Presidents' Day Weekend, February 17-20, 2017 A Weekend For Words, September 22-24, 2017 Settle For Exceptional in Sunriver, OR TBA, 2017

LA14 (Irvine) Schedule

  • Click on any individual workshop title to view its summary. For specific instructions on how to navigate the interactive online schedule, or customize and print your own weekend itinerary, please go to the “Tips” tab above, where we also have a video tutorial. All workshops and events will take place at the conference hotel, the Wyndham Irvine, located at 17941 Von Karman Avenue, Irvine, CA 92614.

    A summary of all workshops can be found on the Workshops and Events page. If you’re having a problem navigating the interactive schedule below, we also offer the Weekend-At-A-Glance.

    • Scroll down to any given day by using your browser’s schroll bar on the right (or touch and drag).
    • Position your mouse pointer over the timetable grids to scroll to the relevant timeframe using the horizontal scroll buttons that will appear.
    • Click on the gray box with the title of the event you’re interested in to expand it and to view more information about the event.
    • In an expanded event box, click the “Add to Program” button to highlight this event on the printable schedule (optional).
    • Access a printable schedule (which also contains any highlighted events) by clicking the tiny, black printer icon at the upper-right of each day’s timetable (optional).
    • Watch the video below for a tutorial that walks you through all of this functionality. Be sure to click the little “gear” icon and set the quality to “720p” HD for the best possible viewing experience.


Friday, September 23rd, 2016

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REGISTRATION DESK

Walk-in Registration
September 23rd 12:00pm - 8:00pm
 
 

WORKSHOP

Read & Critique

Read, Critique & Live to Write Another Day
September 23rd 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Melanie Hooks & Laura Perkins
Staff members and R&C vets Laura Perkins and Melanie Hooks walk you through critique-giving etiquette and their most helpful methods of interpreting ‘craft vs opinion’ notes, all while keeping your ego – and passion for your work – alive and well.
 
All-Genre
September 23rd 3:40pm - 5:10pm
Maralys Wills
Troubleshoot potentially problematic aspects of works-in-progress.
 
Rogue Read & Critique(s)
Sep 23rd 9:00pm - Sep 24th 12:00am
Various

  • All-Genre: Matthew J. Pallamary

  • All-Genre: Laura Taylor

  • Sci-Fi and Fantasy: Melanie Hooks & Laura Perkins

 
 

WORKSHOP

Craft & Execution

Authorial Voice: Do You Have or Need One?
September 23rd 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Claudia Whitsitt
Writers often struggle with voice, that elusive element agents often refer to when rejecting manuscripts. In this hands-on workshop we will dissect mentor texts and learn the elements of voice, as well as practice developing distinct, relatable voices for unique and compelling characters.
 
Getting to the Heart of Women’s Fiction
September 23rd 3:40pm - 5:10pm
Janis Thomas
Women’s Lit is a broad genre, but one of the most popular and best-selling forms of fiction today. In this workshop, we’ll explore the overall genre, its sub-genres and the commonalities they share; what makes women’s fiction work; interweaving plot and character to create a compelling story, and more.
 
 

WORKSHOP

Craft & Execution

The Long and Short of Storytelling
September 23rd 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Jeffrey J. Michaels
In this workshop author and editor Jeffrey J. Michaels will share insights and engage in lively discussion on the necessary elements of telling a worthy tale: long or short, fiction or nonfiction and their similarities and differences. Explore ways of connecting to your audience and creating the impact you envision from your story.
 
First Sight: Using Images to Evoke Emotion
September 23rd 3:40pm - 5:10pm
Matthew J. Pallamary
“Show, don’t tell.” Everybody who claims to know anything about professional storytelling argues this maxim. Few, however, can really demonstrate the how and why of doing so. In this workshop, newer scribes will gain valuable techniques and more experienced writers will sharpen their existing skill set by evoking realistic emotional responses that genuinely put your audience “there” without overtly–and ultimately diluting the story negatively–simply telling them.
 
