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THURSDAY PREGAME

9:00 AM – NOON

How to Self-Publish for First Timers with Jane Friedman (added $35)

Over the last decade, the publishing industry has undergone tremendous evolution due to the growth of online retail and digital book formats, as well as the power of any author to publish and distribute their work at the click of a button. In this comprehensive master class, industry expert Jane Friedman discusses the most important service options available to independent authors, how to choose the best channels, formats, and distributors based on your target audience and genre, how to assess if you are well-suited to self-publishing, and what to expect when it comes to marketing your work. She’ll also help you decipher “hybrid” publishing arrangements now available alongside the key forms of self-publishing and e-publishing practiced today.

Write Characters Your Readers Won't Forget with Stant Litore

“I just don’t care enough about your character.” Write Characters Your Readers Won’t Forget provides a toolkit for addressing that issue. Explore what makes characters unforgettable to readers – and learn strategies for digging into and revealing your character’s motivations, drives, and conflict in entertaining and powerful ways. Write dialogue that electrifies your scenes and unpack the moments that matter in your characters’ lives. And discover how to chart your character arc in a way that empowers revision and more dynamic storytelling.

Scrivener Crash Course with Gwen Hernandez

Learn everything you need to get started with Scrivener—or level up—as the author of Scrivener For Dummies walks you through the basics, and covers some of her favorite tips and features, plus shows you how to compile (export) your manuscript to a DOCX and an EPUB.

Topics include:

  • Creating and understanding projects and templates
  • Getting familiar with the Scrivener interface
  • Working with files and importing your existing work and research
  • Color coding your scenes/chapters
  • Writing in split screen and full screen composition (distraction-free) modes
  • Formatting tips
  • Tracking your progress
  • Searching your project
  • Compiling (exporting) to DOCX and EPUB

Beginning Writers’ Workshop with Pam McCutcheon and Angel Smits

Whether you have just started out on your writing journey or want to refresh your memory with the basics, this class is for you. In it, we will cover how to start writing, create characters, produce a plot, use scenes and sequels, and learn about the business of writing.

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

The Art & Business of Author Platform by Jane Friedman (add $35)

Most working writers have at least one thing in common: they seek to grow the readership for their work. But what leads to readership growth? And what can you do, especially without a publisher’s help (or a large bankroll), to encourage that growth?

This session helps you better identify and grow a readership, whether you’re unpublished, traditionally published or self-published. Sometimes this is called “platform development.” Author platform is one of the most difficult concepts to explain in publishing, partly because everyone defines it a little differently. But by far the easiest explanation of platform is: visibility to your target audience—which translates into an ability to sell more books.

Platform building requires consistent, ongoing effort over the course of a career; the work is never really done, and your strategy and approach will evolve over time. It benefits from incremental improvements and pushing the boundaries of your own skill set. This master class 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.

Write Worlds Your Readers Won’t Forget with Stant Litore

Like a god, you get to invent a world. Maybe several. But how do you make these worlds that readers want to visit? How do you make them worlds that readers never want to leave? In this intensive and practical series, explore how to build fictional worlds that grip the heart. Create imaginary religions and design fascinating environments, creatures, and cultures. Among the topics addressed in this workshop:

  • Creating environments and creatures that exert pressure on your characters and open up opportunities for plot
  • Inventing imaginary religions for an imaginary world
  • Ruins and relics: The bones of your imaginary world
  • Rites of passage and the idea of home
  • Privilege, justice, and identity in an imagined world
  • Understanding and crafting the Threshold Text: How to introduce your reader to a strange new world

You will leave this workshop empowered, flooded with fresh ideas, and ready to write!

Scrivener Crash Course Advanced Features with Gwen Hernandez

Get insight into Scrivener’s more advanced features, learning how and when to use them—or whether you even need to. The author of Scrivener for Dummies will show you the best tools for revisions, how to get a granular look at your word count by scene/chapter, how to storyboard, options for keeping track of research, features to help you write faster, and how to customize the compile settings for DOCX, EPUB, and PDF for print-on-demand files.

Topics include:

  • Using the Corkboard and Outliner
  • Creating project bookmarks
  • Adding keywords and custom metadata
  • Advanced searching techniques
  • Working with annotations and comments
  • Saving snapshots of your work
  • Advanced Compile options for DOCX, EPUB, and PDF files

Self-Editing: Learn to be your own Copy Editor with Pam McCutcheon

Many people love writing, but hate editing…and it shows in many published works. This session will discuss how to present your work professionally by the proper use of dialogue tips and tags, punctuation, writing tight, show versus tell, and, as a bonus, common word usage problems in print that you don’t want to make.