For workshops or panels:
Blue text indicates the first time and location the class is being offered
Purple text indicates the second session
Bold black text indicates the only occurrence
View details of the Panels being offered this year at PANELS.
Descriptions for each 50-minute conference workshop are listed alphabetically by instructor. Panel discussions are listed last.
Click HERE for Schedule for Where and When these classes are taking place.
Trademarks and Copyright: What Can Be Protected? Session 7, Track 2; Session 11, Track 2
How to protect your copywrite and trademark. Defining the differences. The Advantages of protecting your trademark and copyright. The cost to register them.
How to Get Reviews Now that Amazon has Changed the Rules. Session 1, Track 3; Session 9, Track 3
Have you noticed more and more reviews are getting pulled down? Are you seeing fewer reviews than ever lately? Amazon has changed a LOT about how they work with and support authors. This session goes over the current rules, guidelines, and consequences laid out by Amazon and shows how to work around the new hurdles.
This session will include:
* What will get you banned from leaving reviews
* What will get your book locked from GETTING reviews
* What the new rules are on using Amazon reviews and images in your marketing
* How you CAN still get reviews on Amazon LEGITIMATELY
* Find the services and tools that work and the ones that don’t
You can get more Amazon reviews! This class shows you how.
How to Work and Grow Your Reader Base if You Hate Social Media. Session 13, Track 3
Hate social media? Tired of being told you HAVE to “work” at social media whether you want to or not? Overwhelmed by the time and energy it takes? You are not alone and you are not wrong! Social media is a necessary tool and NOT evil, but it can be difficult and time consuming. Authors and publishers who “hate” social media can still get all the benefits from Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and the rest.
Amy will walk authors through a simple, SHORT plan that will allow authors to get all the benefits of social media with none of the headaches.
* Connect with readers online in 5 minutes a day or less
* Learn to use social media in a way that does not cut across your personal style
* Use ads and posting tools to offer your book to new readers and fans
* Join and enjoy a richer, deeper relationship with other authors thanks to social media
* Find out how to avoid the political, social, and mercenary side of social media
* Sell more books and gain a greater following with one hour a week TOPS
It is possible to use social media to benefit YOU and NOT get dragged down into the muck and mire that gets in the way.
Finding your Readers with Market Research. Session 15, Track 3
Are you looking for an agent or a publisher?
Are you looking for more readers?
Are you hoping for more sales?
No matter what you are working towards, market research can help you achieve your goals. Learn how to find the books that are the best comparisons to your book. Then, learn how to use those titles to increase your reader and fan base. Spend time mining the existing market data and develop a deep understanding of successful market choices that you can emulate and use in your own promotion efforts. Successful authors learn everything they can about their genre and their industry. This class will teach you how to develop habits that will keep you up to date on current markets.
AND I THOUGHT LADIES: JADE & WILNONA
Expanding Your Brand. Session 7, Track 3; Session 14, Track 3
We will talk expansion of your brand meaning how to turn your book into various income streams. We will discuss the three practical steps authors can take to see their written words from a different perspective and make cohesive expansion moves. Thereby, thinking outside the box, expanding your definition of a warm market and growing your platform.
Writing Problems Into Profits. Session 2, Track 1; Session 4, Track 1
Everyone has problems – and that’s good news because it means you’ll never run out of content to write or opportunities to profit. In this 50-minute class you will discover how to take past problems you already know how to solve and turn them into compelling plots with built-in audiences that you won’t have to chase. This process works for fiction, non-fiction, and memoir writers of all experience levels.
The Write Time: How To Find All The Time You Need To Write a Book. Session 14, Track 1
Even if all you’ve got is 10 minutes a day to write, this course can help you! You’ll learn how to get more done in less time so you don’t add to your already overpacked schedule, use simple techniques to create windows of opportunity for writing, and then how to be prepared so you are always ready to take advantage of the time you’ve got. It’s a stress less way to increase productivity and find all the time you need to write a book no matter how crazy your life gets.
Let’s Write That Pitch. Session 6, Track 2; Session 10, Track 2
Whether you’re trying to sell your books to readers, agents, or publishers, a perfect pitch is a necessity. Author Brenda Drake will teach you how to craft an attention-grabbing elevator pitch and a compelling book blurb. Grab their attention in 140 characters or less.
Attendees will learn: How to craft a successful elevator pitch. How to write a compelling query or book blurb. When and how to use comp titles. Cliches to avoid.
