• AUGUST 17-20, 2023



WDC23’s Pre-Conference Workshops are the perfect opportunity to go deep on a topic with expert, hands-on guidance.
NOTE: These exclusive pre-conference workshops kick off the 2023 Writer’s Digest Annual Conference weekend on Thursday, August 17

The Essential Supporting Elements of Story

Even if you’ve fine-tuned the big-picture areas in your manuscript—character, plot, stakes—your story may not be working as effectively as it could. As foundational as these three main tentpoles of story are, without the essential supporting players of story that draw readers in, keep them engaged, and propel them through the story, yours can still fall flat.

This presentation encompasses an in-depth exploration of these “microedit” areas—those elements in both fiction and nonfiction that serve as the engine of story, and where many manuscripts need strengthening: tension and suspense, momentum and pace, showing and telling, point of view, and voice.

What you’ll learn

The workshop will cover how and why these essential microedit elements drive and strengthen your story; how to determine whether you’re using them effectively; and specific, actionable ways to address areas that may not be serving your story:

  • The difference between suspense and tension, why both are crucial to every story in every genre, and how to use these powerful tools together to propel readers through your story
  • What is voice, and why it’s something you don’t need to create in your writing
  • Why “show, don’t tell” is a misguided writing myth, the valuable narrative purposes each serves, and how to determine when to use which, and how
  • And more

The Business of Creative Writing: From Branding to IP to Work-for-Hire Gigs to Taxes, Everything You Always Wanted to Know But Didn’t Know Whom to Ask 

In this full-day workshop, Dr. Ryan G. Van Cleave—a consultant who now charges $200+/hour to work with celebrity and executive writing clients—will reveal the things no one bothers to teach writers but are desperately needed for anyone whose goal is success in the world of words. To put it plainly, this hands-on, practical, interactive workshop will help participants unlock the best practices for the business side of writing without doing what Ryan had to do—suffer through the incredibly costly and always-frustrating method of trial and error.

**Participants will walk away with templates, tools, and plans that can be immediately applied to their own practice.**


Taking Control of Your Author Career With Indie Publishing

Have you finished your first book but are feeling overwhelmed by what it will take to get it into the hands of readers? 

If you don’t know where to start, you can spin your wheels and make critical mistakes that make your author journey harder than it needs to be. But if you follow the right steps, you can take control of your publishing journey—and make more money—by taking the indie route.

In this comprehensive hands-on workshop, indie authors Michael La Ronn and Matty Dalrymple share the knowledge they’ve gained from more than a decade of independently publishing their fiction and nonfiction books.

You’ll learn the ins and outs of the indie publishing process in a structured format, and understand why “independent publishing” is a more accurate term than “self-publishing.” You’ll also have plenty of time to get answers to your most burning questions. 



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