Friday

Morning Workshops  8:30-12:30

   -Friday Morning Workshops run from 8:30-12:00 before conference.

   -They all run simultaneously so you may only choose one.

   -Friday Morning Workshops are available for an additional $65 at checkout and include lunch before the conference.

First Pages Clinic

 

Formerly known as Boot Camp, this Clinic is an in depth look at the first ten pages of your novel. With a 4:1 student-teacher ratio, this fabulous workshop is one of our most popular. You will receive specific feedback on the first ten pages of your manuscript from an industry professional in a small group setting. Manuscript pages will also be shared, in advance, with the other members of your group. You will be expected to review the pages for each group member prior to attending the workshop as the entire group will discuss each person’s work.

Marking/Newsletters

 

This is one of the top ways to connect with your readers, although you don’t have to be published to get started! Bring your laptop and come prepared to start up your newsletter, or to create a stronger selling sequence to the newsletter you already have. Increase your opens, clicks, and interactions with your readers. Set up your drip campaign through automation sequence and resend unopens. Create a friendly and interactive environment that will keep your readers buying your books. (And if some of that didn’t make sense to you, don’t worry! By the end of the workshop, it will.)

Marketing/Facebook Ads

 

Every author, indie or traditional, can take advantage of the established marketing machine of Facebook. Bring your laptop and be prepared to create your first Facebook ad campaign — or if you’ve already tried it, learn how to make more effective ads. Hear expert advice about targeted audience selection, how much text to include, the importance of word choice and the effect of different color schemes. NOTE: This workshop is designed for authors who already have a finished book they want to promote.

1:30 

DIY Audio Narration

Johan Twiss

Audio books are the fastest growing medium in literature. If you've ever thought about narrating your own book, but you're not sure where to start, this is your intro to narrating on a budget (without skimping on quality). In this class we will talk about the equipment you'll need, narration tips and warmups, how to edit your narration, using ACX and other services such as Hoopla and Author's Republic to distribute your audiobook. I'll bring some of my equipment to give a live demonstration, along with a list of helpful sites and videos to learn more.

 

Mistakes Not to Make

Janette Rallison

 

Would it surprise you to learn that agents reject most manuscripts after only reading a few pages? Agents, editors, and readers will never know what a great plot or characters you have if you make mistakes that send your manuscript to the rejection pile. Learn how to identify and fix problems in your description, dialog tags, pacing, opening, and much more.

 

Triangulating your Characters: How Focusing on Character Relationships Drives Conflict and Plot (Masters Class) 

Lisa Mangum 

Author Lisa Mangum begins every plotting session by drawing a triangle and identifying the protagonist, the antagonist, and the alternate. With that "character relationship triangle" as her foundation, she builds out the relationships that will drive the conflict of the story as well as uncovers character goals, story themes, and plot points. In this class, she will teach you this method of character development and plot work as well as demonstrate how it works in her own books and other stories. Attendees will be able to develop their own character relationship triangles and apply them immediately to their own project.

2:30

Instagram for Authors

Charity Bradford

Instagram can help you connect with readers and increase sales once you realize it isn't about you. Learn how to evoke the emotion you want your followers to connect with through your images and stories.

 

Idea Generation for Authors

Gregg Luke

The most common question authors get is: How do you get ideas for novels? This is indeed a good question. But perhaps a better one is: Do all your ideas become great novels? For some authors, the answer seems to be yes. But this is not the norm. So what’s the key to idea generation?

This class will teach you where to look for ideas and will help you differentiate good ideas from bad ones, and great ideas from merely good ones. Tips, suggestions, examples, and the revealing of secrets will turn you into an idea-generating machine.

 

Triangulating your Characters - Lisa Mangum - Masters Class (cont.)

3:30

 

Ads Master Class - (Beginner)

Tamara Heiner
Join us for this two-part class designed for both the beginner ad-venturer to the experienced. Come to both hours or just one.

First hour: Learn how to create an ad, from ad copy to keywords to perfecting your blurb and cover.  Get the opportunity to craft your blurb and ad copy while in class.

 

Second hour: Take your ads a bit further with ad analysis. Develop a methodology that works for you, whether you are a spreadsheet guru or have a terrible phobia of numbers. Become comfortable at your level.

