Marilyn Allen is founder and partner in the Allen O'Shea Literary Agency which focuses on writers of practical nonfiction. Before starting the agency she held senior positions in sales and marketing for several publishers including Penguin Books, Simon & Schuster and culminating as the Associate Publisher and Executive Director of Marketing for Harper Collins. She has taught publishing courses at New York University and at Gotham Publishing. She, along with her partner is the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Book Proposals and Query Letters (Penguin 2011). She can be reached at Marilyn@allenoshea.com . (www.allenoshea.co)
Killer Pitch/Query Letter & Nonfiction Proposals (Marilyn Allen) Learn elements of crafting a query letter to maximize your book’s chances of selling. Tips and tricks (and mistakes to avoid) to avoid the slush pile. Discover how to position your book, prepare a submission plan, create compelling opening lines, identify your target audience and present a powerful marketing statement.
Nora Raleigh Baskin
Nora Raleigh Baskin is the author of thirteen novels for young readers and a contributor to two story collections. She has won several awards including the 2010 ALA Schneider Family Book Award for Anything But Typical and a 2016 ILA Notable Books for a Global Society for Ruby on the Outside. Nora has taught creative writing to both children and adults for over fifteen years with such organizations as SCBWI, Gotham Writers Workshop,The Unicorn Writers Conference, the Highlights Foundation, and most recently in Westport at The Fairfield Co. Writer’s Studio. Her latest, Nine/Ten: A 9/11 Story was published this summer, was reviewed in the New York Times and has received starred reviews, from both Kirkus and Publishers Weekly.
Writing for Children, Middle-Grade and YA
with Nora Baskin
Flannery O'Connor wrote, "Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days." All fiction writers use their own experience to a greater or lesser degree. So how do you find the "Story" within your own memories and history, and use it successfully in your writing? In this workshop, Ms. Baskin (who is the first to tell you that all her fiction is semi to fully autobiographical) will explore way to mine your own memories and find "emotional truth" without compromising the fiction, to create successful stories for the middle-grade and YA audiences.
Kaitlyn Davis, a bestselling author with over a quarter of a million books sold, writes young adult fantasy novels under the name Kaitlyn Davis and contemporary romance novels under the name Kay Marie. Publisher's Weekly has said, "Davis writes with confidence and poise," while USA Today has recommended her work as "must-read romance."
Always blessed with an overactive imagination, Kaitlyn has been writing ever since she picked up her first crayon and is overjoyed to share her work with the world. Before writing full-time, Kaitlyn spent her days working in the children's marketing division of a big five publishing house in NYC. When she's not daydreaming, typing stories, or getting lost in fictional worlds, Kaitlyn can be found playing fetch with her puppy, watching a little too much television, or spending time with her family.
If you have any questions for her—about her books, about scheduling an event, or just in general—you may contact her at: KaitlynDavisBooks@gmail.com. Or you can find her at any of the following:
Goodreads (as Kaitlyn Davis): Goodreads.com/Kaitlyn_Davis
Goodreads (as Kay Marie): Goodreads.com/Kay_Marie
A Complete List of Books by Kaitlyn Davis (with paperback ISBNs):
Midnight Fire, a bestselling YA paranormal romance with over 200,000 copies sold!
Burn – Coming Nov 15, 2017! (ISBN tk)
Midnight Ice, a brand new companion series to Midnight Fire!
Frost - Coming Jan 2017! (ISBN tk)
Once Upon A Curse, a USA Today "must-read" YA series of fairy tale retellings.
Gathering Frost (978-1507687727)
Withering Rose (978-1533020635)
Chasing Midnight - Coming soon! (ISBN tk)
A Dance of Dragons, a YA epic fantasy that was just selected as an SPFBO finalist!
The Golden Cage (novella) (ebook ISBN 9781311414816)
The Shadow Soul (978-1494900090)
The Silver Key (novella) (ebook ISBN 9781310204081)
The Spirit Heir (978-1502766915)
The Bronze Knight (novella) (ebook ISBN 9781311831361)
The Phoenix Born (978-1519295293)
The Iron Rider (novella) (ebook ISBN 9781310241390)
Confessions, an Amazon Top 200 bestselling romantic comedy!
Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist! (978-1511931748)
Confessions of an Undercover Girlfriend! (978-1537728957)
Self Publishing VS Traditional Publishing (And How To Make The Right Choice For You)
A few years ago, self-publishing took the world by storm and forever changed the face of the publishing industry. Traditional publishing is no longer the only viable option to a career as an author. For the first time, writers have a choice. But along with that freedom comes a lot of responsibility and confusion. Should you self-publish? Should you query agents and try to sell your manuscript to a publishing house? What are the differences between the two options? Which one will give the best chance of success? Which one is right for you?
Depends on whom you ask. Many from the traditional world will say it's the only way to go. Those in self-publishing will often say the same thing about their path. But as a successful self-published author who previously worked for a Big Five publishing house, I'd will share my insights into both industries to arm you with the knowledge to make the decision for yourself. This workshop will focus on the process of self-publishing vs the process of traditional publishing. We will discuss the pros and cons of each side of the industry, detailing the ways they differ and the ways they correspond, and will focus on important questions to ask yourself to ensure that when the times comes you'll make the right decision for you.
Stephen Emond is the author and illustrator of the comic book series Emo Boy, as well as author and artist of the illustrated novels Happyface, Winter Town and Bright Lights, Dark Nights. He has also worked in comic strips, video games, and film. He resides in Connecticut.
Illustrated Novels have taken off in recent years, bringing in reluctant readers and bridging a gap between graphic novels and prose. Stephen Emond’s first YA novel Happyface integrated art and writing to a point where they intertwined and the story wouldn’t work without both elements. Listen to Emond talk about his process for this book as well as his other illustration-heavy books, as well as some abandoned projects that never got off the ground. Emond will talk about his history to publication, his initial issues with using art, and how and why he came to embrace the format.
Jan L. Kardys
Jan L. Kardys’ diverse book publishing career includes executive positions at ten of the major book publishers – Doubleday, St. Martin’s Press, Scholastic, Macmillan, Scribner’s, Little, Brown & Company, Warner Books, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Lippincott & Crowell, Publishers, Simon & Schuster/Prentice Hall and Condé Nast Publications. Her experience and know-how are in editorial, art/production, subsidiary rights, contracts, copyrights, permissions, book agenting, editing, writer’s conferences, publishing consulting, and freelance editing. Jan worked for Google for three years where she added Internet sales and marketing to her already extensive expertise.
Contract expert Jan Kardys delivers a wealth of “insider’s insights,” including the important contract clauses that every author must know, and a detailed explanation of typical subsidiary rights and special sales clauses. In this workshop you will learn about the Grant of Rights, Royalty rates, major deal points, and additional clauses that your literary agent should negotiate on behalf of their clients.
Jason Matthews writes fiction and nonfiction. He teaches self-publishing and works with writers all over the world. His books have been translated into 8 languages, and his video courses have been viewed by students in 125 countries. His self-publishing video courses are available at Lynda, Amazing and Udemy educational sites.
Jason left a career as a painting contractor to become a full time author in 2009. He has reached #1 sales ranking on Amazon in multiple categories including Desktop Publishing for his guide, How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks. He has written and published over 500 blog posts with over 3,000 followers. His Facebook group for authors has over 2,000 members.
Jason has spoken as a presenter at writing conferences all over California including Santa Barbara Writers Conference and Bay Area Independent Publishing Association. He’s helped approximately 100,000 authors publish their books.
He lives in San Luis Obispo, California. He's a skier, soccer player, beach-lounger and loves a game of chess or scrabble. He can be contacted through his blog - ebooksuccess4free.wordpress.com
Self-Publishing Essentials: What You Need to Sell Books
Learn how to easily self-publish your ebook and get it to readers around the world. Taught by Jason Matthews, an ebook consultant who has published 7 books, the course outlines major retailers and discusses options for formatting, cover design, blogs-websites, marketing, author platform and social media. Each author has different needs, time, and skill sets, and the lessons have options to fit any budget.