 

WORKSHOP

Business & Alternative

The Agony-Free Artist Statement
September 23rd 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Jenny D. Williams
It’s the rare writer who loves crafting an artist statement–but if you’re interested in pursuing grants, residencies, fellowships, or MFA programs, being able to articulate your core values as a writer and why you do what you do is often a critical element of your applications. Using a step-by-step approach, by the end of this workshop, participants will complete a draft artist statement, free of pesky art-speak. Open to all levels, genres, and disciplines.
 
Pitch Witches: What’s Your Book About?
September 23rd 3:40pm - 5:10pm
Marla Miller & Jennifer Silva Redmond
Whether you’re an author-publisher or are querying agents and editors, knowing how to summarize your story in as few words as possible is key to selling it. Commonly referred to as your “elevator pitch,” write it down and bring your best so “Pitch Witches” Marla Miller and Jennifer Silva Redmond can work their “magic” to make it even shine.
 
How to Make the Most of the Conference
September 23rd 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Wes Albers
 
 

WORKSHOP

Business & Alternative

Master Class: Editors’ Tricks To Grow Your Writing
September 23rd 3:40pm - 5:10pm
Jean Jenkins
If your manuscript keeps getting turned down with comments like “it’s not quite there” or “your characters need deepening” or “it didn’t catch my interest”, this workshop will help sharpen your work with ways to improve your story. If you’ve ever wondered how an agent or editor knows within the first two or three pages whether or not they want to read on, we’ll talk about what they’re hoping to find–and what turns them off. There is no magic formula. The trick is to learn to read—and write—with an eye toward story, character and situation. If you can put your reader in the story early, chances are you’ll keep them there. This workshop will help you fill your bag of storytelling tricks with tips on topics like: Building a Followable Character, Point of View, Tension, Motivation, Deepening Your Story, and Pace.
 
 

PANELS & SPECIAL EVENTS

No-host Mixer & Booksigning
September 23rd 5:15pm - 7:15pm
 
Welcome & Intros
September 23rd 7:15pm - 8:00pm
Michael Steven Gregory
 
 

SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER

Gwendolyn Womack
September 23rd 8:00pm - 8:45pm
THE MEMORY PAINTER
 
 


Saturday, September 24th, 2016

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REGISTRATION DESK

Walk-in Registration
September 24th 7:00am - 6:00pm
 
 

WORKSHOP

Read & Critique

Pitch Witches: Query Letter Critique
September 24th 9:00am - 10:30am
Marla Miller & Jennifer Silva Redmond
An exceptional query letter is what lands a manuscript request from an agent or acquisitions editor. But is the book you’re pitching in it an accurate description of the book you’ve written? Is it too long or filled with superfluous information that actually undermines a reader’s confidence in your potential? Bring in your no-more-than-1-page query letter and let the “Pitch Witches” work their “magic” to make it the best it can be.
 
All-Genre
September 24th 10:40am - 12:10pm
Maralys Wills
Troubleshoot potentially problematic aspects of works-in-progress
 
All-Genre
September 24th 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Marla Miller
Troubleshoot potentially problematic aspects of works-in-progress.
 
All-Genre
September 24th 2:40pm - 4:10pm
Judy Reeves
Troubleshoot potentially problematic aspects of works-in-progress.
 
Rogue Read & Critique(s)
Sep 24th 9:00pm - Sep 25th 12:00am
Various

  • All-Genre: Matthew J. Pallamary

  • All-Genre: Laura Taylor

  • Sci-Fi and Fantasy: Melanie Hooks & Laura Perkins

 
 

WORKSHOP

Craft & Execution

Turning Your Real-life Experiences into a Book
September 24th 9:00am - 10:30am
Maralys Wills
Memoir and personal-experience stories continue to do well today. However, three crucial factors are necessary to succeed: a unique and interesting story; superb writing; near-obsessive determination. Where editors were once prejudiced against the first-person viewpoint readers always responded favorably, resulting in a need to meet unusually high standards for the genre. In this workshop, learn what essential decisions must be made before tackling this type of book.
 
