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Click the grid below for a full listing of classes *subject to change until the event*
Class Descriptions by Hour
#AuthorTwitter: You can do it!
Twitter is one of the best platforms for authors to network and connect to author authors and new audiences, but it can be daunting to navigate. This hands-on workshop will give you the tools from basics to intermediate to hold your own in #authortwitter in a fun, safe, and hands-on approach. To participate fully, it is most beneficial to sign up for a Twitter account beforehand and bring your own electronic device, so we can dive into Twitter basics, chats, and useful hashtags hands-on!
He Died, while Getting Shot and other Causality Matters
Putting things in the right order is key to readability and immersions in action writing. Learn how to spot and fix problems in phrase and sentence order for cause and effect and action-reaction.
Building a Human From the Ground Up: Making Characters Come to Life
It's not easy turning a bunch of words into a person so real they sometimes argue with you about the plot. Come learn techniques, tricks and occasional cheat codes that will help you transform your ideas into well-rounded, fully fleshed-out characters.
Room Oak 201
Michael S Glassford
Why my History is Better than Yours
Writing Historical Fiction
7 Things You Can Do Immediately to Improve Your Writing
Once upon a time, an attorney and an accountant set out to writing magical stories. Along their journey, they met a wizardly content editor named Caroll who instructed them on the fine art of crafting exciting, gripping tales. Summarizing these tips in a concise and clear manner, this course presents seven things every author can start doing immediately to improve their writing.
Seven Ways to use Chapter Summaries to Revise your Novel
Using short yet detailed chapter summaries of your full manuscript as a blueprint, our intensive Chapter Summaries class/workshop will teach you how make your story stronger all by yourself.
Want to be a Freelance Writer of fiction and non-fiction? Bryan Young will teach you how to approach editors, how to make pitches, and how to work on the right deadlines.
Location, Location, Location: Building Settings Your Reader Will Never Want to Leave
Whether your story is set in modern-day New York City, a far-off planet filled with strange lifeforms, or a bare room with nothing in it, it’s critical that your reader really feels like they’re in that space. Learn how to craft a setting that’s as robust as the characters that fill it and make sure your reader will want to come back to that place again and again.
Room Oak 201
Forget the MBTI! Learn the methods and findings of actual psychological personality theories. Apply those principles to create believable characters in your own writing.
Being an author is a business. Learn tips on how to set up your business, hiring interns/1099 employees, budgeting, marketing, book covers. etc.
Working With Chronic Illness and Disability as a Writer
Many in the writing community suffer from invisible and chronic illnesses and disabilities, both physical and mental. In this presentation, learn and discuss strategies for dealing with the chronic life as a writer, and find reassurance that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Jodi L. Milner
Creating Fictional Rites and Rituals
From the Japanese Tea Ceremony to the initiation rites of the Satere Mawe Tribe, rituals have always brought a deeper sense of purpose and meaning to important milestones and events. In this presentation we will learn about different rituals worldwide and how to use the five elements of a powerful ritual in fictional contexts.
Color-Coded Self Editing
A left-brained, color-coded, corpus-based approach to self-edit your manuscript with fresh eyes, tighten up your language, and remove unnecessary wordage.
From Screenplays to Graphic Novels: Writing for a Visual Medium
Whether working for film, television/web series, video production, or comic books/graphic novels, there are important conventions and formatting rules in writing for a visual medium. Screenwriter and comic book writer Blake Casselman gives a step-by-step presentation on what those rules and conventions are, along with how a writer uses words to successfully tell a visual story.
Revision Techniques for Pantsers
You’ve just typed THE END. You’ve followed your muse, allowed your characters to dictate where things should go next, and you’ve written . . . a tangled mess? Now what? This class will teach you techniques to sort through the beautiful chaos and come out on the other side with a structured novel. We’ll discuss how to map your book and how to use that map to direct your revisions.
If you love to draft, but don’t know how to approach revision, this class is for you.
Hook Your Reader, But Not With a Car Chase: Establishing the Major Dramatic Question
Do readers put your work down before they've gotten to the good stuff? You want them to just hang in for twenty more pages so they'll understand. More often than not, they won't, so let's talk about how to establish important themes right from the start. Not with attention grabbing cheats like car chases and murder, but with three dimensional characters who have engaging conflict.
A Memoir is not a Journal
Discover the five basic types of a memoir. What does best selling Memoirs like "A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson or "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed have in common? "Everyone has a story" is true, but is yours one that people will read and how can you make your Memoir the one that is picked up.
Falling in Love Beat by Emotional Beat
Nothing clinches the flow of a romantic scene like nailing the emotional beats. When a motivation (a new thing—a smoldering look, a wounded glare) hits your heroine, she will have a visceral, emotional, and physical reaction which you as the author must communicate in that order. Next, she will analyze, make a decision, and act (stalling for time to bask in his gaze counts). Like a tennis match, the ball is now in the hero’s court. An active, emotionally knowable man will follow the same reaction pattern, stealing her heart and your reader’s. Never underestimate the power of the emotional beat!
Steaks and Stakes: Creating scenes with purpose and consequences
In every scene, the focal character needs two things: a goal to accomplish (hmmm, steak) and consequences for failure (the stakes). In this class, we'll break down scenes and brainstorm how to improve the overall goal and stakes, taking a bland scene and making it sizzle.
