MWW19 Faculty

  • Mary Carter – bestselling novelist, workshop leader at The Chicago Writer’s Loft, (under the pen name Carlene O’Connor) USA Today Bestselling author of The Irish Village Mysteries
  • Mitchell L.H. Douglas – author of dying in the scarecrow’s arms, \blak\ \al-fə bet\, winner of the Persea Books Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor’s Choice Award, and Cooling Board: A Long-Playing Poem, an NAACP Image Award and Hurston/Wright Legacy Award nominee
  • Melissa Fraterrigo – author of the novel Glory Days, named one of the Best Fiction Books of 2017 by the Chicago Review of Books
  • Bryan Furuness – author of The Lost Episodes of Revie Bryson, a novel and his stories have appeared in Ninth Letter, Sycamore Review, Southeast Review, Hobart, and elsewhere
  • Cole Lavalais – author of Summer of the Cicadas, a fellow of the Kimbilio Center for Black Fiction, VONA and the Callaloo Writing Workshops, Director of the Chicago Writers Studio
  • Michael McColly – his essays and journalism has appeared in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Sun Magazine, and other journals; he is the author of the award-winning memoir, The After-Death Room: Journey into Spiritual Activism
  • Ashley Hope Pérez – a critically acclaimed author of young adult novels, including her most recent novel, Out of Darkness; she teaches world literatures at The Ohio State University
  • J.R. Roper – author of middle grade fiction, the award-winning Morus Chronicles: The Hunter Awakens, The Spirit of Steel, The Tower Below, and The Silver Spear

SATURDAY INTENSIVES:

  • Jane Friedman – 15 years working inside the traditional publishing industry, former publisher of Writer’s Digest, and author of The Business of Being a Writer
  • Holly Miller – award-winning author, co-author or ghostwriter of 15 books, including four novels, three how-to’s, and a bestselling textbook; she is a contributing editor and has written more than 2,500 published articles and short stories
  • Matthew Clemens – co-author with Max Allen Collins of the Reeder and Rogers thriller series, plus 17 TV tie-in novels
  • Larry D. Sweazy – award-winning author of 14 mystery and western novels, and over 80 nonfiction articles and short stories
  • Dianne Drake – author of more than 60 romance novels, nine nonfiction titles and 500+ magazine articles; her next book, titled Her Secret Miracle, will be released June, 2019 from Harlequin Books
  • Kelsey Timmerman – New York Times Bestselling author of WHERE AM I WEARING? A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our ClothesWHERE AM I EATING? An Adventure through the Global Food Economy, and WHERE AM I GIVING?  A Global Adventure Exploring How to Use Your Gifts and Talents to Make a Difference

ADDITIONAL:

  • John Gilstrap – the New York Times bestselling author of the Jonathan Grave thriller series; the latest, Total Mayhem released June 25
  • Alisa Alering – award-winning writer of speculative short fiction
  • Laura Pennington Briggs – a freelance writer, 2019 TEDx speaker (Talk Title: The Future is Freelancing); her book on freelance writing comes out in July 2019 with Entrepreneur Press

BIOGRAPHIES + Session descriptions

Mary Carter

Mary Carter is a bestselling novelist and workshop leader at The Chicago Writer’s Loft. Her works include: Home With My Sisters, London From My Windows, Meet Me in Barcelona, Three Months in Florence, The Things I Do For You, The Pub Across the Pond, My Sister’s Voice, Sunnyside Blues, She’ll Take It, and Accidentally Engaged. In addition to her novels she has written six novellas two of which have been New York Times bestselling anthologies. Her works are translated into over seven languages. Readers and aspiring writers can check out Marycarterbooks.com and thewritersloft.com, Follow her on Twitter, @marycarterbooks or like her on Facebook: Mary Carter Books. Mary also writes under the pen name Carlene O’Connor and is a USA Today Bestselling author of The Irish Village Mysteries. To date she has written Murder in an Irish Village, Murder at an Irish Wedding, and Murder in an Irish Churchyard, Murder at an Irish Pub, and Murder in Galway. September 2019 will see the release of A Christmas Cocoa Murder.  Readers can visit her at CarleneOConnor.net or Carlene O’Connor on Facebook.

