As we never seem to get enough time with author Steven M. Thomas (Criminal Karma), this year we’re doubling the dose. In addition to handling advance submission critique duties he’ll be conducting two new workshops being added to the schedule, “Addictive Fiction: Using Conflict to Capture Readers” and “Words of Life: How to Write Killer Dialogue.”
Aboard for the first time is literary agent Dana Newman. Representing her own agency, Dana’s got a keen interest in exceptional narrative and practical non-fiction. Historically, of course, the SCWC has delivered a lot on the non-fiction front with such choice books as Stacey O’Brien‘s Wesley The Owl, Karen Ronney’s Proud Parent’s Guide, and Peggy Vincent’s Babycatcher, just to name a few. Given the quality of material coming across the advance submission desk, we thinks she may score here her first time out.
For the entrepreneureal author, perhaps at no other time in history has there been so many tools to find and cultivate an audience than those available only a mouse click away today. Author branding, now such a crucial part of the publishing puzzle, is all the rage and for good reason. Thing is, there’s so much noise out there, so much distraction and misinformation, that plenty of it amounts to nothing more than a tremendously ineffectual time-suck for writers who’d rather be finishing their books. Understanding the social networking tools and tactics to successfully build a platform on which to bolster the potential of success for your book is the subject of another new workshop: “There’s No Such Thing As A Good Book, Only A Good Brand.” Being led by the team behind startup BackMyBook.com, make no mistake that Gk Parish-Philp, Tay Nguyen and Wayland Myers know the terrain and how to walk it. Check out their bios. This is probably the number one subject everybody’s been wanting us to address this conference.
Don’t forget that Drusilla Campbell’s NovelCram: Building the Better Book is on again for LA8. We’ve sold out this immersion track the last four conferences so if you’re looking to expand your tacklebox of writing tools (forgive me, Lynn), this might be the one for you.
Finally, it’s another new Writer Replay — Woo-hoo! In this episode, Penny prepares for her first ever read & critique workshop.
Two books herald further success from SCWCers. From SD22, author/artist Christine Renhard Stenstrom’s Cherry Blossom Trees: Literary Writings and Artworks was a finalist in this year’s national Indie Excellence Awards, Art Category. The lavishly produced coffee table book combines 68 of Christine’s lush, contemporary artwork with 100 interactive and visually inspiring prose-style literary writings.
SD23/24 (and upcoming LA8) veteran conferee Jennifer Hilborne reports that her debut novel, Madness and Murder, was released July 1 from Echelon. In a marketing strategy that’s been used to great effect with the east coast publishing house, Echelon is making the title available first as a Kindle and other popular e-book editions, to be followed by a paperback release. The Fallbrook Village News did a nice piece on Jennifer, which you can read here.
On the LA8 side of things, from the Ashley Grayson Literary Agency, Denise Dumars will be joining us, accepting a limited number of advance submissions to be followed by one-on-one consultation at the conference. Denise is interested in New Age nonfiction, science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Also, award-winning editor-in-chief at Sunbelt Press Jennifer Silva Redmond, will be with us as well. She’ll be handling advance submissions of fiction, nonfiction and short stories, and conduct a workshop any we’re certain a great many writers should pay attention to, particularly in this dawning day and age of total authorial independence.
Another staffer on the schedule with a new workshop, author Gayle Carline will be conducting “Funny How? How Am I Funny?” Whether you’re writing a humor essay, comedic novel, or a humor-infused thriller, the tools to translate “funny” to the page is what Gayle is all about. And speaking of the schedule, the working version has been posted with plenty more coming to fill it out. Don’t forget that mid- to late-July is when we start getting slammed with advance submission requests. If you’re opting for an optional reader don’t vacillate too long. Of course, if you need guidance finding a good fit for your material, just email or give us a call.
More to come.
Ernessa T. Carter, two-time conferee and Outstanding Fiction award recipient at LA6 for her then-titled novel, Molly Ringwald Ending, is back in a big way. In hardback, in fact, with the retitled and just-published 32 Candles (HarperCollins/Amistad), which she’ll discuss with us as a special guest speaker in Newport Beach.
Yet another special guest speaker has just been confirmed and we’re delighted to have her. Wry, witty, wonderful, none other than author Claire LaZebnik will be with us. Her enchanting fourth novel, If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home Now, launches September from Grand Central/5 Spot.
And in yet another bit of good muse, longtime conferee and periodic flash fiction workshop guru(ess?) Julie Ann Weinstein informs that she’s just signed the contract for her second book. An anthology of most of her published stories, Flashes of the Other World will be published by All Things That Matter Press. Way to go, Julie Ann!
Conferee Hyla Molander, whom we were delighted to meet during her first immersion into all things SCWC at SD24, has been working diligently on Drop Dead Life. excerpts of which wowed many another writer in the house.
While we’re pretty certain it’s only a matter of time before “a pregnant widow’s heartfelt and often comic memoir about death, birth, and rebirth” finds a proper home, a lovely Father’s Day story she wrote, paying tribute to her two husbands, makes for fine reading over at The Good Man Project. You can also follow Hyla’s writer’s journey on her blog.
Just added to the roster, to address all the heady legal considerations today’s writers are facing, from life rights to fair use, publishing contracts and beyond, intellectual property and entertainment law attorney Mark Reichenthal will be conducting a session on Friday afternoon.
Much more to announce shortly, including the preliminary schedule, more workshop leaders, and at least one more special guest speaker. Below is the third installment in our ongoing Writer Replay series, “Broke Book Mountain.”
Following his remarkably successful keynote presentation at SD24, back by popular demand is Be The Media author David Mathison, this time with a much-requested workshop on everything authors need to know about seizing control of their “brand,” their books, their future.
While there are a few yet to be added, the current list of confirmed Advance Submission Readers is now available to choose from. Those who’ve already registered for LA8 advance submission feedback can now select their reader(s) and email conference executive director Michael Steven Gregory with your choice(s). Do remember that, despite a significant portion of SCWC success stories resulting from submission to authors, it is the agents and editors who generally sell out first. Conference registration traditionally begins to spike late-June. If you’re looking to submit to an agent, it’s suggested you pick ’em sooner than later.
We’re ironing out some kinks in the new site, so please bare with us as we start filling in the schedule. There’s still more workshop leaders to add, over 3-dozen workshops to announce and sort out, and at least one more special guest speaker to confirm. If there are any specific topics you wish addressed at the conference, be sure to let us know.
Speaking of the new site design, why not check out the Frequently Asked Questions page and tell us what you think on the SCWC Facebook group. Meantime, to tide you over ’til the next update, watch episode 2 of our SCWC re-enactment series, Writers Recap. This one’s called “Rejection Exception.” Anybody relate?