Conference Schedule and Topics

Click the link below to view the conference schedule
2014 Las Vegas Writers Conference Schedule

Pitch sessions with agents & publishers will be scheduled at the conference at no additional cost.

Conference topics and descriptions are as follows:

First Draft to Final Draft

It’s the age-old battle between the outliners and the pantsers — those who meticulously script every writing session, and those who pilot solely by feel. Of course, as in any such debate the answer is always unique to you, the writer. The goal is the same for everyone: to complete a full first draft, and in this workshop we will discuss different techniques for getting to that finish line — the most challenging milestone any writer has to face.

Blueprint Your Bestseller: Organize and Revise any Manuscript with the Book Architecture Method

Stuart offers a step-by-step process for organizing and revising your manuscript, known as the Book Architecture Method. By focusing on three key concepts: presenting your work in scene, through the repetition and variation of series, and in the service of one central theme, the Book Architecture Method provides a framework and a focus for you to work on your book with direction.

Ten Ways to Upgrade Your Manuscript

This session offers the ten large and small “fixes” that make a manuscript vivid, more appealing–and yes, salable.

Turning Your Real-Life Story Into a Book

There’s more than one way to craft a memoir. To save years of wasted time, these are the questions you must ask.

Persistence: Writing Through the Realities and Responsibilities of Life

In order to write successfully, persistence is key. However, too many writers feel like failures and even dump potentially strong manuscripts the moment they encounter roadblocks. This workshop will focus on adding items to your own, unique “Tenacity Toolkit” until persistence in the face of writerly adversity becomes second nature.

Creating Compelling, Castable Characters 

Great characters bring a story to life. Iconic characters are remembered forever. In this seminar, we’ll go through 12 Building Blocks of dynamic characters plus 8 specific exercises to creating three-dimensional characters that pop on the page and strengthen your story.  We’ll explore successful ways to introduce your character, and how to ensure their journeys are engaging and exciting. We’ll also discuss how to create interesting antagonists and supporting characters. This isn’t your archetypical character class!

Writing Your Natural Story

When good ideas go bad, it’s usually because the writer isn’t writing the story that is natural to them or because the writer veered too far from the natural direction of their concept.  We will explore story pitfalls, how to recognize when your story has gone awry, and how to return to your core concept and make sure your story goes in the right direction. We’ll also discuss the correct way to “write what you know” and the principles of adapting a book or true story to film.

Self-Publishing Demystified:  Taking the Reins of Your Own Publishing Journey

Landing a publisher has never been harder. Even when you do, count on anemic royalty rates, 18 to 24 months to publication, and giving up the rights to your book. And you’ll still be expected to do most of the marketing yourself! Yet, thanks to the Internet, self-publishing has become easier, more viable and more potentially lucrative than ever before. Join Peter Bowerman, successful self-publisher of the Well-Fed titles as he shares his proven strategies for production, promotion and publicity that yielded 60,000+ copies of his books in print and a full-time living for eight-plus years.

Building Your Own Writing/Publishing Empire:  Strategies for Turning One Book into a Full-Time Living

Self-publishing a non-fiction book can open the door to multiple spin-off businesses, each with its own revenue stream. And in the process, you can raise your profitability to levels most authors can only dream about. Join Peter Bowerman, self-publishing author of four books in the “Well-Fed” series, as he shares the strategies he used to turn one book into a full-time living. You’ll learn powerful principles that laid the foundation for such success, and then delve into the nuts-‘n-bolts details of parlaying one book into ebooks, teleseminars, coaching, speaking, ezine, blog and more.

Savvy Self-publishing: Bonuses and Traps of DIY

Digital publishing has opened the way for authors to get their work published and “out there.”, but indie publishing has many levels and complexities. Become a savvy publisher of your book and learn about:  how to turn a manuscript into a book, including various forms of editing and design, how your cover can maximize impact of your book and push sales, the ISBN – what it is and why author ownership is so important, how to create a professional-looking e-book for very little money, traps you may come across working with an author service business, finding and working with professional project managers who create books that meet the highest standards of traditional publishing, and finally marketing your self-published book

The Seven Rules for Writing Non-Fiction that Sells

While there are many types of non-fiction, the rules are the same whatever the genre. In this presentation we will discuss the following seven rules:

Choose the subject that’s right — and right for you
Know your audience
Find your hook
Write a complete proposal (even if you are self-publishing)
Use your voice/personality
Keep your writing lively
Strong verbs, adjectives and adverbs
Narrative thread
Develop marketing approaches early and often

Whose Story is This? – Writing on POV

Probably the most important decision any fiction writer has to make. Who is best to tell the story? Which character offers the best voice? What tense? Every story needs a strong storyteller. What characters, what tense can best tell your story? We’ll dissect the opening of a novel – switch it all around, have fun with it, explore point of view, tense and voice

What Are These Things Called Teens And How Can I Possibly Write For Them?

Young adult fiction has never been bigger. How do we reach these teens? What issues interest them?  Teens are reading so let’s go find them!

Dialogue, It’s not Just People Talking

Dialogue – that is, well written dialogue in fiction – is one of the hardest things to master. That’s because dialogue in fiction is not really people talking to each other. It is conversation with drama that also needs to move the plot of the story while giving the reader insight into the inner workings of your characters. Sounds like a lot? It is. Join award-winning author Maxwell Alexander Drake as he gives you some insights on how to craft dialogue that will not only sound realistic, but be relevant to your story.

Show, Don’t Tell

Ever wonder how the really good books suck a reader in and hold their attention page after page. It’s not the characters, nor the plot of the book. It is the way in which the author writes that separates their story from the pack. Join award-winning author Maxwell Alexander Drake as he presents his class “Don’t Tell Your Story, Show It!” During this class, you will gain insight into how to put your story together in a compelling way that will have your readers turning page after page to see what happens next.

Creating characters

It takes multiple facets for your reader to connect with your characters. Come and hear my ten steps to making your characters real.

How to intertwine narrative, description & dialogue

Balance — the key to a well-structured story. This session discusses three important writing devices needed to create a salable product.

Self Editing workshop: ‘Self-editing for Fiction Writers’

In today’s competitive publishing environment authors need to come to the table with a completely polished manuscript and that is often where they fall down. This workshop will give ‘to dos’ and ‘not to dos,’ industry insider tips, and provide a self editing checklist. It is a structural look at fiction writing—not a grammar guide—to help writers succeed.

Multiple POV workshop: ‘Mastering Writing Multiple POV’

Whether it’s romance writing, YA or literary fiction, multiple POV is a tool writers can use to powerfully show an event, or series of events, from multiple vantage points. This workshop will include a tutorial on writing multiple POV and the benefits of the style, a writing session, and sharing session.


Many writers find they receive the same critique: the narrative in this manuscript needs to be stronger. This workshop examines different approaches to story structure.

Workshopping the Query

After writing a dynamite manuscript, putting together a sensational query letter is the most important part of getting an agent. Make sure yours stands out!

Agents in the World of Self-Publishing

In these Wild West days of 21st Century book publishing, there are so many more ways in which an author can be published. Self-publishing is not only a viable option, it can be a lucrative one too. Many authors wonder what an agent’s role is in the publishing process if they are self-publishing and/or if they are interested in making the transition into traditional publishing. This workshop will go into detail about the myriad of ways in which an agent can work with a self-published author, whatever their short term and long terms goals might be.