Following the whirlwind that was last weekend’s LA11 event, we now begin the countdown to our winter conference, SD28. Our second Special Guest Speaker to be announced is Bhava Ram, formerly known as NBC war correspondent Brad Willis, whom at the peak of his journalistic career suffered a broken back and failed surgery leaving him permanently disabled and condemned to life in a body brace. Worse, then came a diagnosis of terminal, stage IV throat cancer. Bhava’s new memoir, Warrior Pose, chronicles his remarkable personal transformation following a decision to abandon Western medicine and embrace the most esoteric practices of Yoga, ultimately leading to a fully restored spine and cancer-free recovery.
Among the many workshop leaders confirmed for February are Frederick Ramsay, whose latest Ike Schwartz mystery, Drowning Barbie, is out just before the conference; fantastical YA author Mary G. Thompson (Escape from the Pipe Men and next year’s Evil Fairies Love Hair); writer provocateur Judy Reeves; historical fictionalist Laurel Corona; paranormal romance author Linda Thomas-Sundstrom; horror writer Mark Clements; transformative narrative guru Matthew J. Pallamary; celebrated author and editorial consultant Laura Taylor and many, many others.
We’re happy to report that NY Times bestselling author Drusilla Campbell will also be returning with another round of NovelCram: Building the Better Book. As usual, this stand-alone immersive track is limited in attendance and will likely sell out.
There’s several agents aboard, along with some of our favorite, trusted editors. We’ll start rolling them out next update.
Along with our formidable slate of craft, execution and troubleshooting workshops, at SD28 we’ll again be dealing head-on with many of the latest and most vexing challenges writers face today. Whether to wait out legacy publishing odds, go with a boutique house, trust one of the predatory pay-as-you-print outfits that claim to have “standards” and are “selective” about who they’ll publish, or just assume full, entrepreneurial control of your book, no matter which way you go at the end of the day your book’s success will ultimately come down to one individual. You.
To that end, the SCWC community is here to inform and assist in accomplishing your publishing goals. Expanding on our previous “Do Yourself Independence” sessions, we’ll again be dealing extensively with issues of premature e-publication, social media self-sabotage, marketing myths and more. True, it will be work. And yes, it will be worth it. Why aim for mediocrity when you can settle for exceptional?
The follow up to SCWC Outstanding Fiction Award winner Laurence O’Brien’s The Istanbul Puzzle and The Jerusalem Puzzle is out Oct. 10 from HarperCollins. The Manhattan Puzzle promises yet another smart, international conspiracy thriller in the vein of Dan Brown. There’s also going to be a special e-book available with the story’s locations linked to an inline map and other background information… And this just in from conferee Barbara Garren: a 3-book deal with Entranced Publishing. Way to go!
Advance Submission Reader selection will open up late October. As there’s much more to announce while we begin working on the schedule, finalizing the Special Guest Speakers and adding more workshop leaders, be sure to check back often and join us on the SCWC Community Facebook page to keep up to speed.
The $75 Early “Bard” Discount on Full Conference or NovelCram/Conference registration is now open. Registrations are up a little higher than usual this far out, so keep it in mind. In the meantime, enjoy our latest book trailer, this one created for Darlene Quinn’s most recent release.
2013 has been a banner year for SCWCers with several fine books representing the gamut of genres being published via traditional houses, boutique publishers and indie alternate methods. Though regular updates for SD28 won’t begin until October, we’re excited to announce one of our very Special Guest Speakers all ready confirmed. Citing the SCWC as the first conference she attended when starting out writing, author Suzanne Redfearn proclaims it “an integral part of my journey to getting published.” Come Oct. 8, 2013, published she will be as Grand Central releases Suzanne’s debut thriller, Hush Little Baby. Kirkus hails it, “A compelling tale of the deceit, violation and anguish that undergird the myth of suburbia.” #1 NYT bestselling author Alyson Noël effuses, “[B]eautifully nuanced prose and taut pacing.” And Jane Porter (Brennan Sisters Trilogy) declares, “[A] brilliant debut. Powerful and compelling.”
As usual, our winter event will feature plenty of read & critique workshops conducted by working authors, along with our uniquely tailored slate of interactive troubleshooting and craft-centric sessions. Our popular DYI (Do Yourself Independence) track will return, geared to address the latest trends and further empower today’s entrepreneurial authors with the vital information required to thrive in today’s ever-expanding transmedia publication industry.