Dreaming of Publication: Not Just for Sleeping
September 24th 10:40am - 12:10pm
Marlene Wagman-Geller
Devoid of Ivy League credentials or publishing contacts, and despite a full-time day job, in 2008 Penguin/Perigree published three of my nonfiction books. My fourth sold to Source Books in 2015. And my debut historical novel will be released by Bleeding Heart Publications in 2017. In this workshop we will explore how writers can still break into 21st century mainstream publishing, by devising unique concepts which literary agents cannot resist, regardless of your lack of social media followers or marketing expertise.
 
Speak Memory
September 24th 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Judy Reeves
Whether you’re in the midst of creating a memoir, or thinking about writing one, this workshop will show you ways to enter your own rich storehouse of material and excavate memories. We’ll explore ways to discover not just the facts of what happened, but the telling details that make a story come to life. We’ll also look for memories that hold an emotional truth that will give your story meaning beyond the facts. Fiction writers can use the memory excavations for transplanting into novels or short stories.
 
Accidental Anchors
September 24th 2:40pm - 4:10pm
Jenny D. Williams
Sometimes, when we get stuck on one piece, it’s because we’ve become overly attached to certain aspects of our character, setting, plot, or structure, even when those things are no longer serving the work. In this session, participants will be guided through exercises that prove for potential “accidental anchors” in a current work-in-progress and offer permission to slash those ropes and move forward.
 
 

WORKSHOP

Craft & Execution

Novel Intensive: Concept and Genre
September 24th 9:00am - 10:30am
Ara Grigorian & Janis Thomas
Open to all conferees, the Novel Intensive ia a 5-workshop track devoted to crafting your novel in its entirety, from concept through completion. >>Details
 
Novel Intensive: Structure and Beats
September 24th 10:40am - 12:10pm
Ara Grigorian & Janis Thomas
Open to all conferees, the Novel Intensive ia a 5-workshop track devoted to crafting your novel in its entirety, from concept through completion. >>Details
 
Novel Intensive: Opening, Act II, Midpoint and Closing
September 24th 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Ara Grigorian & Janis Thomas
Open to all conferees, the Novel Intensive ia a 5-workshop track devoted to crafting your novel in its entirety, from concept through completion. >>Details
 
Novel Intensive: Dialogue, Character, Theme and Arc
September 24th 2:40pm - 4:10pm
Ara Grigorian & Janis Thomas
Open to all conferees, the Novel Intensive ia a 5-workshop track devoted to crafting your novel in its entirety, from concept through completion. >>Details
 
Story Lab: Applying Novel Intensive Concepts to Your Work
Sep 24th 9:00pm - Sep 25th 12:00am
Ara Grigorian & Janis Thomas
Open to all conferees, the Novel Intensive ia a 5-workshop track devoted to crafting your novel in its entirety, from concept through completion. >>Details
 
 

WORKSHOP

Path to Publication

Self-Publishing from A to Z: The Nuts and Bolts of Making Your Own Way
September 24th 9:00am - 10:30am
Gayle Carline
Self-publish or go traditional? If you’re sitting on the fence, this workshop will help you make an informed decision. A primer for the basics of being an author-publisher, in it we’ll start with questions to determine whether your book is a good candidate, then move on to the details of releasing a finished product and finding readers.
 
The Tao of Book Publicity: Book Promotion Strategies that Work!
September 24th 10:40am - 12:10pm
Paula Margulies
In this workshop, we’ll cover techniques that help authors successfully promote their books. Topics include: how to build an author platform, guidelines for creating blog tours, how to set up a successful speaking tour, and how to obtain interviews with the media. Social media, book pricing and promos, building an engaging author website, along with how to develop targeted publicity material, including front and back cover text, press releases, Q&As, and tips for creating newsletter and media lists will also be discussed, along with practical topics such as publicity costs, timing, and considerations when hiring a publicist.
 
