Please note that this information was for the previous Writers' Conference - Jan. 24-26, 2014.
3 Dream Techniques for Enhancing & Empowering Your Writing
Writers like William Blake, Maya Angelou, Isabel Allende, Stephen King and many others have tapped into the rich imagery, metaphors and stories of their dreams for centuries. This workshop gives participants the power to capture, record and use their sleep dreams to solve story problems, dream their story forward, and get new ideas for their current projects and beyond.
A Structure for Building Your Book
Your story is only as strong as that platform on which it is built. No not that kind of platform: Learn how to build your novel or memoir on the five-scene scaffold to avoid the dreaded sagging middle and ensure an emotionally resonant conclusion. Incorporate the three-act structure of screenwriting in creating your memoir or novel's plot and you'll keep the reader enthralled.
An Intimate Chat with Sylvia Day
International bestselling author Sylvia Day will answer questions no-holds-barred about publishing and what it's really like on the inside.
Before You Publish, Plan: A Pre-Self-Publishing Discussion
We will cover the basics and provide the information you need to self-publish quality material successfully and avoid the beginner mistakes that can ruin your career before it starts.
Books to Film/TV
Agent Brandy Rivers of the Gersh Agency talks about the process of turning books to film, and the qualities that make a book a candidate for film. There will also be a Q&A following her presentation.
Creating Physical and Mental Space in Your Life for Your Writing
Do you have trouble making space in your life for writing? In this interactive workshop, we will walk you through the process of creating and keeping space in your life for writing. First, the workshop will discuss organizational techniques, decorating tips and spacial optimization for creating and keeping a sacred space for writing, whether you share a studio or live alone in a mansion. Second, we will offer proven strategies for carving out the time and energy in your life to write routinely. Attendees will leave the workshop enthused and ready to create their own writer's residencies and retreats at home.
From The Illiad to The Caine Mutiny: Writing Military Fiction
Military fiction is a broad genre that often rises or falls on the question of whether the author uses characters to prop up the action, such as Pearl Harbor - D-Day stories, or uses the action to define the character, such as Tim O'Brien and Evelyn Waugh novels. This workshop focuses on story arc, character, and the risk of overwriting to show off zealous research in military fiction.
How Do I Use a Blog to Promote My Writing?
A blog is one of the best online tools for marketing your book and your brand as a writer. In this workshop, attendees will learn the reasons they absolutely need a blog, best practices for blogging, and other helpful hints for getting their words outside their head and into the Internet.
Into Creativity & Chaos
Learn how your joy, pain, failures, successes, and imperfections fuel your creativity. We'llshow you how creativity is the art of making something out of the chaos.
Is Self-Publishing the Right Path For You?
This workshop will address the question of traditional vs. self-publishing and review the steps needed for each stage of self-publishing the successful book, including writing/revising/editing, illustrating, formatting, publishing, and promoting.
Learn from the Experts: On-the-Spot Critiques of Query Letters
Bring your query letter for real-time feedback from literary agents.
Learn from the Experts: Perfecting Your Pitch
Literary agents will help you hone your pitch to success.
Mining for Diamonds
There are gems in your slag heap of discarded drafts. In this workshop geared toward writers with in-progress projects, we'll talk specifics to fuel and shape that essay, story, or memoir; to go deeper into character and develop the plot; and concrete tools designed to bridge the gap between abstraction and mechanics in shaping your work. You will learn how to use writing prompts and exercises, not just for inspiration, but to shape your work-in-progress.
Panel: Building Suspense: One Page at a Time
Bestselling authors will talk about techniques for building suspense and how to create scenes that up the ante page-by-page. Questions and answers will follow.
Panel: Criminal Intent: Crafting the Perfect
Bestselling authors will discuss the ins and outs of crafting the page turning mystery. Questions and answers will follow.
Panel: Even the Terminator Had a Romance in It – The Importance of a Love Story in Every Genre
Bestselling authors will talk about the essential love story and why it will make your story stronger – no matter the genre. Questions and answers will follow.
Panel: Keeping It Young without Talking Down: The Voice of Young Adult
Bestselling authors will discuss how to appeal to the young reader in a Twitter-sized world. Questions and answers will follow.
Panel: Science Fiction/Fantasy – To Infinity and Beyond
Ground breaking authors will talk about writing Science Fiction/Fantasy in the 21st century. Questions and answers will follow.
Panel: Speculative Fiction – The Weird, the Wild and the Scare-You-To-Death
Bestselling authors discuss the darker side of fiction and how to let your imagination plot your story and answer questions.
The Debut Author – What to Expect with Your First Book
Three authors discuss the experience of publishing their first novel, the challenges and the lessons learned.
