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Conference Program - Saturday, July 19th 2014
2014 CONFERENCE SCHEDULE - July 17 – 20, 2014

Please note schedule is subject to change.


8:00 – 9:30 a.m.

Presented by a Panel of Agents & Editors: Christina Hogrebe, Emily Keyes, Anna Klenka, and Poja Menion

Agents and editors will pick random first-page submissions to read out loud and review. Find out what grabs their attention and what will land you in the rejection pile.

FEELING OF PLACE: How to Successfully Weave “Feeling of Place” and Atmosphere into the Fabric of Your Book
Presented by James Ullrich

As a travel writer-turned-novelist, James Ullrich knows the importance of giving the reader that all-important “sense of place.” When he wrote his novels, the atmosphere of the exotic locales played a central role. It takes time and craft to successfully weave atmosphere into the other elements of narrative, tone, and characterization. James will explain how to do it properly, giving concrete examples to illustrate his points.

Presented by Jim Satterfield

The learning objectives for this presentation will include: tools and methods for finishing the first draft of your manuscript, understanding writing success factors, identifying the common pitfalls that prevent writers from finishing, how to develop your daily writing routine, and a review of basic fiction structure.

WAKE UP AND SMELL THE SCAM: A Primer for Emerging Authors
Presented by Mark Henry, Delilah Marvelle, and Sabrina York

The publishing industry is evolving daily and with it the dangers for uninitiated authors. Come and join three authors who have experienced – and survived. From heinous contract clauses, to the quicksand of publisher apathy, to out-and-out scams, Sabrina, Delilah, and Mark will discuss them all.

Presented by Jason Black

There are two skills needed to create a great novel: writing craft and story craft. From line editors to critique groups, lots of people can help you strengthen your story’s premise, your plot structure, your characters, and their arcs. Whatever issues lurk in your manuscript, these people have seen them all before and know how to fix them. Join local developmental editor Jason Black to learn how he and his peers help you make the story you write live up to the one in your head.

Presented by PNWA Board Member Terry Persun

We all know what a well-rounded character reads like, but how do you develop one step-by-step within your novel? In this class, we’ll first discuss the three layers of character, then talk about how to build a character while writing the book through the use of scene, setting, dialogue, etc. We’ll also look at ways in which gesture habit and point-of-view can affect each character. And we’ll explore the differences between walk-on characters, minor characters, and main characters.

10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Presented by Lisa Fernow and Katherine Sears

What is a platform? Where is it? When do I start it? How do I know when I need one, and what does it look like for me and my books? In order to become successful, you know you need a platform. Most agents and publishers expect you to have one in place before beginning the process of approaching them. What you may not currently understand is exactly what that is, or how to build one. We will walk you through the critical-to-haves versus the nice-to-haves, all using real world examples.

Presented by Jason Cruz

This presentation will survey copyright and trademark law and discuss issues related to defamation, libel/slander, and freedom of speech under the First Amendment. A component of the presentation will focus on the legal issues authors may face when attempting to market their books via Twitter, Facebook, or a website/blog. For instance, it will discuss what you can and cannot use on your website, who owns what (i.e. photos, articles, etc.), and what to do if someone is using your work without permission. Three things people will take away from the presentation: Is your book/writing protected? How can you avoid copyright infringement when marketing your work to the blogosphere? What can you do to avoid infringement and not get sued?

Presented by Gerri Russell

Learn the importance of a good editor, cover art, marketing strategy, and how to choose the best self-publishing option for your project.

Presented by PNWA Board Member Nicole Persun

Are you having trouble turning your story’s two-dimensional setting into a vivid, three-dimensional world? Do you struggle to describe setting in a way that comes off the page? Developing a sense of place within your stories is like developing a character – each setting has a physical appearance, a backstory, a culture, a sense of social organization, and a day-to-day lifestyle. In this session, we’ll consider the five elements of establishing setting and how those are affected by one another. We’ll also discuss how to better include setting in our scenes to create a vivid backdrop for your story, whether your character lives in New York or on another planet.

Presented by PNWA Board Member Bill Kenower

Everyone’s life story is worth telling. The question is not if it should be told or if anyone would be interested in reading it, but how will you tell it. In this class we will look at the unique challenges of turning our lives into compelling stories. Using the concepts of character, voice, and narrative arcs, we will begin to learn how to reduce the enormity of full life into something we can share with other people.

Presented by Elena Hartwell

Dialogue is often considered the hardest element of fiction to “get right.” Many writers don’t realize the purpose of dialogue, let alone know how to make it flow naturally and move the story forward. Even experienced, successful writers can stumble when writing dialogue, causing their page-turning narrative to come to an abrupt and awkward halt. This interactive workshop exposes writers of all levels to theatrical writing practices, improving the form and function of their dialogue within their individual styles and genres. Further, this workshop encourages writers to generate material on the spot and practice rewriting techniques throughout the 90 minutes of the presentation. This teaching style encourages writers to begin incorporating the methods in the workshop immediately into their routines.

2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

CLEAN UP YOUR MANUscript: What to Look for BEFORE You Submit
Presented by Author magazine grammar writer Cherie Tucker

Participants will learn how to edit their work with confidence, use punctuation skillfully to enhance their writing, and avoid “red flags” and usage gaffes that interrupt the reader’s attention to the text.

