Joining the SCWC for her first time is Samantha Bremekamp, a rising star of New York’s Marisa Corvisiero Literary. Very much a hands-on agent, expanding her list, she’s interested in children’s, middle grade, young adult and new adult fiction. While open to any genre within those categories, Samantha is especially keen on speculative fiction, mystery, or the quirky romance. By her own admission, although there may be a difference between a three-year-old and a 33-year-old, Samantha finds that all of life’s challenges in these age groups offer the potential for great character growth and exploration.
We speak with a lot of emerging writers in the run-up to a conference. As with this past February’s San Diego event, premature e-publication remains a common topic. Upon realization of having done so, most lament that the books they’ve elected to self-publish really weren’t ready for prime time. Even those with quality prose and a story that warrants telling, with packaging, blurbs and ad copy that all managed to be “good enough,” the lack of an extensive backlist of traditionally published titles, or significant platform, or inability to devote the necessary time, marketing savvy and money, foiled their efforts to shine brightly.
Frankly, too many writers simply don’t know what they don’t know when it comes to succeeding in the current publishing environment. And the fact so many social media “gurus,” so-called “publishing services” and panel-centric writing events, offering little more than conflicting, sometimes utterly uniformed opinions by those thrashing equally in vain at the ether, trying equally hard to validate their purposeful being and sell a few more books (or services), can quickly make choosing the right course of action overwhelming.
The only thing that remains constant and certain is that craft matters, and that a good story well told stands a greater chance of being successful—whether traditionally released or indie-published. That’s why the SCWC focuses on workshops, emphasizes excellence in craft, and strives to maximize as much personal attention to the development of the individual writer’s work, his or her unique challenges, in effort to ensure s/he’s sufficiently apprized by industry professionals to determine which path to publication to choose. More so, how and when.
To that end, beyond our regular tiers of daily and late-night read & critique workshops, here’s a few of the practical sessions currently slated for LA13:
- Jean Jenkins’ “Best Foot Forward” 1 & 2
- Claudia Whitsitt’s “Creating Tension Where There is None”
- Janet Williams’ “Everything You Need to Know about Sex Scenes”
- Lane Heymont’s “Setting: Creating a Believable Sci-Fi/Fantasy World”
- Marla Miller’s “Nonfiction for Newbies: Is it a Book or Not?”
- Stacey O’Brien’s “Memoir: Structuring Your Story and the Stories Within”
- Darlene Quinn’s “Authorpreneur: Managing YOUR Publishing Business”
- Gayle Carline’s “Self-Publishing from A to Z: The Nuts and Bolts of Making Your Own Way”
- Laura Taylor’s “Indie Excellence: Glocalization and the Key to Survival”
On the StoryCore track, all but two of the back-to-back workshops are now dialed in:
- Jean Jenkins’ “Defining Genre: What Are You Really Writing?” and “Promises to Keep: Rewarding Your Reader”
- Ara Grigorian’s “Finding the Beats of Your Story” and “Anatomy of Romance: New Adult and Beyond”
- Janis Thomas’ “Plot vs. Character: What’s Driving Your Story?”
- Darlene Quinn’s “Voice: Whose Story is it?”
The remaining StoryCore workshops will be devoted to either young adult/new adult fiction or transformative narrative in fiction and non-fiction. If you have a preference, let us know. If you’re interested in something else entirely, let us know.
Recent Good “Muse”
The fourth release in author/workshop leader Claudia Whitsitt’s Samantha Stitsill series, Inherited Issues, is out June 22nd … Bestselling author Andrew Peterson, an SCWCer from way back, whose first novel came out of one of our Palm Springs events, has his latest being released from Thomas & Mercer come August. Contract to Kill furthers the exploits of master marksman Nathan McBride … Another longtime SCWCer, humorist Paul De Lancey, has a new release from HumorOutcasts on June 2nd. Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms? tells the story of Debbie Devil, the horny, estranged wife of Satan. Or in other words, pretty much everything we expect of Paul to write.
Cool New Tool
See that big red button that says “rec” inside, over to the right of the page? If you have a camera on your computer—or phone—click it and share up to three minutes of your personal SCWC experience. We have gobs of testimonials recorded from the conferences themselves, but thought this might be fun for those seeking a more contemplative way to express their love. (Don’t worry, anything you record will first have to be approved before going live.) Take a look below for an example.
That’s all for now. Much more to announce soon. Meanwhile, lots of topics being discussed and advice being procured on our Facebook .COMmunity wall. Jump in and join the conversation. Like your work, your voice matters.
–Michael Steven Gregory
Executive Director, SCWC