Sessions:

  • Get a Clue: Setting the Mystery Scene – What exactly is a scene? How many clues do you need in each scene? Do I need red herrings? When does the killer have to appear? Every scene in your book matters. We’ll talk about the why. And the how. And if you don’t have a clue, you’ll have several at the end of this session.
  • Not the Usual Suspects: Developing Characters for Your Mystery – Everyone has heard of motives, means, and opportunities. What does this mean for the suspects in your murder mystery and how do you create compelling and believable characters? Learn what’s needed to craft a determined sleuth, a memorable villain, and a colorful parade of suspects.
  • Plotting and Re-writing Your Mystery: Where the magic happens – Mysteries fail and succeed on plotting and rewriting. It’s no mystery that writing is re-writing. Murder mysteries have to be carefully plotted, but…. how? This session will give you tips on everything from plotting your mystery, getting the first draft done, and rewriting it.

Mitchell L.H. Douglas

Mitchell L. H. Douglas is the author of dying in the scarecrow’s arms, \blak\ \al-fə bet\, winner of the Persea Books Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor’s Choice Award, and Cooling Board: A Long-Playing Poem, an NAACP Image Award and Hurston/Wright Legacy Award nominee. His poetry has appeared in CallalooThe Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (University of Georgia Press), The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (Haymarket Books), Crab Orchard Review, and Ninth Letter, among others. He is a cofounder of the Affrilachian Poets, a Cave Canem graduate, and Associate Professor of English at IUPUI.

Sessions:

  • Maps to Metaphor: Ekphrasis & the Outward Gesture – Metaphor is the sport of poets: the drawing of threads between seemingly disparate things that shows a reader just how cunning a writer can be. It’s also no easy feat. Ekphrastic poems, interpreting visual art in textual medium, is a natural way for poets to meet their greatest responsibilities. This workshop will employ works of art to craft poems that create original metaphors and connect your poems to the world outside the lines.
  • Writing Beyond Your Experiences – Ashley Hope Pérez, moderator. As writers, we are always making a leap outside of our own experiences, but doing so responsibly is especially important when we are engaging in narrative with communities we aren’t part of. What are the dos and don’ts of creating a diverse world in your stories? How does this effort matter to the quality of your writing? (Mitchell L.H. Douglas, Cole Lavalais, Larry Sweazy)

Melissa Fraterrigo

Melissa Fraterrigo is the author of the novel Glory Days (University of Nebraska Press, 2017) which was named one of the Best Fiction Books of 2017 by the Chicago Review of Books; she is also the author of the short story collection The Longest Pregnancy (Livingston Press). Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in more than forty literary journals and anthologies from Shenandoah and The Massachusetts Review to story South, and Notre Dame Review. She teaches classes on the art and craft of writing at the Lafayette Writers’ Studio in Lafayette, Indiana. Learn more at www.lafayettewritersstudio.com and melissafraterrigo.com.

Sessions:

  • The Write Start: Cultivating Creativity – In this workshop, you will learn how to turn your love for the written word into practical experience. Whether you are new to writing, have an idea you are interested in pursuing, or write regularly but need a reboot, in this class we will explore how to live a more creative life.
  • Finding Your Personal Essay Through Play – It is in the process of playing with form that we discover new ways to approach our half-remembered events. In this class we’ll discover how form can be used to structure your personal essays to reveal unexpected insights and create momentum through play.
  • Exploring the Novel-in-Stories. What do Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, Cathy Day’s Circus in Winter and Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson have in common? All are novels-in-stories, existing between a collection of stories and a novel.  You will leave this session with a clear idea of possible linkages in your fiction and how to build upon these for your own linked collection.

