Described as “John Grisham with a sister’s twist,” Pamela Samuels Young makes her SCWC debut in September. The award-winning author of such taught legal thrillers as Every Reasonable Doubt, In Firm Pursuit, Murder on the Down Low, and Buying Time–honored with a 2010 Fiction Award by The Black Caucus of the American Library Association–her books are immensely popular with readers everywhere, but it’s her path to publication where the real story lies. Full of insight and inspiration, she’ll tell us all about it, as well as her latest, Attorney-Client Privilege, out July from Goldman House.
No doubt you’ve heard plenty about HarperCollins digital imprint, Authonomy, derived from its online effort geared to “flush out the brightest, freshest new literature around.” Well, none other than Mary Vensel White is aboard for LA10. Her debut novel, The Qualities of Wood, was the first book chosen for publication based on nominations from the Authonomy writing community. A work of literary fiction bestowed the 2012 International Book Award, the challenges of crafting the novel proved unique enough–though pervasive throughout the writing community–that Mary’s put together a workshop right up the SCWC’s alley: “Outside Genre: How Story Trumps Convention.”
Speaking of community, both our .COMmunity and extended community of SCWCers, Janice Thomas is a familiar face to many regulars. Among our prized volunteers behind the registration desk the past two conferences, not only will she be introducing a new workshop, “Getting to the Heart of Women’s Fiction,” but also her debut novel from Berkely Books, Something New. The publication date isn’t until November, but we’re pretty sure we’ll get our little digits on some advance copies. Congratulations, Janice!
Another member of the community couldn’t have made us more proud than Sheri Fink, best-selling children’s book author of The Little Rose and The Little Gnome. Sheri took it upon herself to compile not one, but two Amazon Listmania lists of books that have come out from SCWCers in recent years. While in no manner complete, it offers up over 60 titles in almost every genre imaginable for your reading pleasure, including Jennifer Word’s debut novel, The Society, just out from Stony Meadow Publishing. Thank you, Sheri!
Two debut novels were unveiled by ZOVA Books at February’s SD26 event. SCWCer Jessica Therrien’s Oppression, the first volume in her Children of the Gods trilogy, and SCWC director Wes Albers’s gritty Black & White. Both have won over gobs of fans since then, and both have given extended audio interviews to our friends at Scripts & Scribes. Here you can listen or download for later the podcast of Wes and the podcast of Jessica.
Quick shout out to yet another ZOVA Books writer, author and Oscar-winning screenwriter Michael Blake. His sequel to Dances with Wolves, Into the Stars, recently nabbed the Gold Medal IPPY Award for Military/Wartime Fiction. Of course, Michael is one our special guest speakers and workshop leaders in Newport Beach. Members of ZOVA’s editorial team will also being joining in.
As usual, we’ll be opening up the advance submission readers for selection by month’s end, just as soon as the remaining agents, editors and authors who’ll be accepting material are confirmed. The working schedule will be posted in a week or so. Also, either at the end of June or first week of July, we’ll be rolling out a new feature of WritersConference.com that so many have been asking for for a very long time. Be sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter to find out where it will be and when. If you’re a writer, you’ll not want to miss it.
Attending writers’ conferences often ain’t cheap and the motives of the organizers putting them on can sometimes prove questionable. Some are devoted to the writers attending, others more to those the writers are seeking to learn from or be represented by. For nearly 27 years the SCWC has distinguished itself for a reason: it is first and foremost about extending our community, our commitment to passionate advocacy for writers, far beyond the end of any given event’s weekend. Two brief essays that got lost in the website rollover, geared to help you choose the right conference for you, are now back: “Pitch Conference: My Opinion,” by Jean Jenkins and “Choose the Write Conference for Your Needs,” by Michael Steven Gregory. At some point we’ll get them back on the front page.
Finally, the Newport Beach conference is more limited in size than San Diego. Reserve your spot by taking advantage of the Early “Bard” Discount by July 1. And be sure to join the vigorous conversation on our SCWC Facebook Wall.