Deepening Your Point of View. Session 13, Track 1
Captivate and immerse readers into your story by deepening the point of view. Using a deeper POV plunges your readers into the minds of your characters and engages them into your story, making it one they’ll remember long after they finished it. When I got my first edit letter back from my publisher, the words “go deeper” kept appearing in the track comments. I did not understand what that meant—not until explained to me. So what did it mean? We’ll look at a deep POV: what it is, what it’s not, and how you can use it to make your stories memorable.
Promoting Yourself and Your Written Works. Session 6, Track 3; Session 12, Track 3
Seasoned publicist Bruce Wawrzyniak, president of Now Hear This, Inc., will teach attendees how they can promote their own career as an author. This presentation will include practical steps that can be taken – immediately – to raise the profile of the writer as well as their work. The lessons learned here will not only be action that can be taken, but, provide an understanding of the importance of social media while also realizing that it is not the ONLY method of promotion that indie authors should be utilizing. Wawrzyniak has had success with clients across the U.S. Find more about him and his company at www.NowHearThis.biz
You’re Being Interviewed – Be Prepared! Session 8, Track 3
It’s one thing to get booked for an interview. It’s another thing to go through the proceedings successfully. Bruce Wawrzyniak is not only a longtime publicist but has been hosting a weekly (interview) podcast since February 2014. He knows how to get clients ready and has experienced bad guests on his show. In this presentation he will get you ready for your TV, radio, and podcast interviews so that you maximize the opportunity and put yourself in the best possible position to not only promote your works but hopefully be asked back for a second appearance! Don’t just assume that all interviews are the same and/or that if you’ve done one you’ve done them all. Learn from someone who has been on both sides of the mic for a long time and walk away with tips that will make you a guest that interviewers love to talk to.
Is it Done Yet? Knowing when your manuscript is ready to query. Session 15, Track 1
Using my experience as a developmental editor and submissions reader and editor for a literary agent and providing examples from contemporary fiction in a variety of genres, I’ll talk about how to read your novel to know when it’s truly ready to be queried. In addition, I’ll discuss some of the most common issues I’ve seen in manuscripts both as a submissions reader and as an editor, how they affect the novel and the reader, and what to do about them.
Writing Desire. Session 9, Track 1
Desire is the difference between wanting something and wanting something so badly your entire body vibrates with need. Desire is the answer to one of the essential questions in writing: What does your character want? What is your character willing to do to get it? Desire drives action, builds the foundation of character, and is essential for the reader to become invested in your character and your story. This session will discuss ways to create a sense of desire that is compelling, visceral, and functions to drive both the character and the action forward using both writing exercises and examples from contemporary fiction in multiple genres. Participants will leave the session with additional exercises to try on their own.
GREGORY A. KOMPES
Creating Your Online Media Kit. Session 5, Track 3
Media kits remain an essential tool for self-promotion and marketing by providing content that makes the job of promoting you easier for journalists, writers, bloggers, radio & TV producers, and anyone else who is interested in learning more about you. This class provides the recommended 21 parts of a media kit.
Harness the Power of Dialog. Session 8, Track 1; Session 12, Track 1
From character development, to pacing, to description, to setting, to backstory, to plot, to tension, and beyond: authors, harness the power of dialog. This class explores nine elements of dialog with examples from the masters.
Book ’em, Danno! Session 5, Track 2
Choosing a publisher can be a challenge. Professional editor Jami Carpenter breaks down the various publishing options, from the traditional to boutique/indie to diy. She reviews a plethora of POD publishers, discusses the benefits and drawbacks of each, helping writers choose which is best for their success.
Is Your Manuscript a Pinto or a Porsche? The Nuts and Bolts of Great Writing. Session 7, Track 1
Whether your manuscript is fiction or non-fiction, memoir or mystery, the goal is the same: to use words for maximum impact and write a great story. Using years of experience working with authors and publishers, professional editor Jami Carpenter offers examples to enhance writing. From creating first sentence/first page hooks to avoiding common mistakes, the emphasis will be on ‘fine-tuning’ your writing.
It’s a Jungle Out There: How to Navigate ‘the’ Amazon. Session 12, Track 2
Writing (and editing) your manuscript is just the beginning, especially if you want to self- publish. From creating a cover to getting an ISBN to uploading your files to the big book store in the sky, professional editor Jami Carpenter will help you cruise through the often frustrating but ultimately rewarding process of getting your book in print.
The Importance of Blogging. Session 11, Track 3
One of the best things that developing writers can do to sharpen their skills is to blog. Jen Mann, award winning blogger and New York Times best-selling author, makes the case for blogging in this presentation geared for aspiring authors as well as writers who want to take their career to the next level. Let Jen explain how blogging serves to exercise your writing muscles, grow your audience, and more!