Bryan Furuness

Bryan Furuness is the author of The Lost Episodes of Revie Bryson, a novel. His next novel, Do Not Go On, will come out in the winter of 2019. With Michael Martone, he is the co-editor of Winesburg, Indiana, an anthology. His next anthology, My Name was Never Frankenstein: And Other Classic Adventure Tales Remixed, will be forthcoming from Break Away Books in the fall of 2018. His stories have appeared in Ninth Letter, Sycamore Review, Southeast Review, Hobart, and elsewhere. His essays have appeared in Brevity, Nashville Review, and Barrelhouse, among other venues. His work has been anthologized in New Stories from the Midwest, Not Like the Rest of Us: An Anthology of Contemporary Indiana Writers, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and elsewhere. He is a recipient of the Tennessee Williams Scholarship in fiction from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, a finalist for the Society of Midland Authors award, and a winner of the Midwest Short Fiction contest. He holds an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers and has edited for several literary magazines and small presses, including Booth, On Earth As it Is, Engine Books, and Pressgang, the small press he founded at Butler in 2012. He lives in Indianapolis, where he teaches at Butler University and serves on the board of Engine Books.

Sessions:

  • Intro to Editing – A session about global editing and line editing, including exercises that can help students edit the work of other writers or revise their own work.
  • Forming a Writing Habit – Figuring out your own ideal creative process and starting a sustainable writing practice.
  • Reading like a Writer – Once you develop this way of seeing how stories are built, every text will become a teacher.
  • PANEL: Writing/Life Balance: J.R. Roper, Larry Sweazy, Bryan Furuness

Cole Lavalais

Cole Lavalais’ work can be found in the Chicago Tribune, Obsidian, Apogee, Warpland, Tidal Basin Review, Aquarius Press, and others. Her novel, Summer of the Cicadas was published by Willow Books in 2016. She is a fellow of the Kimbilio Center for Black Fiction, VONA and the Callaloo Writing Workshops. She’s been awarded writing residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and The Noepe Center for the Literary Arts. She holds a M.F.A. from Chicago State University and a PhD. from University of Illinois at Chicago. She has taught writing for over twelve years and is the current Director of the Chicago Writers Studio and a faculty member of the Chicago State University M.F.A. program.

Sessions:

  • Short Story 101 – This workshop will introduce you to the basic tools every good short story writer uses to create engaging and unique fiction. We will discuss plot, point of view, setting, dialogue, and character development.
  • Building Authentic Lives – This workshop will introduce you to strategies to imagine and develop compelling and authentic characters who leap off of the page.
  • Writing Beyond Your Experiences – Ashley Hope Pérez, moderator. As writers, we are always making a leap outside of our own experiences, but doing so responsibly is especially important when we are engaging in narrative with communities we aren’t part of. What are the dos and don’ts of creating a diverse world in your stories? How does this effort matter to the quality of your writing? (Mitchell L.H. Douglas, Cole Lavalais, Larry Sweazy)

Michael McColly

Michael McColly’s essays and journalism has appeared in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Sun Magazine, the online blog Humans & Nature, NUVO, and other journals.  He is the author of the 2006 Lambda Literary Award-winning memoir, The After-Death Room: Journey into Spiritual Activism (Soft Skull Press), which chronicles his journey reporting on AIDS activism in Africa, Asia and America. He holds a BA degree in Theater and History from Indiana University, MA in Religious Studies from the University of Chicago, and Fiction Writing from the University of Washington. His present nonfiction focuses on the subject of walking and its effects on physical, psychological and environmental health. In this forthcoming book from the University of Chicago Press, he blends environmental reportage, natural history, memoir, as he describes a 63 mile walk from his apartment along the divided coast of Chicago through the heavily industrialized cities of Indiana to the sand dunes and wetlands of Indiana Dunes National Park. Since 2001 he has been a lecturer in creative nonfiction at Northwestern University’s Masters Program in Creative Writing.

Sessions:

  • Writing Creative Nonfiction with a Social Justice/Environmental Justice Lens – With the loss of local newspapers and the downsizing of regional media outlets, writers of CNF are increasingly filling the gaps with online blogs, reportage, and various forms of essays that inform and raise awareness about social and environmental justice.  With Facebook and Twitter and other online platforms, writers can serve a critical role in providing communities with thoughtful and objective reportage, provide desperately needed historical background, document local problems with photographic essays or interviews, as well as write powerful essays based on personal experiences that empower neighbors, friends, and others to take action.
  • Chronicling Social History – The Memoir has become a popular form of Creative Nonfiction in recent years to both read and write. Some become documents of social history as they chronicle with a personal lens a significant historical period, an experience many others witnessed or lived through, or a significant social condition or trauma. This workshop looks at how to write memoir or the personal narrative essay as a means of documenting history. Writers might consider how they can assist others in writing creative nonfiction documents of social history as well.
  • Writing about The Land – The land is not the local woods, the lovely lake where you go boating, the pristine National Park you love to visit; it’s your yard, the gas powering your car, the air you breathe, the water you use, the body you feed and inhabit. This workshop asks writers to take seriously our relationship with the natural world as it is in its present precarious state. We explore how to write about the natural world below our feet, recognizing that its history is our history, its health is our health, its future is our future.

