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2011 Conference Sessions - Storytelling



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Words are energy. Compressed by the author. Released by the reader.
“Words. Words? Words!!!" So says Hamlet. Chris Humphreys played him once... and shares the prince’s obsession and frustration. This award-winning author will show how, over eleven novels, he strove to put words together in the right order. He will share his discovery: that it is in moments of utter confusion that the biggest explosion of words can happen.

Getting Started and Moving in the Right Direction
From your initial query letter to your published novel the writer must convey that they understand classic story structure. This NY Times best-selling author, Robert Dugoni, will provide in-class exercises and assignments to help you better understand story structure so you can evaluate your novel’s plot. Discover the four stages to writing and how to determine if you should, or shouldn’t outline.

Techniques to Bring Your Novel Writing to Life
Learn how to employ time-tested techniques of best-selling authors to improve your novel writing. This workshop, taught by Robert Dugoni, will focus on catching and holding the reader’s attention in the first three pages while avoiding common mistakes – the seven deadly sins that can get a manuscript rejected and how to create and sustain tension, the key to keeping readers turning the page.

Writing Great Books for Young Adults
Everything you need to know, from crafting the idea to landing a publishing deal. With an 87 percent increase in the number of titles published in the last two years, the YA market is one of the healthiest segments in the industry. Despite this, little has been written to help authors hone their craft to truly connect with this audience. This session covers a wide range of topics including: listening to the voices of youth, meeting your young protagonist, developing a writing style, constructing plots, and trying on point of view. This workshop, taught by agent Regina Brooks, gives writers the advice they need to tap this incredible market.

Writing Successful Science Fiction and Fantasy
Science Fiction and Fantasy books share the requirements of good writing with other types of fiction, but they also have some peculiar requirements of their own. Learn how to add these elements to your story from Hugo and Nebula award-winning author, Nancy Kress.

Love, Sex, and the Alpha Male
The bestselling author of 30 novels, Jane Porter, will discuss Love, Sex and the Alpha Male. The definition of the Alpha Male, why he doesn’t run from a fight, why readers love him, how to write love scenes with sizzle and tension, and how he is transformed by love. Jane uses video clips from Tarzan, High Noon, Last of the Mohicans, Goldfinger and Gladiator to demonstrate these points.

The Romance of Travel Writing
Travel writing sounds too good to be true. You head off to France, Hawaii, or the Swiss Alps, take some notes, shoot some photos and then write articles that sell for enough to pay for the entire trip. But the reality is that only a handful of writers get these really choice assignments. Nicholas O’Connell, author of On Sacred Ground: The Spirit of Place in Pacific Norwest Literature, will try to help you become one of the lucky few. He will introduce you to the fundamentals of travel writing, including scene, character sketches, dialogue, and point of view, as well as how to pitch those stories to an editor at an appropriate magazine, newspaper or website.

Revision. Are You A Barfer Or A Pantser?
Do you throw-up on the first draft, write from the seat of your pants with maybe only a bare bones outline, then fear what you’ve created and what it may take to fix it? Have no fear – Doctors Bob and Chris are here! Though operating in different genres – Robert Dugoni in thrillers/mysteries, C.C. Humphreys in historical and teen fiction – both face the same problem every writer faces with each new project: how to overcome the terror of the second draft and make your rewrites fly?

Mystery Panel - Navigating the Trends of Mysteries and Thrillers
Authors Kevin O’Brien, Mike Lawson, Jon Land, Steve Berry, and Boyd Morrison, and agents Sally Harding and Amy Burkhardt navigate the murky waters of exploring new genres, re-working old ones, and discovering ways to keep your stories fresh.

Unforgettable Heroines
Creating the Unforgettable Heroine, the companion workshop to Love, Sex and the Alpha Male workshop, Jane Porter analyzes the traits of the unforgettable heroine, as well as the challenges of getting the complex heroine right on paper. Unlike the larger than life hero, the heroine must be emotionally accessible from the start of the book, firmly grounded in reality and yet someone the reader can cheer for.

Urban Fantasy or The Scooby Gang Saves the World Again
Creating an urban fantasy world is more than just staking a few vampires or having your werewolves howl at the moon. From character to magic, from settings to battle, learn tips and hints from best selling author Yasmine Galenorn on how to create a well-rounded, balanced, believable altaverse that your readers will love.

The Three Narrative Arcs To Every Story
Bill Kenower, Editor-in Chief of Author magazine and author of the novel One Year In Jeopardy, discusses the three narrative arcs to every story, and why stories are so important not just for writers, but for everyone.

Backstory Bedlam: What to Use, What to Lose
It’s a fact that backstory can enhance or ruin a story depending on how it’s used. Lynn Price, editorial director for Behler Publications will cover the questions of: “What is backstory?”, “Is it evil?”, “Why use backstory?”, and “What to use and what to lose?”