Having sold nine novels in four years (two adult to St. Martin’s Press and seven young adult to Farrar, Straus, Giroux), author Jessica Brody will be joining us for the first time in Newport Beach. Her latest, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, is out this Summer, while Unremembered, the first book in a new teen sci-fi series, is due early 2013. Both have already been optioned for film and Jessica’s going to tell us all about it as one of our special guest speakers. She’ll also be conducting a new workshop informing how to apply the unique, proven methodology she uses to structure novels. And look who else will be with us:
Bestselling author and international writing guru Tom Bird will be making his debut appearance at the SCWC. So, too, will author and longtime Hollywood story consultant Gene Del Vecchio. His latest, Creating Blockbusters: How to Generate and Market Hit Entertainment for TV, Movies, Video Games, and Books (Pelican), is just out.
On the children’s front, SCWCer–now bestselling indie author–Sheri Fink will be sharing her inspirational journey to electing to self-publish, The Little Rose, a #1 best-seller on Amazon for over 40 weeks, and which became the #1 Top-Rated Children’s eBook on Amazon. Her second book, The Little Gnome, was published only last month and debuted at #1 on the Amazon best-seller list. Whether you’re looking to ePublish or go the “traditional” route, Sheri promises a truly insightful, strategy-packed session for today’s entrepreneurial author.
With still more to be announced, plenty other authors, editors, agents and other publishing professionals have been confirmed for LA10, so be sure to check out the staff page.
Some good “muse” to spread: John Rosenberg’s debut novel, Tincture of Time (World Nouveau), is out. The original manuscript was recognized and awarded by the SCWC for Outstanding Fiction years back. It’s the second book John’s gotten published that came out of the conference. The Healthy Edit: Creative Editing Techniques for Perfecting Your Movie (Focal Press) came out 2010…
Longtime SCWC workshop leader, and a special guest speaker at this past February’s San Diego event, Frederick Ramsay’s next installment in his critically lauded Ike Schwartz Mystery series, Scone Island, is out August from Poisoned Pen. It’ll mark his twelfth book published since his first attending the SCWC*LA as a conferee back in 2005. Congratulations, all!
Remember that the Newport Beach conference is more limited in size than San Diego. Reserve your spot by taking advantage of the Early “Bard” Discount today. And don’t forget to join the conversation on our SCWC Facebook Wall.
Six months out and already so much to report. Returning to the SCWC with not just one, but two books just out is none other than that irrepressible literary illuminati Robert Ward. Of Renegades: My Wild Trip from Professor to New Journalist... (Tyrus Books) Library Journal hails, “essential reading for those interested in new journalism.” And of The Best Bad Dream (Mysterious Press), Bob’s latest novel, T. Jefferson Parker, Edgar-winning author of The Border Lords, proclaims it, “smart, startling, a little wicked. The writing is perfect pitch and the characters feel like people you’ve met and known… A terrific read.” Now guess which Academy Award-winning writer will be with us?
Michael Blake, who nabbed an Oscar for the screen adaptation of his novel Dances With Wolves, will be making his SCWC debut at LA10. Michael’s written quite a lot since that first widely rejected manuscript was initially released to little fanfare. Into the Stars, his latest historical novel, is out from ZOVA Books.
Speaking of ZOVA Books, Oppression, book one of Jessica Therrien’s “Children of the Gods” YA paranormal romance/adventure series, is the no. 5 best-selling teen Nook book at the moment, directly behind the remarkably successful Hunger Games trilogy. Jessica, of course, was discovered by ZOVA at our SD25 event and we couldn’t be more thrilled for her. Good book. Good read. Good author.
And yet another ZOVA author is making his debut. SCWC director Wes Albers’ novel, Black & White, hits the shelves today (and Nook and Kindle)! New York Times bestseller Gayle Lynds (The Book of Spies) calls it, “Gritty and rewarding… A top-notch cop novel. Watch out, Joseph Wambaugh!” Andrew Peterson (Forced to Kill) calls it, “A gutsy look at the inside life of a street cop. Thoroughly entertaining!” While Gary Phillips (The Underbelly) has this to say, “Gripping. Rugged. Authentic… Bring your diapers.”
