend this lively seminar.
    Presented by L. Diane Wolfe

    One-hour workshops

    Friday and Saturday (September 14 - 15, 2018)

    Building Better Worlds
    Science Fiction and Fantasy rely heavily on building whole universes complete with their own rules, histories, and cultures. But where to begin? Whether you build your world to fit your story or build your story to fit your world, you must begin somewhere, and that somewhere is at this workshop! Here you will learn the fundamentals of world building from writing believable histories and cultures, to establishing the rules of your universe whether they involve hard science, magic, or a little of both.
    Presented by Chris De Matteo

    Beyond Rayguns: The Soul and History of Science Fiction
    For most of its literary, and filmographic, history, science fiction has been a niche genre, often thought of by laymen as the realm of pulp novels, little green men, and B movies. Yet, ever since its inception, science fiction has not only predicted much of the technology we hold for granted, today, but turned the mirror back on humanity, often telling stories about the human condition better than even the best “literary” work. How could this be possible, you ask? Well, in this workshop you’ll discover the real world of science fiction, the one beyond the stereotypes, the one involving big ideas and astoundingly believable characters. We’ll look at the sweeping history of the genre from Verne and Wells to the giants of today. We’ll examine the type of stories science fiction can tell (hint: it’s all of them) and why they’re so effective. The genre has ever so slowly become more mainstream over the last thirty years, but it still has an astoundingly long way to go to be considered “literature,” as if it hadn’t been for over a century. And so, if you are new to the genre, or have been here all your life, come and see what science fiction can be for you.
    Presented by Chris De Matteo

    Building a Book Query Package
    In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to put together a fiction or nonfiction book query package properly. We’ll go over how and where to find an agent or publisher, and how to successfully query an agent or publisher. The benefits of traditional publishing and self-publishing will be discussed, as well as basic marketing strategies necessary for any writer.
    Presented by Holly Day

    Tools for Writers of Historical Nonfiction and Fiction
    Are you writing a historical fiction or nonfiction piece and you don’t know how to find information on the period you’re writing about? This class will discover where to find textbooks, old newspapers, photographs, and maps of all types to add depth to period-based fiction and historical nonfiction, both online and in person. The basics of compiling a bibliography will also be covered as well as how to get permissions for using photographs in published work.
    Presented by Holly Day

    Help! I Don’t Know What to Write!
    This class will discuss many of the "tricks" professional writers use to get their creative mojo started. Everything from random character and plot generation to creating vivid scenes out of the blue for your fantastic characters to live will be covered, as well as how to move your characters from the beginning of a story to a satisfying conclusion. We'll discuss plot arc, character development, and the how to create realistic, identifiable conflict in our stories.
    Presented by Holly Day

    Ignite Your Inciting Incident
    You don't have to wonder what the inciting incident is in The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt. At the dizzy center of a surreal explosion in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, thirteen-year-old Theo Decker loses his mother in the blast while, half-conscious, he witnesses the disappearance of a rare masterpiece, The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius. How does your novel start? In the opening pages of Patriot Games by Tom Clancy, an explosion beside Buckingham Palace nearly vaporizes members of the British Royal Family. On vacation in the UK, Jack Ryan, once an analyst for the CIA, is a witness who can't help but pitch in. How does your novel start? According to Robert McKee in Story, "the inciting incident radically upsets the balance of forces in the protagonist's life." Remember the Jill Clayburgh movie An Unmarried Woman? The inciting incident in the opening minutes is no less explosive. In Erica's POV, we see her "successful, wealthy husband of seventeen years has just left her for a girl he met while buying a shirt in Bloomingdale's." The exciting incident in "Hamlet" is regicide. But something's rotten in Denmark, and the kid has to grow up in a hurry. The inciting incident turns the world of your story's universe upside-down so the readers will engage and enter the story themselves. Robinson Crusoe is the sole survivor of a shipwreck, which lands him on a desert isle... Increasing the stakes your main character shares in the inciting incident will revolutionize your story. For this class, bring matches, gasoline, a sense of fun, and an awareness of the story your readers want to read, not the one you want to write.
    Presented by Dr. Colin Sargent

