The MWW 2013 Schedule
Thursday Events – July 25, 2013
- General Sessions
- Craft Sessions
- Marketing Sessions
8:15-8:30 am Registration packets for Part I (coffee & pastries available)
8:30-9:00 am Welcome
9:00-11:30 am INTENSIVE SESSIONS:
Manuscript Makeover Critique – Holly G. Miller and Dennis E. Hensley. This interactive intensive is designed for those fiction and nonfiction writers who are ready to take a quantum leap forward in enhancing their writing skills. Participants will send the first 10 pages of a book manuscript in progress. The instructors will edit and critique these pages and display them (anonymously) to the class as a way of revealing strengths and weaknesses in the material. Additionally, the instructors will lead the students in writing exercises and offer advice on such topics as enhancing dialogue, learning to self-edit, mastering proofreading, finding the right markets for manuscripts and knowing when and how to go into writing full-time. This session is limited to the first 20 persons to register.
Adrenaline Rush: How to Write Commercial Fiction – John Gilstrap. Award-winning thriller author John Gilstrap presents a day-long seminar on the construction of intelligent commercial fiction. What makes for a strong plot? How do you take cardboard characters and give them life on the page? Through lively lectures and writing exercises, students get a peek at the skeleton that gives structure to the stories that keep us reading long into the night.
Researching and Writing The Mystery/Suspense/Thriller Thing – Matthew Clemens. This interactive session, with a focus on craft, will touch on the differences in genres, the elements of plot, character development, dialogue, writing stronger sentences, and the building and acceleration of suspense. We will discuss many aspects of the writing process from getting ideas to building them into a saleable novel. The only pre-class assignment is to watch the film “Jaws.”
Writing Everything: A Freelancer Book of Tricks – Lou Harry. Sure, you can be a specialist. But to build a freelance career, it helps to be interested in just about everything. Lou Harry, who has written for more than 50 publications, discusses the ins and outs of being (or effectively faking) a generalist.
It’s Not Your Grandmother’s Inspirational Novel: Writing for a Changing Market – Colleen Coble. The market has changed in recent years for inspirational novels. The genres run the gamut from Amish to vampire and everything in between. The market is hungry for great books that challenge and entertain. Join best-selling inspirational author Colleen Coble for a discussion of the changing face of inspirational fiction.
Writing YA: Think Like a Teenager – Barbara Shoup. When asked for advice about writing for children, Maurice Sendak responded, “I don’t write for children; I write as a child.” The same is true of those writers who capture the imaginations of young adults. Through a series of interactive exercises, this class will bring out your inner-adolescent to help you identify and explore universal and deeply personal issues and events of adolescence that still resonate for you and offer strategies for shaping them into novels that appeal to kids today.
TECH INTENSIVE: “Building an Author Website” – Roxane Gay. Writers need websites, a hub for all their online activity. Building one has never been easier. In this full-day Tech Intensive, writer/editor Roxane Gay will walk you through the steps you need to create a website or blog. There will also be assistants on hand to help you figure out the technology and think through your website’s architecture, design, and purpose. Bring your laptop or use one of the Mac or PC desktop computers that will be on hand in the room. You don’t have to know code or technical jargon or have any previous experience. While several site-building tools will be discussed, the session will offer a step-by-step tutorial on setting up a site using WordPress, a best-in-class system for websites that’s free to use. Be sure to bring images and other content (such as your bio) that you’d like to use for your site.
TECH INTENSIVE: “Creating an e-book” – Jane Friedman. In this all-day Tech Intensive, you’ll learn what you need to get started in e-publishing your work. There will also be assistants on hand to help you figure out the technology and work one-on-one. The industry has exploded with new and free opportunities to help you publish your work electronically, at little or no cost to you. Learn how to get visibility for your work by using online services that make your work available on major e-reading platforms such as Kindle, Nook, and iPad. While e-publishing doesn’t equal instant success (if you build it, they may NOT come), you’ll learn the principles behind the successful creation and distribution of an e-book, as well as the technical skill required to convert your work into different formats. Bring your own laptop or use one of the Mac or PC desktops computers that will be on hand. Also: bring a manuscript you’d like to convert in order to learn how the process works.