Pacing

Robbin Peterson

Pacing: the speed and rhythm at which a story is told and the readers are pulled through events. Pacing is closely tied to showing rather than telling a story. In this class we will be discussing what things affect pacing--speed it up, or slow it down. Also, we will be taking these techniques and applying them to our own work.

Constructive Criticism: How to Give and How to Receive

Traci Abramson

Little terrifies a writer more than sharing his or her work with another, yet one of the keys to success is to find that constructive criticism and learn how to use it well. This class will explore how to sort through that criticism while still maintaining the integrity of your story as well as your voice, how to give good feedback, and what to do when it isn’t working. We will also discuss ways to find critique partners and writing groups that work for you.

4:30 

Ads Master Class - (Advanced)

Tamara Heiner

Join us for this two-part class designed for both the beginner ad-venturer to the experienced. Come to both hours or just one.

First hour: Learn how to create an ad, from ad copy to keywords to perfecting your blurb and cover.  Get the opportunity to craft your blurb and ad copy while in class.

 

Second hour: Take your ads a bit further with ad analysis. Develop a methodology that works for you, whether you are a spreadsheet guru or have a terrible phobia of numbers. Become comfortable at your level.

 

Writing Plausible Computer Hacks

Don Carey

 

Even in a world where technology touches every facet of life, and where writers live and die by their computers, the portrayal of computer hacking in literature is so inaccurate, it’s criminal. This class is a simple, plain-English overview of the motives and methods used by “Black Hat” hackers, Cyber Terrorists, and jealous, tech-savvy boyfriends, as well as the Security Professionals determined to stop them. Armed with a basic understanding of core principles, your depictions of Cybersecurity can become a powerful, plausible element of your story.

Mastering Point of View

Janette Rallison

Your use of point of view can either make or break your novel. Learn what POV is, the mistakes to avoid, (editors report that 90% of the slush pile has POV mistakes) and how to amp up your character’s internal thought to help your novel with that all-important “voice” agents and editors keep talking about. Does your character need deep point of view? Come and find out.

Saturday

 

9:00 

Contracts 

Danyelle Ferguson

 

Understanding contracts is essential for an author, no matter if you are traditionally or indie published. In this class we'll discuss why contracts are important for you as an author and how they protect your career. Topics to be covered include working with other authors (anthologies/co-authoring), traditional contracts (intellectual property rights lawyers, negotiating with publishers), and Indie contracts (what can't be changed, when contract terms change, and staying within guidelines).

 

 

Goal, Motivation & Conflict - (Master Class)

Robbin Peterson 

These three elements are crucial to any story. In fact, without them, you have no story. What are they and how do they work together to draw the reader in, keep the story going, and make your story believable?

The Art of Self-Editing 

Traci Abramson

You’ve written those two coveted words on the last page: The End. Now what? Whether submitting to an agent or publisher or preparing your novel to go out into the world, you want to make your work your absolute best. This class will explore the many ways you can polish your work as you prepare for your publication journey. We will also discuss how to edit as you progress through your work in progress, process feedback from others, and ultimately, how you know when it’s the best it can possibly be.

10:00 

​Ad Copy is Not a Good Logline 

Hillary Sperry

We've been raised on story structure and editing. In Ad Copy cutting your words is not enough. Ad Copy is a whole different animal. Ad Copy is shocking and driving. Step away from your elevator pitch and find how you can claim the attention of people who have none. It's time to grab your audience.


 

Put On Your Writing PANTS - Outlining Tips for Pantsers, Polishing Tips for Plotters

Lisa Mangum

 

So you’ve written a book. Now what? Well, if you “pantsed” your way through the manuscript, you’re going to need to put a structured backbone into that story and revise all the stuff that doesn’t work. If you worked off an outline, you’re going to need to polish the story and make sure it doesn’t sound like you were checking items off a grocery list. In other words, it’s time to put on your Writing Pants and get down to the necessary work of structure and revision. We’ll cover the five essential elements of story—Protagonist, Antagonist, Needs, Theme, and Structure—and include some practical tips to make sure your story is perfectly tailored for presentation.

