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

SD31 Schedule

  • The below interactive schedule was updated 2/13/17. Click on any individual workshop title slated to view its summary. For instructions on how to navigate the interactive schedule, or customize and print your own weekend itinerary, select the “Tips” tab above, where we also have a video tutorial. All workshops and events will take place at the conference hotel, the Crowne Plaza Hanalei, located at 2270 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA 92108.

    If you’re having a problem navigating the interactive schedule below, we also offer the Weekend-At-A-Glance (updated 2/7/17).

    A summary of all SD31 workshops currently slated can also be found on the Workshops and Events page.

    • 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, February 17th, 2017

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REGISTRATION DESK

Walk-in Registration

Walk-in Registration
February 17th 12:00pm - 7:30pm
 
 

WORKSHOP

Read & Critique

Read, Critique & Live to Write Another Day
February 17th 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
February 17th 3:40pm - 5:10pm
Laura Taylor
Troubleshoot potentially problematic aspects of works-in-progress.
 
Rogue Read & Critique(s)
Feb 17th 9:00pm - Feb 18th 12:00am
Various
All-Genre - Matthew J. Pallamary

All-Genre - Laura Taylor

Cold Openings: Your First Five Pages - Marla Miller

Fantasy & Sci-Fi - Melanie Hooks & Laura Perkins
 
 

WORKSHOP

Craft & Execution

Authorial Voice: Finding and Making It Unmistakably Your Own
February 17th 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Federick Ramsay
Voice is the sound in your reader’s head when s/he reads your book. It is vocabulary. It is placement. It is cadence. If the story works, more than mere craft it is voice that sells the book. This workshop focuses on developing a singularly unique voice that compels readers to read every page forward.
 
Plot vs. Character: What’s Driving Your Story?
February 17th 3:40pm - 5:10pm
Janis Thomas
Is your novel plot or character driven? Is it possible for your story to be both? In this workshop, we will address plot vs. character driven fiction, the characteristics, merits, pitfalls and genres most associated with each. The emphasis will be on plot development, creating a complex, relatable main character; setting and world and how they relate to your plot and main character, and interweaving your plot and main character’s journey to create a compelling read.
 
 

WORKSHOP

Craft & Execution

Defining Genre: What Are You Really Writing?
February 17th 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Jean Jenkins
Writing a genre or a sub-group story but unsure of the word count? Or the body count? Where your story fits? Does it fit at all? This workshop will help you define genre and offer guidelines. Come armed with questions. Recommended for: fiction and narrative nonfiction writers.
 
Bend Your Boundaries: Twisting Genres to Spin New Tales
February 17th 3:40pm - 5:10pm
Christa Yelich-Koth
To build a following, your book(s) need to be memorable. To do that, you must bend boundaries, twist genres, and bring readers something new. This will not only make your story stand out, but you as an author. This workshop will focus on pulling away from formulaic stories through a series of short writing exercises. Some work may also be shared at the end, not for critique, but to show how even with a similar foundation, uniqueness can spring up quickly.
 
 

WORKSHOP

Business & Alternative

How to Make the Most of the Conference
February 17th 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Wes Albers
 
The Long and Short of Story
February 17th 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.
 
Pitch Witches: What’s Your Book About?
February 17th 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.
 
 

WORKSHOP

Business & Alternative

Bye Bye Shy: Performing Your Book in Public
February 17th 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Lisa Brackmann
One of the big and expected draws of an author appearance is the reading. As most writers are inherently averse to public speaking, the invitation to an open reading of one’s work can result in considerable anxiety. In this jubilant workshop, we’ll address how to overcome shyness, avoid the hallmarks of a bad read, and actively engage an audience with not a dry recitation of words on the page, but a vibrant performance of the prose at  hand, in order to motivate them to buy the book.
 
Breaking the 'Rules': A Guide to Prologues, Adverbs, and Other Literary Taboos
February 17th 3:40pm - 5:10pm
Oz Monroe
Let’s face it, if we read all the bestsellers we are going to find all the taboos. Possibly all in one book. Telling new authors not to do what they see their idols doing is Abstinence Only Education, and we all know that never works. In this workshop, we'll sto telling writers not to do it, and start telling them how to do it safely.
 