11:45 am-1 pm Buffet Networking Lunch
1:00-3:30 pm Intensive Sessions (continued)
PART II begins
3:45 pm Registration packets for Part II available
3:45-5:00 pm  Pitching 101 [Kelsey Timmerman, Summer Heacock] Tips for the 3-minute pitch to agents and “pitch practice”
 Literary Citizenship 101 [Cathy Day, moderator, Maye Ralston] Our tutors will unlock the secrets and wonders of social media
6:30-8:30 pm Faculty Introductions & Readings / Speaker: Lou Harry, “It’s Jeopardy Time” [Cash bar/ refreshments / ice breaker: networking: “Find Your Tribe”]
Friday Events – July 26, 2013
[NO sign up necessary for Part II sessions; attend any ones you want!]
8:00-8:15 am Welcome (coffee & pastries available)
8:15-9:30 am  Agent Panel Q&A: Sarah LaPolla, Victoria Marini, John Cusick, Amanda Luedeke, Brooks Sherman. Topics: The 3-minute pitch, query letters, etc.
 Two Paths to a Common Goal – John Gilstrap & Matthew Clemens. No two writers follow the same path to success. In fact, even the definition of “success” is hard to nail down. John Gilstrap and Matthew Clemens came at the challenge from entirely different directions. In this session, they’ll talk about their respective journeys – the successes and the failures. And they’ll answer any questions you may have about what works and what doesn’t.
11:15-12:30 pm Box Networking Lunch /  Jane Friedman, Audience Development: Your Lifelong Career Investment
12:45-2:00 pm CRAFT WORKSHOPS [w/writing assignments; leave session with a product, piece of flash fiction, section of dialogue, etc.]
 Dialog: It’s Not Just He Said, She Said – Matthew Clemens. This session will assist you in the writing of realistic dialog and building a scene around what is far more than just the conversation.
 Characters You Can’t Forget – D.E. Johnson. Who have you met in a novel that still seems like a friend—or an enemy? The author who created those characters had a plan and executed it well. Award-winning novelist D.E. Johnson will show you how to create believable and compelling characters that draw readers into your stories. This workshop will put you on track to create characters your readers won’t be able to forget.
 The Art of Compression – Roxane Gay. In this session, we’ll talk about flash fiction and interesting ways to tell compelling stories that focus only on the most essential parts of the story.
 The Particular Problems of Critiquing and Revising the Novel – Barbara Shoup. Whether you work with a critique partner or regularly submit your novel to a workshop group, the process of critiquing a novel is completely different from critiquing a short story. Novels take a long time to write, they change as you write them, it’s hard to hold them in your head. And when you finally finish that first draft, how in the world are you supposed to look at it? This class will provide practical strategies for getting the useful insights from your readers, identifying problems in your novel, and creating a list of very specific issues you need to address to bring it closer to the novel you want it to be.
 Broken Bones, Ballistics & Backdrafts: Technical Stuff That Writers Get Wrong — John Gilstrap. Fiction readers are getting more sophisticated all the time, and it’s a writer’s job to get the details correct. New York Times bestselling author John Gilstrap brings his thirty years of experience as a firefighter, EMT, safety engineer and hazardous materials specialist to the classroom in a lively, interactive session to teach the basics of projectile ballistics, fire behavior, how explosives work, and how the human body functions. What actually happens when a person gets shot or stabbed? Do silencers really work? What’s the difference between a fire, a deflagration and a detonation? Was there really another shooter on the grassy knoll when JFK was shot? These and many other questions will be answered. Note: This presentation contains graphic imagery.
 E-Publishing 101: Using Amazon and Other Major Online Retailers to Publish Your Work – Jane Friedman. This overview of the DIY e-book landscape will help you understand the major players, current strategies, and key challenges of successful self-publishing.
