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2009 Conference Sessions - Friday July 31st



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2009 Conference Sessions

July 30 - August 2, 2009
Registration opens: 1:00 p.m.
Airport Hilton & Convention Center
(Conference sessions, dates & times are subject to change)

Friday, July 31, 2009

7:30 – 9:00 a.m.

Continental Breakfast


8:30 – 9:00 a.m

PNWA Annual Meeting


9:00 – 10:30 a.m.

General Interest Track: Agent Dos and Don’ts.

What’s the best way to get an agent?  How should I approach an agent? What is the best way to pitch to an agent? Once I have an agent what should I expect?  How closely will I work with my agent on things like editing the manuscript? And all those other questions you didn’t have the courage to ask.  

Speaker(s):  Rita Rosenkranz, Meg Ruley, Paul Fedorko, Matthew Mahoney and Alexandra H. Machinist. 


10:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Morning Break


11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Agents Forum

The agents will give an overview of the kind of projects they are acquiring and the best way to submit your project.  A question and answer period will be included.


11:30 a.m.

Lunch Sales Begin

(Lunch available for purchase outside the Registration Area & Writers Café.)


12:30 - 1:15 p.m.

Lunch with Author Jim Rollins (followed by a book signing).


1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

General Interest Track: Spotlight on Editors Celia Johnson, Kate Kennedy, Brooke Warner and Rose Hilliard.

Topic:  Editors will give an overview of the kind of projects they are acquiring, market trends, and industry news.

Speakers:  Celia Johnson, Kate Kennedy, Brooke Warner and Rose Hilliard.


Mystery/Thriller Track: From Gardner to Grisham:  The Evolution of the Contemporary Legal Thriller.

Contrary to popular belief, the contemporary legal thriller or courtroom drama did not begin with Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent, or John Grisham’s The Firm.  Erle Stanley Gardner began writing the Perry Mason books eight decades ago.  Robert Traver wrote Anatomy of a Murder in 1958.  Sheldon Siegel will explore the evolution of the “lawyer novel” from its earliest beginnings to its most recent iterations.  He will also discuss the changes in the genre over the decades and comment upon the major themes in contemporary legal thrillers.  Siegel will comment upon why this genre remains vibrant eighty years after Gardner penned the first Perry Mason story.  

Speaker:  Sheldon Siegel has been a practicing for 25 years and is the author of six critically-acclaimed, best-selling courtroom dramas.

Fantasy/Science Fiction Track: Roadmap to Fantasy and Science Fiction Subgenres:

Agents and Editors explain the popular niches in the Fantasy and Science Fiction markets and who is buying what.  

Agent/Editor(s):  Jim McCarthy, Sally Harding, Ginger Clark   


Craft of Writing Track: Neurotica: How adding Humor Can Jumpstart Your Career.

Laughter is good for everyone – including the one who writes the joke. How to make them laugh – A ten point plan for adding humor to any manuscript.   
Speaker:  Emily Bryan


Business Side of Writing Track: Book Publicity on a Budget.

Teaches authors how to successfully promote their books. The course covers how to talk to the media and book store owners: who to contact, what to say, and how to get that all-important “yes” response.  The workshop also covers seven simple but crucial steps to promoting an author’s work.
Speaker:  Paula Margulies


Non Fiction Track: Going from Good Idea to Sold Idea:  My Seven-Step Process for Banking By-Lines.  People attending this presentation will learn how to create an action plan for article submissions.  How diversification can create opportunities for freelance writers.  How the freelancer does not have to be an expert to write for a specialty magazine.  How to pitch your story.  How to use the Writer’s Guidelines to hit the target dead center.  How and where to find magazines, newspapers, and ezines to pitch.  

Speaker(s):  Roy Stevenson, freelance writer.