Obviously, there’s lots of authors, agents, editors and other publishing professionals still to be announced so be sure to join our RSS feed, or subscribe to our .COMmunity newsletter to keep up to date. Follow us on the SCWC Facebook page for plenty of other information and writerly good times.
Early “Bard” Registration is now open. Register by June 1 and save $75 off Full Conference. In the meantime, for another good story well told, check out Wes speaking at last month’s SD26 event below.
Each and every SCWC has its unique take-away. For some it’s a specific scrap of information that suddenly blows open the floodgates of inspiration, for others it may be making a deep and visceral connection with another like-minded soul. An agent’s request to see your manuscript, a handful of peers responding favorably to your work during read & critique, even a silly, goober-spitting moment of hilarity while simply kicking it with other writers–the conference take-aways are varied and many and sometimes personal. For me, during our 37th conference in nearly 26 years, there were two…
LA9 Take-away 1: Writers are so hot that an L.A. firefighter ditched his friend’s wedding reception to hang with a group of us until 6:45 in the morning. See, even LAFD couldn’t put us out. LA9 Take-away 2: We often forget to recognize how far a writer’s come. Yes, Wes and I joke on Friday night that our only expectation of conferees is to leave the last day of the conference with their work sucking less than when they arrived on the first, but the thing is, stick-to-itness, the ability to listen to criticism and suggestions in effort to elevate your craft, coupled with the determination to do so, all that too warrants recognition.
Tenacity, determination, and the long slog of incremental improvements made that ultimately, hopefully, result in a good story well told is not unique to “aspiring” or emerging writers. It is the skein ALL writers share. And while some people measure a writer’s validation merely by publication, what also validates a writer is great improvement of craft, published or not. Wes and I were reminded of that Sunday when informed that one such writer, Lisa Holdren, a conferee who’s been with us for at least four conferences, demonstrated such. It’s been too many years since we rewarded such commitment. It’s been too many years since we applauded such achievement. Sunday was a good day to do so, and for that we are grateful. Now on to the awards…
From Diamond Bar, CA
From Sherman Oaks, CA
Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman (read here)
From San Diego, CA
Bob Harman (read here)
From Laguna Beach, CA
Congratulations all! We plan to be back in Newport Beach next September. Thanks to our special guest speakers, Margaret Dilloway, Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman, Darlene Quinn, Scott Sigler, and John Vorhaus. Special thanks to all our SCWC workshop leaders, advance submission readers and hard working volunteers. Above all else, a robust and especially beefy thanks to all the conferees who entrusted us with their work and aspirations this past weekend. It is the SCWC’s honor to be a part of your community. It is with you we wish to spoon.
San Diego 26 is only five months away. We hope to see you there. In the meantime, go forth and write well!
Awarded Outstanding Fiction way back at LA2, John Rosenberg’s Tincture of Time (previously titled Monday in the Tropics) is out later this year from Mischievous Muse Press. Many have been passionate about this book for a long time and John’s stick-to-itness should inspire all. Another tenacious writer, Janis Thomas, joined us for the first time at February’s conference. In June she was referred to an agent willing to read her manuscript. Within a week the agent reported back, loved it, asked for an exclusive, and the third week of July Berkley made an offer which she accepted. Janis writes, “(T)hank you… I was motivated to finish this novel in time for SD25, so you are indirectly responsible for my success!” Something New will be out Summer, 2012.
There’s plenty of room left to join us in Newport Beach. Online registration will remain open through Wednesday, Sept. 21. After that date only walk-in registration will be available at conference itself. And while the schedule’s getting close to complete, it’s still not exactly where we want it as at least three more sessions are being added
That’s all for now. We look forward to seeing you next week.