Early “Bard” Registration is now open. Do so by Sept. 15 and save a whopping $100 on Full Conference or NovelCram immersion track participation.
Up next, of course, is our fall conference in Newport Beach. If we don’t see you there, we look forward to hooking up February in San Diego.
Ahh, the Winter Conference. So much sun, so much fun, and barely a wink of sleep for near everyone. In fact, while not yet confirmed to be the record, Rogue Read & Critique Workshop leader Mark Clements’ Sunday night session is rumored to have gone on until 6:04 a.m. Monday. Just like back in the old days–or at least a couple of years ago–that’s some serious writers workshopping seriously.
As usual, our fine cadre of accomplished authors, agents, editors and other publishing paisons did a stand up job of aiming for excellence in addressing the craft, the business and the immutable brain damage so systemic in today’s ADD marketplace. Thank you all. And a big thanks to all of this year’s Special Guest Speakers, Caitlin Rother, Michele Scott, David Brin (pictured), Janice Steinberg and Andrew E. Kaufman. Great talks providing keen perspectives, good laughs, quality information and more than a wee bit of tears.
Biggest thanks of all, of course, goes to this year’s conferees. What a fine bunch of writers you turned out to be. Now let’s get on to the awards…
The Silent Deal
by Levi Stack of Jamul, CA
Postcards from Home
by Shelly Miller of San Diego, CA
by Mark Koopmans of Honolulu, HI
The Sanctuary (coming)
by Melissa Fisher of Venice, CA
Congratulations to the honorees and to all the staff who helped make SD27 such a fabulous event. Dates for SD28 are Presidents’ Day Weekend, Feb. 14-17, 2014. Between now and then, join us in Newport Beach for LA11, Sept. 20-22, 2013, and virtually anytime on the SCWC Facebook Page where there’s always a vibrant discussion going on with like-minded members of our vast and ever-growing writing community.
And for those who couldn’t make it to Sunday afternoon Special Guest Speaker Andrew E. Kaufman’s keynote, do yourself a favor and sit back, relax, and have a watch:
Pre-registsration for LA11 (in Newport Beach) opens March 1, 2013. Be there or be… where?
Conference weekend is here! Walk-in registration opens Noon today; 7 AM Saturday and 7:30 AM Sunday. There’s plenty of room for writers of every realm, so be here or be… where?
Here’s where: Crowne Plaza San Diego, 2270 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA 92108.
Gateway Literary Agency’s Terri Baranowski has just been added to the schedule. She’s looking to build her client list and is pinch-hitting on-site critique & consults for those looking for a rep.
We’ll be back online come next Wednesday. In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you in San Diego this weekend. You’ve earned it.
Filling out our Special Guest Speaker spots is Janice Steinberg with her brand-spanking-new novel, The Tin Horse, released from Random House only yesterday. Telling the tale of two sisters whose relationship in the 1920s-30s era Los Angeles Jewish neighborhood of Boyle Heights is fraught with fierce love and bitter rivalry, at the heart of the story lies a mystery spanning generations. Author Margaret Dilloway (The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns and How to Be an American Housewife) calls the book “a completely immersive reading experience. I closed the pages feeling as though I’d lived another life.”
Janice will be joining SD27’s other Special Guests, David Brin (Existence), Andrew Kaufman (The Lion, The Lamb, The Hunted), Caitlin Rother (Lost Girls) and Michele Scott (Covert Reich, as A.K. Alexander).
Speaking of Michele Scott and Andrew E. Kaufman, the pair are also conducting separate workshops individually, as well as one together for our Do Your Independence track, “DYI: Amazon and Beyond: The Take of Two Authors.” As both caught the attention of Amazon’s recently unveiled traditional publishing arm and have signed muliple-book contracts with its imprints, what insight they bring to the e-paradigm table oughta prove interesting.