The lesson reviews vital details such as interior formatting and cover design. If you have questions on ISBN or Copyright, find out what you need to know and how to upload your ebook to major retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Smashwords, and others. The lesson also shows you how to use a website or blog for marketing your books, plus making the most of your Amazon Author page and other tools designed to help you sell more books.
Learn the social media musts and methods for building author platform, engaging with readers and getting more reviews.
Format Your Ebook: Save Time and Money by Doing it Yourself
Turn your MS Word document into a great ebook for sell. From writing to sales on Amazon and other major retailers.
Microsoft Word documents and other similar programs can easily be formatted for ebook sales on Amazon. Many authors pay for this, but it's wise to know how to do it yourself. When you format your own documents:
The course taught by Jason Matthews, bestselling author and self-publishing instructor for thousands of writers. In about an hour, you'll be able to format your own books and give readers something they’ll really enjoy.
Get started today and sell more books soon.
What does this course cover?
Thomas Moore is the author of the bestselling book Care of the Soul and ﬁfteen other books on deepening spirituality and cultivating soul in every aspect of life. He has been a monk, a musician, a university professor, and a psychotherapist, and today he lectures widely on holistic medicine, spirituality, psychotherapy, and the arts. He lectures frequently in Ireland and has a special love of Irish culture. He has a Ph. D. in religion from Syracuse University and has won several awards for his work, including an honorary doctorate from Lesley University and the Humanitarian Award from Einstein Medical School of Yeshiva University. Three of his books have won the prestigious Books for a Better Life awards. He writes ﬁction and music and often works with his wife, artist and yoga instructor, Hari Kirin. He writes regular columns for Resurgence, Spirituality & Health, and The Hufﬁngton Post and has recently published Writing in the Sand: The Spirituality of Jesus and the Soul of the Gospels, Care of the Soul in Medicine, and The Guru of Golf and Other Stories about the Game of Life. Much of his recent work has focused on the world of medicine, speaking to nurses and doctors about the soul and spirit of medical practice.
SEVEN GUIDELINES FOR BEING A SUCCESSFUL AND SOULFUL AUTHOR
The book business has changed radically from when I started publishing. But I still hold to certain principles that have allowed me to live a long and happy life as a full-time writer:
Nancy Kress is the author of thirty-three books, including twenty-six novels, four collections of short stories, and three books on writing. For sixteen years, she was the “Fiction” columnist for Writer’s Digest magazine. She has won six Nebulas, given by the Science Fiction Writers of America, as well as numerous other awards. Her work has been translated into Swedish, Danish, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Polish, Croatian, Lithuanian, Romanian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hebrew, and Russian, none of which she can read. In addition to writing, Kress often teaches at various venues around the country and abroad; in 2008 she was the Picador visiting lecturer at the University of Leipzig. Kress lives in Seattle with her husband, writer Jack Skillingstead, and Cosette, the world’s most spoiled toy poodle.
YOUR OPENING SCENE
How much space do you have to grab readers’ attention—or an editors’? About a page. So what do you put into that crucial first scene and what should wait until later? This workshop will explore the elements needed to create an opening that will keep them reading. Using examples, lecture, discussion, and brief writing exercises, we will explore the elements that create a first scene which accomplishes three goals: grips a reader’s interest, sets your story vividly, and lays the foundation for what will come.
DEVELOPING VIVID CHARACTERS
Story depends on character, because if readers aren’t interested in your characters, they will not be interested in what happens to them. This workshop will suggest ways to create a character that is vivid without becoming over-the-top unbelievable. Using examples, lecture, discussion, and brief writing exercises, we will cover creating a memorable character through both external and internal attributes, backstory, and character growth throughout the story.
