Virtual MWW20, July 20-25

 

PRE-MWW20 — Facebook Live

  • Panel: Path to Publication – Discussion/Q&A with MWW alums (moderator: Gail Werner) – Annie Sullivan, Kelly O’Dell Stanley, Janis Thornton, Greg Peterson
  • Facebook Live Interview with Jane Friedman – Kelsey Timmerman

Monday – July 20, 2020

ALL SESSIONS ARE ON EASTERN TIME

  • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm — Kick-off to launch, explanation, introduce ALL Faculty, they offer tips, Q&A (moderator: Kelsey Timmerman)
  • 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm “Happy Hour with Lori” (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
    • Lori Rader-Day: An Autopsy of a Novel — Lori will walk you through her entire process for writing her novels. Session participants are encouraged—not required—to read The Lucky One by Lori Rader-Day prior to MWW20. Lori may need to talk about some spoilers to tell this story. Reading the book prior to the sessions will help a great deal not to have the twists ruined and to see how she worked them through. [Support Midwest Writers Workshop by purchasing The Lucky One with Amazon Smile! Click here.]
      • A moderator will ask Lori – DAY ONE:
        • Where did the idea come from?
        • How did she create the plot?
        • At what point did she determine her characters?
        • Can we see her synopsis?
    • Since we hope most of the audience will have read the book, Lori will stop and ask for your feedback on decisions she made when writing the book. She can describe a problem that came up and ask you what you would have done to solve the problem. This will lead to lively dialogue! The purpose of this Happy Hour with Lori is to encourage writers to read books critically; to help workshop participants understand the steps involved in creating a publishable novel; to build community among MWW patrons; and promote literary citizenship by supporting an author and his/her work.
  • 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
    • Sarah Domet: 90 Days to Your Novel Challenge — A line has been drawn in the sand. Come prepared to cross it and to accept the 90 Days to Your Novel challenge. This session will help you arm yourself with a deadline, some good writing habits, and an outline in order to imagine, structure, and complete a draft of a novel in 90 days.
  • 8:15 pm – 9:15 pm
    • Kelcey Parker Ervick: The “I” And The “Eye” In Nonfiction — How to strengthen your memoir by developing a persona and writing from a clear and consistent narrative perspective.

 Tuesday – July 21, 2020

  • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
    • Tracy Clark: Listening to The Voices In Your Head. About developing characters, main and secondary. Fleshing them out, giving them distinctive characteristics.
  • 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
    • Carol Saller: From Yourself to the Shelf: How a Book Gets Published — Knowing in advance what happens in copyediting and proofreading helps writers understand their responsibilities, manage expectations, and work well with editors. This introduction to the publishing process from submission to printed (or digital) product will prepare you to work capably alongside the pros in delivering your work to readers.
  • 8:15 – 9:15 pm
    • Sarah Aronson: Get to Know Your MG/YA Novel — Sarah will present her philosophy on the stages of revision, beginning with reimagination and how writers can discover their most authentic voices. She will look at the three I’s: Inspiration, Intuition, and Intellect. She will offer her best tips, as well as anecdotes for every stage of revision–from concept to word–that are guaranteed to amplify voice and give you the confidence you need to dig deep into your novel narratives. She will provide a hand-out filled with exercises you can use to help you embrace the power of play.

Wednesday – July 22, 2020

  • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
    • Panel: Outliner and Pantser? [Tracy Clark, Sarah Domet, Sarah Aronson, Moderator: Angela Jackson-Brown]
  • 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm “Happy Hour with Lori” (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
    • Lori Rader-Day: An Autopsy of a Novel — Lori will walk you through her entire process for writing her novels. Session participants are encouraged—not required—to read The Lucky One by Lori Rader-Day prior to MWW20. Lori may need to talk about some spoilers to tell this story. Reading the book prior to the sessions will help a great deal not to have the twists ruined and to see how she worked them through.
      • A moderator will ask Lori – DAY TWO:
        • What did her outline look like?
        • How rough was her rough draft?
        • Talk about the editing process. How much input did her editor give her?
        • Who chose the title?
    • Since we hope most of the audience will have read the book, Lori will stop and ask for your feedback on decisions she made when writing the book. She can describe a problem that came up and ask you what you would have done to solve the problem. This will lead to lively dialogue! The purpose of this Happy Hour with Lori is to encourage writers to read books critically; to help workshop participants understand the steps involved in creating a publishable novel; to build community among MWW patrons; and promote literary citizenship by supporting an author and his/her work.
  • 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
    • Nick Werner: Asking the Hard Questions — A good interview is the foundation for any magazine article. But exploring a stranger’s personal life can make both subject and writer uncomfortable. Veteran magazine writer Nick Werner explains how to embrace the initial awkwardness to push toward emotional and meaningful content.
  • 8:15 – 9:15 pm
    • Jamie Thomas: How to Work with Bookstores to Have an Event — How to know if a store is right for you (no one wants to have an event with no attendees — not the author but also not the bookstore!), how to get on the calendar, how to promote yourself on social media to ensure attendance.