    Poetry, Essay, and Creative Nonfiction Chapbook Preparation: Manuscripts 101
    It’s a daunting task to assemble a manuscript from one’s assorted files and folders of completed poems and essays. Let’s break it down into steps! We’ll start with what a manuscript should look like, explore how to theme a collection, and discuss the finer points of deciding what should stay and what should go. This workshop is most successful with a mix of writers at various stages of the publishing experience.
    Presented by Annmarie Lockhart

    Off the Page and into the Ether: Reading Your Poetry
    Sound is crucial to poetry, but it’s often overlooked in the process of writing for publication. In this workshop, writers will learn how to deliver their poetry out loud, focusing on details of presentation and the way the words lend themselves to the room. Writers should bring some of their own completed work. This workshop is completely participatory, all writers will read.
    Presented by Annmarie Lockhart

    I'm a Writer: Have You Heard My Podcast?
    Podcasting is a great way to promote your work and, unlike writing press releases, it's actually fun. Let's talk about how to get started, what equipment you need, and how your podcast can expand your audience.
    Presented by Annmarie Lockhart

    Crafting Expectations and Blowing Them Up: The Screenwriter's Secret Weapon
    Screenplays must have memorable scenes as well as exciting, dynamic “turnarounds,” “reversals” or “whammies.” How do you create these essential but elusive story points? This workshop will explore the various tools screenwriters use to dream up surprising and satisfying beats using film clips and writing exercises.
    Presented by Diane Fine

    Tips for Writing a Page Turner
    Regardless of the genre in which you write, you need to keep your reader engaged and turning those pages. Every successful book is a page turner, and this workshop will help writers assess where they might be losing readers. We’ll discuss both craft and process--character development, writer’s block, and even a lesson from Project Runway—and participants will leave with tools to write a manuscript that will grip readers from page one and never let go.
    Presented by Ingrid Thoft

    What Poets Know That Novelists Don't
    In this workshop we’ll discuss things like an analysis of vowel sounds and other tricks of tone and cadence. Just naming a character correctly can save you a ton of description. Imagine my old mountain wise woman Nora Bonesteel with the name Cecilia Greenleaf. See? Disaster.
    Presented by Sharyn McCrumb

    Keepers of the Legends: Using History and Folklore in the Novel
    Fiction with a strong sense of place (e.g. the works of Flannery O'Connor, Stephen King, Mark Twain, Tony Hillerman. and Sharyn McCrumb) are enriched by the incorporation of regional history and folklore into the narrative. This workshop discusses how to find the stories of the region, where and how to research the facts behind the legends, the use of dialect and other techniques of regional writing.
    Presented by Sharyn McCrumb

    Data to Idea
    It often seems that ideas are not fairly distributed. Some people are overflowing with ideas—others can’t come up with an idea no matter how hard they try. In this workshop, we’ll use a two step process to collect data, and then turn it into usable ideas that can inspire writing. We will also look at some techniques to manage too many ideas.
    Presented by Dr. John McCarthy

    Story Kit
    All stories have common elements. Someone does something somewhere. And while that’s the core of every story (actually, of human endeavor and life), there’s so much more that goes into a compelling story. In this workshop, we’ll start with one element (in this case, character) and from there develop- as much of a story as we can in an hour. I think you’ll be surprised at how far we can get.
    Presented by Dr. John McCarthy

    Personal Narrative and Ballad Songs: Rich Language and Storytelling in Lyrics
    Songwriting is one of the earliest forms of oral tradition. Exploring a wealth of genres and time periods, we'll delve into the building blocks of creating a strong narrative in lyric form. Through listening, discussion, and writing exercises to engage all of our senses, we will lay the groundwork for our own ballads and story songs.
    Presented by Skye Zentz

    How to Promote Your Book
    Have you always dreamed of attaining great success with a book, but didn’t know where to begin? Author and business owner, L. Diane Wolfe walks you through the steps, from creating a marketable product to generating publicity. All of the options available will be outlined, including the incredible potential of the Internet as a resource and platform for your work. Those serious about promoting their work are encouraged to attend this lively seminar.
    Presented by L. Diane Wolfe