Rose Kleidon invites her readers to travel through history with her, seeing connections with earlier generations and with humanity’s great diversity. Professor Emeritus of the University of Akron, Kleidon taught English, Speech, Technical Writing, and Advertising Copywriting and is the author of two writing textbooks. Her debut novel is with an agent, and its sequel is in process. One of her short stories was a top ten winner of WOW’s Summer 2016 Flash Fiction Contest. Kleidon is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University and the University of Illinois; she did additional academic work at Illinois State University, Northern Illinois University and Northwestern University. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society and Historical Writers of America, as well as being the co-founder of three companies, a mother and grandmother, genealogist, sailor, gardener (the designer of an historically accurate herb garden for the Western Reserve Historical Society), an award-winning baker, and a fiber artist. To preview her debut novel, visit her author website at www.rosekleidon.com.
Plot & Setting: Setting-Inspired Writing Prompts & Emotional-Swing Plotting
Presented by Rose Kleidon
Straight from writer to writer, Kleidon explains new ways to get started and keep going. She will talk about how to use your own settings to develop personal writing prompts, that sentence or two so useful in launching a writer into new territory. Kleidon also shares her method for sidestepping plots -- simply watch your characters’ emotional state, and move them from emotional lows to highs and back again. This is a method that reflects real life, keeps the thrill of discovery in writing and relies on your embedded sense of story for the work’s overall shape. Lastly, Kleidon will take the word-count demands of a full-fledged novel apart, showing writers how to bite off one small writing task at a time.
Katie Henderson is a senior at Fairfield University, majoring in history and minoring in American studies and education. Growing up with a father in the Air Force, Katie has adopted the full “military brat” lifestyle by moving twelve times in twenty-one years. In addition to exploring her new homes across the United States and abroad in Japan, Italy, Belgium, and Germany, Katie also made friends from all over the world. Katie first discovered social media by getting a Facebook account to keep up with all of her friends abroad, and has been connected through social media platforms ever since.
Learn Social Media
with Katie Henderson
Hands on – bring your laptop!
How many times per day do you hear the phrase “social media?” If you leave your house at all, this number is probably at least a half dozen times within an hour—it seems inescapable. Whether you love social media or love to hate it, these platforms of communication have become tools that are not only beneficial, but crucial to your success as a writer. Navigating the ever-changing tides of the social media phenomena seems a daunting task to even the most tech-savvy person, so how are you supposed to master each medium and rise above your competition? By asking the experts, of course! College student Katie Henderson will serve as your guide to the platforms of Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest, and help give the most powerful voice possible to your books. You will learn how to set up an account for each medium, as well as how to captain your own social media fleet by learning key functions within these essential platforms.
Peter Rubie is the CEO of FinePrint Literary Management, a New York City based literary agency, as well as a founding partner in Lincoln Square Books, a consulting management company for independent authors and publishers. He is a former BBC Radio and Fleet Street journalist and for several years was the director of the publishing section of the New York University Summer Publishing Institute. He was a member of the NYU faculty for 10 years, and taught the only university-level course in the country on how to become a literary agent.
Prior to becoming an agent he was a publishing house editor for nearly six years, whose authors won prizes and critical acclaim. He has also been the editor-in-chief of a Manhattan local newspaper, and a freelance editor and book doctor for major publishers. He was a regular reviewer for the international trade magazine Publishers Weekly, and is a published author of both fiction and non-fiction.
He specializes in a broad range of high-quality fiction and non-fiction. In non-fiction he specializes in narrative non-fiction, popular science, spirituality, history, biography, pop culture, business and technology, parenting, health, self help, music, and food. He is a “sucker” for outstanding writing.
In fiction he represents literate thrillers, crime fiction, science fiction and fantasy, military fiction and literary fiction, middle grade and some boy oriented young adult fiction.
He is a member of AAR, and regularly lectures and writes on publishing and the craft of writing, and in his spare time plays jazz guitar
If you want to get published there's a secret you need to know. It's a secret few writing teachers speak about, and fewer still teach. What is this secret? Voice. It's the one quality of writing that both agents and editors often cite as the reason they accept or reject books. Some teachers throw up their hands in exasperation and say voice can't even be defined let alone taught, but Peter Rubie,CEO of FinePrint Literary Management disagrees. If your writing has a true, distinctive voice, you will stop traffic. Like the creatures of the forest who fell under the spell of Orpheus when he played and sang, a strong and unselfconscious voice in your writing will seduce editors and agents from their busy schedules.