Goal, Motivation & Conflict (Master Class - Cont'd)

Robbie Peterson


11:00

Newsletters, Street Teams, and Websites 

Tamara Grantham

Award-winning author Tamara Grantham shares her secrets on how to create a website that will promote your author brand, drive subscriptions to your newsletter, and create a successful street team. Sounds like a lot of work? It isn’t. You’ll also learn to put it on autopilot so you can do what you love best—write!

Rapid Release and Book Launch Author Panel

Elizabeth McCay, Tammy Brooks, and Kate Hall

Get ready to learn from three authors who have done it before, Elizabeth McCay, Tammy Brooks, and Kate Hall! If you follow the indie world, you know rapid release is a hot topic right now, and this is going to be epic! 

The Psychology of Villains

Kiersten Marquet

In order to create realistic characters, you have to figure out what motivates them. Let’s delve into the mysterious and sometimes freaky minds of the criminals we wish to write about. 

12:00 


LUNCH 
 

 


1:00

                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Be in the Know: A Novel Approach to Novel Research

Gregg Luke

Good research is vital to every novel. But how do you do it without spending time looking up stuff you'll never use?

This class you teach you the fundamentals for novel research: what to look for and what to skip. We'll discuss three critical points to consider: Period, Genre, and Content. What will add to your story? What will detract? And most importantly, where to find it!

Writing the Future By Embracing the Past

Don Carey

 

Predicting the future is a dangerous job, but somebody has to do it.This class examines the work of intellectuals, entertainers, and futurists from the past, discussing how their successes and failures can guide us in world-building our own version of tomorrow. In addition to technology, we’ll talk about society and economy, and how they all work together in creating a believable future reality. Growing up on a steady diet of Buck Rogers and Battlestar Galactica, Don loved imagining the future. He is excited to share what he learned researching his current WIP.

 

Creating Your Novel's Voice

Janette Rallison

Agents and editors always say that they're looking for a strong voice, but are frequently vague about how to go about accomplishing said feat. This class will not only teach you what voice is, it will give practical advice and hands on practice at developing your story's voice.

 

2:00

Building Your Author Brand  

Charity Bradford

Do you get brand and platform confused? Come discover your "brand" so you can be more authentic and consistent with the way you present yourself across your platform.

Writing a Series Character

Tamara Grantham

 

What qualities does it take to make a memorable—and lasting—series character? How can your character withstand the test of time and still be interesting? Find out the answers in this workshop taught by the award-winning author of the Fairy World MD series, Tamara Grantham.​

Can We Talk About This? Writing Hard Topics for Teens While Avoiding the Smut

Tamara Heiner

Real life teenagers deal with uncomfortable situations and topics on a daily basis. Literature is both an outlet and a learning tool, opening the eyes of those unaware of social issues and providing hope and light to those suffering. Discover what your end goal is and tackle the hard topics with class.


3:30

Pitch Perfect - How to Sell Your Manuscript in 30 Seconds

Lisa Mangum

When it comes to pitching your manuscript, you don't have a lot of time. So how do you know what to say? What is the most important thing? This class will discuss a variety of "pitches" that you can use to make sure you use your time wisely when you are talking to an agent, editor, or publisher. We'll tackle pitching from the very small (elevator pitches) to the very scary (summaries and queries), and you'll walk away with with workable pitch you can start using right away.

Turn Your Readers Into Insomniacs With Chapter Ending Hooks

Johan Twiss

"I love and hate you!" a new reader messaged me. "Your book sucked me in and I stayed up all night reading. Now I'm a zombie this morning." (best compliment ever) How do you turn your readers into insomniacs who can't put your book down? What keeps them turning the pages instead of going to sleep? Simple—a good story with great chapter-ending hooks. In this class, we will discuss five types of chapter-ending hooks that will keep your readers turning pages as they morph into sleep-deprived insomniac zombies.

Recipe for Perfect Romance

Lisa Swinton

Start with a strong loveable heroine and a book boyfriend swoon worthy hero. Add chemistry, connection, and quirky secondary characters. Mix in conflict, adhesion, and repulsion. Bake at 50,000 words. Frost with a tear jerking tear apart. Ice with HFA or HFN. Plate your perfect romance that will have your readers leaving rave reviews and craving the next serving of your sweet romance.

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