9:00 Welcome from director Jaime Kirby
9:15 Keynote by Matthew J. Kirby
A brief orientation on how to chart your course for the day.
10:30 Chart Your Course
A few minutes to have a snack (especially if you left the house before getting breakfast), and a few minutes to mingle —chat with other attendees or faculty to find out if you want to be on the Trade, Craft, Life, or World path. You may discover you don’t want to stick to one path at all, but rather pick and choose only the classes that sound interesting to you.
Trade: This is the path where you learn more in depth about the business of publishing and how the cogs and gears move in their own complex way. Learn what an editor does, what an agent is and why you would need one, the pros and cons of both traditional and self-publishing, etc.
Craft: This path is for new and seasoned writers alike. You’re never too new to polish your self-editing skills, and you’re never too experienced to further hone your ability to tell a story. Learn about plot, voice, point of view, character, and more.
Life: Writing can become a wonderful career, but it can also become overwhelming rather quickly. This path is all about finding a working balance for your life. Learn how to manage your time, how to find your tribe, how to handle rejection, and how to get inspired.
World: Maybe you just decided to become a writer and your new laptop is calling out to you to start writing, and you will, any day now, but you just . . . don’t know what you want to write! Or perhaps you’ve already written five novels, but now you want to get started on your life story, or have a go at writing fantasy. Learn about several different genres, from memoir to mystery.
11:00 Breakout Session 1
Lifespan of a Book
Learn the journey a book takes, from its first draft to its first royalty statement, and all the query letters, acquisitions meetings, contract negotiations, and editorial letters in between.
What is a Story?
Matthew J. Kirby delves into the simple yet vast concept of what a story is, and how to capture and convey it.
Page by Page
Wendy Toliver helps you discover the best way for YOU to create writing habits that fit your busy life.
Tell It Like It Is.
Discover the ins and outs of non-fiction with blogger and cookbook author Jaime (Richardson) Kirby and Dustin Hansen, author of Game On.
12:00 Breakout Session 2
To Self-Publish or Not to Self-Publish.
That is the question these days. Find out the pros and cons of both traditional and self- or indie-publishing.
Brodi Ashton teaches you how to craft a compelling plot that will keep your readers turning pages.
Keep Your Wits About You
Learn from a mental health expert how to balance your writing life with, well, your actual life. Learn how to handle rejection and negative feedback, and still stay motivated along the way.
That’s My Story, and I’m Sticking to It.
Join Emily Wing Smith, author of All Better Now, and explore the world of writing memoir.
2:00 Breakout Session 3
License to Sell
What is a literary agent, anyway? And do I really need one? Learn why an agent can be your best ally in the business, and what you’ll need to do to get one.
Character and Dialog
How to develop unforgettable characters and breathe life and voice into them through dialog. Taught by Wendy Toliver
We’re All In This Together
The benefits of having a community of writers and how to connect with them
Worth a Million Words
Find out why the graphic novel market is exploding right now, and learn what it takes to write one. Taught by Dustin Hansen
3:00 Breakout Session 4
Dot Your I’s and Cross Your T’s
It’s more than just proofreading. Learn about the different kinds of editors and why they are all vital to the success of your story.
In Someone Else’s Shoes
Learn to choose the right Point of View and craft the best voice to make your story memorable.
To Thine Own Self Be True
Only YOU can decide what kind of writer you want to be, and the kinds of books you want to write. Join a discussion on setting goals and a vision for your career.
Join Paula Longhurst, mystery writer and bookseller at The King’s English, as she helps you ask all the right questions that will help you craft the perfect murder . . . mystery.
4:00 Breakout Session 5
Circle of Trust
This is the vault, where you get to ask anything and everything, even if you were too embarrassed before, such as “How much do writers get paid?” or “What is an advance?” This is the sacred circle of no judging, so let your silly questions fly.
Want to take your writing to the next level? Take this masterclass on style, and learn in 50 minutes what most writers take years to master. (Will use Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King as a guide)
So Many Books, So Little Time
Richard Peck said, “We write by the light of every book we’ve ever read.” Others have said, if you want to be a writer, you must be a reader. Join a discussion about the books that will support your best writing.
Fairies and Firefly
Wanting to write science fiction or fantasy? Come learn the basics.