Room Oak 201
Aften Brook Szymanski
How to be a Serial Revisionist without the messy jail time
How to stalk and dismember your manuscript, for the repeat offender
Room Oak 201
Researching and Writing about Butch Cassidy - Non-fiction research and writing
Non-fiction research and writing with a focus on Butch Cassidy from a true descendant.
Dragon Slaying & Other Extreme Sports
Dragons and other monsters have long been used to represent real-world problems. And, as Neil Gaiman says, authors show how to defeat these dragons. Come to this presentation to create your own monster and learn how to slay it.
Get Those Butterflies Out of My Stomach! Pesticide for Cliches
Clichés are a problem with which every author contends at some point, which can muddle and drag down a perfectly good story. In this workshop, you’ll learn why they happen, why they–generally–do not serve your writing, and how you can replace them with stronger, more original, and more succinct choices.
The 7 Pillars of Succesful Marketing
Bryan Waldon Pope, the architect of The 7 Pillars of Successful Marketing, outlined a seven step outline to deliver million dollar marketing on a shoestring. The 7 Pillars provide a framework for a comprehensive marketing program from market research to client retention and everything in between. Apply Bryan's system to sell more books and establish yourself as an expert.
K. Scott Forman
Flash Fiction: the Kingly Elements of Style
“At its most basic we are only discussing a learned skill, but do we not agree that sometimes the most basic skills can create things far beyond our expectations? We are talking about tools and carpentry, about words and style… but as we move along, you’d do well to remember that we are also talking about magic.”
Amy Michelle Carpenter
I Like Social Media and You Can Too
From Facebook to Instagram to Snapchat, what platforms should I choose and how can I hone my social media skills to sell books?
Jo Ann Stringer
Should Everybody be Kung Fu Fighting?
Action scenes are a different kind of fun for writers. Some people gloss over them *cough* Stephanie Meyer *cough* and others write pages and pages about how to kill an orc. Come find out where the middle ground is and how even you can write an action scene that will make Bruce WIllis proud.
Jodi Orgill Brown
The Broken Keys to Writing Memoirs that Sell
Anyone can tell the truth. But selling the truth requires key elements that turn an experience into a relatable and relevant story. Discover the broken keys of memoir and biography writing and learn the steps to creating timeless, compelling, marketable books that sell -- and stay on bookshelves for generations.
Misdirection - Twisting Magic, Bending Minds
That magical moment. That amazing mystery. That mind-bending twist of plot. They are all made possible by "misdirection." We'll explore the art of using misdirection to mystify readers fairly and in the most entertaining way. There will be magic to illustrate, presented by an expert in writing and the art of illusion.
Room Oak 201
Pat W Coffey
Shop the Competition
An interactive presentation on one of the best ways writers check out their competition and improve their writing in the process.
The Pros and Cons of Having AD/HD When You're a Writer
Are you letting your AD/HD help you, or hurt in your writing process? Learn how to let your AD/HD writing superpowers work for you instead of becoming your kryptonite.
World Building: Two Methods of Creating a Convincing World
When it comes to crafting a story within a fictional world, the idea of creating all of the ins and outs of a whole world can be daunting. In this class we will explore two different methods of world building that can help you create a convincing environment without overwhelming you through the process. Made for both those who love to plan and those who enjoy flying by the seat of their pants, the Drill Down and Spiral Out method will help you create a wonderful world for your characters to explore and enjoy.
How to Write Past the Gender Binary and Other Diversity Tips
So you want to write more inclusively and add diverse characters to your work. Cool. But how do these characters fit into your world and the story at large? This presentation will share tips on creating more non-binary and trans-inclusive worlds and characters and show tips and examples of how writers can create worlds and characters that aren't restricted by the gender binary or are in danger of becoming harmful token characters sprinkled in for diversity points.
Anna F. Marasco
The Art of Mind Body Bridging — Overcoming Writer's Block and other Obstacles
Mind Body Bridging (MBB) is a clinical mindfulness technique that, in short, moves you from your fight or flight responses to your executive functioning. It is based on the idea that optimal functioning of the mind-body state is actually hindered by an overactive identity system that impacts your attitudes, thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and behaviors, ultimately impacting how you interact with yourself and the world around you. By implementing the MBB techniques, you learn that you, along with the world, are not broken and you actually have the power to change patterns in which you have been stuck. In this workshop, you will learn simple skills to apply in order to strengthen your own personal awareness and remember that you’ve had control all along. Bring a pen, paper, and all your cynical and negative thoughts. The power is in your hands. You control your writer’s block, it doesn’t control you.
Tension and Release: A Musician's View of Scene and Sequel
What are the parallels between music and novels? How can this understanding help us improve our novel writing?
Room Oak 201
Gorilla Marketing in the Writing Community
Like gorilla resistance fighters in the jungle, Authors sometimes have very limited resources and opportunities. This class teaches how to get backstage influential access to the writing community, as well as prime, and unleash your underground marketing campaign, with little to no resources.
Critiquing others and receiving and applying critique is a learned behavior. As writers we need it, strive for it, yearn for it. So how do we make the process easier? How do we find that niche of writers that knows our writing well, kicks our butt with a critique, but still inspires to stretch beyond what we think we’re capable? This class focuses on the art of beta-reading, critiquing others, and receiving that proverbial red pen without shutting down. After a small explanation of the art of beta-reading, the majority of the class will be a fun, hands-on application of supporting other writers in their writing through speed “beta”ing with multiple critique partners.
Interacting With Reviewers
Interacting with Reviewers - How to Use Reviewers to Your Advantage