    Writing Poems in Perilous Times
    How can poets adapt their practices in a world of fires, hurricanes, civil unrest, and racial strife? Can poetry be an agent of healing and change? Through looking at poems engaging past historical occurences, participants in this workshop will be guided to think about how students can work with volatile subject matter. Poets to be examined: Robert Hayden, Patricia Smith, Marge Piercy, Audre Lorde, Nikki Giovanni, Osip Mandelstam, Federico Garcia Lorca, and Gabriela Mistral.
    Presented by Allison Joseph

    Finding the Lyrical Mode in Everyday Life: Odes, Aubades, and Nocturnes
    This session will concentrate on three modes of poetry that tap into poetry’s lyric essence. With readings from John Keats to Pablo Neruda to contemporary poets, we will tap into these well-known ancient forms to celebrate and honor our complex world. Additional poets to be examined in this session: Sharon Olds, Pablo Neruda, Kevin Young.
    Presented by Allison Joseph

    Who’s Afraid of Rhyming Poems
    Have you always wondered about the difference between songs and rhyming poems? What makes a poem work as a organism of rhythm? Do you want to write in rhyme but are intimidated by the terminology? What is poetic meter, anyway? This session will help those poets who write in free verse but who are intimidated by such forms as the sonnet and villanelle.
    Presented by Allison Joseph

    Dispatches from a Poetry Editor
    The relationship between poets and editors is still a mating dance, but it is a mating dance now enhanced and complicated by technological changes. This session will address sending out poems for publication, entering poetry contests, and finding publishers for both chapbook-length and full-length books of poems.
    Presented by Allison Joseph

    Unsolved Mysteries: The Alphabet (Poetry)
    Poet Dean Young writes that the alphabet is an “unsolvable mystery to be frolicked in.” During this workshop, we are going to approach language not as a means to an end, but as the end. We will explore the mysteries that unfold when we learn to treat language as an infinite medium of possibilities, rather than something that accommodates our agenda. We will read the work of poets whose willingness to play with words has unlocked surprising discoveries and try writing exercises which invite us to do the same.
    Presented by Libby Kurz

    Bottled Lightning (Poetry)
    As poet Kim Addonizio mentions, the mysterious language of metaphor is a lot like “bottled lightning,” in that it allows us to contain intense human experiences in creative and approachable ways. In this workshop, we will look at examples of contemporary poems that use metaphor as a way to describe the indescribable. We will try our hand at making creative connections in our own lives and how to translate these connections into poetry.
    Presented by Libby Kurz

    The Image Adventure (Poetry)
    Sometimes we have a difficult time knowing how to enter a poem. In this class, we will explore how concrete and commonplace images grant us immediate access into our memories, triggering stories and connections that are often buried in the recesses of our mind. We will work through a series of image prompts to develop new material for poems and look at contemporary poets who use this simple approach effectively.
    Presented by Libby Kurz

    Nonfiction Devotional Writing
    Faith in a higher power is a large part of the human experience, and its questions and mysteries often make for compelling writing. In this workshop, we will look at how to write about the struggle of faith in the context of daily, personal life, and how to capture these experiences in short and impactful pieces of nonfiction writing. The work of writers such as Anne Lamott, Christian Wiman, and Kathleen Norris will serve as inspiration.
    Presented by Libby Kurz

    Swag for the Romance Writer
    Don’t you love all those wonderful promotional items authors give out to make you want to buy their books? Ever think there’s a science to what they offer and why? This workshop will highlight (and display) different types of promotional materials romance (and other) writers giveaway as a marketing technique. Includes information on the most popular promotional items, the most affordable items, paper products vs. other forms of swag, one of a kind/exotic items, and author vs. book promo items. Price vs. ROI will also be addressed.
    Presented by Jenna Jaxon

    Publishing 101: What to Expect After You Sign
    You’ve just signed your first contract. You’re thrilled, over the moon jumping for joy. Now what happens? This workshop will help prepare you for working with all the different aspects of your publishing house: editors, marketing, cover artists, deadlines, and getting that all important 2nd contract.
    Presented by Jenna Jaxon

    A Romance Primer: The Unwritten Rules of Romance
    Ever read a romance novel and think, “I could write something like that!” That’s what I did, and you could too. But there are some rules all romance novelists have to abide by. Here are ten “unwritten rules” for writing romance to kick-start your novel and help you avoid the rejection pile.
    Presented by Jenna Jaxon