Ashley Hope Pérez

Ashley Hope Pérez is a critically acclaimed author of young adult novels and teaches world literatures at The Ohio State University. Her most recent novel Out of Darkness received a Printz Honor Award for Literary Excellence and won the 2016 Tomás Rivera Book Award and the 2016 Américas Award. It was also named a “best book of 2015” by Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal and was selected by Booklist magazine as one of “50 Best YA Books of All Time.” Ashley’s other novels include What Can’t Wait and The Knife and the Butterfly. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, where she enjoys all four seasons and tries to keep up with her two sons, Liam Miguel and Ethan Andrés. Visit her online at http://www.ashleyperez.com/.

Sessions:

  • Organic Plot Development – A discovery-based approach to shaping your narrative’s direction and getting characters into action.
  • Get Inspired, Find Time to Write, and Be Happy While You’re Doing It – Ashley Hope Pérez & Alisa Alering (bio below). Do you wish you spent more time writing? Would you write more if you had more ideas? Is there a voice in your head that tells you that everything you write is crap so maybe you should just give up? If this sounds like you—don’t fear. You don’t have to live (or write) this way! Come join your agony aunts, Ashley and Alisa, for a session full of inspiring advice and practical solutions. Alisa has a demanding day job as the editor-in-chief of a science and technology magazine—complete with a busy travel schedule. Ashley is a full-time professor, novelist, and parent to two young kids. Yet we still get writing done–and enjoy doing it! Practically speaking, we will throw down our best tactics for beating the Monster of Self-Defeat and Bog-Demon of Inflated Expectations. We have inspiration jump-starts, psychological witchery, and solid methods for fitting regular writing dates into any schedule (really!). Bring us your questions and dilemmas and we will give you advice.
  • Writing Beyond Your Experiences – Ashley Hope Pérez, moderator. As writers, we are always making a leap outside of our own experiences, but doing so responsibly is especially important when we are engaging in narrative with communities we aren’t part of. What are the dos and don’ts of creating a diverse world in your stories? How does this effort matter to the quality of your writing? (Mitchell L.H. Douglas, Cole Lavalais, Larry Sweazy)

J.R. Roper

J.R. Roper is a junior high teacher and writer living in West Michigan with his lovely wife and kids. He has a passion for middle grade and young adult fiction and is the author of the Morus Chronicles: The Hunter Awakens, The Spirit of Steel, The Tower Below, and The Silver Spear. The Morus Chronicles have won multiple awards, including a 2016 Moonbeam for Best Series and a Foreword Reviews IndieFab Award Finalist. His short work has appeared in ChildGood Magazine, Families First Monthly, and in various anthologies. He is the author of Stories from the Fringe, a collection of short horror stories. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for his personal essay, Over the Edge. His abnormally high caffeine levels have been rumored to change vampires back to human form and there is a story floating around about him living in the belly of the dragon.

Sessions:

  • Your Middle Grade Story Needs a Skeleton – Whether you’re an outliner or a pantser, one thing is certain, your story needs structure. In this session we’ll discuss the major story elements and where to place them to keep your pacing just right and the reader turning pages well into the night.
  • The Star of Your Story – Breathe life into your middle grade characters with only 26 letters and some punctuation. In this workshop we will explore character dimensions, character arc, and how to create or resurrect the star of your story.
  • PANEL: Writing/Life Balance: J.R. Roper, Larry Sweazy, Bryan Furuness

