Friday, January 15, 2010

Northern Colorado Writer's Conference Sessions

If you are thinking of attending the 2010 Northern Colorado Writer's Conference, you should decide to go! It is going to be ACTION PACKED!

2010 Conference Session Descriptions

Here is a list of the conference workshops and descriptions:
(Session topics subject to change)

From Proposal to Publication
Presenter: Rachelle Gardner

The world of publishing can be confusing, and the fact that you receive that long-awaited book contract doesn’t seem to clear up any mysteries! This workshop will explain what happens at the publishing house between the time you submit your proposal and the time your book is finally published. You’ll learn what the editorial, marketing, sales and art departments are doing about your book along the way—and most importantly, what will be expected of you. We’ll cover author/editor protocol plus the basics about contracts, deadlines, book covers, and marketing expectations. This workshop will shed light on the vast shadowy halls of the publishing house and help you navigate your way through your first experience as a published author.

Establishing a Marketing Plan
Presenter: Mike Befeler

How to promote yourself and your book with examples from my “Geezer-lit Mysteries.” A survey of the means to establish yourself including press kits, web site, blogs, social networking, conferences, book signings, events, speaking to service organizations, presentations to organizations interested in topics in your book, finding specific audiences (in my case older readers), radio, television. Becoming an expert on subject matter that indirectly promotes your books, e.g., my involvement in volunteer activities associated with topics of aging.

Selling your Book to Film and Television Stage Producers
Presenter: Ken Sherman

Once you've written your book, and whether you sell it to a publisher or not, there's always a chance it might make a fine film, TV movie or TV series. We'll discuss what producers, studios and networks think they're looking for on any given day, and how you can best prepare your material and yourself to access them.

Breaking into Non-Fiction: Learning the Facts and Dealing with Reality
Presenter: Stan Wakefield

This session will be an exploration of the ways and means to build an author’s non-fiction writing career – from the kernel of an idea through all the stages in between. Attendees will learn what publishers are looking for in the latest non-fiction sub-genres, what topics and formats are currently ‘hot,’ and how to launch their plans either with agents or directly with publishers’ acquisition editors. This is an in-depth look at the world of non-fiction and will be appropriate for both first-time-authors and experienced professionals.

How to Give Good Readings
Presenter: Paula Reed

How is it that writers who put so much passion and feeling into their stories end up struggling to convey those emotions when they give readings? Writers are often introverts, which is not always conducive to public speaking. Besides, there is still all that residual trauma from giving speeches before critical peers in school. Drawing on her two decades of experience coaching high school competitive public speaking, multi-published author Paula Reed will give you the tools you need to captivate readers with your voice as well as your words.

Creating a Sense of Place
Presenter: Page Lambert

More than setting. More than landscape. More than location. No matter what genre, Place is the world your characters inhabit and where your Story comes alive. This workshop explores how to create Place through the use of atmosphere, symbolism, imagery, and metaphor.

What is Inspirational Fiction?
Presenter: Tina Ann Forkner

Signs that readers are hungry for inspirational stories of faith can be seen all around us as evidenced by the sensation of crossover books from the CBA (Christian Booksellers Association), such as The Shack, The Left Behind series, The Chronicles of Narnia and the success of novelists including Debbie Macomber, Jan Karon, Francine Rivers, Angela Hunt, and Anne Lamott. Author Tina Ann Forkner who is published by Waterbrook Press, the CBA arm of Random House, will give an overview of the Inspirational genres and information on how to get published in the Inspirational market.

How to Write for the Web
Presenter: Tim Beyers

With each publishing door that closes in the print world, a window opens in the Web world. Writers looking to make the transition to replace or even boost income will benefit from this session. Taught by veteran freelancer Tim Beyers, whose work appears daily at finance news website The Motley Fool, you'll learn about the impact of search engines on your work, why links are currency, and why, on the Web, agreeing to incentive pay isn't always a bad idea.