Something to Talk About: Speaking Publicly About Your Book
September 24th 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Gayle Carline
Social media is good, but sooner or later, an author must add public speaking to their toolkit, in order to increase their visibility. This workshop will offer ideas for organizing material and overcoming fear when making presentations to an audience, as well as a chance to practice in a supportive environment. Events from launch parties to sharing a spot on a panel, to being a guest speaker will be covered.
 
Indie Excellence: Glocalization and the Key to Survival
September 24th 2:40pm - 4:10pm
Laura Taylor
Two issues loom large on the Independent Author-Publisher horizon once a writer produces a beautifully written, skillfully edited book and makes it available for purchase: diversification and discoverability. This workshop is geared for writers who wish to globally expand their readership beyond Amazon and gain royalty income from a wide range of sources.
 
 

WORKSHOP

Business & Alternative

First Pages Forward
September 24th 9:00am - 10:30am
Claudia Whitsitt
Writers of every genre will appreciate delving into the complexities of first pages, those words that either tie a reader to a story or turn them away. Learn how to make your first pages dynamic, page-turning hooks that grab your reader and won’t let go. Bring the first three pages of your current WIP with you, as this is a hands-on workshop with time for revision and feedback.
 
Best Foot Forward: Polishing to Impress 1
September 24th 10:40am - 12:10pm
Jean Jenkins
Limited to 12 participants, in this two-part workshop freelance editor Jean Jenkins analyzes your story idea, writing style, character motivation, sense of setting, character commitment, and all the other little things that agents and editors look for when reviewing pages. Submission of material prior to conference required.
 
Killer Queries & Snappy Synopses: The Key to Getting a Request
September 24th 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Maralys Wills
TBA
 
Transformative Narrative: A Shamanic Approach to Story
September 24th 2:40pm - 4:10pm
Matthew J. Pallamary
Though based on the essence of what a story is, fiction, nonfiction, and memoir writers will benefit from this workshop which will bring a new perspective to understanding the elements that make solid, well-paced stories that promise to grab your audience and pull them all the way through to a satisfying climax and resolution. Learn how to bring your writing process into focus by demonstrating a unique method of comprehending the energetic dynamics that make up a well structured narrative.
 
 

PANELS & SPECIAL EVENTS

Lunch
September 24th 12:10pm - 1:00pm
On Your Own
 
Agents Panel: State of Publishing
September 24th 4:15pm - 5:30pm
Various
 
SCWC Banquet
September 24th 6:30pm - 8:00pm
 
 

SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKERS

Lisa Brackmann
September 24th 8:00am - 8:45am
GO-BETWEEN
 
Matthew Quirk
September 24th 8:00pm - 8:45pm
COLD BARREL ZERO
 
 

ONE-ON-ONE CONSULTATIONS

Advance Submissions
September 24th 9:00am - 10:30am
Appointments
 
Advance Submissions
September 24th 10:40am - 12:10pm
Appointments
 
Advance Submissions
September 24th 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Appointments
 
Advance Submissions
September 24th 2:40pm - 4:10pm
Appointments
 
 


Sunday, September 25th, 2016

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REGISTRATION DESK

Walk-in Registration
September 25th 8:30am - 12:00pm
 
 

WORKSHOP

Read & Critique

All-Genre
September 25th 7:00am - 8:45am
Jennifer Silva Redmond
Early morning opportunity to troubleshoot potentially problematic aspects of works-in-progress.
 
All-Genre
September 25th 9:00am - 10:30am
TBA
Troubleshoot potentially problematic aspects of works-in-progress.
 
All-Genre
September 25th 10:40am - 12:10pm
TBA
Troubleshoot potentially problematic aspects of works-in-progress.
 
