Growing and Maintaining an Active Newsletter Audience

Hallee Bridgeman

Bestselling author Hallee Bridgeman will show you how she tripled her newsletter audience in one year, and how she constantly grows it and keeps the audience actively involved with her. This workshop will cover the importance of maintaining a newsletter audience, tricks for growing your list, and how to get the audience to reply to you among other tips.

Grounding the Reader: The First Chapter Checklist

Lisa Carter

The first chapter is often the hardest chapter to write for an author. This workshop will focus on the essentials—what must be included—to entice a reader or editor to continue turning the pages. First chapter essentials covered in this workshop include: elements of a great opening line, strategies to establish character bond with readers, creating a storyworld, and common first chapter mistakes and how to correct them, first chapter essentials, elements of a great opening line, strategies to establish character bond with readers, creating a storyworld, and common first chapter mistakes and how to correct them.

Plotting 101: Creating Engaging Stories from Start to Finish

Crystal Caudill

Understanding story structure is a crucial skill for every author. Even pansters must adhere to the age-old structure if they hope to be published. Yet, getting a story without a muddled middle or an anticlimactic ending takes a lot of work to make those pieces fit together. This interactive workshop uses M&Ms to break down and apply the four-act structure to story creation. Participants will leave with a thorough understanding of story structure and a loosely plotted story.

Writing Through Time: Keys to Writing Compelling Time-Slip Fiction

Heidi Chiavaroli

Time-slip, or split time novels are gaining popularity, but in some ways they are a different breed of story altogether. In this workshop, Carol award-winning author Heidi Chiavaroli will walk writers through the challenges and rewards of writing a time-slip novel. With practical advice and insight, she will give you the tools you need to link the past and present in one satisfying novel.

How to Intertwine Story and Message

Kristi Ann Hunter

By using the architecture of a Cathedral as an illustration, this class will walk through how to layer a pointed message into your story without turning off your reader. It will cover topics such as how to determine the message you want to convey, how to set up your story to effectively hold that message, and then how to weave the message into the story itself.

Share Your Writing Journey as Part of Your Marketing Plan

Zoe M. McCarthy

In Share your Writing Journey as Part of Your Marketing Plan, participants will learn through instruction and examples: Reasons to share their writing journey, venues to share their writing journey, what elements to include in their writing journey presentation, and how to write their writing journey. Example of a writing journey talk will be provided.

Sparkling Proposals

Tamela Hancock Murray

Tamela will lead participants through the various elements of a proposal and discuss step by step what to include and what to omit from a submission. The attendee should leave the class with an awareness of how to put the finishing touches on a proposal that will help their project stand out among others. There will be time for questions and answers.

Digging into Dynamic Dialog

Robin Patchen

Dialog is often a reader’s favorite part of a story. No matter how serious or dramatic a plot, dialog can add humor, spontaneity, and surprise. Yet many authors neglect to dig into their dialog, settling for predictable speech patterns and over-used action beats. Through the study of speech, dialog tags, and action beats, learn how to craft strong dialog segments that deepen characters, enhance emotional impact, add humor, and provide energy to delight your readers and drive a story forward. Each device will be explained and illustrated through examples. Exercises and feedback will be given as time allows.

Writing the Emotional Roller Coaster

Robin Patchen

It has been said that people read fiction for an emotional experience, yet most fiction authors leave their readers’ emotional journey to chance. Rather than writing a good story and hoping for the best, why not plan and engineer your readers’ emotional journey? Conference attendees will explore the three ways to add emotion to a manuscript—telling emotions, showing emotions, and eliciting emotions—and when it’s appropriate to use each. They will discover how to use the emotion wheel to add depth to their prose, to dig deeper into what a character is feeling, and to bring more complexity to the characters’ journeys, which will in turn elicit emotions in the reader. Each attendee will learn simple tools and techniques to create stories that will pull their readers onto a roller coaster that will leave them breathless.