For all those either wrestling with or already going indie with your book(s), here’s the complete list of sessions devoted to just that at SD27:
DYI: “Amazon and Beyond: The Take of Two Authors” with Andrew Kaufman and Michele Scott
DYI: “Author as Entrepreneur” with Lois Joy Hofman
DYI: “Indie Excellence: Legitimacy & Editing” with Laura Taylor and guests
DYI: “Leaving a Virtual Footprint” with Mary Vensel White
DYI: “Producing Book Trailers that Don’t Suck” with Michael Steven Gregory (maybe)
DYI: “Publishing & Marketing Strategies from an International Best-selling Indie Author” with Sheri Fink
DYI: “Self-Publishing Savvy: Why, How, Where, What You Need to Know” with Gayle Carline
DYI: “Stop the Presses—NOT! Publishing Printed Books In The Digital Age” with Margaux Hession and Matthew J. Pallamary
DYI: “Up Close and Visual: Breaking Down Author/Reader Barriers” with Valerie Wicks
DYI: “Your Author Bio, Media Copy and PR Package” with Marla Miller (or, in other words, “Learn How to Write a Professional Author’s Bio, for Chrissake!”)
DYI: “Your Book As a Business: Make YOUR Book the Next Big Thing!” with Charmaine Hammond
Joining us for the first time, paranormal fictionalist and short story sensation Lisa Kessler will be conducting two workshops. Her debut novel, Night Walker, won a San Diego Book Award for Best Published Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror as well as the Romance Through the Ages Award for Best Paranormal and Best First Book. Christine Cody, author of the Bloodlands series, calls it, “A soulful, timeless love story and an engrossing new take on immortal mythology.” Lisa will conduct “Wtg. Short Stories that Pack a Punch” and “Happily Ever After: Make Them Earn It.” Welcome aboard, Lisa!
We’re finalizing the schedule over the next week, then plan to make a print-friendly version available online.
Check back for more soon. And don’t forget to join the writerly conversation on our SCWC Facebook page.
Celebrated journalist and author Caitlin Rother returns with her latest. Chronicling the true story behind the rape and murder of two San Diego area teenagers by a previously convicted sociopath, the Los Angeles Times calls Lost Girls, “a deeply reported, dispassionately written attempt to determine what created that monster and predator. It is a cautionary tale and a horror story, done superbly by a writer who knows how to burrow into a complex case without becoming captive to her sources.”
Two of Caitlin’s other books were ranked in True Crime Book Review’s Top 10 True Crime Books of 2011: Dead Reckoning and Deadly Devotion, which she co-authored with Alysia Sofios. Where most writers conjure up fictional criminals and fabricate a story, Caitlin, a Pulitzer nominee, looks unflinchingly into the eyes of madness and writes to the core of those impacted by it.
Still lots of massaging to be done to February’s schedule, but plenty of workshops are now plugged in to specifically address the most crucial concerns of writers today. Among some of the newer, necessary sessions added are former globe-trotting federal agent Michael R. Shevock’s “Going Foreign: Wtg. the Reality of Diplomatic Service,” which, as he’s proven in the past, will no doubt make your head explode. Novelist Janis Thomas introduces “What’s Driving You? Plot vs. Character in Writing Fiction”–an especially important one because too many allow their books to derail simply by not understanding the difference.
Given the massive explosion in popularity of all things paranormal romance, Linda Thomas-Sundstrom’s dubuting “Romancing the Monster and Keeping It Real.” And on the “Do Yourself Independence” front, Marla Miller’s “Your Author Bio, Media Copy and PR Package” will be a must-attend as I can’t even begin to tell you how authors, regardless of how they’re published, undermine their credibility and opportunities by not bothering or not knowing how to do this.
Quick round up of recent SCWC success… ZOVA Books reports that SCWC director Wes Albers’ debut novel, Black & White, is the house’s first bestseller on iTunes in the police procedurals category. Guess that kind’ve make Wes a rockstar… After a too-long of break, Alan Russell’s latest, Burning Man, has broken through the Amazon Author Bestseller List (top 100 Kindle sales) and climbed to number eight… Stacey O’Brien reports that her wonderfully engaging, international sensation, Wesley The Owl (discovered at our LA4 event), is now officially a longterm “superstar backlister” for publisher Free Press. Talk about the little book that could… And, finally, NY Times bestseller and NovelCram instructor Drusilla Campbell just signed yet another multi-book deal with Grand Central. Good job, everybody!
Still lots to do with whipping SD27 into maximum muscle. Over recent weeks, however, many have expressed interest to point out the following resources in the conference run-up: