The Non-fiction Writer’s Tool Kit: March 21, 2015
Greetings! Our latest MWW mini-conference on March 21st is around the corner, and we like to think spring is too! Plan to join us to learn screenwriting, strengthen your social networking, or up your game with non-fiction writing.
Saturday, March 21, 2015
8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Ball State Alumni Center, Muncie, IN
Cost: $155 (includes lunch)
One of the four sessions is “Shaping the Real Work: The Non-fiction Writer’s Tool Kit” taught by Lou Harry.
At MWW, we’re all about forging new paths as publishing continues to evolve. Plus, we are mindful of our rich legacy. So trust us when we say that non-fiction and fiction writing enhance one another. For that reason, we coaxed Lou Harry to tuck MWW into his jam-packed schedule and teach at the mini-conference. Lou’s made a career of specializing in the many forms of non-fiction.
Some of you may remember Earl Conn and Alan Garinger, who passed away after years of service to MWW. They used to say that non-fiction writing can be a stepping stone to a fiction career. If you doubt them, the evidence is clear. The examples are endless, from Michael Connelly to Elizabeth Berg (our keynote speaker last year) to Neil Gaiman and Chuck Wendig (who is coming this year). Non-fiction writing–from essays to news stories, from columns to blogs–is a great way to get noticed. Just ask our 2013 faculty member Roxane Gay, whose collection of essays Bad Feminist is winning awards and snagging her speaking engagements, as she also promotes her debut novel An Untamed State.
So if you are someone whose first love is fiction, please don’t discount the idea of learning about non-fiction. Lou’s expertise may be just the help you need for getting your non-fiction ideas launched. And writing shorter work has many rewards, such as seeing your byline in print and giving you ideas for your fiction.
Lou Harry’s wildly eclectic output includes books on creativity, sports, drinks, movies, life lessons, gadgets, guilty pleasures, voodoo, excuses, crop circles, Santa Claus (and Martians), curse words, parenting, trivia and, this year, squirrels. The co-creator and editor of Indy Men’s Magazine and current Arts & Entertainment Editor for the Indianapolis Business Journal (www.ibj.com/arts), Lou has written for more than 50 publications including Variety, Mental_Floss, and This Old House. While on journalistic assignments, he has profiled CEOs, escorted a spiral-cut ham into a movie theater, took a pie in the face from Soupy Sales, attended Broadway openings, exposed tarot readers, sat on the Full House couch, gotten attached to a Velcro wall, and turned his honeymoon into a travel story. He hopes one day to have a book for every category in the Dewey Decimal System.
MWW: You showed such enthusiasm and creativity at MWW 2013, I’m wondering what you have in store for mini conference participants. Will there be writing and discussion or mostly a lecture format?
LOU: Lecture, schmecture. Yes, I’ll do some talking and offer solid, specific advice. But we’re also going to dig into fun, engaging, and, most importantly, useful writing exercises. The most important thing to me is helping the attendees move forward.
MWW: Is your presentation aimed toward a certain level of writer or can people enter into the class from wherever they are and jump up a level or more?
LOU: Come as you are. All of the discussion and activity is geared toward taking you to the next level, wherever you stand right now.
MWW: What is the scope of the class? For example, will you cover writing craft mostly or will finding markets and how to query be covered?
LOU: There are three key elements: Finding markets, approaching those markets wisely, and being a writer who is ready for those markets. All three need to happen for successful sales.
MWW: What would you tell those who haven’t met you and/or have never been in such an intensive class or maybe haven’t tested the waters of non-fiction, to help them get off the fence and register?
LOU: Are you satisfied with where you are in the writing universe right now? If not, then strongly consider joining us for an afternoon. I’m going to be teaching the class that I wish I could have taken.
MWW: Please provide a couple of links to your work, if possible, so people can easily find it.