Finish that Book with the Chunky Method

Allie Pleiter

Do you feel like you can never find the time to write? Have you been chipping away at the same manuscript forever without much progress? Do you need a system that can get you to typing “The End” with success and satisfaction? Wrangling a fickle muse to meet a deadline—or just to get rid of that looming blank page—is a life-skill for everyone who wants to get serious about their writing. Allie Pleiter shares the nuts and bolts of how to manage your muse. You’ll learn how to set goals and deadlines that reflect your personal writing style and speed–and smart ways to get faster when you need it. Join the thousands of other writers who have mastered the writing process using Pleiter’s popular Chunky Method. With a useful mix of the practical, the inspirational, and the nitty-gritty real life of it all, this workshop gives aspiring or working writers the tools they need to make the magic happen.

Show Me A Story: Writing Cinematically

Deborah Raney

Using movie techniques, writing cinematically, is a great way to be sure you are SHOWING instead of telling. By dissecting and comparing two 20-words sentences, Deborah will explore showing vs. telling, point-of-view, deepening characterization, writing vivid settings, naming characters, using strong verbs, and many other secrets of strong writing.

Principles of Design for Writers

Ken Raney

Every writer will eventually need to either hire a designer or learn to be one. This workshop will help writers understand some basic design principles for designing professional looking business cards, newsletters, blogs and websites, bookmarks, postcards, e-mail signatures, ads, and much more. This session will also explore some of the easily accessible online resources for writers such as templates, themes, stock photography, fonts, photo-manipulation programs, etc. This session is designed to be very practical and user-friendly even for non-techies.

Write Men Right

JP Robinson

Empowers authors to create balanced male characters that resonate with both male and female readers. Write Men Right is a collaborative presentation that showcases strategies shared by JP Robinson and authors Ronie Kendig, Lisa Carter, and Dan Walsh.

Saying a Lot Without Saying Much At All

Betsy St. Amant Haddox

Subtext is crucial to allow your reader to connect with your characters. This workshop dives deep into the art of incorporating subtext into your story for added depth and impact. Attendees will learn how and where to add subtext to give your reader the inside scoop and provide greater emotional impact. Multiple examples will be provided from published novels and popular TV shows, and provides exercises for the authors to create their own subtext on the spot as time allows.

So You Want to Write a Series

Toni Shiloh

In So You Want to Write a Series, we will discuss the different types of series and the items needed in your writer toolbox to plan for them. Topics covered in this workshop include length of books, how many to write, the world of a series, story plot, setting up each book in the series, and how to keep track of all information throughout your series.

Social Media the B.O.O.K.I.S.H. Way

Toni Shiloh

Learn how to connect with potential readers using one or more of the social media platforms today. Participants will leave with a better grasp of utilizing Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. The workshop will help participants choose the best platform as they seek out their bookish tribe. For aspiring, beginner or advanced writers.

Advertising 101: Learn the Basics

Greg Turnquist

Are you Stephen King or James Patterson? Probably not. That means you need to learn the basics of advertising in order to get your name out there. In this workshop, you’ll learn the fundamentals about ads and how to figure out your own book’s “numbers.” Discover how to actually earn a profit using Facebook, Amazon, or any advertising platform. By understanding the basic metrics of 21st century digital advertising, you can figure out a REAL game plan to sell your next book!

Novellas Are Not “Novel”: How Creating a Novella is Different

Sara R. Turnquist

Novellas have become more and more popular to readers. They are great for the busy reader who likes to start and finish a story in one sitting. They can be a good tool for the writer as well. But they can be a headache! Trying to cram your novel-minded structure into a quarter of the size…it can be stressful. Why not think about novellas from a different angle? Perhaps wonder if the planning might be completely different? Or, for my pantster friends, to consider that some planning can make for a greater impact?

Why Should I Use Scrivener?: Beginner Level Class in Scrivener

Sara R. Turnquist

Does Scrivener intimidate you? Seem like more trouble than it’s worth? Or perhaps you want to use it, but you got stymied when you opened it? Maybe you just don’t get what all the hype is about? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, this class if for you. We’ll take a broad look at the benefits of Scrivener and then zoom in to walk through how to get a good start. This class will get you comfortable enough to start using Scrivener and making the most of it.