SATURDAY INTENSIVES

Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman spent 15 years working inside the traditional publishing industry and is the former publisher of Writer’s Digest. In addition to being a columnist with Publishers Weekly and an instructor with the Authors Guild, she is a professor with The Great Courses on the topic of how to get traditionally published. Her most recent book is The Business of Being a Writer (The University of Chicago Press, 2018), a comprehensive guide on how to make a living as a writer. She has been a full-time freelancer and publishing consultant since 2014, and maintains an award-winning blog for writers at JaneFriedman.com. Her speaking engagements have taken her around the world to BookExo America, Frankfurt Book Fair, the Dubai Knowledge Summit, SXSW, and hundreds of writing conferences and creative writing programs. Her expertise on the publishing industry and the future of authorship has been featured by NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, PBS, The Washington Post, and the National Press Club. She has also served on grant panels for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Saturday Intensive: Author Platform and Career Development Bootcamp

  • This bootcamp for published authors or about-to-be-published authors offers hands-on guidance and discussion to help you better develop a strategic launch plan for your work, and identify and grow a readership over the long term, whether you’re traditionally published or self-published. This intensive will help you sort through various strategies, tools, and opportunities available and what makes sense at this point in time for the next stage of your career. You’ll come up with an action plan—with specific and concrete next steps to grow your marketing know-how and book launch capabilities—for the upcoming year.

Holly Miller

Author or co-author of four published novels, eight nonfiction books, and 2,500 magazine short stories and articles, Holly Miller has led writing workshops from California to Massachusetts. A consulting editor to two national magazines and a judge for an annual fiction-writing contest, she holds communication degrees from Indiana University and Ball State University and has taught college writing classes for 25 years. Her how-to book, Feature & Magazine Writing, co-authored with colleague David Sumner, is in its third edition. Her greatest joy is helping unpublished writers break into print.

Thursday/Friday Session:

  • Foot-in-the-door Features – Unpublished writers often ease their way into the competitive world of book publishing by first selling blurbs, brighteners and briefs. Readers love them, editors solicit them, and book publishers notice them. These feature articles—50 to 600 words in length—are recyclable and generate a constant stream of income for writers. Workshop participants will explore the wide, wide world of “shorts” and learn how to create everything from list articles to personal experience essays to profile pieces.

Saturday Intensive

  • Manuscript Makeover: All Genres – 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 a one-page synopsis and the first 10 pages of a book manuscript in progress by JULY 1 to hollygmill@sbcglobal.net  subject line: Manuscript Makeover: Holly Miller. Holly will edit and critique these pages and display them to the class as a way of revealing strengths and weaknesses in the material. Additionally, she will lead the students in writing exercises and offer advice on such topics as creating strong titles and opening paragraphs, learning to self-edit, mastering proofreading, finding the right markets for manuscripts and knowing when and how to go into writing full-time. [Limit 12.]

Matthew Clemens

Matthew Clemens and his collaborator, Max Allan Collins, have penned 17 TV tie-in novels including CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, Dark Angel, Bones, and Criminal Minds. Twilight Tales published the pair’s collected short stories in My Lolita Complex and Other Tales of Sex and Violence.  They have also authored the Reeder and Rogers thrillers You Can’t Stop Me, No One Will Hear You, What Doesn’t Kill HerSupreme Justice, Fate of the Union, and Executive Order. 

Thursday/Friday Sessions:

  • Nuts and Bolts: A Checklist of Things Beginning Writers Think They Already Know – An hour version of an all-day class about the basics of the craft.  This will center on the issues I see most often as a developmental editor.
  • Research: The Truth That Makes Your Lie Believable – An overview of research, what it entails, how much is too much, what to use, what to leave out.

Saturday Intensive:

  • Adventures in Developmental Editing – Matthew will critique each writer’s first 10 pages and the attendees will engage in writing exercises geared to trends within the group’s manuscripts as well as creating characters, writing realistic dialogue, building scenes, point of view, and learning to read like a writer as opposed to reading like a reader. Participants will send a one-page synopsis and the first 10 pages of a book manuscript in progress by JULY 1 (midwestwriters@yahoo.com/subject line: Developmental Editing). [Limit 15.]