 

PANELS & SPECIAL EVENTS

No-host Mixer & Booksigning
February 17th 5:15pm - 7:15pm
 
Welcome & Intros
February 17th 7:15pm - 8:00pm
Michael Steven Gregory
 
 

SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER

James A. Misko
February 17th 8:00pm - 8:45pm
Author, The Path of the Wind
 
 

 

 

Saturday, February 18th, 2017

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REGISTRATION DESK

REGISTRATION DESK
February 18th 7:00am - 6:00pm
Walk-in Registration
 
 

WORKSHOP

Read & Critique

Pitch Witches: Query Letter Critique
February 18th 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
February 18th 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Judy Reeves
Troubleshoot potentially problematic aspects of works-in-progress.
 
All-Genre
February 18th 2:40pm - 4:10pm
Frederick Ramsay
Troubleshoot potentially problematic aspects of works-in-progress.
 
Rogue Read & Critique(s)
Feb 18th 9:00pm - Feb 19th 12:00am
Various
All-Genre - Matthew J. Pallamary

All-Genre - Laura Taylor

Fantasy & Sci-Fi - Melanie Hooks & Laura Perkins
 
All-Genre
February 18th 10:40am - 12:10pm
Judy Reeves
Troubleshoot potentially problematic aspects of works-in-progress.
 
 

WORKSHOP

Craft & Execution

Writing History: How Much Look Up, How Much Make Up?
February 18th 9:00am - 10:30am
Frederick Ramsay
Both historical fiction and non-fiction are commercial market mainstays. The challenge to writing quality stories rooted in the past, however, is not bogging down the reader in superfluous details that the author gets steeped in with research to convey maximum verisimilitude. In this workshop, we’ll walk the fine line between depicting what’s historically accurate–and how much to depict–with what feels historically (and emotionally) truthful.
 
The Crucible: Every Actor is Affected by Events
February 18th 10:40am - 12:10pm
James A. Misko
Life and fiction become interesting when people are put in testing circumstances. How do your actors react to the events that occur in the crucible where your story takes place? What you can do to spur reader interest. Bring one of your protagonists or antagonists to this workshop.
 
The Artful Business of Article Writing
February 18th 1:00pm - 2:30pm
R. Daniel Foster
This intensive session delivers essential writing and marketing tools for aspiring and intermediate non-fiction article writers. We’ll explore profile, essay, investigative, personal experience, travel, reviews and short articles, among other forms. You’ll also learn to generate and hone ideas, fashion them into dynamic, on-target query letters, and then gird your writing with innovative research.
 
Mashing Fiction, Real Life & Imagination for Critical Impact
February 18th 2:40pm - 4:10pm
Judy Reeves
Where does real life end and fiction begin? This workshop examines how creative use of the imagination can take the facts of real life and the “what if” of fiction and weave them into a compelling story. We’ll explore the shape-shifting of memory, truth vs. fact, creating composite characters, compression of time and place and the urge of the intuitive mind to recast the events of our lives into stories that reveal the truth of our experiences and the commonalties of humankind. We’ll also answer two important questions: 1) whose story is it anyhow? And, 2) can I get sued for writing this?
 
 

WORKSHOP

Craft & Execution

Novel Intensive: Concept and Genre
February 18th 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.
 
Novel Intensive: Structure and Beats
February 18th 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.
 
Novel Intensive: Opening, Act II, Midpoint and Closing
February 18th 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.
 
Novel Intensive: Dialogue, Character, Theme and Arc
February 18th 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.
 
 

WORKSHOP

Business & Alternative

Villains, Sociopathy and the Criminal Mind
February 18th 9:00am - 10:30am
Michael R. Shevock
A comprehensive but engaging examination of the real people who do the bad things which make for good stories.  This workshop will include general theory, case studies and reference sources pertaining to the worst people who ever lived.  The focus will be on helping writers create villains who are true to life, appropriately evil and wildly entertaining.
 
The Skinny on Book Proposals/PR/Social Media
February 18th 10:40am - 12:10pm
Leticia Gomez
Unlike fiction works where an author is expected to submit a completed manuscript, nonfiction works are acquired based on a book proposal alone. This is why it is imperative that you create the best proposal you possibly can, even before starting to write the book itself. No self-respecting literary agent will offer you representation without one. It is the required calling card for prospective acquisition editors to even consider your book. In this workshop, we’ll dissect the seven components of crafting an impeccable, well-crafted book proposal to land the publishing deal of your dreams.
 
$0 to Six-figures in 7 ‘Not-So-Easy’ Steps
February 18th 1:00pm - 2:30pm
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!
 
Establish and Maintain Relationships with Newspaper and Magazine Editors
February 18th 2:40pm - 4:10pm
R. Daniel Foster
TBA
 
 

WORKSHOP

Path to Publication

Self-Publishing from A to Z: The Nuts and Bolts of Making Your Own Way
February 18th 10:40am - 12:10pm
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.
 
Unlocking the Levels of Editing
February 18th 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Mary Vensel White
Does editing your manuscript seem like an overwhelming task? Do you often know what needs to be done but have a hard time isolating issues and making changes? In this workshop, we’ll discuss the levels of editing that mimic the routine followed by publishers and most importantly, we’ll discuss HOW to get yourself to attack each level. We’ll break down this unwieldy task into manageable chunks, and we’ll identify methods you can try to break out of your editing routine.
 
Indie Excellence: Glocalization and the Key to Survival
February 18th 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. Updated each conference with the latest information, 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.
 
Choose Your Adventure: A Publishing Guide for Aspiring Authors
February 18th 9:00am - 10:30am
Greta Boris & Megan Haskell
Imagine yourself, author, as the protagonist in a story full of challenges, twists, and turns. Whether a pantser or a plotter, you have to prepare for the call to adventure. Too many new writers, and sometimes even experienced ones, drown in the swampy middle, give up in the dark night of the soul, and are defeated by their villain. In this course, we will help aspiring novelists plot their own journey by providing a self-outline method to determine which model–Traditional or Self-Publishing, Big 5 Publisher or smaller Indie Press–is best for them and map out the pros, cons, and processes for each.
 
 

PANELS & SPECIAL EVENTS

Best Foot Forward: Polishing to Impress 1
February 18th 10:40am - 12:10pm
Jean Jenkins
Limited to 12 participants. Advance registration submission of material required. 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 sample pages. >>Details
 
Agents Panel: State of Publishing
February 18th 4:15pm - 5:30pm
Various
 
SCWC Banquet
February 18th 6:30pm - 8:00pm
 
 

SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKERS

Matt Coyle
February 18th 8:00am - 8:45am
Author, Dark Fissures
 
April Smith
February 18th 8:00pm - 8:45pm
Author, Home Sweet Home
 
 

ONE-ON-ONE CONSULTATIONS

Advance Submissions
February 18th 9:00am - 10:30am
Appointments
 
Advance Submissions
February 18th 10:40am - 12:10pm
Appointments
 
Advance Submissions
February 18th 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Appointments
 
Advance Submissions
February 18th 2:40pm - 4:10pm
Appointments
 
 

 

 

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

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REGISTRATION DESK

Walk-in Registration
February 19th 8:30am - 6:00pm
 
 

WORKSHOP

Read & Critique

All-Genre
February 19th 9:00am - 10:30am
Greta Boris
Troubleshoot potentially problematic aspects of works-in-progress.
 
All-Genre
February 19th 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Christa Yelich-Koth
Troubleshoot potentially problematic aspects of works-in-progress.
 
All-Genre
February 19th 2:40pm - 4:10pm
Claudia Whitsitt
Troubleshoot potentially problematic aspects of works-in-progress.
 
Rogue Read & Critique(s)
Feb 19th 8:00pm - Feb 20th 12:00am
Various
All-Genre - All-Genre - Mark Clements

Fantasy & Sci-Fi - Melanie Hooks & Laura Perkins

TBD
 
Early 'Bard' Read & Critique
February 19th 7:00am - 8:45am
TBA
Troubleshoot potentially problematic aspects of works-in-progress.
 
All-Genre
February 19th 10:40am - 12:10pm
Frederick Ramsay
Troubleshoot potentially problematic aspects of works-in-progress.
 
 

WORKSHOP

Craft & Execution

Creating Tension on Every Page
February 19th 9:00am - 10:30am
Claudia Whitsitt
Placement of tension turns a ho-hum story into a page turner. In this intensive workshop, participants will learn the value of tension, how to arc their pages to infuse tension throughout and spend time workshopping their first pages for maximum effect. Please bring the first pages of your story with you to this hands-on session.
 