Blog to Book. Session 5, Track 1
Have you thought about turning your blog into a book, but you don’t know where to begin? Let New York Times best-selling author and award winning blogger Jen Mann, teach you how it’s done. Jen took her popular blog People I Want to Punch in the Throat and turned it into a New York Times best selling series of books.
Grow Your Social Media Platform. Session 2, Track 3
Whether you’re independent or traditionally published, every author needs a social media platform. Your platform is an important part of your marketing strategy, and it needs to be done before your book comes out. New York Times best-selling author and award winning blogger Jen Mann will teach you ways to grow your platform and still find time to get that book done! With over one million followers on social media, Jen is ready to share her knowledge and teach you everything you need to know.
JOYLYNN M. ROSS
Relaunching Your Book. Session 4, Track 3
With so much to learn when it comes to writing and publishing books, authors often find themselves saying, “If I knew then what I know now.” It’s usually after attending those amazing information-filled writer’s conferences when you sit back, take in all the newly learned information and resources, look down at your book and declare, “I want a do-over!” Well, you can have a do-over. It’s called a book re-launch. If you want to implement things you’ve learned that may lead to better or increased success with your book, or if you simply want to breathe new life into an older book, consider doing a book re-launch. Literary educator and publishing coach for Path To Publishing, Joylynn M. Ross, will teach you the key elements you need to successfully relaunch a book.
Make a Living as a Writer. Session 3, Track 3; Session 10, Track 3
Stop allowing people to tell you that you can’t make a living as a writer simply because they couldn’t figure out how to do it. Joylynn M. Ross, author of Act Like an Author, Think Like a Business: Ways to Achieve Financial Literary Success, figured it out, and she teaches thousands of others how to do it in her workshop, “Make a Living as a Writer.” During this workshop, Joylynn forces you to think outside the book when it comes to maximizing, optimizing, and monetizing your role as an author, ultimately leading to you achieving the measure of financial literary success you’ve set for yourself.
The Publishing Map: Session 13, Track 2
Learn the steps of the book publishing process your book needs to go through regardless of which path to publishing you choose. Whether you are working with a traditional publisher, a hybrid publisher, or self-publishing, you need to know the steps your book goes through from idea and conception, to fresh off the printer! If you don’t learn the steps, then how will you know if one is missed? And missing a step of the publishing process can mean jeopardizing the success of your book. Even if your goal is to be traditionally published or have literary representation, your book is your business. Learn the business of publishing.
Master-Pitch Theatre. Session 3, Track 2; Session 9, Track 2
Your pitch is a performance. Whether you deliver it in person or on the printed page. Literary agent Katharine Sands shows you how to hone the on-page elements and in-person aspects of the pitch to create the actual script you will use at the conference, and beyond.
Pitchcraft™ is an invaluable tool—You will learn what to do–and what not to do–when summarizing your book: the description of your book in 200-250 words; — How to get an agent from the get-go; start in a logical place, yet from a compelling perch; how to encapsulate in clear core points; ways to create coming attractions that whet the reader’s appetite for more—and how to avoid “Querial Killers”: the easy-to-fix mistakes writers make when querying agents.
As a writer you are always going to be asked to introduce your work, to share your enthusiasm for your writing, and to get others excited about what is exciting to you. Instruction covers how to take a pitch from ho-um to magnum opus. “Tell me about your work,” means: 15 minutes of fame is yours to shine in. This presentation cuts through the mystery of getting an agent to want YOU, to read YOU and to say YES to YOU.
Getting Ready, Getting Read, Getting Readers. Session 14, Track 2
• The essential secrets to “PitchCraft,” including: what to do–and what mistakes many writers make when querying agents.
• Seven surefire techniques that get you out of the slushpile, including: how to identify and develop your selling points and sales engines, whet an agent’s appetite, get editors to say “yes.”
• Hooks, selling points, and sales engines; and how to avoid “Querial Killers”– the easy-to-fix mistakes writers make when querying agents and proposing book projects.
• A tour of the submissions process. This segment takes participants through the getting-an-agent/submitting-to-editors experience, focusing on fundamental guiding principles behind all successful authors and the author-agent-editor relationship.
• A tour of the acquisitions process. This will show how to best present non-fiction and fiction book projects to a publisher for consideration.
• Trends in publishing, expanding digital markets, and the actual business of books—and its quirks and processes and challenges.
A Good Idea is Not Enough. Session 6, Track 1
For creative people, coming up with ideas is the easy part. But having a good idea is not enough to become a published author. This presentation will go through the process of taking that idea and turning it into the manuscript you dreamed it would be.