Larry D. Sweazy

Larry D. Sweazy (pronounced: Swayzee) is the award-winning author of fourteen mystery and western novels, including See Also Proof: A Marjorie Trumaine MysteryA Thousand Falling CrowsVengeance at Sundown, and The Rattlesnake Season. He won the WWA (Western Writers of America) Spur award for Best Short Fiction in 2005 and for Best Paperback Original in 2013. Larry is also a two-time winner of the Will Rogers Medallion Award for Western Fiction for two books in the Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger series–which is returning in 2020. He was nominated for a Derringer award in 2007, and was a finalist in the Best Books of Indiana literary competition in 2010, and won in 2011. He also won the inaugural Elmer Kelton Book Award in 2013. Larry has published over eighty nonfiction articles and short stories. He is also a freelance indexer and has written back-of-the-book indexes for over nine and fifty hundred books in twenty-one years, which served as inspiration for the Marjorie Trumaine Mystery series. Larry speaks and teaches at writing workshops across the country. He lives in Noblesville, Indiana with his wife, Rose, two dogs and a cat, and is hard at work on his next novel. More information can be found at www.larrydsweazy.com.

Thursday/Friday Sessions:

  • Writing Setting That Will Immerse Your Reader – How to create vivid, memorable settings that will immerse your readers and set you apart from other writers.
  • PANEL: Writing/Life Balance: J.R. Roper, Larry Sweazy, Bryan Furuness
  • Writing Beyond Your Experiences – Ashley Hope Pérez, moderator. As writers, we are always making a leap outside of our own experiences, but doing so responsibly is especially important when we are engaging in narrative with communities we aren’t part of. What are the dos and don’ts of creating a diverse world in your stories? How does this effort matter to the quality of your writing? (Mitchell L.H. Douglas, Cole Lavalais, Larry Sweazy)

Saturday Intensive:

  • Mystery Makeover – Larry will critique the first ten pages of a novel or short story. Attendees will engage in writing exercises that will focus on character creation, plot development, scene building, point of view, and the basics of writing and publishing a mystery series or standalone novel. Attendees should send a one-page synopsis and the first ten pages of their work by JULY 1 to midwestwriters@yahoo.com/subject line mystery makeover. [Limit: 15.]

Dianne Drake

Dianne Drake is a former nurse who has now written 60 novels (mostly medical romances), as well as nine nonfiction titles. She has also had countless articles published in magazines such as Family Circle, Woman’s Day, Better Homes & Garden and Seventeen. Dianne is proud to say she got her start at a Midwest Writers Workshop back in 1993.

Thursday/Friday Session:

  • Advanced Track: WHAT’S NEXT? – Contemplating career choices is tough. This course is designed to help you take a look at your career direction, and determine which way you should go next. (This is an advanced course for writers who have already published in some format.)

Saturday Intensive:

  • Isn’t it Romantic? The Ins and Outs of Writing A Romance Novel (And a Little Bit About Women’s Fiction) – Dianne Drake, romance novelist with 50+ published romances, will critique the first 15 pages of your manuscript, and the first two pages of your synopsis. Manuscripts will be returned via email before the start of MWW’s summer workshop.  Additionally, prior to Saturday, Dianne will meet privately, for 15 minutes, with each participant who has submitted a manuscript. Manuscripts will be due no later than July 1 and sent to DianneDespain@earthlink.net/ subject line: Isn’t it Romantic? In the body, please. Not as an attachment. Appointment scheduling will be done through direct contact with Dianne two weeks prior to workshop. Workshop topics will include: what’s hot, what’s not; tropes (and why they work); character archetypes; character roles and building your characters from hero and heroine down to those quirky secondaries; general industry requirements (pen names and copyrights and payment, oh my!), conflict in fiction and why it’s the key to a successful novel; the differences and similarities between women’s fiction and romance. Also, we’ll construct some good conflicts and do in-class writing that revolves around them. We’ll also design a few characters to fit into those conflicts. [Limit: 20.]