Panel: The Hybrid Author – Publishing in Both Traditional and Indy Arenas
Bestselling authors will discuss the advantages of publishing both with a traditional publisher and as a self-published author and steps you should be taking in your career. Questions and answers will follow.
Panel: Writing the Memoir
A debut novelist and a New York Times bestselling author will discuss the art of writing the memoir and how to turn real life experiences into a riveting read. Questions and answers will follow.
Panel: Young Adult for Today's Market
What makes a successful young adult novel? Critically acclaimed and bestselling authors will discuss the fundamentals of writing a young adult novel and the essential elements a successful young adult novel. Questions and answers will follow.
Publishing Independently with Amazon
Learn how Amazon can help you publish your books and reach the readers who want to read them.
Publishing Now and In the Future
Publishing has changed more in the past five years than in the previous 200! Not since Gutenberg's time has technological innovation created the opportunities for writers that we see today. Come hear why we think this is the best time ever to be a writer. And why the future looks bright as well. We will take you through a brief history of publishing, explain what today's digital publishing advancements mean to you as a writer, and pull out our crystal ball to gaze into the future of this rapidly changing industry.
Research Made Easy: Private Security – Not Just the Old Guy that Gets Tied Up
Looking for ideas to make your crime novel exciting and unique? Listen to a corporate security expert discuss and answer questions about the people, jobs, and missions of corporate security and how to use them in your next novel.
Research Made Easy: Just the Facts, Man – An Inside View of the FBI
Take advantage of this chance to hear a retired FBI special agent talk about what the FBI is really like, how the different branches of law enforcement work together and learn some of the best ways to catch the bad guy.
Revise for Success
Learn a stress-free, concrete plan of action for revising, editing, and polishing your novel, starting with big-picture issues and working your way gradually to final editing and proofreading.
The Burro Genius Story
We will speak on a journey of writing and persevering through 265 rejections to become a published and acclaimed bestselling author.
The Business of Writing
How do you juggle the day job, the family and a writing career? An award-winning author will show you how to get the words written on a tight schedule.
The Ghost in the Machine: Is Ghostwriting for You?
Every writer has heard someone say, "I've got this great idea for a novel. How about you write it for me?" It's easy to say "No, thanks" ... unless they're offering money. What are the advantages and pitfalls of ghostwriting? How does one make it work? Is it for you? Get the inside scoop from a writer who has experienced the ups and downs of being the Man Behind the Curtain.
This Is Not Your Country
The challenge of creating characters outside the landscape of our lives. Memoirs of a Geisha, The Education of Little Tree, Patty's memoir within Freedom: Who gets to write about the female experience, indigenous people, a religion not the writer's own? Should there be taboos? Or is the quality of the writing what matters? To whom does the fictional landscape belong? Planting your flag in a minefield.
The Violence Factor: How much is too much?
TV shows and feature films are flooded with violence and murder these days, but given the recent spate of mass shootings and gun control debate, do people want that same level of death and destruction in their pleasure reading? A New York Times bestselling author will discuss this question with regard to contemporary fiction and nonfiction.
Use Deep Point of View to Bring Your Characters to Life
Learn practical techniques for bringing your characters and story to life and effectively drawing the reader into your story world by using deep point of view, or close third-person POV.
What a Digital Publisher Looks for in an Author
Different, but the same, digital publishing houses have crafted new inroads by expanding the trope envelope. Yet, a good story is a good story. Find out what catches our eye and which authors flourish in the age of e-readers and why.
What You Must Do to Establish Your Online Author Presence
In today's world of online marketing and social media, it's critical that writers not only have a great book to sell, but also an established online presence. In this workshop, attendees will learn how to create an online marketing strategy that includes social media (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), as well as tips for networking with online writers, bloggers and author platforms that can help you get your name – and book – known to the world.
Where Should Your Novel Start?
Back story is a beautiful thing ... but not four chapters worth up front. Grab your reader and seed your story; let's talk about how to begin a good book.
Writing the Nonfiction Book Proposal
Nancy Hancock, executive editor at HarperOne, talks about the nonfiction proposal and its essential elements, and what she looks for when a proposal comes across her desk. There will also be a Q&A following her presentation.
You Had Me from the Start
We're all aware of the importance of hooking the reader quickly. In this session an experienced gatekeeper (AKA lit journal editor) will discuss your first lines, along with tips on how to seduce your reader with a dynamic first line, first paragraph, first page. Bring your novel/memoir opening paragraph – no longer than half a double-spaced page – we'll kick the tires on that baby.
Never Stop Learning . . . Dreaming . . . Writing . . . Publishing . . .
SDSU College of Extended Studies
5250 Campanile Drive
San Diego CA 92182-1925