 All You Ever Needed to Know in an Hour! How to Plan Your Crime Fiction Novel – Hank Phillippi Ryan. You have a great idea for your mystery or thriller. Hurray. Now what? Grab pen and paper and prepare to take notes and write fast – because when you leave this high-speed session, you’ll have everything you need to be ready to write!
 Historical Fiction – Barbara Shoup. Would you like to live in another time, by way of writing fiction? This class will provide an overview of the practical considerations of writing historical fiction, addressing such questions as: Where do you start? How do you keep your research from overwhelming the story? How true to the historical facts must you remain? How can you create characters true to the standards and knowledge of their time? And more.
 The Perfect Pitch & Query – Victoria Marini.
 Collaboration: How to Make Two Heads Better Than One…Without Strangling the Other – Lou Harry. When you’ve written books and plays with ten different co-authors–including some you’ve never met–you learn a thing or two about effectively merging talents. In this workshop, we pair off to explore the act of creative collaboration.
 Layers: How to Raise Your Submission Out of the Slush Pile – Colleen Coble. Editors and agents see the same submissions over and over again. Bestselling author Colleen Coble will discuss her rule of three for layering a compelling novel. If you don’t know what layers are, let alone how to figure them out, join in for a fun discussion as participants will have a layering practice.
 Putting Storytelling into Your Nonfiction Part 1 – Hank Nuwer. Today’s magazine features and long-format newspaper stories use narratives richly imbued with telling details. This writer immerses the reader totally in a story that unfolds as if that reader were experiencing in person these very scenes and this rich dialog. Such reportage demands real immersion f the writer in putting together a compelling narrative from facts, observation, research and analysis. This session teaches writers to create prose that even the laziest reader cannot put down.
 Queries That Work – Amanda Luedeke. Get your foot in the door by learning how to construct a query letter that an agent will actually read. With experience in writing marketing and sales copy for national brands, literary agent Amanda Luedeke unpacks what it takes to write a query that not only gets read, but demands that the reader ask for more.
 There is No Writers Block: 15 Ways to Jumpstart Your Writing – Hank Phillippi Ryan. Writers Block? Forget about it. If you’ve ever had trouble with a chapter or scene or sentence or concept – it’s not the dreaded writers block. It’s a signal that you need to rearrange your brain a bit. How? That’s what this session is all about.
 Character Matters: Making Your Characters Pop Off the Page or Stage – Lou Harry. In this workshop, Lou Harry puts on his playwright/novelist hat for a workshop on bringing fictional people to life. The workshop will focus on finding the telling details, what to leave to the imagination, finding the ideal population for your work, and more.
 Putting Storytelling into Your Nonfiction Part 2 – Hank Nuwer. Veteran writers ready for the challenge of publishing work that classifies as creative nonfiction and/or literary journalism will benefit from this advanced course that explores the craft necessities such as point-of-view, scene setting and use of imagery. Class members will also learn how the masters such as John McPhee include analysis in their long-form articles.
 Are You a Professional Writer? Don’t Wait for an IRS Audit to Find Out – Gary Hensley. Attend this session to find out what it takes to be considered a professional writer in the eyes of the IRS. Learn what you have to do now to nail down your professional status and why you don’t want your writing efforts classified as a hobby. This year’s expanded session promises to be the best ever on this challenging issue. Handouts to attendees.
6:30-9:00 Evening Meal & Program: Message in a Bottle & 40th celebration for Alumni
Saturday Events – July 27, 2013
8:15-9:45 am  Buttonhole the Experts [informal Q&A with 7 participants to a table, switching to a new table after 20-minute conversation with the “Expert”]
 Publishing in a Brave New World Panel: Sarah LaPolla, Roxane Gay, Barb Shoup, Jane Friedman, D.E. Johnson
11:30 am-1:00 pm Lunch (on your own) [Boxed lunch available; $12 - MUST be pre-paid with registration]
1:15- 2:15 pm
 Writing Memoir – Hank Nuwer. Learn to look at your life as stories that qualify as nothing less than great literature. Learn to take the experiences that molded your character and personality into narratives that entice editors to buy your work and keep readers entertained, intrigued and inspired.