Kelsey Timmerman

Kelsey Timmerman has spent the last decade helping people share their stories. He is the New York Times Bestselling author of WHERE AM I WEARING? A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes (Wiley, 2008), WHERE AM I EATING? An Adventure through the Global Food Economy (Wiley, 2013), and WHERE AM I GIVING?  A Global Adventure Exploring How to Use Your Gifts and Talents to Make a Difference. His writing has appeared in publications such as the CS Monitor, TIME magazine, and has aired on NPR. He has visited more than 150 universities, schools, and communities to share his stories.

Saturday Intensive:

  • Nonfiction Book Proposal Workshop – To land an agent and an editor for your nonfiction book, you often don’t have to write the whole book, but instead a book proposal. Think of it as a business plan for your book along with an outline, and sample. We’ll walk through what should be in your proposal to highlight your book’s strengths. If you have a book proposal already send it to Kelsey@Kelseytimmerman.com and he’ll give you feedback and may use it as an example in the class.

ADDITIONAL:

John Gilstrap: Friday night keynote, “Dare to Dream” – Meet and Greet free community event, open to the public

John Gilstrap is the New York Times bestselling author of Scorpion StrikeFinal TargetFriendly FireAgainst All EnemiesEnd GameHigh TreasonDamage ControlThreat WarningHostage ZeroNo MercyNathan’s RunAt All CostsEven StevenScott Free and Six Minutes to Freedom. In addition, John has written four screenplays for Hollywood, adapting the works of Nelson DeMille, Norman McLean and Thomas Harris. He is contracted to write and co-produce the film adaptation of his book, Six Minutes to Freedom.

A frequent speaker at literary events, John also teaches seminars on suspense writing techniques at a wide variety of venues, from local libraries to The Smithsonian Institution. (Subscribe to his YouTube Channel.) Outside of his writing life, John is a renowned safety expert with extensive knowledge of explosives, hazardous materials, and fire behavior. John lives in Fairfax, VA.

Laura Pennington Briggs

Laura Pennington Briggs is a freelance writer, 2019 TEDx speaker (Talk Title: The Future is Freelancing), and military spouse who launched her online writing career in 2012. Since then, she’s been featured in Business Insider twice, on the Inc.com website, and in the Huffington Post. She’s appeared as the guest expert on over 50 podcasts about the freelance market and digital economy. As a copywriter and project manager, she’s worked for companies like TrueCar, Microsoft, and NextLevel. Her first book on freelance writing comes out in July 2019 with Entrepreneur Press. She now teaches other aspiring freelancers how to build a mobile, flexible, and fulfilling career landing writing and editing gigs online. Laura has worked for more than 300 clients around the globe as a writer while moving seven times for her husband’s career in the Navy.

  • What it Really Takes to Launch an Online Freelance Writing Career – In this session, you will discover the demand for talented writers in the online space and how this affects their opportunity to grow their income and experience in the writing field.

Alisa Alering

Alisa Alering is an award-winning writer of speculative short fiction. Her stories have appeared in Flash Fiction Online, the anthologies Missing Links and Secret HistoriesClockwork Phoenix IV, Writers of the Future Vol. XXIX, and have been podcast by PodcastleDrabblecast, and the YA-themed Cast of Wonders. She is a graduate of the Clarion West writers workshop and a recipient of two Individual Artist Grants from the Indiana Arts Commission. She is also the editor-in-chief of Science Node, a magazine that explores the intersection of science and technology.

  • Get Inspired, Find Time to Write, and Be Happy While You’re Doing It – Ashley Hope Pérez & Alisa Alering. Do you wish you spent more time writing? Would you write more if you had more ideas? Is there a voice in your head that tells you that everything you write is crap so maybe you should just give up? If this sounds like you—don’t fear. You don’t have to live (or write) this way! Come join your agony aunts, Ashley and Alisa, for a session full of inspiring advice and practical solutions. Alisa has a demanding day job as the editor-in-chief of a science and technology magazine—complete with a busy travel schedule. Ashley is a full-time professor, novelist, and parent to two young kids. Yet we still get writing done–and enjoy doing it! Practically speaking, we will throw down our best tactics for beating the Monster of Self-Defeat and Bog-Demon of Inflated Expectations. We have inspiration jump-starts, psychological witchery, and solid methods for fitting regular writing dates into any schedule (really!). Bring us your questions and dilemmas and we will give you advice.