Poetry Track: Breaking Down the Boundaries. 
With fewer rules and more options than novel writing, poetry should be considered the ultimate in creativity,
exploration, and experimentation. With the belief that everyone should write poetry, author Terry Persun will touch on everything from the sounds of poetry to its shapes, meanings, and metaphors, the effects of standard punctuation, changing point of views, line lengths and stanza breaks.   Bring pen and paper.

Speaker:  Terry Persun 

3:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Afternoon Break


3:30 – 5:00 p.m.

General Interest Track: Spotlight on Editors Maria Gagliano, Katie K. Gilligan

Editors will give an overview of the kind of projects they are acquiring, market trends, and industry news

Speaker(s):  Maria Gagliano, Katie K. Gilligan, Rose Hilliard


General Interest Track: Agent and Editor Spotlight - The Dream Team:  How an author, agent, and editor work together.

Most authors would agree that achieving a successful writing career is a group effort.  The writer, her agent, and her editor all bring something important to the table.  When a writer has the perfect match in both her agent and her editor, she ahs found her dream team.  Agent Paige Wheeler will explain the important role an agent plays in helping a writer sell her books and map out her career.  Editor Rose Hilliard will explain the role an editor plays in both the development of a writer’s book and the development of her career.  Writer Sheila Roberts will discuss a writer’s responsibility to herself, her editor, and her agent.

Speaker(s):  Agent Paige Wheeler, editor Rose Hilliard and author Sheila Roberts.   

Fantasy Track: Urban Fantasy 101

Vampires, werewolves, and ghosts.  Urban fantasy is one of the hottest genres out there, but what exactly is it?  A panel of published authors answer questions and share their own experiences about the pros and cons of working in urban fantasy, how it’s defined, what’s hot and where this genre is going.     

Speaker(s):  Richelle Mead, Caitlin Kittredge, Mark Henry, Cherie Priest.


Romance Track: What Puts the Love in Romance: The Five Fundamental Elements of Great Romantic Fiction.

NY Times Bestselling author, Elizabeth Boyle explores the five things every writer should consider as they plot, write and edit not only their romance novel, but the romantic elements of any story. Come and learn what it is that makes a romance novel unique, the reader entertained and the author with a sale-ready happy ending of a novel.

Speaker:  Elizabeth Boyle


Business Side of Writing Track: The Legal and Business Aspects of writing Fiction and Nonfiction.

The nuts and bolts of the business of writing are as essential to a writer’s success as the writer’s work itself. How does a writer get an agent and an attorney? This workshop will cover: the principles of copyright law as the underpinnings of all writing; what agents do and what lawyers do, how their functions sometimes overlap and how they differ; the process of obtaining an agent and a lawyer, when and why an agent is necessary and when and why an agent may not be necessary; how agents and lawyers are compensated by their clients; how authors are compensated, the content of a typical collaboration agreement and three reasons why they are an absolute necessity; a review, in detail, of a typical publishing agreement--royalties, advances, rights granted and rights withheld, etc.; the editing process: what happens if the publisher rejects the manuscript, the publisher’s ultimate acceptance of the manuscript, actual publication after acceptance, and promotion and publicity.      
Speaker:  Paul Levine


Craft of Writing Track: How to Start Your Novel: The Beginning.

Editors and judges make a decision about a manuscript in the first few pages. Make sure they don't dismiss yours. This workshop will discuss common mistakes, as well as how to use conflict, characterization and tension to create the most compelling beginning possible. 

Speaker: Megan Chance

Memoir Track: Turn your Life Into A Novel.

You lived it, now write about it.  Turn life experiences into journals, stories, books, or therapy.  Learn the many ways to tap memory, use diaries and interviews, take advantage of the Internet, and organize your life into chapters.

Speaker:  Val Dumond


6:30 p.m.

Featured Speaker: Joseph Finder

Dinner Reception


8:30 – 10:00 p.m.

Autograph Party

Over 60 Award Winning and New York Times Bestselling Authors will attend the Autograph Party that will follow the Keynote Address.



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