Friday, January 14, 2011

Writing Workshops with the Pros

    Three-hour intensive workshops - Master Classes - with nine conference speakers will give writers an opportunity to work side-by-side with the pros.  Many of these workshop leaders are inviting writers to bring a work-in-progress to discuss in their small-group sessions.  

    Here's a synopsis of the classes from the presenters.  We've indicated wherever possible which speakers have suggested bringing in a work-in-progress or making other preparations for the workshops.

       My Recipe for Chicken Soup for the Soul Intensive, Linda Apple:  This is a writing workshop. The goal is for you to leave with a first draft to edit and submit to Chicken Soup for the Soul. We will go into a more depth approach to creative nonfiction and put what we’ve learned on paper. We will share our ideas, brainstorm together, and share our stories.
       Members of the workshop will receive a My Recipe for Chicken Soup for the Soul Ideas Cookin’ Book, to keep record ideas for each element of their life-story. Then during the last portion of the session you will use these ideas to write down the bones of your story.
      As a professional courtesy, Linda will read each story and offer any needed suggestions before you submit your story.

     Keeping Them Hooked---Page 1, 5, 50, Jeannie Lin:  A craft workshop which provides tips on how get your novel from "almost there" to being read.  Please bring a first chapter that you'd like to workshop.

    Creating Believable Characters, Elaine Viets:  Elaine Viets has worked an incredible number of minimum-wage jobs to help her create the characters in her two bestselling series.  She'll give you tips on how to create characters so real your readers will think they're living next door!

     Will the Center Hold?, Mary Troy.  Every situation worthy of our attention has its own downfall built in, has a crack, a fault running through it. Sometimes it is not found, never pushed hard enough, never tested. Marriages last for 50 years at times by avoiding stress. But sometimes the fractures occur, the stress points are tested. Will the marriage survive or not? That is a story.  The subjects are limitless. 
    This class will examine what is sometimes called the Iago factor after a Susan Neville essay. Is it a jealous co-worker, a religious conviction, a hidden past, a feeling of inferiority, or a repressive government? Whatever name it goes by, it provides the stress in a story. We will discuss how it works in good works, and then take examples from the stories students in the class are working on.  How and what is the Iago factor in that work? Is it missing or too obvious?
    Students are encouraged to bring in summaries of their work in progress for discussion.

    All Grants and Only Grants, C. Hope Clark.  Hope has contacted grant entities in Missouri and surrounding states in order to gather specifics about how our writers can get grants in our region. In this workshop, she will explain the tremendous variety of grants, fellowships, retreats, and sponsorships available to the serious writer.

    Who's Listening to You?  Effective Online Marketing, Kathleen Ortiz.  From evaluating web site traffic, discussing effective blogging methods, boosting your SWO (S-W-what?) and deciphering the ‘creepy’ term known as branding, this course will cover a variety of online marketing topics so attendees can analyze their current online presence, uncover who their current audience is, who their target audience should be, and what they can do to make it more effective.  Note:  This workshop is suggested for experienced users.  We'll be emailing workshop attendees a link prior to the conference to help them hone in on specific areas.

    Language as Landscape, Joanna Beth Tweedy.  Novelist and poet Joanna Beth Tweedy will explore with participants the roots of language and place as they relate to the South Midland Dialect, which is among the most vivid, illustrative, and metaphoric American dialects extant and alive today. The author will engage participants in small- and large-group discussions as well as brief writing exercises, centering specifically on the notion that how individuals are bound and where they are bound share an exquisite kinship, a connection that ultimately effects itself through a region’s diction and idiom. 
    Through many examples—from vocabulary, pronunciation variations, grammatical anomalies, and phrases unique to regions within the South Midlands—the workshop will demonstrate how linguistic landscapes are “mapped,” and how language becomes place. The workshop is geared toward a general audience of writers and readers with an interest in diction and dialect. No formal background in linguistics is necessary to enjoy or participate in the workshop.

    Digital Publishing, p. b. smith.  For the first time in history, content creators, including writers, can maintain total control over the publication of their works if they choose to publish digitally, and many are reaping significant financial rewards in the process, earning more money per book selling $2.99 digital downloads than on $29.99 conventionally published books. But how do you publish digitally? This class demystifies the process with step-by-step instructions for the most popular and successful digital platforms.                       
    You'll learn how to prepare a manuscript for Kindle, the iPad, the Amazon Bookstore, Smashwords and other online distribution avenues. If you prefer not to do the digital conversions yourself, you'll leave with recommendations and contact information for pros who prepare manuscripts for digital publication and artists who can design compelling book covers, all for affordable prices. The class will be illustrated with examples of real authors who are making digital publishing work, including Joe Konrath and Rob Walker, among others. You'll also get information about the type of books that are most in demand. If you want to ride the digital waves and put your book in front of a worldwide audience, this class is for you.

    Tapping into Your Creative Flow:  How to Write Something Out of Nothing, Sandra Carrington-Smith.  Join Sandra in a fun-filled exploration to find the keys to opening your doors to creativity and setting your own inner writer free! This workshop will offer exercises and ideas to help overcome the dreaded writers’ block. 

    All nine sessions will be held from 9 a.m. until noon on Sunday. Anyone registered for the conference can attend a Master Class workshop by paying an additional $50 fee and selecting the class preference on conference registration form at


1 comment:

  1. Wow! What an awesome line-up!! I just may have to stay for some of these!!