    Opening the Bedroom Door—Writing Sex Scenes for Your Novel
    Romance novels have changed since I first started reading them in the 1970s. Most did not have sex scenes written in, they merely implied what was happening behind that closed door. We’ve come a long way, baby. Today’s romance novel can have anything from a closed door to full frontal, in your face, graphic sex. But what’s right for your novel? This workshop will show you how to gauge the heat scale for your novel so both you and your reader can experience passion to the perfect degree.
    Presented by Jenna Jaxon

    Writing for Social Media: What Works and What Doesn't
    Writers have a knack for the written word, obviously, but you'd be surprised what kind of nonsense goes viral online. You'll learn how to stay true to your brand, and good grammar, while optimizing your messages for different social media platforms.
    Facilitated by Sarah Hill

    Social Media 101
    You hear a lot about "getting on social media" but don't really know what that means. Something about 240 characters or crock pot recipes? And what about blogging? You'll learn to tell the difference between the popular social media platforms and how to best utilize them to share your messages with the world.
    Facilitated by Sarah Hill

    The Twitter Pitch
    In this breakout session, learn how to use Twitter to connect with agents and publishers, promote your book, talk to readers, and give your creativity a shot in the arm.
    Facilitated by Sarah Hill

    Finding the Story of Your Memoir
    What exactly is the story of your memoir? The story is not simply what happens or the plot of your memoir. Answering this question is much harder than it seems. How can you show the internal struggles you went through that will keep the reader turning the page? How can you tell your story so that it has universal appeal? Attendees will do writing exercises to help each of them discover how to begin their memoir or rethink what they've already started to focus on in the story.
    Facilitated by Dr. Jennifer Malia

    Discovering Your Memoir Voice
    How do you find your memoir voice? Even the most familiar memoir topics can result in original stories if the voice is right. But what makes a good voice? Attendees will look at excerpts from bestselling memoirs that use a strong voice and try to describe what it is about the voice that makes it work. The workshop also includes a writing exercise for attendees to practice capturing their own unique voices.
    Facilitated by Dr. Jennifer Malia

    How to Pitch Essays to Editors
    How do you identify the best publications for your essays? Where should you start pitching if you’ve never published anything before? How do you find contact information for editors? What do you include in a pitch? When should you follow up on your pitches? Dr. Malia will share her experience pitching essays to magazines, newspapers, and websites.
    Facilitated by Dr. Jennifer Malia

    Writing Personal Essays for Women’s Magazines
    How do you write a personal essay that women’s magazine editors want to publish? Dr. Malia's personal essays have appeared in Woman’s Day, Glamour, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Country Living, and Good Housekeeping, among others. This workshop will cover how to choose an enticing title, determine the angle, figure out the structure, and use voice in personal essays for publications like these.
    Facilitated by Dr. Jennifer Malia

    How to Write a Book Proposal for Your Memoir
    Why is this book needed? Why are you the right person to write it? A book proposal should be a persuasive business proposal that answers questions like these. We will discuss what to include in a book proposal, such as an overview of your memoir, an analysis of competing titles, a discussion of your target audience, a description of your specific marketing plan, an author bio detailing your platform, an outline with chapter summaries, and sample chapters.
    Facilitated by Dr. Jennifer Malia

    Making the Film-Strip of the Mind: Putting the Movie on the Page
    Reading is hard work and always will be. In this workshop, we will discuss the necessary elements of external drama which you will need to make possible the reader’s participation in your story. Using the principles and practices of stage acting, the class will show you how to break down the aesthetic distance between your characters and your readers. Your story needs to create a visual experience in the minds of your readers. In addition, the workshop will instruct you how to exploit Thomas Hardy’s concept of “hidden content” in order to achieve the emotional collaboration which your readers are seeking. Feelings and not facts are the foundation for your dramatizations, and your characters need to be constructed so they suggest a commonality with the emotions of your readers.
    Presented by Peter Porosky

    Beginning the Novel: The Cruciality of Preparation
    This workshop creates a full-scope description of how professional writers plan and create a novel from a beginning conception to a full-blown treatment or detailed map for the entire work. It presents the fiction writing process as it relates to longer works, problems with dramatization techniques vs expository techniques, and matters of plan vs discovery. The process itself is broken down into easily accomplished steps, each leading on to the next. They are: 1/ the Central Conflict; 2/ Plot Summaries; 3/ character biographies; and 4/ a detailed scene-by-scene treatment. Each of these steps will be discussed in detail, and brief exercises will provide you with an on-hands understanding. The session will end with a look at how these steps relate to each other and how you will deal with them as you write the novel itself.
    Presented by Peter Porosky