Agent Panel
Presenters: Rachelle Gardner, Joe Monti, Ken Sherman

Attending Literary Agents answer your questions.

Scenework: Writing the Robust Scene
Presenter: Trai Cartwright

You’ve got your concept, your plotline is tight and your characters are living, breathing creatures – now what? How do you write scenes that show them to their best advantage? This workshop is about deep scenework: learning the five narrative aspects of a scene and how to balance them, strong scene construction, and enhancing your natural strengths while eliminating any weaknesses on this macro level. Developing every scene to its full potential is the key to a transformative story -- be a dynamic scenewriter!

The Art of Personal Essay
Presenter: Laura Pritchett

Want to write and submit a personal essay to a magazines or journals? This workshop is designed to focus on the essentials of turning personal experience into compelling narrative - and readying it for submission. We'll be concentrating on how to 1) tell through the use of story and 2) make that story have "universality" (as in, how to make it matter to others). We will also be discussing nonfiction fundamentals: the central dramatic questions and themes, how to craft scenes, ways to build tension, etc

Mixing Humor, Mysteries and Older Characters
Presenter: Mike Befeler

The art of combining humor and dead bodies in a way that keeps the reader reading by pointing out the foibles of the human condition, using quirky characters, employing unexpected twists, showing people acting in unique ways, uncovering flaws in the protagonist and honorable traits in the antagonist. Given the explosion in the older population, there is increasing interest in older characters, who are vital, humorous and can solve a mystery in spite of any deterioration of mind or body.

Dialogue and Setting: Tips on Letting Your Characters Speak and Live
Presenter: Todd Mitchell

This would be a nuts and bolts workshop on developing effective dialogue and descriptive writing. In addition to discussing common problems with dialogue, I'd do a few brief exercises to hone dialogue and descriptive writing skills. A tip sheet would be given to help writers identify problems, and discover new ways to let their characters speak and live.

Hopping onto Your Time Machine: Writing Memoir that Matters
Presenter: John Calderazzo

"Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can't remember how you got from where you were to where you are." So writes Tim O'Brien in The Things They Carried, a novel of stories that sometimes relies heavily on memoir, or seems to. When you "research" a personal memoir you often research yourself, the arc of your psyche (your soul?) over time. And to do that you often have to hop onto a time machine to cruise around in the distant or near past. But if your memoir is to truly connect the past to the future---to rise above the level of anecdote or well-written nostalgia---you need to ride that time machine not just backwards, but forwards and sideways and who knows where else. Driving instructions included in this presentation.

Tragedy To Triumph
Presenter: Paula Reed

The hero’s journey teaches us that all art is created in the abyss. Whether it is used as a way of escaping our darker side or plumbing its depths, writing can help us deal with even the toughest challenges life throws our way. This motivational session is a reflection on the role that writing fiction has played in recovery from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome for Paula Reed, multi-published author and teacher at Columbine High School.

From Book-to-Screen: The Basics of the Film and Television Industries (and how an author and his/her book fit in)
Presenter: Stan Wakefield

Unlike book publishing, writing for film and TV differs in the very definition of what an author’s traditional role is in the process, and how s/he fits into the team-approach that contrasts so dramatically from the ‘lone-wolf-approach’ of solo-authorship. Authors and attendees will learn the basic rules-of-the-road in script preparation, expectations among producers, studios and agencies that represent writers on this side of the entertainment aisle, and everyone will receive a good initial introduction to the business of film.

Using Twitter to Boost Your Writing Income
Presenter: Tim Beyers

Thanks to Twitter, it has never been easier for an enterprising writer to build a career. Editors, publishers, peers, sources -- they're all flocking to the microblogging service. For some, the shift has led to more assignments and higher income. Veteran freelancer Tim Beyers is one of those writers. In this session, he'll walk you through his rules for earning a return on your Twitter time, including strategies for querying editors, building your contact list, and the in-and-outs of using Twitter to find quotable sources.