Eminently entrepreneurial New York Times bestselling author, freakishly fanatic digital maven, unrelenting wordslinger and co-founder of Dark Overlord Media, Scott Sigler will be in the LA9 house. Along with the boyz behind BackMyBook, Scott’s going to peel open the lid and allow you a look inside the multi-faceted machine that is his publishing reality, and that has won over a legion of self-described “junkies” that feed on his every read, bleed, podcast and weed. (“Weed” as in a short story, little and all alone on the lush, literary landscape, just waiting to be whacked. Or read. Something.) Bring a big brain to the session, you’re going to fill it up fast. We might even have the latest in his Galactic Football League series, The All-Pro, just ahead of pub. date.
From powerhouse agency N.S. Bienstock, literary rep. Paul Fedorko is aboard. Paul joined us for the first time at last year’s LA8 where he discovered longtime conferee Indy Quillen’s Outstanding Fiction Award-winning manuscript, Ceremony. He’s hungry for more good stories and obviously knows where to find them, so welcome back, Paul.
Speaking of agents, as usual about this time before a conference, advance submission readers are beginning to fill up. Agents are inevitably the first to do so–even though we all know that the majority of books that have come out of the conference tend to come from the passionate advocacy of author/readers, but that’s another story. If you haven’t selected your reader(s) and are looking to do so, do so really soon. August tends to be when a huge chunk of writers register for the conference, causing the availability of advance submission readers to quickly diminish. This is about your work. This is your time. This is your opportunity to shine. Don’t let another self-possessed, narcissist deprive you of it!
Did we mention that Marilyn Friedman’s back? Yeah, atleast one of her workshops will be the popular Rogue session, “Hanky Panky: Writing the Erotic.” Latex optional.
Just heard that our discounted hotel room bloc is nearly sold out. In fact, it might completely fill up by the end of this week. If you’re wanting a room, book it immediately. If you’re looking for a roommate to split the cost we have one female writer looking for one, albeit a female one (wimpy writer). Email Michael to get hooked up.
Finally, Drusilla Campbell’s NovelCram… Deadline for signing up for this immersion track is Sept. 1. Remember, space is limited for NovelCram and it’s half-full as of today. Or half-empty, depending on your level of cynicism.
Schedule’s getting close to complete, but is still not exactly where we want it. Be patient. Be sweet. Go write.
One of the true delights of running the SCWC is introducing great new authors who’re cutting through the distractions and doomsaying so rife in today’s ever-changing publishing world, only to make a big splash with their work in spite of it. (Spite. Yet another good reason to write.) Quality storytelling prevails. And while it’s always fun to have cherished authors whose careers span decades as special guests at the conference, the question often now debated is, “But could they get published today as a new author nobody’s never heard of?” That’s why we like talent fairly fresh to the game, who’ve overcome and continue to tackle the challenges all aspiring authors now must face. And that’s why we like Margaret Dilloway.
Author of the breakout sensation, How to Be an American Housewife (Putnam), Margaret’s debut novel was inspired in part by her Japanese mother’s experiences, and especially by a book her father had given to her mother called The American Way of Housekeeping. Publishers Weekly calls it, “Enchanting.” Author Susan Wiggs (Just Breathe) raves, “A triumphant debut novel. Margaret Dilloway gives us the most original, endearing, courageous and enduring narrator I’ve read in a long time.” And hails Margot Livesey (The House on Fortune Street), “[It] took me on two intricate journeys, from postwar Japan and the shadow of Nagasaki to contemporary California, and from motherhood to daughterhood and back again. A profound and suspenseful debut.” Replacing April Smith–who’ll be out of the country shooting her next movie–Margaret will be our Saturday evening Special Guest Speaker. We can’t wait!
The SCWC Twitter feed is now live at http://twitter.com/SCWriters. As with the SCWC Facebook group, our intent is to feed you with whatever particularly useful bits of publishing world news and views we find of interest. You can also post one tweet/one story at #TwitFiction. We’re thinking we should make a contest out of it. What do you think?