 Character: It’s More Than Just A Name On The Page – Matthew Clemens. This session is devoted to creating and developing characters that live on the page, as well as in our mind. We’ll work on building characters that will stick with the reader even after the book is finished.
 How to Make an (Agent) Connection at Conferences – Sarah LaPolla & Summer Heacock.
 The Joy of Revisions – Colleen Coble. Bestselling author Colleen Coble believes revision is the best part of writing. Getting feedback from your editor or critique partner doesn’t have to be painful. Embrace the joy of revisions and learn the steps to take when tackling a rewrite.
 Romancing the Idea: Coming Up With a New Novel – Colleen Coble. It’s time to start your next novel, but you don’t have a great idea yet. Bestselling author Colleen Coble shares her unique approach to finding story. You’ll leave this fun, interactive class with a fresh dose of creativity that can springboard you to your next novel.
 Using TV Techniques to Write a Killer Novel – Hank Phillippi Ryan. Here’s what you need to produce a successful television story: Develop memorable characters. Build suspense. Show conflict. Tell a compelling story. Find justice. Here’s what you need to become a successful television journalist. Never miss your deadlines. Create a brilliant and flawless product every time. Be completely devoted to your job. Here’s the scoop. What you need to write a successful novel are exactly the same things. Hank will divulge the tricks of the TV trade – to help you make your book the best it can be.
 What Editors Look For: Writing from an Editor’s Perspective – Roxane Gay. In this Q & A session, writers can ask an editor of a national magazine about what editors are looking for, and how they can give their work a stronger chance of getting noticed.
 The Art and Business of Building an Author Platform – Jane Friedman. Writers are often scared or baffled by platform because it’s seen as a marketing and promotion mindset—antithetical to the artist mindset. However, there is a way to approach platform that isn’t about selling, but rather understanding human behavior (including your own!).
 Blood on the Page: Using Research to Create Credible Fiction – John Gilstrap. Bestselling author John Gilstrap writes critically-acclaimed thrillers featuring military tactics and surveillance, but has never served in the armed forces. He writes about crimes and cops, but he’s never served in law enforcement. In this session, you’ll learn how to make minutes of research look like years of first-hand experience.
 Amazing First Lines – John Cusick. Learn to write startling, intriguing, unforgettable openings. Involve the reader with mystery, suspense, and humor. Grab a reader’s, editor’s, or agent’s attention from word one. Featuring examples from YA, pop culture, film, TV, and even…real life!
 POV – Who’s Telling This Story? – D.E. Johnson. Point of view is one of the most important decisions a writer has to make and can be one of the trickiest to handle. This fast-paced workshop by award-winning novelist D.E. Johnson will not only provide the tips and tricks, it will have you writing from a unique point of view before the hour is out!
 Basic Taxation for Writers – Gary Hensley.
5:00-6:00 pm Cash Bar, Happy Hour, Faculty Book Signing
6:00-7:45 pm Closing Banquet / Manny Awards / Keynote Speaker: Hank Phillippi Ryan, “What I Wish Someone Had Told Me”
Speakers and program sessions subject to change
Every effort will be made to adhere to this schedule; however, all programs and times are subject to change.
BUTTONHOLE TOPICS: [More to come...]
Getting Your Work Out There: Navigating the Online Submission Process – Roxane Gay. There are, literally, thousands of literary magazines. How do you learn more about which magazines will be the best for your work? How do you negotiate the various online submission systems? In this session, we’ll talk about negotiating the ever-growing world of literary magazines as they become increasingly digital.
The Truth Session: Anything You Want to Know – Hank Phillippi Ryan.
Marketing Plans Made Easy – Amanda Luedeke.
Move From Generalist to Specialist – Hank Nuwer. If a writer truly wants to be recognized as an expert in his or her area, it is critical that he or she develop a specialization. Not only is it important that you write articles on books in that genre or specialization, but you must use social media and even speak publicly on your topic on NPR or on CNN. Hank Nuwer has taken his specialty on hazing to the publication of four books, appearances on hundreds of TV shows, and speaking engagements at some 130 colleges.
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