If the essence of writing is thought, then voice is how you put those ideas elegantly and concisely on paper. It is, like Orpheus, the music of writing; and like all good musicians you must study not only the effectiveness of different types of voice, but the best way to clearly say what you want to say so that your audience is both entranced and entertained.
Annie Stone is the international account manager at BookBub, where she works with publishers in the UK, Canada, and Australia to promote great books and get new authors discovered. Before BookBub, Annie worked as an editor at Alloy Entertainment, Harlequin TEEN, and HarperCollins, focusing on YA and middle grade fiction. Annie lives in Cambridge, MA with her rambunctious cat and enormous pile of books.
Join Annie Stone of e-book discoverability platform BookBub to discuss marketing techniques for independent and traditionally published authors. Topics will include social media marketing, price promotion, advertising, and more.
Robin Sullivan is the wife and business manager of author Michael J. Sullivan. For nearly a decade, she's been navigating the business and marketing side of publishing for authors as well as running her own small press. For Michael, she's been responsible for negotiating more than a dozen contracts (three with the big-five, three with small presses, seven with audio producers), created his brand, and developed the marketing strategies for eleven books. An expert on Goodreads, her techniques have propelled Michael to the top 100 most followed authors list (#44 US, #47 worldwide), helped him receive five Goodreads Choice Award nominations, and led to him being singled out as "an author doing Goodread's right" during Goodreads' 2014 BookExpo presentation. Robin also runs The Washington DC Write to Publish Group (1,644 members) and gives monthly seminars on the business side of writing.
Writing fantasy can be a lucrative endeavor. It certainly has been for Michael J. Sullivan who has 12 books signed with two of the largest fantasy imprints (Orbit and Del Rey), and he has been writing full-time since 2011. In this presentation, he'll discuss aspects unique to the fantasy genre and explain the techniques that have worked well for him. Some of the topics to be covered include world building, how to make realistic antagonists, when to show and when to tell, and how to balance familiar tropes and originality.
Session Title: Goodreads: The Platform That Can Make Your Career
Goodreads is the biggest social networking site for bibliophiles. With more than 50 million members, 1.5 billion books added to shelves, and 50 million reviews it's definitely a site that should be front-and-center in an author's platform building strategy. But you stand out from the 191,000+ authors? Well, that's exactly what we'll be discussing in this must-attend session. We'll discuss:
Kara Sundlun is a two-time Emmy-award winning journalist. You can catch her live every weekday as the co-host of Better Connecticut with Scot Haney at 3 p.m. on Channel 3. She also anchors Eyewitness News at Noon.
Every afternoon Kara brings viewers information that informs, entertains and inspires to make life Better!
Kara joined Channel Three in 2000 and has covered many of the biggest stories of our time. Kara covered the War in Iraq from the nation's capital and reported live from Ground Zero after terror attacks on 9-11, even traveling to Bosnia to cover our local troops fighting the war on terror. She also delivered the first live reports of the horrific school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
On Better Connecticut Kara loves sharing stories that inspire, entertain and inform. As a mom herself, she's loves learning about ways to make life Better!
"I think I have the greatest job in the world. I am a modern day town crier. I can be an Eyewitness to history and help people make their lives better by giving them the information they need."
Kara is also the author of Finding Dad: From Love Child to Daughter where she shares the story of meeting her biological father Bruce Sundlun when she was a teenager and he was the Governor of Rhode Island. Today she uses her own story to talk about the transformational effect of a father and the power of forgiveness at a time when Fatherlessness is an epidemic in America. Kara is also a contributor for the Huffington Post.
In 2005, Kara received an Emmy award for outstanding achievement in reporting. She has also won an Emmy award for the story "Swimming with Sharks," an in-depth look at sharks swimming in New England waters. Kara has also been named "Best Local TV News Reporter" by Hartford Magazine, and in 2006, Kara was included in the Hartford Business Journal's Top 40 Under 40.