Presented by Lois Brandt

Although all writers enjoy creating stories, some cringe at the idea of marketing. This presentation will tackle two issues that often slow or disable introverted writers: rejection and networking. We begin by talking about the strengths and weaknesses of being an introvert. We then move on to common errors that introverts make when trying to sell their work. We take this information, flip it, and get a detailed look at how introverts can play to our strengths. During the class each student will come up with three comfortable steps to market their current work and build closer connections to others in the publishing industry. Attendees will learn how to turn perceived weaknesses into strengths, how to avoid common errors (including under-submitting and rejection paralysis), and how to create a networking plan that is within their comfort zone.

Presented by Gerri Russell

Learn to input your novel into a digital format.

Presented by PNWA Board Member Terry Persun

Who is telling your story? Is it a first-person account? Is it being told second-hand? Is there some omniscient narrator who knows and sees all? This class will explore how to figure out which point-of-view is best for your novel or story. We’ll discuss what point-of-view is, why it’s important to your novel, and how to apply it well. Point-of-view slips can cause a manuscript to be rejected, can cause a reader to become confused, and can create an unreliable narrator. This class will help attendees gain a firm grasp on one of the more difficult, yet fundamental, aspects of fiction.

Presented by Beth Jusino

The “author wars” are heating up, with passionate arguments flying around about the decisions to self-publish, traditionally publish, e-publish, or all of the above. For every three authors, there are four opinions about the “right” way to go. What’s a new writer to do? As a marketing and editing professional who’s worked on both sides of the publishing fence, Beth Jusino doesn’t think there is a “right” answer for every writer. The publishing market is in a state of transition, and there are opportunities and pitfalls with every path. Three things that attendees will learn are: writers have options, and what’s best for one writer may not be best for another; the pros and cons of traditional publishing and self-publishing; and a realistic impression of cost, timing, and logistics involved in producing a book. Beth Jusino will define royalties, advances, and where the money goes.

CONNECTING WITH READERS: How Independent Bookstores Can Help
Presented by Paul Hanson

Your book is coming out! Now how do you spread the word? No matter how your book will be published, you’ll still have to do the lion’s share of the marketing. Even in this increasingly virtual world, personal connections and relationships are what will set you apart. Kelly and Paul will discuss how you can make events an important part of your book’s life and how you can connect with the taste-makers of the literary world: independent bookstores.

WILL THE REAL PUBLISHER PLEASE STAND UP? Questions every writer should ask a publisher before they query
Presented by Lynn Price

What are the myths and realities of vanity and Print on Demand presses? What are the different types of publishers and what can they do for an author? What are the right questions to ask before you query? Lynn Price, editorial director of Behler Publications, will discuss these questions as well as an author’s options in this new world of publishing.

4:00 – 5:30 p.m.

AUTHORSHIP AS A BUSINESS: Creating Your Platform and Publicity Plan
Presented by Karen Lynn Maher and Margo Myers

Whether you self-publish or have a traditional publisher, you must establish your marketing platform to sell your book. Attendees will learn how to start establishing your brand as an author, understand the “must-have” elements of your promotional plan, learn how to set up your social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), create an editorial calendar, identify “key topics” around your book’s content, and learn how to find and engage your audience.

Presented by Lois Brandt

Take a break from the conference and roll up your sleeves? This hands-on workshop is for those with a picture book manuscript who would like to bump it up to the next level. We will examine our drafts through the revision lenses of character, plot, and illustration. A ten-minute discussion of each of these elements is followed by a revision exercise. All participants are expected to bring a manuscript to the workshop. Attendees will learn ways to understand the “want” for every character in their picture book, how to develop a layered plot, and methods to give the illustrator room to do his or her job.

Presented by Sabrina York

If you’ve heard all the chatter about street teams and wondered what they are, how to set them up, and what to do with them once you have one, this is the workshop for you. Sabrina York discusses the secret value in street teams, the nitty-gritty of team management, some huge danger zones, and why you should be building one BEFORE you are published.

A MOMENT IN TIME: Focusing the Historical Novel
Presented by Candace Robb

After writing 13 critically-acclaimed historical mysteries, Candace Robb branched out into mainstream historical novels (writing as Emma Campion) and discovered she missed the clear, tight focus of a murder investigation. In this workshop, she’ll share with you what she’s learned about zeroing in on a question as compelling as whodunit? and why? She’ll take you through the steps of narrowing your focus to the emotional catalyst for a historical figure’s choices or a momentous event. Once you establish the heart of the matter, it serves as your guide in shaping a tight narrative.

Presented by Janet Fisher

Attendees will learn what perseverance really means – not just continuing to do the same thing over and over, and not just patiently waiting. It means growing and developing and trying new ways. Sometimes it means throwing out what you thought you knew. Sometimes it means learning to identify your own passions, or to accept critiques as well as praise. Most importantly, it means never giving up and embracing the joy and journey of writing, not just the destination of publication.

Presenter will be announced soon

Description is forthcoming.

Enjoy a dinner during the presentation.

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

How To Adapt A Novel Into A Pilot And Episodic Season

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