Backstory: Employing Expository Like a Screenwriter
February 19th 10:40am - 12:10pm
Jennifer Silva Redmond
One of the biggest challenges a writer faces is how and when to give readers information about what came before page one, and how to fill in readers on what happens off the page as the plot evolves. 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 useful screenwriting tricks.
 
Character Therapy—and You’re the Shrink!
February 19th 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Reina Menasche
Think you know your protagonist? Have you put him/her through some really tough therapy? In this hands-on workshop, participants will wear the SHRINK hat and dig deeper into their characters’ psyche, or just create new multifaceted characters to make fiction sparkle with life. Through defining character details, visiting creative stations to “play” with our characters in a fun, stress-free way, and analyzing their inner conflicts, personality traits and desires, participants will make better friends with the people they create–and enjoy the process.
 
Worldbuilding: Not just for SciFi & Fantasy
February 19th 2:40pm - 4:10pm
Dot Caffrey
Whether set deep within the Louisiana bayous, a Pacific Northwest logging town, or a foreign metropolis on another continent, worldbuilding is an essential part of all writing, regardless of the genre. In this workshop, we’ll explore the how, what and why of realizing your world on the page, whether it be real or one of your own imagination.
 
 

WORKSHOP

Craft & Execution

Story Lab: Applying Novel Intensive Concepts to Your Work
February 19th 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.
 
Short Non-fiction: Fast, Fuel Efficient & Just a Little Flashy
February 19th 9:00am - 10:30am
R. Daniel Foster
TBA
 
No Flinching: Writing that Convinces
February 19th 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Mark Clements
TBA
 
Transformative Narrative: A Shamanic Approach to Story
February 19th 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.
 
 

WORKSHOP

Business & Alternative

The Tao of Book Publicity: Book Promotion Strategies that Work!
February 19th 9:00am - 10:30am
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.
 
Dreaming of Publication: Not Just for Sleeping
February 19th 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.
 
What to Expect from an Editor–and What She Expects from You!
February 19th 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Jennifer Silva Redmond
Editor Jennifer Silva Redmond will give an overview of different types of editing, including costs and timelines. Learn what content/structural editing is, what a line edit is, and what exactly a copyeditor does. Whether you are fine-tuning a manuscript for submission or planning on self-publishing your book, this workshop is for you.  You’ll learn how to recognize when you need an editor—and how to save time and money when you do. Bring the first page of your writing project and be prepared to do some “hands on” editing.
 
The Science of Storytelling: How Neuroscience Can Help Us Tell Better Stories
February 19th 2:40pm - 4:10pm
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.
 
 

WORKSHOP

Path to Publication

Acorn Publishing: Exploring the Benefits of Hybrid Publishing
February 19th 9:00am - 10:30am
Holly Kammier & Jessica Therrien
In an ever-changing industry, hybrid publishing is a new concept. Combining traditional publication expertise and cover appeal with the benefits that come with publishing independently, in this workshop the owners of Acorn Publishing will lead authors through the process, from submission to published novel, of cost-effectively self-publishing vetted, quality books under an established collective imprint–Acorn–while enabling them to retain all rights to their work and collect 100% of their profit.
 
How to Indie-Publish in Multiple Countries
February 19th 10:40am - 12:10pm
Scott MacDonald
TBA
 
The Three Step Formula for Building an Author Platform
February 19th 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Fauzia Burke
Every author’s online platform is his or her biggest asset, and creating one is vitally important for your long-term success. However, there has never been more demands on an author’s time than today. In this session, you will learn which efforts are worth your time and which ones are a distraction. Whether you’re an author or someone who advises authors (publisher, agent or publicist), this session will be relevant. You will learn through examples and case studies how to connect all the elements of online marketing (website, mailing list, blogging, social media, advertising and publicity) into a cohesive, successful and sustainable author platform.
 
Write from the Heart
February 19th 2:40pm - 4:10pm
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

Best Foot Forward: Polishing to Impress 2
February 19th 10:40am - 12:10pm
Jean Jenkins
Limited to 12 participants. Advance registration submission of material required. 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 sample pages. >>Details
 
SCWC Awards & Recognition
February 19th 5:30pm - 6:00pm
 
Dinner On Your Own
February 19th 6:00pm - 8:00pm
 
Beyond the Bookstore: Creative Book Selling & Promotion
February 19th 4:15pm - 5:30pm
Various
 
 

SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKERS

 

ONE-ON-ONE CONSULTATIONS

 

 

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