Kara grew up in suburban Detroit, but has many ties to New England with family in Rhode Island. She graduated with honors from the University of Michigan, where she earned a dual degree in political science and communications. Kara started her television journalism career as a youth reporter for WPRI-TV in Providence, R.I. She has also worked in Grand Rapids, Michigan and interned at the White House and CNN's Washington Bureau. She also studied in Spain and speaks Spanish.
Kara lives in Hartford where you'll often see her at charity events trying raise money for local causes. She is married to Eyewitness News anchor Dennis House. They are proud parents of Helena and Julian.
OWN YOUR STORY SO YOU CAN WRITE IT
with Kara Sundlun
In this workshop you will learn how to get personal and tell your story or memoir, even when you will have to reveal personal things. How to get clear about your message, write it and get published. Overcome your fears of telling your TRUTH.
I am an award-winning novelist who has published two books with Thomas Dunne Books (an imprint of Macmillan Books). The first, NIGHT BLINDNESS (October, 2014), was chosen as an IndieNext pick before it was even published. The second, NOWHERE GIRL, won the 2016 Beverly Hills Book Award for Excellence in Fiction and was coined “Compulsively readable” by Kirkus Reviews. My third and fourth books are complete and I am currently working on my fifth.
I lecture and teach all over the east coast at schools, colleges and conferences. I also work one-on-one with writers to help them produce their best and most polished work. I offer editing, proofreading and writing coaching services both online and in person.
I live in Essex, Connecticut with my husband, Kurt, and our kids, Cooper and Ainsley
Pivotal Conflicts and Transitions
Pivotal conflicts and transitions are the two secret ingredients to writing a great novel. Without these, it’s almost impossible to create a page-turner and wow the agent of your choice. In this workshop, you’ll learn the power of these incredibly potent craft tools that will sustain you for every book you write.
You will learn the essential structure, rhythms and pattern that define best-selling novels. Bring your laptops or notebooks because are going to write our way through this workshop. Get ready to go deep and experience firsthand the importance of conflicts and transitions in novel writing.
USA Today bestselling author, Jamie K. Schmidt, writes erotic contemporary love stories and paranormal romances. Her steamy, romantic comedy Life’s a Beach reached #65 on USA Today, #2 on Barnes & Noble and #9 on Amazon. Her Club Inferno series from Random House’s Loveswept line has hit both the Amazon and Barnes & Noble top one hundred lists and the first book in the series, Heat put her on the USA Today bestseller list. Her dragon paranormal romance series from Entangled Publishing, has been called “fun and quirky” and “endearing.” Partnered with New York Times bestselling author and former porn actress, Jenna Jameson, Jamie’s hardcover debut, SPICE, continues Jenna’s FATE trilogy.
An avid knitter and jewelry maker, Jamie is never bored. She can often be found with a mug of tea on the computer flanked by her little dogs & fluffy white cat. You can follow her on twitter at @Jamiekswriter or on her author page on Facebook. When she's not writing or crafting, Jamie loves playing games, everything from board games to strategy card games, console and online MMORPGs.
Romance & Erotic Writing for Fun and Profit
USA Today bestselling author Jamie K. Schmidt will show you how to use your creativity to get words down on the page. She’ll show you a quick plot outline that works for “plotters” as well as “pantsers” to make the most of your writing time. She’ll go over finding time to write, getting motivated to finishing your project and where to send your manuscript. Jamie will present to you the top five romance and erotic ebook publishers, what they’re looking for, terms, and what to expect once you send in your manuscript. She’ll talk about the importance of a query letter and a good synopsis and give examples. Do you want an agent or do you need an agent? Jamie will show the pros and cons of both. She’ll compare self publishing your manuscript with deciding on an epublisher or a commercial publisher. You’ll leave the class with a list of websites and resources that will help you in your writing journey.
Forged out of twelve years of homelessness and addiction on the streets of New York City, Lee Stringer's landmark memoir, Grand Central Winter: Stories From the Street -- which ultimately conveys the irrepressibility of hope - was one of the top ten books recommended by both the New York Times and USA Today when it debuted in 1998. It has since been translated into 20 languages on four continents and has been optioned for both film and stage productions.
As a pre-teen, Stringer was consigned, for two years, to a special boarding school for kids at risk, an experience he hauntingly vivifies in his second award-winning memoir, 2004's Sleepaway School: Stories From a Boy's Life. In 2002, he collaborated with novelist Kurt Vonnegut on Like Shaking Hands With God: a Conversation About Writing, a monograph about how writing intersects with each of their lives.
Currently at work on yet another memoir, entitled White People, Stringer, 60, resides in Mamaroneck, New York, serves on five non-profit boards, and directs a local nonprofit program that provides free one-on-one homework assistance to young people whom for various reasons, do not get it in their homes.
A unique group-interactive writing exercise through which you will become aware of and connect with your essential inner voice, which is always crying to be heard. Whether you are an advanced writer or a novice, this session will help you discover what happens when you get out of your own way and let the unconscious and intuitive side of your brain do more of the work. This is NOT a lecture. Bring something to write with, something to write on, and prepare to surprise yourself.
Donna Russo Morin
Donna Russo Morin is the internationally published author of five multi-award-winning historical novels including PORTRAIT OF A CONSPIRACY: Da Vinci’s Disciples Book One, and The King’s Agent, recipient of a starred review in Publishers Weekly. Her other titles are The Courtier’s Secret, The Secret of the Glass, and To Serve a King. Her upcoming release, THE COMPETITION: Da Vinci’s Disciples Book Two (releasing in May of this year), continues to follow the adventures and traumas of a clandestine group of women artists set during the height of the Italian Renaissance. Donna is also a twenty-five plus year professional freelance editor/copy-editor/proofreader .In addition to her writing endeavors, Donna has worked as a model and an actor with appearances in Showtime’s Brotherhood, and Martin Scorsese’s The Departed. A multi-degreed graduate of the University of Rhode Island, she still lives in her home state of Rhode Island with her partner, Carl. Donna is a proud, single mother of two sons, Devon and Dylan—an opera singer and a chef—ever her greatest works in progress. www.donnarussomorin.com.
"Research for the Historical Novel: A Journey from Now to Then and Back Again."
Whether history is a backdrop to your story or the focus of the story itself, this workshop will take you along the path to the ‘then’ of your story upon the many stepping stones of research. Learn from an award-winning internationally published author of historical fiction how to find the facts you need. Explore the obvious—and the many not so obvious—sources of research material: how to find it, how to organize it, and how to use it. Discover the war between verisimilitude and anachronism, to reign triumphantly with authenticity.
Rosemary Harris is the author of five novels including the Dirty Business mystery series featuring amateur sleuth Paula Holliday. Rosemary's debut novel, the Agatha and Anthony-nominated, Pushing Up Daisies (Minotaur), was followed by The Big Dirt Nap (aka Corpse Flower), Dead Head and Slugfest. Her most recent book is The Bitches of Brooklynand she is currently at work on her first historical novel. She is past president of Mystery Writers of America's NY Chapter and Sisters in Crime's New England Chapter. Visit Rosemary at www.rosemaryharris.com and Like her on facebook at www.facebook.com/RosemaryHarriswriter
“You talkin’ to me?” (Writing Great Dialogue)
In one of the most memorable examples of dialogue in film history, Robert DeNiro told us who Travis Bickle was in four simple words. And he was talking to a mirror. This workshop will help you get the most out of your dialogue – plot, character, conflict, motivation, pacing – all can be advanced with a few chosen words – so make them work.
