July 22-25, 2021
New York City


Author Archive

Learn Scrivener in 60 Minutes

Scrivener is considered by many writers to be the best writing app on the market. This amazing software can help you write better, faster, and smarter, but it has a learning curve. In this workshop, author and YouTube Michael La Ronn will walk you through how to set up your Scrivener files and the top 10 features you should use. Come learn new tricks and get your burning Scrivener questions answered! While this workshop will focus on the Mac version of Scrivener, Windows users will also learn a lot.

The First Impression: Building a Magnetic Personal Author Brand

Authors are masters of the written word, but not always of their brand! This session will help writers understand how readers form opinions about writers and how to take control of those perceptions. This session will teach you to take control of your brand and sculpt a narrative that will invite readers, fellow authors, and other publishing industry professionals to work with you. This session will cover reader psychology and key branding tips to help you land more sales. Prolific author and YouTuber Michael La Ronn shares sales and branding tips he’s learned in writing over 60 books, running a YouTube channel, and conducting dozens of media interviews. This session will help you master your author brand and sell more books!

The Powerful Personal Essay Pivot

The consumer personal essay market is thriving today. In this session, writers will learn how to craft their stories so they can get an editor’s attention and get published.

Instead of simply writing about an episode or a humiliating moment in their life, writers need to go deeper, to reveal the truth and universal takeaway behind a moment in time. But few know how to do it.

That’s where craft comes in.

I will show you how to create powerful openings and endings to essays, and build in a transformative narrative arc, using examples from my writing, my students published essays, and the work I’ve done for Narratively. The first part will include specific tools and tactics, such as the first five test; the best way to make words work for you, how to write using your senses, finding the flow, and a writing exercise to recover memories. The second part will allow people to workshop their ideas, as I help them build their essay.

All About the Pitch

Whether you want to write a first-person essay, how-to, reported piece or profile, a good pitch letter with a great spin on a topic, timely element, newsy connection, or an unusual personal experience will capture the attention of an assigning editor. Editors receive hundreds of pitches a day, and as a magazine editor, adjunct professor for NYU, pitching instructor for WD and widely published journalist and writing coach, and “All About the Pitch” columnist for WD, Estelle Erasmus knows how to break through the noise to elicit an editor’s interest. The first part of the session will feature pro tips and tricks—such as how to: write to the reader, spin a topic, mine for ideas and instantly pique an editor’s interest from the first sentence—all tactics Estelle and her students have used to go viral in The New York Times and the Washington Post. In the second part, she will review pitches and show what makes them work. You can also submit your pitch to her for consideration by emailing her at estellewriter@aol.com and put PITCH FOR WD CONFERENCE in the subject line.

Picking the Right Fight for Your Character

If you have ever struggled to choose a fighting style for your character, the struggle is over. The way your character does battle isn’t up to you. It’s up to the story. The setting of the work, lifestyle of the character, and the goals and needs of the storyline determine how your character responds to the fray. Whether you are writing your first or fiftieth novel, this class is sure to make your fight scene more authentic and streamline your plotting and blocking. Stop struggling to figure out a fight. Let your story do the work.