 

WORKSHOP

Craft & Execution

To Be Announced
September 25th 9:00am - 10:30am
TBA
 
Backstory: Employing Expository Like a Screenwriter
September 25th 10:40am - 12:10pm
Jennifer Silva Redmond
Learning how and when to give readers information about what came before page one. Clunky, obvious, “on the nose” expository is the bane of agents and editors—not to mention readers—and one of the chief reasons that manuscripts and books get put down, never to be picked up again. Readers want (and need) to learn about characters and situations as they go along, much as we learn about people and situations in real life. In this workshop you’ll learn how to integrate the backstory into your story by employing “character reveals,” “visual expository,” and some other screenwriting tricks. Bring the first two pages of your manuscript, short story, essay, or article—you may be called upon to share.
 
 

WORKSHOP

Craft & Execution

Memoirs, Privacy and Family Matters
September 25th 9:00am - 10:30am
Tom Huth
The only memoir that will sell is one that’s ruthlessly candid, one that doesn’t pull its punches.  We writers have a sacred obligation to tell the truth, about ourselves and others.  When we write about our friends and loved ones, though, our pungent perspectives might not be universally appreciated.  Sometimes honesty hurts.  It’s a tricky question with no one answer: Where do we writers draw the line between our professional ideals and our personal loyalties?
 
Nonfiction for Newbies: Is it a Book or Not?
September 25th 10:40am - 12:10pm
Marla Miller
Not every good idea, nor fascinating subject, makes for a great book. In this workshop we’ll take steps to determine whether your subject matter might in fact be better explored as a terrific feature-length article for magazines, newspaper or other periodicals publication.
 
 

WORKSHOP

Business & Alternative

The Science of Storytelling: How Neuroscience Can Help Us Tell Better Stories
September 25th 9:00am - 10:30am
Oz Monroe
Why pick one word over another? Why write a sentence in this order instead of that? What exactly makes a story engaging? Research into Cognitive Linguistics may have the answer. In this workshop we will learn how to choose words to trigger specific regions of the brain, how to structure sentences based on the brain’s image building capabilities, and how to utilize typical reading speeds and retention to control the pace of the narrative.
 
Best Foot Forward: Polishing to Impress 2
September 25th 10:40am - 12:10pm
Jean Jenkins
Limited to 12 participants, in this two-part workshop freelance editor Jean Jenkins analyzes your story idea, writing style, character motivation, sense of setting, character commitment, and all the other little things that agents and editors look for when reviewing pages. Submission of material prior to conference required.
 
 

WORKSHOP

Path to Publication

$0 to Six-figures in 7 'Not-So-Easy' Steps
September 25th 9:00am - 10:30am
Teresa Burrell
Writing as a business or a hobby? Learn how to make writing your day job. This workshop is for writers who want to make money. If you have multiple books or are just starting your first one, you need to know the “business” of being an author, and the sooner you start the better. Writing is fun, but making a living at it is totally awesome!
 
Write from the Heart
September 25th 10:40am - 12:10pm
Jeffrey J. Michaels
Successful creative writers rely on the ability to consistently access clear inspiration in their works. The word “inspiration” shares its origins with the words “breath” and “spirit.” The development of this creative spirit must become as natural as breathing in your evolving skills as a writer. This workshop will assist in integrating the diverse elements and experiences of the weekend, and encourage you to re-ignite your creative spirit by Writing from the Heart.
 
 

PANELS & SPECIAL EVENTS

Tom Huth
September 25th 12:30pm - 1:15pm
FORTY YEARS STONED
 
Awards & Farewell
September 25th 1:15pm - 1:45pm
Wes Albers & Michael Steven Gregory
 
 

SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER

 

ONE-ON-ONE CONSULTATIONS

Advance Submissions
September 25th 9:00am - 10:30am
Appointments
 
Advance Submissions
September 25th 10:40am - 12:10pm
Appointments
 
 

 

Schedule subject to change. Final schedule available upon conference check-in.