A literary agent with the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency, Katharine Sandshas worked with a varied list of authors who publish a diverse array of books. Highlights include Spiritual Pregnancy: Nine Months that Change Your Life Before You Give Birth by Dr. Shawn Tassone and Dr. Kathryn Landherr; Talk to Strangers: How Everyday Random Encounters Can Expand Your Business, Career, Income and Life by David Topus; The New Rules of Attraction: How to Get Him, Keep Him and Make Him Beg for More by Arden Leigh; Stand Up for Yourself: Resolve Workplace Crises Before You Quit, Get Axed or Sue the Bastards by Donna Ballman; Making Healthy EZ with Dr. Oz guest, Dr. Julie Chen; Dating the Devil (producer: Vast Entertainment) by Lia Romeo; XTC: SongStories; Chasing Zebras: THE Unofficial Guide to House, MD by Barbara Barnett of Let's Talk TV; CityTripping: a Guide for Foodies, Fashionistas and the Generally Style-Obsessed; Writers on Directors; Ford model Helen Lee's The Tao of Beauty; Elvis and You: Your Guide to the Pleasures of Being an Elvis Fan; Glow! The Natural Path to the Radiant, Healthier, Happier, Younger You by Dr. Pina; New York: Songs of the City; Taxpertise: Dirty Little Secrets the IRS Doesn't Want You to Know; The SAT Word Slam, Divorce After 50; Trust Your Gut; Make Up, Don't Break Up with Oprah guest Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil to name a few. She is the agent provocateur of Making the Perfect Pitch: How to Catch a Literary Agent's Eye, a collection of pitching wisdom from leading literary agents. Recently contributed "Grey is the New Black" to Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey, a nonfiction look at the cultural phenom of the bestselling novel. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Actively building her client list, she likes books that have a clear benefit for readers' lives in categories of food, travel, lifestyle, home arts, beauty, wisdom, relationships, parenting, and fresh looks, which might be at issues, life challenges or popular culture. When reading fiction she wants to be compelled and propelled by urgent storytelling, and hooked by characters. For memoir and femoir, she likes to be transported to a world rarely or newly observed.
Literary agents are always on a treasure hunt. But few writers know what it takes to make an agent yell, “Eureka, I’ve struck gold!” A first glance is all that most writers will get before the agent moves on without ever reading further, and that first (and only) glance needs to be a “Eureka” moment.
This presentation cuts through the mystery of getting an agent to want YOU. Literary agent Katharine Sands shows you the best ways to showcase your writing as a bold, new entry into its category and yourself as a potential author with an intriguing book poised to spring forth. Katharine explains hooks, selling points, and engines. She dives into how you can avoid ‘Querial’ Killers: the easy-to-fix mistakes writers make when querying agents. And, of course, she talks (in detail) about the All-Important-Page-One.
During this workshop, you’ll learn:
How to make the perfect pitch
How to deliver the flavor of your book to whet the reader’s appetite for more
How to keep the momentum going through the All-Important-Page-One
How to start in a logical place—yet from a compelling perch
How to identify the most exciting elements that illustrate your work
How to encapsulate (in clear core points) when proposing a book
The five key takeaways you need to entice an agent/editor
How to amplify your chances for being selected
What to do—and what not to do—when summarizing your book in 200-250 words. You want the neurons in the agent’s mind to decide, “Yes, keep reading!”
Yaara Zaslow, Bob’s daughter, is a native New Yorker, and our point-person on the West Coast in Seattle. She began her writing career at Oxford University and the Sorbonne, in Paris, France, and after completing her Master's degree, now teaches writing at Seattle Central College. She has been most recently published in Jezebel.com, part of Gawker online media, and specializes in fiction and memoir.
"Seeing Your Novel: Visual Writing and Film" by Yaara Zaslow
This course is based on the notion that if one picture is worth a thousand words, perhaps a motion picture can be worth a hundred thousand.
Finding inspiration is rarely easy, but instead of trying to push through writer’s block, why not lose yourself in a good movie? Compelling dramas, fast-paced editing, beautiful moving photography, and inventive visual effects can all become triggers for a writer to develop a new idea. I’ll do my best to demonstrate that bit of cinematic magic as we watch and discuss segments of films that can inspire any writer to transform moving visuals into moving prose.
The fact is, we live in a visual culture, having instant access to Youtube, SnapChat, Instagram, and hundreds of apps and programs that are media-based. Which is why to compete, writers must create effective visual imagery to tell their stories.
In short, we will examine how film can assist your writing of fiction, as well as how you can apply common filmmaking techniques to improve your novel or short stories.
After the seminar, I’ll hand out a list of must-see-again movies you can Netflix or rent to inspire you to write your next hundred-thousand words.