Writing Sex Well
Presenter: Laura Prichett

Sex is not always good, but it's always revealing! Whether it's fantastic, boring, strange, or predictable, sex is one of the most powerful unions and sensations we experience, and it shouldn't be skipped or avoided in writing. On the other hand, a sex scene shouldn't be included unless it serves a purpose, which is to illustrate the characters and the larger themes of the work. This workshop will introduce and explore some ideas about writing sex well - how to direct an honest gaze at this most fascinating activity.

How to Successfully Weave Faith Into Your Stories
Presenter: Tina Forkner

Do you have trouble deciding how to let your characters be fully developed in their spiritual walks without scaring away editors? What if your character happens to be a Christian? Learn how to deepen your story and give characters a rich inner life by using elements of faith without sounding preachy. Author Tina Ann Forkner who is published by Waterbrook Press, the CBA arm of Random House, will use examples from her own experience, as well as the experiences of others in the industry, to show that characters can successfully lead a life of faith in novels.

Editor Panel
Presenters: Mira P

Attending Editor answers your questions.

Just Because It’s Nonfiction Doesn’t Mean It Has to Be Long
Presenter: John Calderazzo

Who says that compelling and rich nonfiction has to be long---say, the length of a slowly-unfolding essay, or even a "BoB", a Back of the Book magazine think piece? Like flash fiction or a poem, nonfiction can sometimes displays its best self by zinging along at warp speed, or by leaping to the heart of the matter in a fraction of normal essay length. But how does it do this, and with what effect? And how do you get started? We’ll look at some great examples of nonfiction short shorts, including prose poems and the lyric essay, and then we’ll try a few different writing approaches ourselves.

Intimate Emotions, Universal Themes and Syncronicity
Presenter: Page Lambert

power to fuel our writing. They provide a pathway to lead us from our own intimate lives into the larger human experience, to think without boundaries and let the heart lead the dialogue our inner-selves want to have with the outer world. Emotions provide a key to understanding the synchronistic moments that give structure to our lives and our stories. They are the well that never goes dry. This session will explore the realm of emotion—yours, and your characters’, and will ask two vital questions that will help you uncover theme and meaning in your

Writing Fantasy & Sci-Fi —Challenges and Techniques
Presenter: Todd Mitchell

Join Todd Mitchell, author of The Traitor King (Scholastic Press) and The Secret to Lying (Candlewick Press) as we discuss the techniques writers use to make the strange believable. Practical tips will be given for avoiding some of the common pitfalls of fantasy/sci-fi writing, developing effective fictional worlds, and creating engaging stories. Possible fantasy/sci-fi story ideas will also be generated and discussed.

15 Elements of a Great Movie
Presenter: Trai Cartwright

15 Elements of All Great Movies and how to use them to make all your stories better! Building a truly satisfying story in any medium requires complex storytelling. This class breaks down all the ingredients that make up the tales that become classics. We’ll talk about the power of the secondary character, creating strong tension with tones, how to make concept, setting and theme work together, and so much more. Using familiar movie examples brings these concepts alive, and you’ll see how to deploy them in everything you write.

Agents & Editors Read the Slush Pile
Presenters: Ken Sherman, Rachelle Gardner

Attending Agents and Editors read the slush pile and give their quick comments and critiques.

Northern Colorado Writer's Conference
March 26-27 2010

Fort Collins Hilton

Northern Colorado Writers

$260 NCW Members
$310 Nonmembers
$335 Conference & NCW Membership
$225 Friday or Saturday Only


  1. Sure sounds like it's going to be packed with some great speakers and advice...I wish I could go. But, alas a bit out of my budget for the moment. :/ If you go, be sure to take some notes and I'd love to hear all about it!

  2. Oh I definitely will take some great notes! I will share what I learn with you!

  3. Thanks would be much appreciated! No go get urself published. :)