Using Poetry to Explore Depth of Character
Poetry often provides depth to a subject by using metaphor and simile. In this session Gary Copeland Lilley will discuss how to bring depth to your stories and novels through exploring your characters by writing poems about them. He will also help novelists understand the nuances of image and how it can affect the reader.

Writing from the Drawing Board
Author/Illustrator Jesse Joshua Watson shares how writers can benefit from using an illustrator’s approach to narrative. Think about your story from a visual perspective and unlock secrets you may never have found otherwise.

The Novelist as Poet and the Poet as Novelist
Most poets have tried their hand at writing novels, and visa versa. Does it work to take one talent into another field? What can you learn about poets by reading their novels, or learn about novelist through reading their poems. This discussion, taught by Gary Copeland Lilley, will include an exploration of the differences and similarities in these two writing styles.

Finding Your Thread in Memoir
If your life is a handmade patchwork, each day a busy pattern, then your memoir is a single, clear thread pulled whole from the quilt. In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to choose your thread – your theme – and which twists and turns, knots and embellishments you’ll allow. We’ll address issues such as story arc, tension, truth and memory, perspective, writing novelistically, and finding your audience. While we’ll focus on the idea of a book-length manuscript, this workshop is also appropriate for writers of shorter forms. The presenter, Janna Cawrse Esarey, wrote a nonfiction book proposal, pitched it at PNWA, and landed an agent. Her Indie-bestselling travel memoir, The Motion of the Ocean: 1 Small Boat, 2 Average Lovers, and a Woman’s Search for the Meaning of Wife, came out with Simon & Schuster in 2009 and is now in its second printing.

Movie Screening Event with Best Selling Author Jon Land
The making of a Hollywood film with all the highs, lows, good times, disappointments, and frustrations - from conception to development to production to release - from the writer’s viewpoint. Jon Land not only writes mainstream thriller fiction, he's expanding his talents to focus on screenwriting as well. His first film credit, a teen caper-comedy called DIRTY DEEDS, was released theatrically in the summer of 2005 and in DVD in January of 2006. His other current film projects include the psychological-thriller PARANOIA and CHALK (Handpicked Films, Michel Shane) and LUCKY DOG (Gravity Entertainment). And he is currently adapting STONG ENOUGH TO DIE for the screen.

Writing in Scenes
For award-winning author Nancy Kress, one principle made all the difference in her writing, transforming it from promising but unsellable to compelling and published. That one principle was writing in scenes. In this unique mini-course, Nancy will explain how to determine the purpose and shape of a scene. She'll discuss the five modes of expression used in a scene, how to find the optimal balance between these five modes for a particular scene, and the importance of dialogue as the heart of almost all scenes. Nancy, an acclaimed writing teacher, provides great insights into the process of creating a scene.

Show Don’t Tell, Demystified
“Show, don’t tell” is the bedrock rule of narrative writing. It is the wellspring from which all other writing guidelines spring. It is the one central skill writers must master in order to succeed. And yet, what is “showing”, really? How is it different from “telling”? Why does “showing” work where “telling” fails? And most importantly, how do you actually do it? In this lecture, book doctor Jason Black will answer these questions in practical terms you can take back to your keyboard, including a sure-fire method for figuring out what to show and how to show it in any scene you’re writing.

How to Hook the Reader, Demystified
No book succeeds without a strong hook: an ability to deeply engage the reader in the story. Your opening hook must convince your readers not to put the book down. The rest of the book must hook your readers so strongly they finish the book with gusto and recommend it to their friends. But what makes a hook? In this lecture, book doctor Jason Black explains the four categories of hooks, shows what they have in common, and reveals why they work in the first place. You will leave the lecture with a hands-on understanding of how to create and sustain hooks throughout your novel, from beginning to end.

Conflict and Drama, Demystified
You don’t have to look through many books on narrative writing before one of them will tell you to “keep conflict in every scene,” and that books without conflict are boring. It’s true. What is less often explained is what conflict actually is, to the novelist, and how it relates to the reader’s sense of drama. In this lecture, book doctor Jason Black reveals the underlying nature of narrative conflict, shows how conflict gives rise to drama, explains the three categories of narrative conflict and gives you brass-tacks guidelines for using them in your novels.

The Warrior Writer
For both fiction and non-fiction authors, this is a workshop that focuses on educating writers on how to be authors. Warrior Writer is a holistic approach encompassing goals, intent, environment, personality, change, courage, communication, and leadership that gives the writer a road map to become a successful author. Many writers become focused on either the writing or the business end; Warrior Writer integrates the two. Warrior Writer fills a critical gap in the publishing industry paradigm. While there are numerous workshops focused on just the writing, this is the only one that focuses on the strategies, tactics, and mindset a writer needs to develop in order to be a successful author.

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9/17/2019 » 3/1/2020
Literary Contest 2020

9/24/2020 » 9/27/2020
2020 PNWA Conference

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