November 5-7, 2020

The 5 Insider Secrets to Show-Stopping Novel Beginnings

You know you’ve got a great story idea, but how do you make it so great that it rises from slush pile to publication?

Author and Writing Coach Annalisa Parent has helped hundreds of writers to improve their craft and to become published authors. In this workshop, she will walk you through a straightforward system to pace your opening in a way that makes agents sit up and pay attention–and better yet request a full manuscript.

She will cover important topics such as:

  • How and when should you use backstory?
  • Where is the best point in the narrative to start?
  • What are the biggest mistakes to avoid in your novel opening?

You’ll walk away with a bucket load of information and resources to keep and put to action, so you can cross “Become an Author” off your bucket list.

Crafting Flash

At 1000 words or less, flash fiction and flash memoir represent the smallest of our creative stories. Flash writing includes mini-essays, vignettes, prose poems, lists, fables, and rants, among other more traditional narratives. A flash piece might look like a recipe card or a postcard or even a report card. Anything goes!

Great news: Flash is one of the most sellable pieces of writing in today’s journals. Join this session and learn how to add your voice to this segment of publishing. You’ll leave with information, inspiration, and a list of 100 magazines acquiring flash today.

Rock Your Revisions

Most people think revision is something you do in an afternoon, manuscript and red pen in hand. They think once that first draft is done, the book is practically finished. Writers know better. You know that when it comes time to revise your fiction, trying to juggle all the story elements at once will leave you frustrated and your manuscript in shambles.

In this session, Gabriela will walk you through her signature Pyramid Method for revision, a layer-by-layer approach for a smoother revision and a stronger final draft. You’ll leave this session with a concrete plan and actionable timeline so you can power through and rock your revisions.

What the Heck Is TikTok: 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, Random House Publishing Group 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 and the other niche/emerging platforms

Dialogue as Action, Not Conversation

Dialogue in fiction must serve numerous purposes—enhance characterization, advance the plot, provide information, suggest subtext—all of which demonstrate the fundamental truth that dialogue is not mere conversation. It is action. In this hour long workshop, award-winning author David Corbett (The Art of Character, The Compass of Character) will guide students in an exploration of how to root dialogue in the core objectives and obstacles within the scene, how to reveal through conflict, how to create and balance multiple voices in a scene, and how to escape the Tit-for-Tat Pitfall, Narrative-as-Dialogue, Run-on Speeches, “Colorful” Speech Tags, and other common shortcomings. The class will also explore the limits of verisimilitude, knowing what to cut, and the mechanics of getting your dialogue right on the page.