With San Diego 29 a mere two weekends past, we turn attention to September’s Irvine event. Our first Special Guest Speaker to announce is literary nonfictionalist Roseanne Montillo. The follow-up to her sensational The Lady and Her Monsters, which tells the lurid tale of how Mary Shelley came to write Frankenstein, is out this month from William Morrow. Chronicling the true story of America’s youngest serial killer, preying on Boston’s working-class neighborhood children in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1872, Publishers Weekly calls The Wilderness of Ruin, “A riveting true-crime tale that rivals anything writers in the 21st century could concoct… [Montillo is] a masterly storyteller.” Reminiscent of The Devil in the White City, Kirkus hails it, “A lively, evocative reinvigoration of Boston’s Gilded Age… A chillingly drawn, expertly researched slice of grim Boston history.” Roseanne joins us for the first time at LA13, and we welcome her aboard.
Resist the Rush to “Publicate”
For 29 years, with 45 conferences (San Diego, L.A. and Palm Springs) behind us, the bulk of the SCWC’s success can be attributed to a single through-thread: craft and community matters. To recognize and embrace the potential of writers coming through any given SCWC event, to assist in elevating the quality of their manuscripts and instill a vital obligation to aim for excellence and settle only for exceptional in execution, to extend valuable relationships beyond the end of any given conference’s weekend to facilitate success, that is what the SCWC prides itself in.
With well over 25,000 books being published each month, the majority, of course, self-published because doing so is so easy, so tempting, it is more crucial now than ever to respect the book-buying reader and write a well-written story that warrants being sold.
In a recent interview, literary agent Chris Parris-Lamb, a young dynamo within the industry (Chad Harbach’s The Art Of Fielding, Christian Rudder’s Dataclysm, Peter Thiel’s Zero To One, and John Darnielle’s Wolf In White Van), echoed our long-standing sentiment: “[The publishing industry] doesn’t exist to give writers a way to publish their books… It exists to bring readers books that are worthy of their time and attention, which is increasingly scarce and valuable.”
To that end, in addition to our San Diego and Irvine conferences, we’ve introduced the Sunriver Writers’ Summit, which takes place on the high plateau of Central Oregon, May 2-3, 2015. A 2-day, 3-track intensive limited to only 46 participants, the aim of the SWS is to provide writers who are aiming for excellence, who are willing to settle only for exceptional, a trusted environment to do so in preparation for submitting commercially viable material to agents, editors, or future conference evaluation opportunities. Even if you’re electing to go the total indie route, the SWS is geared to get you where you need to be. If you haven’t already, check it out at our Sunriver Writers’ Summit.
Just remember, regardless which path to publication you’re pursuing, take the time to write what you want at the quality you truly desire to be recognized for, not what too many lackluster others insist is “good enough” to be rejected out of hand via traditional means.
A New Trailer
We’ve got a lot of SCWCers with books coming out soon, as well as our remaining Special Guest Speakers, workshop leaders, agents, editors and other staffers joining us in Irvine to announce. We’ll catch everybody up on all the good “muse” starting next month. In the meanwhile, the fifth installment of Darlene Quinn’s internationally award-winning series, Conflicting Webs, drops shortly. Here’s the trailer we did for it, which premiered last week:
—Michael Steven Gregory
Executive Director, SCWC