July 22-25, 2021
New York City


Author Archive

Level Up Your Writing Life: Ten Tips for Sharpening Your Writer’s Mindset

At first, the writing life appears to be simply about, well, writing. Publishing. Connecting with readers. And it is! But eventually, whether a few steps along the journey or miles in, most writers discover that the writing life is about so much more. It’s ultimately a journey of personal growth—but one fraught with mental, emotional, spiritual, and even physical perils. Inspired by Short’s new Writer’s Digest column, “Level Up Your (Writing) Life,” this session explores how writers can discover inspiration and discipline for a sustained journey of writing, publishing, and personal growth. With ten specific tips to sharpen your writer’s mindset so you can level up your writing and your life for the long haul: overcoming inner demons, dealing with critics, staying connected with the joy of why you write, finding focus, and more.

From Social Media to Goodreads: The Ins and Outs of Author Platforms and Branding

It’s not enough to just be a great writer anymore. With the loss of traditional retail space, it’s more important than ever for authors to have their own platforms to reach and engage with readers directly. But where to start? And when to start? Do I need a platform before querying agents? Before contracting with a publishing house? Do I need to be on every platform? What the heck is TikTok? This session will address all of these questions, as well as specific best practices for building your author platform, timing, content strategy, and tips for specific platforms.

In this hour-long session, HMH Books & Media Senior Marketing Director and long-time book marketer Andrea DeWerd will cover:

· Author websites

· Amazon Author Central

· Bookbub

· Facebook

· Goodreads

· Influencers / Bookstagram

· Instagram

· LinkedIn

· Twitter

· Spotify, Snapchat, TikTok, Clubhouse, and the other niche/emerging platforms

Putting the History Into the Historical

Whether history is a backdrop to your story or the focus of the story itself, this workshop will provide you with the tools to find the facts you need, organize the data in a functional manner, and merge that data seamlessly into your novel. Discover the level of historical data to include as a function of a particular writing goal. Learn the definition of historical markers and how and where to unearth them. And uncover the tools to integrate history, research, and the fiction plot arc. Most of all, find out how to honor verisimilitude—the goal of any historical writing—and avoid the dreaded anachronism.

-General introduction and explanation of what makes a historical novel/historically set romance. Discussion of the level of historical data to include as a function of a particular writing goal.

-Research methods and data organization: Definitions and discussion of historical markers. Resources to unearth major historical events as well as daily lifestyle material. Methodology for managing research in a variety of ways. -Merging the facts with the fiction. Discussing the integration of history, research, and the fiction plot arc. Discussion of appropriate voice, pace, and pov for historical writing.

-Historical Fiction: the state of the genre within the industry; marketing the genre (i.e. niche marketing).

-Take home exercise: Write a paragraph describing a moment/place in your life (here in the conference room, at the conference, your home or office) as if it was being written five hundred years from now. What would the historical markers be? What might be archaic to a human in the year 2510? The exercise shines a light on those markers that we would look for to bring life to the past.

Keep It in Scene: Making Your Memoir Come Alive

Memoirs and personal essays should read a lot like fiction, filled with vivid action and compelling characters and plenty of sensory details. However, the nature of memory is such that many beginning memoirists fall into the habit of just talking about their life rather than showing the reader what actually happened. In this class, we’ll look at how to keep personal narratives in scene, and how to turn vague memories into concrete stories. Remember: stories a chance to walk in someone else’s shoes, but only if the reader knows what it feels like to wear those shoes and where the shoes are going.

Fearless Marketing

Most writers’ love of storytelling does not easily translate to marketing those stories once they are published. Unfortunately, authors are increasingly responsible for their own marketing, a task most writers find boring, irritating, depressing, and often fruitless. In this session, William Kenower turns marketing on its head so that authors can take the skills and passion they have for writing and learn how to apply them to marketing. This is not a how-to-market workshop. Instead, it is a how to enjoy marketing workshop. Once you enjoy it, once you stop being afraid of it, you’ll learn how to market your book the same way you learned how to write it.