Thursday – July 23, 2020

  • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
    • Tracy Clark: Nailing the First Page 
  • 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
    • Kelcey Parker Ervick: Scene Magic — Kelcey will take you step by step through the writing of a compelling scene, then we will break those scenes down to identify the key parts so you can do it again (and again) on your own.
  • 8:15 pm – 9:15 pm
    • Sarah Domet: You Finished Your Manuscript, Now What? — Completing your manuscript is only half of your job as a novelist. This session will address the necessary next steps toward publishing and promoting your work.

 Friday – July 24, 2020

  • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
    • Sarah Aronson: To Move Forward, Look Back — Explore backstory to reveal new opportunities for revision and reimagination. In this lecture, Sarah Aronson will look at three kinds of back story—your story’s origins, your characters’ past, and your emotions and reasons for writing—as tools for discovery and revision. Writing exercises included.
  • 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm “Happy Hour with Lori” (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
    • Lori Rader-Day: An Autopsy of a Novel — Lori will walk you through her entire process for writing her novels. Session participants are encouraged—not required—to read The Lucky One by Lori Rader-Day prior to MWW20. Lori may need to talk about some spoilers to tell this story. Reading the book prior to the sessions will help a great deal not to have the twists ruined and to see how she worked them through.
      • A moderator will ask Lori – DAY THREE:
        • Did she have any control over the cover design?
        • What kinds of obstacles did she encounter along the way?
        • Did she have beta readers?
        • How many drafts did she do?
  • 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
    • Jamie Thomas: How to Get Your Book onto a Store’s Shelf – why you should treat booksellers as professionals running a business (aka, don’t cold call on a weekend!), why no indie will carry a book published by CreateSpace (I could do an entire section on self-publishing and the platforms that bookstores will accept, and why consignment is NOT worthwhile for 98% of books), and how to respond if the answer is “no.” Plus: Why Amazon isn’t your friend – how independent bookstores make names out of authors, how authors can partner with their local bookstore to sell more books, how cultivating relationships with booksellers can make or break your book. Jamie will use examples of Chicago writers like Rebecca Makkai, Megan Stielstra, and Samantha Irby, and a personal story about her relationship with Jeannie Vanasco.
  • 8:15 pm – 9:15 pm 
    • Kelcey Parker Ervick: Searching and Researching: How To Write What You Don’t Know — How to take your memoir to the next level by making connections to history, politics, science, and culture.

Saturday – July 25, 2020

  • 9:00 am – 10:00 am
    • Sarah Domet: Character + Yearning = Plot — This session will explore how understanding your character–and your character’s yearning–serves as the crucial foundation for the plot of your novel.
  • 10:30 am – 11:30 am
    • Carol Saller: Acts of Submission: Working with Editors –Understanding the goals of copyediting gives writers an immediate advantage in the creative breaking of style and grammar “rules,” in achieving a professional look in their submissions, and in negotiating with editors. This session includes:
      • a 10-minute shrinking of the 1,200-page Chicago Manual of Style to a lovable, usable writing tool
      • 10 hackle-raising blemishes writers can eliminate from their manuscripts
      • 5 easy insider tactics for credibly faking Chicago style
  • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
    • Sarah Aronson: No More Subpar Subplots — Are you stuck in the muddy middle?  Worried that your novel sags and drags? Or are you just plain lost? Perhaps you need to ramp up your subplots!  In this seminar, Sarah Aronson will break down the art of writing compelling secondary characters and subplots, and help you increase the conflict and pace your novel. Come prepared to do some writing exercises and self-editing. Warning: this process may lead to the death (or creation) of brand new characters!
  • 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
    • Tracy Clark: Crafting Dynamic Dialogue
  • 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm / Closing
    • Panel: What No One Tells You About the Writing Life, But Should All Faculty