LATOYA C. SMITH
How to Pitch an Editor/Agent. Session 1, Track 2
In this session, writers will learn what makes the perfect query letter from the opening line, to the description and author bio at the end. Research tips are also given on how to find the right agent/editor for the project as well as the do’s and don’ts of pitching.
Story Development. Session 11, Track 1
In this session, writers will learn how to take their ideas and turn them into fully fleshed out concepts and completed first drafts.
Short Story 101. Session 1, Track 1
“A story and a short story are not the same thing. The former is just a story, we tell them all the time. The latter is an art.” – Joe Bunting
Writers often wonder what they can do to improve their chances of publishing novels. Many established authors began that journey by writing and publishing short stories. Not only does writing short stories tremendously improve writing skills, but publishing stories serves as experience literary agents and editors take very seriously. Short stories ask the writer to be purposeful and fascinating, and that requires mastery. The compact format teaches a writer how to create everything from plot to character to setting to dialogue. So how do short story writers handle writing one of the most popular genres in our culture?
Whether you’re a budding writer in search of your genre, a short story writer in the making, or a novelist looking to sharpen your writing skills in general, join us as we explore the short story genre tropes through writing exercises and discuss the steps to writing compelling stories.
Memoir 101. Session 10, Track 1
At first glance, writing our life stories seems easy, but anyone who’s ever braved the task will tell you otherwise. What makes writing memoir and creative non-fiction so tricky? The answer lies in recognizing the elements of our stories most appealing to our readers.
In this class, we’ll set off to dispel the myths about one of today’s most popular genres. We’ll also explore the main elements of memoir, and learn techniques a writer can use to create a dynamic personal narrative. Whether you’ve started writing or are still contemplating, you’ll get the tools you need to take those next steps in writing your story.
Lessons from a Literary Editor. Session 8, Track 2; Session 15, Track 2
Publishing in the literary journal landscape can be frustrating, humbling and offer very little monetary compensation, and yet every year thousands of authors submit short stories and poems to the likes of Ploughshares, Barrelhouse, The New Yorker, Paris Review, McSweeneys, Zoetrope and more. Are we gluttons for punishment or just really want to follow in the footsteps of writers like Lorrie Moore, Joyce Carol Oates, Roxane Gay, Alexander Chee and Rebecca Makkai? We get it. Seasoned literary journal editor Wendy Wimmer will talk about the simple mistakes many authors make that get their pieces rejected. She’ll also give you the drop dead simple recipe for getting your work placed into literary journals and also, how to turn those “no thank yous” into a necessary vital ingredient in your career as a literary author.
How to write like you’re running out of time. Session 3, Track 1
Did you ever wish you had the magic pill for writer’s block? Ever feel like you don’t have enough time to write or that you can sit for two hours staring at a blank page and never get more than a few sentences down? We’ll talk about techniques that can get you from zero to a full page of fresh new draft in just a few minutes and by the end of the workshop, you’ll leave with two new scenes to add to your work in progress.
First Page Reads. Friday Noon; Saturday Noon
When an agent or editor’s inbox is overflowing and other responsibilities are calling, how far do they read a first page before moving onto the next submission? Listen to industry experts respond to the anonymous first pages of conference attendees and find out if they stop reading, and why.
Friday with Katharine Sands, Latoya C. Smith, Diane Glazman.
Saturday with Aimee Ashcroft, Katharine Sands, Rose Drew.
Submissions to the first page reads can be purchased on the conference website and should be emailed to email@example.com by March 31st, 2020. Each $5 purchase gives the author one entry. Attendees can purchase more than one entry to increase the chances of their entry being read.
Fix That Query! Session 4, Track 2
A query is a very different piece of writing than a book. How do you make sure that yours is getting people to carefully consider your submission and request additional material? Join industry experts as they share their favorite tips for improving queries, and then – if you’re lucky! – hear them give feedback on your query.
To submit a query for this workshop, email a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like your query to be anonymous, please remove your name from the page. Queries should be brief (under 500 words is good, under 250 words is better). Standard formatting (double spaced, 1-inch margins, 12 point Times New Roman font). If you’re new to queries, check out Query Shark, this article by Jane Friedman, or this post from the Bent Agency’s blog.
Query Panelists: Aimee Ashcroft, Latoya C. Smith, Katharine Sands, Rose Drew.
Staying Creative/Productive in Trying Times. Session 2, Track 2
Fears from an uncertain future, the isolation of social distancing, and pressures to maximize creative output during our quarantine time can take an emotional toll. In light of the current pandemic, this panel provides a forum for attendees to ask their own questions and to discuss how writers are handling seclusion. Join author Gregory Kompes, editor Jami Carpenter, agent Aimee Ashcroft, and publisher Rose Drew to voice challenges and learn how to best use the time.