    Technique as Discovery: How to Pick the Right Tool
    The outstanding author and critic Mark Schorr used the above concept and wrote one of the most important studies on the fiction writing process that exists today. This workshop will demonstrate that how you ask important technical questions about a specific story will show you the elemental organic relationship between the story’s content and the techniques used to dramatize it. For example: perhaps a particular story uses a heavy amount of dialogue. How is dialogue necessary to the essential experience being dramatized? What is the story about? What insights did you derive from it? Why was dialogue crucial to those insights? You will learn how you can analyze the technical usages of other writers and thus apply those insights to your own works.
    Presented by Peter Porosky

    How to Pay Your Readers to Read Your Work
    In most cases, people read stories to leave behind their own day-to-day lives and via your characters to inhabit places and perform actions which are beyond their everyday reach. This workshop will show you how to exploit the three specific qualities that all readers seek in what they read. These elements are mystery, suspense, and surprise. The workshop will demonstrate how these elements work individually and together to provide the necessary incentives for your readers to do the hard work of reading your words. Fiction stories open with mystery and slowly “solve” it. Suspense occurs when your readers care about your characters’ actions and are looking for a certain outcome. Surprise is created from the ingredients of the other two elements. Thus your readers are attached to your dramatization and are invited to derive something from it.
    Presented by Peter Porosky

    Dramatic Language: The Myth of the Advice “Show Don’t Tell.”
    This workshop will focus on the medium of language itself and how the words we are conditioned to use in most cases are detrimental to the production of fictional products. The problem is that over the years from primary school to the present, we all have been trained to write informationally and not dramatically. In writing academic papers and professional reports, we become skilled at writing ABOUT life and not portraying it. So when we describe the lives of our characters, we show what they are doing by using words that represent purely an external/observational perspective and not an internal, emotional perspective. We think we are showing, but it is the nature of that showing that is not really dramatizing more than bland, external facts. We might say, “John walked into the room and saw that Mary was unhappy,” instead of saying, “John heard his own footsteps echoing in his heart, and suddenly there was Mary, head bent in a kind of shocking back and forth denial.” In this workshop, we will discuss how as writers, we need to imply the internalities of our characters through external details which go beyond objective reporting.
    Presented by Peter Porosky

    Have Pen, Will Sign: Finding Local Marketing Venues
    In this interactive workshop, attendees will learn how to develop local book signing events that will expand their marketing capabilities and reach new readers. Attendees will learn how to think outside the box to identify venues beyond bookstores and library events, how to initiate contact with potential venue hosts, and how to have fun throughout the process.
    Presented by Allie Marie

    How to Avoid Stereotyping Your Police Characters, aka Dirty Weapon/Lethal Harry
    In this interactive workshop, attendees will learn how to develop realistic and authentic police characters that avoid the clichéd stereotypes often depicted on television or in movies.
    Presented by Allie Marie

    Perfecting Your Hooks and Comps (Comparable Titles)
    Having trouble with getting that one sentence hook? Is the perfect comp eluding you? Come to this workshop to get tips, work with other writers, and get input from agent Caitie Flum. Presented by Rebecca Scherer

    Agents: How to Choose
    You have your query and you are ready to start sending it out. But how can you pick who to send to? Caitie Flum will give you some of the best resources to narrow it down and tips for what to ask before accepting an offer of representation. This will include a Q&A.
    Presented by Rebecca Scherer

    Sell Your Book: Pitch, Query, Synopsis, Sample
    Let two literary agents walk you through the major submission tools successful novelists and nonfiction authors use to find agents and sell books into the publishing world. This workshop is perfect for writers getting ready to submit their work. Join Steven Salpeter of Curtis Brown, Ltd. and Uwe Stender of Triada US for a deep dive into how to present your book to the world in the most selling way while staying true to the heart of your story. The session will be complete with tips, tricks, and what major mistakes to avoid.
    Presented by Steven Salpeter and Uwe Stender

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